Despite the constant upheaval Roma experiences on the pitch and on the touchline, the hand guiding them upstair has been pretty constant over the past several years. First, it was the split-executive branch with Walter Sabatini and Franco Baldini running the show, and once the latter parted for Tottenham, Roma fell into Sabatini’s wispy fingers.
We’ve covered the ups and downs of Sabatini enough in these spaces, but suffice it to say, the good outweighed the bad, and considering some of the odds he was up against, he did about as well as could be expected. While Walter wasn’t ultimately meant to guide Roma any further, he nevertheless provided the club with some much needed stability.
All of which is to simply say: it's been several years since we’ve had to face the prospect of a complete shift in team building and transfer mentality. But here we are, facing change yet again, with the news that (at long last) Roma has officially signed Monchi as their new sporting director, penning the former Sevilla keeper to a four-year deal.
So sayeth Uncle Jimmy:
On behalf of myself and all of AS Roma, I welcome Monchi to our family and look forward to starting a long and successful partnership with him, in a new and exciting chapter for the club,
I could not be happier with the arrival of a sporting director that is commonly recognised as one of the best minds in the world of football.
Monchi, for his part, was rather succinct:
I would like to thank Roma president Jim Pallotta and the club’s executive team for giving me this opportunity...This is an exciting project and I look forward to serving the supporters, staff and players at this iconic club for many years to come.
At this point, I can’t even tell you how fucking sick I am of Roma’s “project”, which has pivoted several times over now, but Monchi is about as respected as they come, so perhaps he is the man that will finally pick up all the pieces and put Roma back together again.
Check that, Monchi spoke directly to the fans, here are some of the highlights
First of all, I’d like to say thank you to the fans for all the kind messages I’ve received on social media. The only thing I can promise you is what has brought me this far: hard work and dedication. I will give everything I have to help Roma to climb as high as possible.
I won’t rest, even for a second, until we’ve achieved all the aims we have in mind.
Good stuff there, we’ll take it.
What attracted me to Roma? Essentially the enthusiasm and interest that Roma have shown in me since day one, as well as the potential of this club, which definitely has the wherewithal to go on to achieve big things. Working for Roma really motivates me and the idea of helping Roma to obtain a lot of success makes me happy.
From the first day, I felt a spark with the president, Jim Pallotta, who conveyed to me his ambition to build a big project. I believe that from the first time we met, despite the fact he speaks English and I speak Spanish, we’ve been singing from the same hymn sheet; that of a highly professional club with clear ideas and a major objective.
There’s that dreaded word again, but I like the church analogy he made, that fits in with our ethos, so Monch is a perfect two for two so far. While these are really all the standard first day platitudes, the real meat and potatoes won’t be served until this summer when we get a first glimpse of the master at work.
Now that job one is accomplished, let’s see if Monchi can convince Luciano Spalletti to give it another go.