De Rossi

De Rossi: ‘I could play with a four-man defence’


New Roma coach Daniele De Rossi touched on the new tactics he hopes to employ, suggesting he has trialed a four-man defensive line. The former Giallorossi coach was speaking ahead of his first match against Hellas Verona and touched on his tactical approach to matches, offering a suggestion of how he will lineup for the remainder of the season:

“I started to fall in love with this job with Spalletti and then Luis Enrique gave me the final blow. These coaches who defend with four and attack with many players impressed me. This team, however, has been playing with three for years. We have tried both. You can defend in one way and attack in another with rotations. We’ll see what to do. I don’t take away from the opportunities to change during the game or during the course of the season. We’ll also see game by game.

“The fans’ protest? It’s not a stimulus, but it doesn’t destabilise me either. I’m no fool. Me a calming choice? That’s an ugly definition. I’m not saying I’m the right choice. But I close my eyes, I think of other free coaches who could have come in and I think there would have been an even more devastating reaction. The fans are an important part, in recent years they have brought points with full houses. Roma fans are capable of loving more people. That doesn’t take away from their love for Mourinho, but they are capable of loving me too. It’s obvious that they didn’t choose me because of Spal’s results. I am no fool. But it’s not a calming choice, it’s a choice weighted under several factors, including environment and leadership. Will it be right? We’ll see. For me it is an important opportunity’.

“I didn’t dream of Mourinho being kicked out to be called up. They didn’t force me to accept. I expected a more gradual process. But it’s full of examples of coaches who started as ferrymen and then stayed. I think of Palladino, who today is among the 2-3 best in Italy. What happened to me is not so rare. I feel like the coach of Roma. You don’t take away that confidence that exists with many players and I don’t want to take it away. I think you can respect each other even if you’re friends. I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to pretend I don’t love Pellegrini, Cristante and others. Someone advised me not to come with my car, but I don’t want to pretend to be poor. I’ve never pretended to be someone else. Once on the pitch I felt like a coach, because they listened to me. It seems to me that they also like my ideas, but I know that this is not enough, we need points’.

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“Yes, I heard from Mourinho. I sent him a message, I think it was due. I don’t know if he got fed up, with all due respect I don’t care too much. I am focused on the work I have to do. I can’t wait for everything to normalise and just think about football.”

“I also found some problems watching the matches. I don’t think Roma played badly. I think they played some games very well and others very badly. With Atalanta and Napoli it played great games. It’s not a team that has been coached badly. We’re finding ideas and reasons, but I won’t say them here because that would be disrespectful. Who impressed me? I knew it was a strong team. I played with strong players, but seeing great players like Dybala, Pellegrini, Lukaku in training… Who amazed me? I didn’t know Pisilli. He impressed me. Seeing him live impressed me, I admit I’m guilty of not knowing him.”

“Verona? They’re a solid team, they kept the bar straight when there was talk of other things, the market, disposals, corporate mess-ups. They have physical players, a defined and recognisable game, they know how to do well. The emotion of the debut should not play tricks on us. There might be some discontent, although I hope not.


Serie A obsessive.