A staggering collapse to Juventus, in a match Mourinho’s side were leading 3-1, has them down in seventh, nine points behind Atalanta, having played a game more.
Mourinho’s smile when he arrived in Rome has long since vanished and his scathing assessments of his players, that they collapse ‘psychologically’ in games and don’t ‘match’ his personality, are winning few allies.
Jose Mourinho is cutting an agitated figure in Roma as their season now hangs in the balance
A stunning collapse to Juventus saw them ship three goals in just seven minutes to lose 4-3
Winless in their last three games has sounded the alarm with their season hanging in the balance.
Roma invested in Mourinho and his squad in the summer, only to see them be humiliated in the Europa Conference League to Bodo/Glimt and lose to Milan, Inter and Juventus in the same Serie A season for the first time in more than 30 years.
Tammy Abraham is looking shy of any assistance in attack, the midfield is proving lightweight in big games and defensively Roma look at sea.
Sportsmail looks into the problems facing Mourinho and his players as they look to salvage their season.
JUVENTUS MELTDOWN SHOWS FRAGILITY
Three goals shipped in six minutes and 10 seconds.
It was an inexcusable blackout that condemned Roma to defeat and the management of Mourinho during the match has been brought into question.
His decision making in big games has left a lot to be desired and factor in that Roma had not lost against AC Milan, Inter and Juventus in Serie A in the same season for over 30 years.
This is a delicate moment for Roma, slumped in seventh with 32 points and fourth place, the gateway to the UEFA Champions League, appearing further and further away.
Mourinho (right) has a team at his disposal that isn’t responding to his in-game tactical tweaks
In less than 360 seconds against Juventus they collapsed. Frankly, a team with greater levels of concentration would have easily won a match that was practically over at 3-1.
And yet Mourinho’s side never look to be over the hill in games, a personality trait whereby collapses of this proportion point fingers at the management as much as the players.
It’s a personality issue as much as anything and that is not aided by the fact Mourinho tears into his players when the going gets tough.
In Italy Mourinho is being looked at like the villain in Pinocchio.
He tries to get the most out of his puppets but also gets very angry in front of the cameras when his players make mistakes, thus compromising their self-esteem.
Juventus were able to swing the momentum and psychologically Roma don’t look confident
Gazzetta dello Sport graded Mourinho a 5/10 in the Juventus loss and said he ‘can’t correct Roma’s personality problems’.
Corriere dello Sport proved an even more damning read with a 4.5/10 rating.
‘The Special one could not find remedies as Roma collapsed in the final minutes of the game,’ the Rome-based paper wrote.
Is Mourinho out of answers as he continues to shift the blame? It’s a vicious cycle that is doing little to build self belief.
ZERO POINTS IN 2022
New year, new problems.
For Roma, 2022 has started with two consecutive losses and seven goals conceded in 48 hours.
Pressure, as a result, is being piled on everyone from Mourinho to latest signing Ainsley Maitland-Niles and this shock start is destroying the manager’s strategic plan in their top four bid.
Tammy Abraham, who made it 1-0 against Juventus, looks in form and is scoring with great regularity but there is a lack of contributions from other players.
Abraham is a shining light in this side but his goals are papering over some very large cracks
Players like Manuel Locatelli (left) find it too easy to dominate Roma’s lightweight midfield
Against Juventus, the physical strength of the Bianconeri’s midfield won the battle in central areas and couple that with the lack of nous and cunning from Roma and it was a vicious cocktail that ended in a collapse of epic proportions.
Eldor Shomurodov and Felix Afena-Gyan are problem players for Mourinho as they are offering no help in attack to Abraham. Take the former Chelsea striker out and they would be five or six points worse off.
January is a key moment for Mourinho as he has to go and get Abraham some support.
He also needs to stop ripping into his players but can a leopard change his spots?
Roma need a psychologist because Mourinho’s abrasive personality seems to be suffocating players who are confused by the constant tactical changes.
Rome is a city full of love for football but results seem to have made supporters lose optimism for reaching the minimum qualification goal for the start of the season, getting into the Champions League.
Roger Ibanez and Chris Smalling have made many tactical mistakes in defense and three of Juventus’ four goals were born from their carelessness.
Ibanez has worked his way onto the radar of the Italian national team but his performances of late are disastrous.
After his poor performance at San Siro Ibanez has continued his dire form into January.
Defensively the problems are alarming, in particular the disastrous form of Roger Ibanez (right)
Mourinho is quick to rip into his players but he must look inwards to coach the side to victories
He is often distracted and his tactical shortcomings proved decisive on more than one occasion during the incredible Juventus comeback.
Smalling is, in fairness, more alert and smarter than Ibanez but he can’t handle a guy alongside him who has so many problems.
Roma had 52 per cent possession against Juventus and eight corners but that on-ball superiority counted for little at the final whistle.
Mourinho’s side are like a boxer who can never land the knockout blow.
This is a side beset by maturity issues and is a team that can’t finish their opponents off. It’s a recipe for disaster.
MOURINHO: ‘WE ARE A FRAGILE TEAM, I WANT PLAYERS WITH MY PERSONALITY’
A Master of Deflection may be the new name attached to Mourinho. Forget The Special One.
Speaking to DAZN after the Juve defeat, Mourinho said: ‘I’m not used to this team profile but I’m here.
‘In this dressing room there are too many good players, we need nastiness. We have a bench with many limits: 70 minutes of total control of the match but we lost.
‘We collapsed psychologically. The 3-2 killed me, Felix had a great game and the player who replaced him missed the first play allowing (Manuel) Locatelli to score.
The Roma boss stormed onto the field during Roma’s clash with AC Milan on Thursday
His sourness towards his players became familiar to fans at Manchester United and Tottenham
‘The team suffers too much psychologically: they are too afraid. I need players with my personality and I don’t want to adapt to the fragility of the team.
‘I hope the club can help me in this on the transfer market’.
In a young side such as this one it’s counter-productive to slam them in the press like this.
Mourinho’s man-management was shown up at both Manchester United and Tottenham and Roma’s ambitious owners will be wary of falling down the same rabbit hole.
He wants money and he wants it now. Failure to get it and this could be another nasty Mourinho divorce.
After defeat to Juventus, Betfair now have Mourinho odds on at 8/11 to be given the boot before this season is done.
‘A nightmare!’: Italy’s papers pile the misery on Jose Mourinho after ‘incredible blitz’ from Juventus
Roma held a 3-1 lead over Juve in the second half of their Serie A clash before Manuel Locatelli, Dejan Kulusevski and Mattia De Sciglio scored three times in just seven minutes to turn the game on its head.
Matthijs De Ligt was even sent off in the 81st minute but 10-man Juve held on to seal a dramatic away victory after Tammy Abraham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini scored for Roma.
Wojciech Szczesny also saved a late penalty from Pellegrini in a match where Ainsley Maitland-Niles made his Roma debut after joining from Arsenal last week.
Roma newspaper Il Romanista branded Sunday’s result ‘a nightmare’ on Monday morning
Tuttosport, meanwhile, celebrated ‘Special Juve’ after their stunning fightback at Roma
Il Romanista – a paper dedicated to covering Roma – wrote ‘the nightmare’ across their front page on Monday with a picture of their team looking stunned at the final whistle.
The other main Italian papers heralded the comeback from Massimiliano Allegri’s men.
La Gazzetta dello Sport called the result ‘joy and pain’ because there are fears over Juve forward Fedrico Chiesa after he went off with an ankle injury just 24 minutes into the match.
Corriere dello Sport, meanwhile, hailed an ‘incredible blitz’ from Juve after scoring three goals in seven minutes, next to a picture of Mourinho looking furious.
The paper also gave Mourinho a match rating of 4.5, explaining: ‘The Special One could not find remedies as Roma collapsed in the final minutes of the game.’
Corriere dello Sport paid tribute to an ‘incredible blitz’ from Juve against Mourinho’s men
La Gazzetta dello Sport called the result ‘joy and pain’ due to Federico Chiesa getting injured
Tuttosport lead with ‘incredible Juve’ after the result and praise what could be a big three points in the race for the top four in Serie A.
They also gave Maitland-Niles a rating of just 4.5 and said he was at fault for two of the Juventus goals.
The defeat leaves Roma with a mountain to climb to reach the Champions League places – they trail fourth-placed Atalanta by nine points.
Juve, meanwhile, have moved up to fifth and are only three points behind Atalanta, albeit having played one match more.