Torino coach Marco Giampaolo explains his decision to drop star men against Roma. ‘I wanted players who had clear heads and not the debris of previous matches.’
The Granata are bottom of the table with just six points from 12 rounds, conceding 30 goals, and were beaten 3-1 by Roma.
However, the situation was made infinitely worse by seeing Wilfried Singo harshly sent off just 14 minutes in.
“It is evident we are struggling, but we stayed in the game for 75 minutes with pride, focus and determination. We have another game in 48 hours, so there’s no point making a bad situation worse,” Giampaolo told Sky Sport Italia.
“There are many difficulties that are piling up, losing a player to a red card, another soon after to injury, but we don’t want alibis.
“I have great respect for referees. I saw the incident of Singo’s second yellow card and it was an attacking move, not defending. He was already booked, it’s a situation the referee ought to understand and evaluate.
“It was already difficult here against Roma with 11 men, let alone 10.”
Even before the dismissal, Giampaolo had caused controversy by dropping the likes of Salvatore Sirigu, Tomas Rincon, Ricardo Rodriguez, Nicolas Nkoulou, Armando Izzo and Cristian Ansaldi.
“At times you have to change in order to create new motivation, raise the alert level. We had to wake something up within the squad.
“Regardless of who played or didn’t play today, the team did what it had to tonight. I can’t say the lads were wrong in their behaviour, we have other problems that need to be resolved. It is not about behaviour.”
Sirigu is the real veteran of the Torino squad, so this decision could prompt the goalkeeper to request a transfer.
“At this moment, I had to change something. Sirigu is a strong goalkeeper, I am not disputing that, but at times you have to buck the trend. We left out more than just Sirigu, there was also Rincon, Rodriguez, Izzo, etc.
“The lads gave a good response. When you have a run of defeats, including games you were winning and threw away, that sense of fear begins to build.
“I therefore wanted to bring in players who didn’t have so much pressure and sense of responsibility, who had clear heads and didn’t have the debris left behind by the previous matches.”