Roma sacks coach Zeman after loss to Cagliari
Roma sacks coach Zeman after loss to Cagliari
“AS Roma announces that it has relieved Mr.Zdenek Zeman of his position as coach of the first team,” a club statement said.
“The team has been temporarily entrusted to Aurelio Andreazzoli.”
Friday’s defeat was the latest in a line of embarrassing results for Roma, who have yet to win this year and find themselves in eighth place on 34 points, nine behind local rivals Lazio in the third Champions League spot
They are also three points behind AC Milan, who are fifth and occupy the second Europa League slot.
Zeman was brought in with much fanfare to replace Luis Enrique in the close season after the Spaniard presided over a disappointing season.
However, the Czech-born coach has failed to challenge for the title or the Champions League places, both season’s objectives.
While their attacking play can often be exceptional, his team have conceded 42 goals so far this season, more than any other side apart from 17th-placed Pescara.
The fans finally turned on him after Cagliari’s fourth goal on Friday, with hardcore fans in the Olympic Stadium displaying a banner that read “Boemo (Bohemian, Zeman’s nickname) out,” before turning their backs on the game.
After a meeting in Rome on Saturday morning between club directors and the owner James Pallotta, the decision was taken to relieve the coach of his duties.
“We decided to sack Zeman because we thought it was the only decision to take,” sporting director Franco Baldini told reporters after the meeting.
“He’s not the only one responsible, but for now we can only change the manager.
“We have faith in Andreazzoli, he knows the players well as he’s been here for years, which means we don’t lose nore time with him getting to know the players.
“After talking it over with the owner and the management we thought it was the right decision.”
What now for Saudi Arabia’s big four teams?
- Al-Hilal won their 15th top-flight title this season.
- Big summer for Saudi Arabia football with the Green Falcons at the World Cup.
Now the Saudi Professional League season is over for another year Arab News can look back at their title tilts and what the big four clubs have to do over the coming months ahead of the next season.
Coaching situation: Ramon Diaz was in charge for much of the season, but was fired in February after setbacks in the Champions League.
Assistant Juan Brown did Okay in the final stretch, but a top-class coach could get more out of this team.
Squad priorities: A reliable goalscorer to support Omar Khribin and with veteran defender Osama Hawsawi leaving for pastures new, a replacement center-back with leadership qualities. Welcoming back the major stars — Carlos Eduardo, Khribin, Nawaf Al-Abed and Salem Al -Dawsari — will be a major boost.
Aim next season: Win the AFC Champions League
Coaching situation: Sergiy Rebrov is out of contract at the end of June. His future is likely to depend on how the team fares against Al-Sadd in the second round of the AFC Champions League in May.
Squad priorities: There is not much wrong. The Jeddah giants were the highest scorers in the league last season and had the second best defense. Keeping star midfielder Leonardo fit will help as will a little cover in the center of defense. Star striker Omar Al-Somah fell out with the coach in a public way in the penultimate game of the season. It may be that one of them has to go. The Syrian has been player of the year for three years and has a longer contract than Rebrov.
Aim next season: Win the league. Maintain good performances in Asia.
Coaching situation: Krunoslav Jurcic arrived in January and the former Croatian national team boss produced an upswing in results. May just be a temporary appointment and it needs to be sorted quickly.
Squad priorities: Looks good with the Saudi Arabia national team keeper, a strong center-back pairing of Omar Hawsawi and Bruno Uvini and the full-back position seemingly sorted with the January signing of Saad Suhail. They probably need a defensive midfielder and have to keep Junior Kabananga. The DR Congo striker has shown enough in his few weeks at the club to suggest that he could be a real star next season, especially with Leonardo pulling the strings behind him.
Aim next season: A genuine title challenge and getting through the play-offs into the 2019 AFC Champions League.
Coaching situation: A bottom half finish is unacceptable for a team with Al-Itithad’s stature and history. Chilean coach Jose Luis Sierra may find that winning domestic cups is no substitute for challenging for the title.
Squad priorities: There is too much reliance on players such as Carlos Villanueva, a creative spark in the team, and Fahad Al-Ansari, the midfield engine, who are the wrong side of 30. The possible return of star winger Fahad Al-Muwallad will help, but an introduction of energy is needed.
Aim next season: Top three and, if the team wins the King’s Cup, a good showing in the 2019 AFC Champions League.