“First of all, in terms of what you have called my ‘outrage’, it’s always been my rule that what is said in the changing room, stays in the changing room. For this reason I won’t discuss what I said. Having said that, I am not in a position to say that it’s not true that we spoke in the changing room after the game. But I won’t reveal what was said...no one was offended.
...the players have told me that they are really enjoying how I am working with them. That’s what they’ve said. They’ve told me that throughout their careers they have had coaches who communicate with them in a totally different way. There are no secrets with me; I speak to their faces and give my players a chance to respond to me. When I speak, I am not interested in delivering a monologue. I wouldn’t change even if they asked me too, but the players have told me that they don’t want me to change, this is what they want.
“What you call ‘outrage’, to me that’s work. It’s coaching. It’s to tell them where they have gone wrong.”
And with that, Jose Mourinho attempted to quell rumors of the seeds of discontent being sown by some in the Roma dressing room. If that’s the case—and there are no issues—then it’s all the better for the Giallorossi and their manager as the club tries to bounce back from back-to-back winless matches post-international break.
And Mourinho will need all hands on deck after losing two of his key players this past week. Nicoló Zaniolo is suspended for this one after he saw red against Genoa. Meanwhile, Roger Ibañez was ruled out for five weeks with a knee sprain after exiting early against Inter Milan in Tuesday’s Coppa Italia defeat. Those are two heavy losses to take simultaneously, one on each end of the pitch.
However, in a bit of good news, fears of Tammy Abraham missing out after picking up a knock against Inter seemed to be dispelled. Additionally, captain Lorenzo Pellegrini should be back from the start of this one. When asked about that duo Mourinho didn’t say much, simply that they need to find rhythm in their legs.
Rhythm is found through playing, so expect both to start. Pellegrini would provide a big boost in Zaniolo’s absence, but how Mourinho utilizes his players in this one remains to be seen. With Ibañez and Zaniolo out, does Mourinho shift back to a 4-2-3-1 from a 3-4-1-2? It’s certainly an idea being floated around in the media.
If Mourinho sticks to the 3-4-1-2 then Max Kumbulla should simply slide into the LCB position usually manned by Ibañez. If the formation changes then more opportunities could be given to attacking players like Stephan El Shaarawy and Felix Afena Gyan.
When deciding on a formation, Mourinho will have to account for the absences of both Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori from the Sassuolo attacking trident. With a bit less bite in the attack, it’s possible Roma could revert to a one-striker look to overload the midfield and limit the impact of players like Davide Frattesi.
Roma Possible Formations
4-2-3-1: Patricio; Viña, Smalling, Mancini, Maitland-Niles; Mkhitaryan, Oliveira; El Shaarawy, Pellegrini, Afena-Gyan; Abraham
3-4-1-2: Kumbulla, Smalling, Mancini; Viña, Mkhitaryan, Oliveira, Maitland-Niles; Pellegrini; Afena-Gyan, Abraham
Let us know your preference in the poll below as Roma attempts to stifle Sassuolo.
Which formation should Mourinho choose against Sassuolo on Sunday?
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