Jose Mourinho has been accused of having lost his spark in recent seasons.
The Portuguese tactician became renowned for his ability to lead teams to the title – more often than not in his second season in charge – but after failing to secure Premier League glory with either Manchester United or Tottenham, is he still the manager we used to know and love?
His appointment as Roma boss earlier this summer was met with fits of laughter from Tottenham fans who’d grown tired of his pragmatic style of play during his time in north London, so he’d need a good start to life at the helm of I Giallorossi if he was to prove to their fans he’s still got the magic touch.
It’s fair to say he couldn’t have asked for a much better start.
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Mourinho named his first Roma starting XI on Thursday night as his side faced Serie D outfit Montecatini in Trigoria.
Obviously Roma were huge favourites despite being without their squad members who competed at Euro 2020 and new signing Rui Patricio, but nobody expected the goal-fest that followed, with Mourinho’s men notching ten goals without reply. TEN.
Carles Perez opened the scoring with just nine minutes on the clock and the early strike saw the floodgates open, with Gianluca Mancinci, Borja Mayoral, Riccardo Calafiori and an own goal from
Montecatini goalkeeper Leonardo Santi handing Roma a 5-0 first-half lead.
Mourinho rung in the changes at half time as he made nine substitutes, but that did little disrupt I Giallorossi’s momentum.
Mayoral was one of only two players to retain his place in the side for the second half and he doubled his account for the game with a neat finish into the bottom corner ten minutes after the break.
Clearly absolutely fed up by this point, the Montecatini defence went into self-destruct mode – as if they weren’t there already – hacking down Bryan Reynolds in the area and allowing Nicolo Zaniolo to make it 7-0 to Roma.
Nicola Zalewski bagged the best goal of the game with a beautifully curled right-footed effort into the bottom corner, before Amadou Diawara got himself on the scoresheet and Mayoral took Roma’s tally into double figures as he completed his hat-trick late on.
The win marked Roma’s biggest victory since their 16-0 thrashing of Pinzolo back in July 2016. What’s that about negative tactics now?