The Sacked One: AS Roma dismiss Jose Mourinho after two and half years at the Italian club

Published on 16 January 2024 at 20:00

Roma have endured a tumultuous start to the new year, suffering a Copa Della Capitale defeat in the Coppa Italia to Lazio and managing only one win in their last five games. The club are currently submerged within a 'mini crisis', and American owners the Friedkin brothers have been left with an ultimatum to resurrect the club's season which has coincided in Mourinho's exit. So where did it all go wrong for the famous "special one" at the Stadio Olympico?


AS Roma faced AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday, five points off of the Champions League spots, having just suffered a detrimental derby defeat to Lazio in which Mourinho suffered his second consecutive red card. 

The Giallorossi suffered a damaging 3-1 defeat, but what was resounding in this Serie A game was the overwhelming vitriol directed at the Roma players at the end of the game from the 4,000 travelling fans.

This seemed to signal the end for Mourinho, as the fans vocally condemned their teams performance creating a toxic atmosphere which engulfed the club. It was clear that the players could sense this animosity from their own fans, with Andrea Bellotti exclaiming in the post-match press conference that the team had "hit rock bottom".

When Mourinho ever faces scrutiny in his dying days at a club he always begins to bemoan recruitment or retaliate by defending his pride hailing himself as an oracle. This was evident over the last week, in the aftermath of Roma's 1-0 defeat to Lazio he compared himself to fictional wizard Harry Potter stating his position at the club was raising fans expectations for success. 

His demise at Roma was becoming more and more clear with his onfield antic's where he suffered a meltdown against Atalanta, lashing out at the referee which resulted in his fifth red card since the start of 2022-23. 

In the aftermath of Roma's Coppa Italia Quarter Final exit, it was alleged that Mourinho threaten to leave the club outraged by individuals performances in what he referred to as a "gruelling team meeting".

The two time Champions League winner has been defiant in justifying Roma's nightmarish season, where they have collected the fewest number of points after 20 games since 2002-03. He emphasised the financial restrictions the club is constrained to under FFP regulations, which make them inferior to their Serie A rivals such as Inter Milan, Napoli and AC Milan. While also separately criticising the club for having an "overstretched" squad which is void of financial backing from the hierarchy.

In his opinion, his renowned reputation as a serial winner has brought unscrupulous expectations on his Roma team which are impossible given the current state of the club. He believed that qualifying for a Champions League spot would have been unthinkable at Roma if any other manager was there!


In his defence AS Roma spent just £9m this summer but managed to recruit high profile acquisitions such as Romelu Lukaku and Renato Sanches on loan and Houssem Aouar on a free deal. Meanwhile, the club recouped £74m in outgoings including Roger Ibanez to Al Ahli for £30m which meant they were in profit.

However, the Italian side have the third highest wage bill in Serie A with their star players such as Paulo Dybala on £135,000 per week. While, the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala were initially hailed as monumental deals showing the clubs strength in the transfer market recently opinions have changed with the financial implications.

While, Dybala has been a stand-out star under Jose Mourinho since his arrival last summer scoring 24 goals in 56 appearances the World Cup winners injury fragility and prolonged absence has frustrated fans. While, the controversial arrival of Lukaku has similarly brought questions with the 30 year old often absent in big games and the uncertainty surrounding his future.

It has been concerning for fans that summer arrivals like Renato Sanches from PSG are already reportedly unhappy and eager to leave, Sanches was seen visibly annoyed after being subbed on and then subbed off after 19 minutes against Bologna.

All of this negativity which has been lingering around the club, spells Mourinho's third season syndrome. At Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea he has suffered the sack in the third season. It just seems the unsatisfied maverick can never settle at a club, he's always one interview or board meeting away from an implosion.


His time in Rome must not be overlooked, the serial winner ended the club's 20 year trophy drought winning the inaugural Europa Conference League and reaching the Europa League final last season.

However, he managed his lowest ever win percentage (49%) during his two and half years at the club winning 44 Serie A games. Surprisingly too he had the lowest points per game ratio for a Roma manager over 50 games since 1994-95.

The reality was his biggest failure was domestically in the league in his three seasons he finished sixth consecutively and leaves the club this season in ninth 22 points off of the title. He never managed to mount a title charge in a very open Serie A that has seen three successive different winners and his playing style never grasped fans and entertained.

It's unknown where Mourinho will end up next, he's been heavily linked with the Brazil national team job or could he be returning to the Premier League only time will tell.

AS Roma have appointed former club icon Danielle De Rossi as interim manager until the end of the season, in a bid to galvanise the relationship with the fans and his first game in charge is Hellas Verona at the weekend.

Written by Lewis Eadie

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