Blog: Is Rudi Garcia’s time at Roma up?

It started with a guitar.

When Rudi Garcia was hired by Roma, captain Francesco Totti admitted that he had “Google’d” the former Lille manager’s name and the first thing he saw was a guy sitting in the team’s dressing room playing “El Porompompero” on his guitar and singing.


This is what most Roma fans saw. Many weren’t aware of the things he accomplished at Lille: that he had captured the French double in the 2010-2011 season (marking only the 3rd time Lille had won the league), that he developed some of the brightest young stars in world football, namely: Eden Hazard, Gervinho, Moussa Sow, and Adil Rami, or that he played an eye-popping brand of attacking football.

He arrived to Rome with more questions than answers. But after leading Roma to their best start in club history, as well as setting a points record for the club in Serie A, not many would have imagined that less than one year later: the Frenchman would be under fire at Roma, with many calling for him to leave.

Yes, there were warning signs of what Roma were getting themselves into with Garcia, particularly with this piece by FrenchFootballWeekly’s Andrew Gibney: he seemed hesitant to make changes – and when he did make changes they seemed more reactive instead of proactive, Roma didn’t seem to “show up” in some important matches (i.e Coppa Italia vs. Napoli, at Napoli, both league matches against Juve), and he showed very little tactical flexinbility, almost always opting for his attacking 4-3-3 formation, regardless of the players he did or didn’t have available.

But we ignored these things…why? Well, Roma had played their best football since Luciano Spalletti, they had (arguably) their most talented team in almost a decade, and they were back playing in the Champions League…there was very little to complain about.

Fast foward to now.

We have a completely different Roma. Out of ideas. No longer playing that “beautiful” brand of football we saw from last season. They lack confidence. Their approach in matches since their 7-1 drubbing by Bayern has been horrid. They show little personality. They look lost. And worst of all…Garcia appears to have lost the team.

The Frenchman no longer seems to have the aura of the leader ready to pave the way for Roma on their journey to Europe’s elite. He still has yet to not only change his tactics, but his entire approach to matches. He has lacked responbility: often blaming Roma’s streak of draws and poor performances on “bad luck” or injuries.

If Roma do not finish in a Champions League place this season, which is very likely based on their current form and their continuous approach in matches, it could set the club back…immensely. Players will have to be sold. Incomes will drop. We could see the departure of not only Rudi Garcia, but also sporting director Walter Sabatini and general manager Mauro Baldissoni.

Things have to change. Rudi Garcia has to change. The players have to change. The management has to change. Everything.

It’s obvious that if Roma continues on in this manner, we will all be in for heartbreak. It’s time for Rudi Garcia to step to the forefront and lead this team like he did last season. Adjust things. Accept responsibility.

It started with a guitar…could it end with a violin?



The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.