Hands off Monchi


Il Tempo (Austini): A hot seat. Always. Being the sporting director of Roma is a well-paid but burdensome job, judged daily by hundreds of thousands of people who base things, of course, on the results of the moment or on the success or failure of a negotiation. If you dare to sell someone, hell. Because in Rome, to sell an important player is experienced as an outrage. So it is easy to go from celebration to (virtual) stoning within a few months. Take the case of Monchi, who is the figure that, at the moment, is the target of the most ferocious criticisms of the Romanisti. When Pallotta opted for him instead of continuing with Sabatini, he praised himself: the Spaniard has won 9 trophies at Sevilla, he is a phenomenon, he invented a method, and it is clear that with him, at last, he will bring home some trophies. He was welcomed as King Midas, all in all, he was “forgiven” for selling Salah, Rudiger and Paredes, which was necessary for budget needs, but the approval rating for the Spanish director then fluctuated according to various moments of his first season at Trigoria, between strong doubts at the turn of December-January and a new supply of confidence thanks to the historical Champions League run to the semifinals.

The transfer market started again and everything is reversed. How does he sell Nainggolan to Inter? How do not you keep Alisson? How do you sell Strootman when the window is closed? It was open season. And who cares about the reasons, which were different for each case, which led him to get rid of three pillars of a team that Monchi had decided, for months, he needed to revolutionise regardless.

Rome is selling to buy, respecting the rules for their budget and, at the same time, trying to get stronger. A concept that no one has ever understood, despite the results from 2013 onwards, to justify this strategy. Or at least not deny it. Nainggolan was sold because no one in the club tolerated his excesses any more and they were convinced his lifestyle is now also negatively affecting his performance on the pitch. Alisson immediately made it clear that he did not want to give up the mega offers he received and he was just waiting for Roma to agree with one of Real Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea so he could leave. Monchi was free to keep him and oppose him, but he decided that the best thing for the club was to realise a mega plusvalenza and look for another goalkeeper. A questionable choice, but always a choice. And Strootman, surprisingly, after the first match day of the season has clearly told the director of wanting to try a new adventure at Marseille: realising the number of midfielders in the roster, it was decided to appease him and sell the player while making another plusvalenza.

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