While José Mourinho's grip on the Roma managerial job was becoming increasingly tenuous, the timing of his sacking nevertheless came as a surprise. With his contract set to expire on June 30th, conventional wisdom held that Mourinho would be allowed to play out the string on his deal. In fact, rumor had it that if Mourinho led Roma back to the Champions League, the two sides would have actually hashed out a contract extension.
However, after Roma's dismal performance at the San Siro this weekend, Mourinho got the sack sooner than anyone expected. With Roma set to face Hellas Verona in four days, the club was in a bind. They needed to find an experienced manager willing to take on a nearly impossible task: right the Roma ship while soothing an anxious fanbase.
Daniele De Rossi may be short on experience, but we've certainly seen DDR hold the Stadio Olimpico in the palm of his hands during his playing days. And now he'll get his chance as the man on the touchline, as moments ago he was unveiled as the club's new manager.
L’AS Roma è lieta di annunciare che Daniele De Rossi è stato nominato nuovo Responsabile Tecnico della Prima Squadra fino al 30 giugno 2024.— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) January 16, 2024
Bentornato a casa, Daniele! ❤️
De Rossi, 40, has signed a deal through the end of the season, though rumor holds that there are incentives that could extend the contract into next season.
Per the official release:
After an 18-year playing career with AS Roma, De Rossi will return home as head coach, with his first game being the club’s upcoming Serie A match against Verona on Saturday evening at the Stadio Olimpico.
“We are happy to be able to hand over the managerial role of AS Roma to Daniele De Rossi, as we feel that the leadership and ambition that have always defined him can prove decisive in achieving the team’s objectives until the end of the season,” said Dan and Ryan Friedkin.
“We were aware of Daniele’s unbreakable bond with the club, but his enthusiasm for accepting the position for the next few months convinced us even more of his ability to be a guide for the players and a proud representative of the club’s values. Welcome home, Daniele.”
On his return to Roma:
“I would like to thank the Friedkin family for entrusting me with the responsibility of Roma’s head coach role. From my side, I know no other way but dedication, daily sacrifices, and giving everything I have in order to face the challenges that await us from now until the end of the season,” said De Rossi.
“The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me. However, the work that awaits us all has already taken precedence.
“We have no time or choice but to be competitive, fight for our goals, and try to achieve them, which are the only priorities my staff and I have set for ourselves.”
After a failed stint on the SPAL bench last season, De Rossi will face a heavy dose of skepticism as he'll essentially learn the job on the fly as he tries to rescue Roma's season. The barometer of success may change, but certainly, De Rossi will be expected to lift the club out of ninth place and at least back in the hunt for a Europa League spot.
We'll have plenty more to say about De Rossi, the manager, in the coming days, but for now, let us know what you think: Is he the man for the job?