Well, so much for that 7 am press conference, huh? Rather than delaying the inevitable, the club issued an official press release a few hours ago, making official what we’ve long suspected, that Luciano Spalletti has left AS Roma, the club he professed to love coaching upon his return in January of 2016.
Here is the release in full:
The official announcement comes after the team beat Genoa 3-2 on Sunday evening to clinch second place in Serie A and secure automatic qualification to the 2017-18 Champions League.
Spalletti joined Roma for a second time as coach in January 2016, having won two Coppa Italia and one Supercoppa during his first stint in the capital between 2005 and 2009.
Roma President Jim Pallotta commented: “We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Luciano Spalletti for all of his hard work and the significant contribution he has made to the club since his return.
“Under his stewardship this season, the team has won more Serie A points and scored more goals than any side in Roma’s history. We wish Luciano all the best for the future.
“This club is on a constant path of growth and that will continue with the appointment of a new coach who shares our values and philosophy and who will continue to help us take AS Roma forward.”
This club is on a constant path of growth...try and stifle that laughter. After returning to the club last January, Spalletti instantly turned around a Roma side that had grown rather moribund, taking them from fifth place all the way back to third last season. This season, with a full summer training under his belt, the expectations were sky high, and Spalletti did not disappoint, setting a club record for points in a season (87) and finishing only four points adrift of eventual champions Juventus.
Spalletti’s departure is the antithesis of a “constant path of growth.” While we don’t know the exact reasons behind this departure yet, it seems pretty clear, Spalletti grew tired of the chaos surrounding the club this season. And while we don’t know what last ditch attempts, if any, were made to bring him back, this is absolutely, positively a step backwards for Roma.
Spalletti’s presumed successor, Eusebio Di Francesco, will inherit a Champions League squad, but is he up to the task?