After a wild week that saw Roma make an unexpected managerial change, sacking José Mourinho after two-and-a-half years at the helm in favor of club legend Daniele De Rossi, the moment is finally upon us. For years, speculation has run rampant as to when De Rossi would get his chance to lead the Giallorossi. An intelligent and combative midfielder during his playing days, DDR was seemingly ready-made for the position, doubly so when you consider he comes from a coaching family, but I'm not sure many of us expected it to happen this soon.
While he’s cast into a less-than-desirable position for what is essentially his first true managerial post, De Rossi hit all the right notes in the buildup to this match. The club may have changed managers, but DDR is facing the same headaches as his predecessor: a fatigued and incomplete squad that has, in many ways, underachieved all season long. But throughout the week, De Rossi's press conferences left the impression that he knows exactly what he's up against, knowing the squad's strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for various tactical approaches.
If nothing else, De Rossi is entering this job with his eyes wide open, fully aware of the challenges and limitations of the position. But, one look at the photos and videos from this week's training shows a team reinvigorated by its new manager. Fortunately for Roma, De Rossi gets a bit of an easy landing against 17th-place Verona, a team that just sold its most potent player, Cyril Ngonge, to Napoli.
The lineups are in, so let's see what De Rossi has in store for us!