Roma fans are starting to worry that there is some truth to the legend of Third Season Syndrome for Jose Mourinho after his worst ever start to the campaign.
The Giallorossi are hovering above the relegation zone with just five points from six Serie A games, three of which were earned in their 7-0 win over Empoli.
This evening the 4-1 defeat to Genoa brought back the spectre of when Mou’s teams tend to fall away badly in their third year, to the degree that he rarely finishes that experience.
He left Chelsea by mutual consent in September 2007, just days into the third campaign after joining from FC Porto in 2004.
Winning the Premier League in the first two attempts, there was only a silver medal in 2006-07, albeit winning the FA Cup and League Cup.
Mou won the Treble with Inter in 2010 and walked away after just two years at San Siro.
His experience at Real Madrid lasted the full three seasons from 2010 to 2013, but the third term fell away badly.
The Portuguese tactician returned to Chelsea that summer and lifted the Premier League trophy again in 2015, but was sacked in December 2015, midway through his third season.
Manchester United held out from July 2016 to December 2018, their rapport breaking down midway through the second term.
Greeted as a hero at Roma in 2021 and taking them to win the Conference League, Mourinho came close to a repeat last summer, losing the Europa League Final on penalties to Sevilla.
However, with Financial Fair Play giving very few options on the transfer market and the squad looking increasingly thin with mounting injuries, Roma fans are starting to wonder if third season syndrome is real.