Closing system

Jose Mourinho has rejuvenated Roma from a trophy-hungry side to Europa Conference League finalists | Soccer News

“DAJE MOU! is Friday’s headline in Italy’s leading sports newspaper, Corriere dello Sport.

“Daje” – a traditional Roma battle cry – is what manager Jose Mourinho shouted to fans here, when tens of thousands showed up at the airport, stadium, training ground , in the streets, to greet him on his arrival. in the city last July.

It was July 6 to be precise, but it felt more like July 4 to the American club’s trophy-hungry fans.

Tammy Abraham sealed Roma’s victory over Leicester at the Stadio Olimpico

‘Daje’ means ‘Go’. Thus, the title translates to Go Mourinho!

But maybe a smarter title would be “DEJA MOU”, a play on Deja vu, because it feels like we’ve been here before.

Another great European Cup final for Mourinho. His fifth, with four different clubs. This has never been done before.

Thursday was his 23rd career semifinal.

Jose admitted he shed a tear at the final whistle after beating Leicester. Tears of happiness for club supporters. “A giant club”, he says, “without a trophy room”.

Roma moved for Mourinho just hours after another club without a trophy room, Spurs, sacked him – days before a cup final.

One of the first things he asked of his new employer was big improvements to the training ground. They agreed.

For example, installed within a month was a system called ‘TILD’ – Tactic Interactive LED Screen.

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We take a look at Mourinho’s best and funniest moments from his time in the Premier League.

He had asked Daniel Levy to do the same at Spurs but it never happened.

The system uses drones to film training sessions, broadcasting images to a giant screen built into the structure at the side of the field. This means players can assess the session and their individual positioning and performance immediately, while still on the pitch and fresh in spirit, rather than later in the video room or at home.

Also at the training ground, parked near an outdoor swimming pool, there is something a little less technical. Jose’s Vespa. He was photographed using it to get around.

Vespa, of course, means wasp in Italian. Wasps create a buzz. Mourinho certainly did it in Rome.

Wasps also sting.

It’s no secret that some Roma players were stung by his criticism, especially after a shock 6-1 defeat at Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League Conference group stage.

A handful are likely to leave the club this summer, but only those Mourinho doesn’t want.

The list of players giving their all for Jose is much longer. Tammy Abraham tops the list.

Mourinho turned Abraham into a powerful goalscoring threat. He has scored 25 goals in all competitions so far this season. He is the top scorer in the Europa Conference League. No player has ever scored more goals for Roma in his debut season, and he’s back in the England fold.

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Tammy Abraham hailed Mourinho’s influence after joining the Serie A club

He says Mourinho is the best manager in the world, and it’s a dream come true to play for him.

High praise indeed, even if Mourinho consistently refuses to repay the compliment.

After Abraham’s header secured victory over Leicester, Mourinho said: “Tammy knows I refuse to praise him because he can do better and he knows that. He’s a great player with the potential to be even greater.”

Abraham cost Roma £34m last summer. Chelsea have inserted a buyout clause but this only comes into effect in the summer of 2023.

Other Premier League clubs are showing interest. But the feeling within Roma is that he is more than happy to stay.

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Mourinho joked he would keep his present for Brendan Rodgers after the Leicester boss said he would be happy with a cup of tea!

It quickly became a fan favorite. Not only did he score the winner against Leicester, but he was also a cheerleader.

Every time the 65,000 faithful at the Stadio Olimpico fell silent for a bit, Abraham looked at them, clenched his fists and waved his arms, urging them to give more. They responded every time.

Abraham leads what is known here in Rome as ‘Mourinho’s Super Six’ – the six players he absolutely wants to keep this summer. There are some surprising names on it.

Chris Smalling is one. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is another. Neither would be considered a resounding success under Mourinho at Old Trafford, in fact he sold them both. But, this time around, they’re definitely in Jose’s gang.

Rui Patricio, the ‘keeper, is a goalkeeper.

Just like captain and talisman Lorenzo Pellegrini.

And then there is Leonardo Spinazzola.

‘Spina’, as it is known in Italy, was Mourinho’s first and perhaps biggest blow at Roma.

He was heralded by many at last summer’s Euros as the player of the tournament, until he ruptured his Achilles tendon in Italy’s quarter-final victory over Belgium. He hasn’t played a second for Roma this season but will be eager to take part in the next campaign.

He is 100% a Jose player. Not a left-back as such, but a kind of left-back. Solid in a back four, yet a powerful attacking threat.

Having ‘Spina’ will be a big part of Mourinho’s stated desire to make Roma bigger and better next season.

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The Roma boss was delighted to receive his ‘favourite’ Portuguese wine from Rodgers after Roma’s 1-1 draw with Leicester in the first leg

Mourinho told me in October that Roma’s current side would struggle to make the top four this season, and he was spot on.

A purple patch of form in Serie A between mid-January and mid-April saw them pick up more points than any of the current top four. It took them within touching distance of fourth-placed Juventus, but recent draws with Napoli and Bologna and defeat at Inter mean they are now neck and neck with arch-rivals Lazio to finish fifth. , two places more than last season.

This week, Mourinho said he was “happy every day at Roma” but “wants more” and “wants to see bigger next season”.

The gap between Roma and the top of Serie A last season was 29 points. The gap this time around is currently 18.

“Think bigger” is Mourinho’s code for closing that gap even further, maybe even to zero.

Bringing Roma to the highest level is the goal. And that would surely bring another tear to his eye.

In the meantime, there is a European trophy up for grabs.