With just one win in their last ten matches, Roma has parted ways with manager Rudi Garcia midway through his third season with the club.
In each of his first two seasons in charge, Roma finished second in Serie A.
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Garcia led Roma out of the group stage in the Champions League this season for the first time since 2011, drawn to face Real Madrid in the last 16. However, a recent dip in form has caused the board to take action.
Roma has just one win in the league since early November, and the club has fallen from first to fifth on the Serie A table.
With the recent lack of results, rumors had been circulating that Garcia’s future could be in doubt. On Wednesday, Roma’s American owner James Pallotta released a statement confirming Garcia’s departure.
On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I’d like to thank Rudi Garcia for all of his hard work since joining the club. We’ve all enjoyed some great moments during his time at Roma but we believe that this is the right time for a change.
Early reports state that Luciano Spalletti is set to takeover, as the Italian previously managed Roma from 2005-2009.
The Serie A title race is just that – a race – for the first time in a long time, and it’s incredibly fun.
Unless, of course, you’re Roma manager Rudi Garcia.
Roma the last few years has been the only club anywhere close to Juventus at the top of the table. But with this season’s early Juventus struggles leaving things wide open, Roma has not taken advantage, sitting on 34 points, good enough for fifth.
Following a 1-1 draw with 7th placed AC Milan on Saturday, Roma president James Pallotta made his feelings quite clear. According to Corriere dello Sport, Pallotta – watching from his home in Boston – texted the club directors two words: “I’m disgusted.”
Sky Sports Italy today reported that Pallotta will hold a conference call to discuss the club’s plans for the future, and much of that hinges around the employment of Garcia.
According to Football Italia, there are three men the board would consider to replace Garcia. Current Chile coach Luciano Spalletti, former Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa and former Roma player Jorge Sampaoli are the options.
Of course, they could always decide to retain Garcia and continue to plod on with the man who led them back to Champions League continuity, but that appears in serious doubt.
When Ivorian international Gervinho chose Arsenal over a host of other clubs interested in his services, his arrival at the Emirates was lauded as the next big thing.
The now 27-year-old AS Roma attacker is having more success in Italy then he did in England, but came from Ligue 1 where he scored 36 goals over two seasons.
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He was going to Arsenal to live his dream. And underperformance and Arsene Wenger turned it sour. Now showing his star again with three goals in three UEFA Champions League games this year after a solid first season, Gervinho is speaking out.
From the Gazzetto Dello Sport via the BBC:
“As a child I dreamt of playing for Arsenal because I loved them, now I hate them for the way Wenger treated me,” he told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
He went on to say, loosely-translated, that he regrets leaving Arsenal without having proven himself in the Premier League. Gervinho took a backhanded slap at Wenger by lauding current Roma boss Rudi Garcia for treating all of his players the same.
Surely some Gooners will quip that they dreamed of Gervinho at Arsenal and now they hate him… but the Ivorian has officially fired verbal shots at his old boss.
Following their 2-2 draw to Sassuolo in Serie A play today, AS Roma will switch gears when they face Champions League opponent Manchester City in the middle of the week.
While the Sky Blues are enjoying a 1-0 triumph over Everton, disaster struck when Sergio Aguero hobbled off the pitch in the match’s early minutes. The extent of the start striker’s injury is unknown, but multiple media outlets, namely BBC Sport, confirmed that the Argentine wouldn’t perform against Roma on Wednesday due to “knee ligament damage.”
Roma boss Rudi Garcia was actually looking forward to facing Aguero, the top scorer in the Premier League with 14 goals, and told reporters that he feels sorry for the former Atletico Madrid footballer’s unfortunate situation.
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“It’s a shame,” he said, via the SportsMole. “Aguero is such a great player and if it’s really a serious injury then that is a pity for football. I’d have preferred to see him at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.”
He then asserted that Edin Dzeko’s absence put City in a unfortunate situation, forcing the increased use of the Aguero.
“This is one of the reasons why we coaches rotate the squad. With Dzeko injured, Aguero was always playing and there was the risk of this happening.”
Although Garcia rightly understands the awfulness surrounding a serious injury, he should rest easy knowing that City may not have the same attacking dynamism without Aguero, creating a perfect scenario for Roma to muster points and improve their standing in Group E.
Bayern Munich stands at first place with 12 points, while Roma, Manchester and CSKA Moscow are all tied for second with 5 points each.
After a few rather disappointing seasons, with managers coming and going rather quickly, AS Roma finally seemed to hit on the right formula last year. With Rudi Garcia at the helm, the giallorossi challenged Juventus for the title and although they fell short, claimed second place and automatic entry into the Champions League.
One of the reasons for Roma’s success last season was the smart acquisition of players. Maicon and Gervinho were revitalized under Garcia, Morgan De Sanctis rarely goofed in goal and Mehdi Benatia was a revelation. But it was Kevin Strootman, signed from PSV, that really made the side click. With him helping protect the defense, Roma conceded just 25 goals, the second fewest in Serie A.
But in March, Strootman suffered a season-ending injury, meaning his dream of going to the World Cup was also dashed. But although the Dutchman is still recovering from his knee injury, he’s wanted by Manchester United — or shall we say, their new Dutch manager.
Back in June, Louis van Gaal confirmed his interest in the midfielder, although it’s unlikely United would make a swoop until the January transfer window. The manager reiterated this yesterday, saying “We have to wait and see how he comes back. It is not easy to say how he comes back from injury, but we will wait and see.”
So Strootman remains on United’s radar. The only problem is, Roma don’t quite see it that way. In fact, they don’t want to let him go.
“Strootman is a Roma player. He will be a Roma player this year. There is no doubt about that,” said Garcia. “Only he can say whether he wants to stay, but it was never an issue for him to go to another club. There is no question of it.”