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Serie A: Mourinho’s Roma showing a little too much fight in pre-season



Serie A: Mourinho's Roma showing a little too much fight in pre-season

It’s only pre-season, but Jose Mourinho has brought a fiery side to Roma. The Giallorossi’s Serie A season kicks off at home to Fiorentina on August 22, and they might be a side worth keeping an eye on in 2021/22.

After an underwhelming season under Paulo Fonseca that only saw them qualify for European football via the new Europa Conference League, Mourinho has a lot of work on his hands.

Showing early fight

The Portuguese demands a lot from his players, and Ebrima Darboe saw that early on this summer. Having misplaced a pass in an early pre-season friendly, the 20-year-old Gambian was told to «wake up, for f***’s sake» from a furious Mourinho on the sidelines.

Videos of his outburst were shared around Italy, but that was only the beginning of the fieriness seen this summer.

Taking on Porto, a robust challenge from Pepe sparked an aggressive reaction from Henrikh Mkhitaryan that then led to a huge coming-together between both sides that is rarely seen in the summer.

But Mourinho’s Roma look different to most sides, at least in their temperament. In their loss to LaLiga Santander’s Real Betis, Roma ended the game with eight players on the pitch and Mourinho himself was sent off as well.

With half an hour to play, Alex Moreno scored to put Betis 3-2 ahead and Mourinho lost his cool. Furious that the goal stood, the coach walked onto the pitch to confront the referee and was swiftly dismissed.

Then, Roma’s heads went. Within 10 minutes of Mourinho’s departure they had both Lorenzo Pellegrini and Gianluca Mancini sent off, and after another 10 minutes had passed Rick Karsdorp was given his marching orders as well. With eight players, they conceded twice more to lose 5-2.

Work to do

While showing fight is undeniably a positive, Mourinho will need to calm things down before August 22. Serie A is going to be an interesting league this coming season with all of the changes in coaches at the top – only AC Milan and Atalanta have kept with their coaches from last season – and there could well be a shock winner.

With a good start and frustration being channelled into performances, Roma and Mourinho might just have an outside chance at a surprise Scudetto push.


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