Jose Mourinho assures Inter have no need to be ‘angry’ at Romelu Lukaku, because he was needed more by Roma, but the coach still saw ‘things I didn’t like’ in a 7-0 win over Empoli. CONTINUE READING>>>>>
The Giallorossi had just one point from the opening three rounds and a lengthy injury list, so went into the Stadio Olimpico determined to make a statement.
Paulo Dybala scored twice, with Renato Sanches, Bryan Cristante, Gianluca Mancini, Lukaku and an own goal rounding out the scoreline. Was Dybala Man of the Match?
“I am a coach, so I have to think or at least express myself in a different way,” replied Mourinho after a long pause.
“It was a good performance, but it was not a 7-0 performance. We played to win, to win in a comfortable fashion. There were a few ups and downs, including in terms of fitness, so we could tell there were some who are not in condition to play at high intensity for 90 minutes.
“I am sorry for Empoli, but this is football and at times a 7-0 happens. I still saw some things about the team that I didn’t like from the touchline and we’ll evaluate it more in depth with my staff later.”
Lukaku was substituted just moments after scoring his debut goal in the Roma jersey, although Mourinho insists that was not planned.
“It was not important for me. It might be important for him, I know strikers live for the goal. Since the moment he arrived, he has been all about the team and it doesn’t matter if he scores or not. Obviously, he feels happier coming off after a goal and it’s perfect for him, especially to score in front of the Curva.
“Romelu brings a different profile to the team and we still need to learn how to play for him, because we don’t have the hang of it yet, nor does he know how to play for us. We have time to work on it and games help that too.”
He spent last season at Inter and they were in negotiations to make the move from Chelsea permanent when suddenly it emerged Lukaku was also talking to Juventus, infuriating all parties.
At the very end of the transfer window, the Belgian was eventually sent to Roma on loan.
“Romelu needs to be happy, needs to feel loved and wanted. He arrived here, immediately realised the team needed a player like him. He is a guy who likes to win.
“I don’t think Inter have any reason to be angry, because they won the derby 5-1 and have so many extraordinary strikers. So they ought to be happy for their ex-coach who really needed a striker.”
Renato Sanches and Leandro Paredes started together in midfield and that too was a different dimension to the earlier games this season.
“I liked the midfield, Leo needs to improve his fitness levels. He arrived here without any training sessions with Paris Saint-Germain, he had five minutes here, 10 minutes there for Argentina too, so he needs to get fit.
“He also has to change his profile, because with the ball at his feet he has extraordinary quality that we otherwise do not have. He has to improve his intensity, his way of thinking about our defensive moves when we are sitting deeper, so there is much to be improved.”
After the 7-0 victory, Mourinho is expecting another sea-change in the media narrative around his Roma side.
“I understand perfectly well what the media is like, the influence of the press on some fans, but for me we were not the team that people talked about a few weeks ago, nor was I so awful a coach as they said last week. Similarly, we are not extraordinary after this match.
“We are a squad with the potential to do well. Our objective is simply to take it one game at a time and win.”
Roma will next be in the Europa League on Thursday against Sheriff, but the Special One still had complaints to make.
“At this moment we only have three central defenders and nobody else. Renato Sanches played 45 minutes, Dybala a little more. We were also unlucky, as we are playing Thursday and then Sunday again, so someone in the Lega Serie A is not fond of me.
“I am pleased that after four rounds, a kid like Pagano has already played in three matches.”…… Continue Your Reading