I'm not sure you needed a reminder, but Roma's complete inability to sign a Director of Sport and a new manager speaks volumes about the current state of affairs in the Eternal City. If Serie A were a high school cafeteria, then Roma is most assuredly fucking Steven Glansberg, sitting alone while the rest of the kids are planning their weekend escapades. While the reasons for Roma's isolation are varied and hard to precisely define or prove, there seems to be an undeniable stink around our beloved AS Roma lately.
For much of the past few months we operated under the assumption that Gian Piero Gasperini would bolt from Atalanta, whom he has now officially guided to one of the most unlikely Champions League berths in recent memory, for the greener pastures of Trigoria. I mean, Roma is the bigger, better club, right?
Presidente #Percassi: “#Atalanta e #Gasperini avanti insieme!”— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) May 29, 2019
Il comunicato https://t.co/GEcGLev9j6#Atalanta3uropa #GoAtalantaGo ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/DdaDLTTNu0
Not only has Gasperini verbally (or Twitterly, I suppose) reaffirmed his commitment to Atalanta, he may be brokering a new three-year contract extension as we speak. While folks will quibble about Gasperini's suitability for a club like Roma, it doesn't look good when your main target so unequivocally shuns your advances.
With GPG likely no longer an option, it seems as though Roma are locked in zero-sum tangle with AC Milan over the remaining scrap heap of Serie A retreads. Speculation is running rampant that both clubs are considering Sampdoria headman Marco Giampaolo for their respective vacancies, while Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi, a presumptive candidate for both clubs, hasn't "heard from anyone.”
While Giampaolo is the hottest/default name left on the market, with Milan supposedly hot on Simone Inzaghi, there is the possibility, however remote, that their former coach/club legend Gennaro Gattuso could wind up with Roma. Gattuso hasn't exactly refined his managerial style yet, but his close ties to Francesco Totti, who may soon have a new set of administrative powers, could make him a legitimate candidate. (He was one of my favorite non-Roma players back in the day, so I can't lie, I'd be pretty excited).
It seems absurd to think that, no more than two weeks ago, we were debating between Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte and now, well, here we are; shopping the calcio clearance rack.
James Pallotta's assumption that Roma would rise to the top simply because it's “fucking Rome” is certainly being put to the test this summer.