Paulo Fonseca warns Roma need ‘stability’ and more investment to truly compete for silverware. ‘It’s challenging and motivating to work in Serie A.’
This is the Portuguese tactician’s second Serie A season and he spoke to newspaper Record in his homeland about the experience.
“There have been profound changes at the club since I arrived,” said Fonseca, referring to new owners The Friedkin Group.
“It’s important for the club to be stabilised and find the right balance so we can achieve positive results. There are two or three sides fighting for the title and many more challenging for the Champions League places.”
Roma finished fifth last term and will therefore take part in the Europa League.
“We must remember that we’ve just started a new project with 14 new players, a very different attacking style of football and we are second only to Atalanta in Serie A for creating scoring opportunities.
“During the transformation process, we saw a fundamental growth for players like Roger Ibanez, Gianluca Mancini, Jordan Veretout, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicolò Zaniolo, Amadou Diawara and Leonardo Spinazzola.
“I do believe we’ve been able to create an attacking team that plays most of the game in the opposition half. We want to be even more dominant this season and keep more of the ball,” continued Fonseca.
“I am always an optimistic person, but I also acknowledge the reality that there are teams in Serie A with greater stability and who invested far more than Roma.
“Despite that, I have not changed my conviction that we can win something with Roma. It’s very challenging and also motivating to work in Italy, as every game is different and it’s very difficult to win. Don’t forget, Roma haven’t won a trophy for over 12 years.”
Expectations were inevitably raised after Dan Friedkin bought out Roma from James Pallotta, but the huge investments have not come yet.
“I think the new President arrived in a very realistic and balanced fashion, understanding the reality of the club. It was extremely important for us to feel they were close by and were focused on resolving everything tied to the way the team works. I was very impressed by that.
“We coaches are never entirely satisfied with a transfer market session. There were one or two positions we could’ve improved, but it was the toughest summer in years due to the pandemic and financial concerns stemming from that.
“It was important for me to get Chris Smalling, Pedro and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while Marash Kumbulla and Borja Mayoral were good additions.
“I do feel it would’ve been important to find a replacement for Justin Kluivert, but it was not possible. Don’t forget, Roma also didn’t have a director of sport for months, so that influenced our negotiation capability too.
“You don’t build a great team in two days, it takes time. I have to say, if trophies were decided by passion and love for the club, Roma would always win the Scudetto. Believe me, they are special and I’d love to give these fans the trophy they deserve.”