Monday, April 22, 2019

Roma president hits back at Monchi criticism

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Mar 2019

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Roma president James Pallotta has hit out at claims from former sporting director Monchi that he did not have full control at the Serie A club.

Monchi, who was linked with taking a role at Arsenal, left Roma this month and has returned to Sevilla, where he previously oversaw a period of Europa League dominance.

Roma reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last term but struggled to match that success this season, leading to the sacking of head coach Eusebio Di Francesco and Monchi’s departure.

Monchi said Pallotta “wanted to go to the right; I wanted to go to the left” when speaking at his Sevilla unveiling on Monday.

But Roma’s outspoken American president disputed Monchi’s version of events in a lengthy statement posted on the Serie A side’s official website.

“I was kind of surprised to read Monchi say at his press conference that he wanted to go one way and I wanted to go another way,” Pallotta said.

“I appreciate that Monchi never set out to fail at Roma but I want to make something very clear; right from the start, I was very clear about the direction I wanted us to go in and that’s why we spent a lot of money bringing Monchi in.

“From the start, I said I wanted first-class coaches, first-class performance staff, first-class medical staff, first-class scouting and recruitment and a first-class football organisation. I gave Monchi the keys to deliver that.

“I gave him 100 per cent control to appoint the coach he wanted, to employ the assistant coaches and the performance staff, to manage the scouting and to bring in the players he wanted. If you look at our results and our performances, it’s clear that this hasn’t worked.”

Furthermore, Pallotta insists he asked Monchi for a plan to turn Roma’s season around but was informed by the sporting director there would be no change in direction at the club.

“In November, when our season was going from bad to worse and everyone could see that the coach was struggling to get a reaction out of the players, I asked Monchi for his Plan B should things continue to get worse,” the Roma president continued. 

“He had sole responsibility for football operations at Roma but he didn’t have a Plan B. That was November. He said his Plan B was just to keep doing the same as Plan A.

“So, if I read or listen to the radio interviews he’s giving where he says that the idea of the ownership was different to his and that is why he left, please let me know what Monchi wanted to do differently?

“He asked me to trust him and let him do it his way. We gave him complete control and now we have more injuries than we’ve ever had and are in danger of missing out on finishing in the top three for the first time since 2014.”

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