Luciano Spalletti has not reveal his future yet but probably he is holding on to his decision to check the future of the legendary captain of the giallorossi, Francesco Totti.
It seems to be clear that something fishy is going on at Roma. The contractual situation of the Tuscan coach is still up in the air but the dynamics that are reported via newspapers or on the internet are not clear at all. In the past few months, Luciano Spalletti was asked about his future at Roma but the coach has not revealed his decision yet.
What is he waiting for?
A few days before the important Europa League match against Lyon, most of the people are not willing to restart the Spalletti vs Totti saga. Although this is not the right moment to do so, we have to carefully analyze the behaviours of the Tuscan coach. The imminent arrival of the AS Roma president James Pallotta, he will presumably land in Rome on Thursday, triggers many different scenarios. In the next week or so, we will have a better picture of the future of the giallorossi. The Bostonian investor has to also solve the Totti’s intricate case.
Last Sunday evening, during the Serie A clash against Palermo at the Renzo Barbera stadium, Spalletti asked Totti if he was feeling ready to play the last 20 minutes of the match. The AS Roma legend responded negatively, referring to an alleged back pain that suddenly hit him. Those who were watching the match noted that something fishy was going on. In particular, I would like you to ask yourselves the following question:
- Why was Francesco Totti sitting on the bench if he wasn’t able to play?
- Why did Luciano Spalletti ask Francesco Totti if he was feeling ready to play?
I thought a lot about this, and my answer is that the actual situation at Roma is not clear at all. Firstly, if a player suffers of a back pain he should sit on the stands because he cannot be fielded. Secondly, Spalletti doesn’t have to reserve a different treatment to Totti but stick with the same behavior that he has toward the entire roster. It doesn’t matter that in front of you there is a legendary player that is loved more than the Pope from the AS Roma supporters. The mental, behavioral, and managerial equilibrium in a roster is made of very subtle facets. These facets make the difference between the victory and the defeat. When a coach treats his players differently depending on their personality he risks to lose power within the locker room.
Is Spalletti waiting to see if Totti will retire?
My personal opinion is that the Tuscan coach is not happy having in front of him a player that is venerated like a saint. In the post match interviews, he wisely avoided speaking about Totti’s refusal to enter on the pitch in order to not feed controversies. However, it seems to be clear that Spalletti and Totti cannot cohabit in the same group anymore.
According to the age of the captain and to recent rumours, it is very like that Francesco Totti will retire at the end of the season. Probably, Luciano Spalletti wants to be sure of that before he puts his signature on a new contract. Pallotta’s imminent arrival in Rome could unlock this situation. If the Bostonian investor will reassure Spalletti that Totti will not be renewed so the Tuscan coach could take a step forward.