Comparison with previous season: +1 (7th)
The 2020-21 Serie A campaign was, for all intents and purposes, a transitional year for the Giallorossi. It was clear that Roma needed to reclaim some magic, and an identity built around winning. In a stunning change of events, Roma shocked the football world when appointing a manager whose CV fully embodies exactly that – José Mourinho. The former Inter boss made his long-awaited to Italian soil more than a decade after winning a glorious treble with Inter in search of a new challenge that, as it soon show, proved to be one of his most diﬃcult yet. He collected one point more than Paulo Fonseca and, most importantly, qualified for Roma’s first European final in 31 years.
Turning point of the season
Roma’s inability to run off on steady unbeaten runs domestically makes highlighting a singular defining moment challenging on initial thought. However, they secured a few outstanding results domestically. First, their 4-1 win over Atalanta in mid-December and then a 3-0 victory in the derby della Capitale, the second one of the season. Abraham inspired both victories, scoring a brace in each one of the two games. Their European campaign was more impressive and the best game of the season was probably the second leg of the Conference League semis against Leicester City at the Stadio Olimpico, once again decided by the English striker.
The coach – José Mourinho
Given his status coaching the biggest clubs and standing triumphant on the biggest stages club football can offer, Mourinho simply does not accept anything less than titles and glory. Yet, it was almost prefaced that with the appointment and the unique opportunity, time and patience were essential for Mourinho to build Roma back in his image. The former Real Madrid boss took to this job with a clear mind and understanding of just how significant coaching in the Capitale is – for himself, the club, and the fans. The fire remains burning inside for titles, but there is a role for him to play that is bigger than his ego. The aura of Mou permeates around the Stadio Olimpico, as there is renewed hope in a Roman renaissance after a solid first year.
Player of the Year – Tammy Abraham
Swapping Stamford Bridge for the Stadio Olimpico, Tammy Abraham’s €40 million transfer made quite the impression in his first year in the Italian top-flight, becoming the first English player in thirty years to bag more than 10 goals in a single Serie A campaign. Scoring 24 goals and five assists in 51 appearances across all competitions, Abraham also elevated his game as a complete all-around striker, going above and beyond to help the Roma cause. While the club’s recent history of star retention makes it diﬃcult to project how lengthy his tenure will be, there is no denying Abraham’s status as one of the top strikers going in Italy.
Disappointing Player of the Year – Eldor Shomurodov
Unlike Abraham, Shomurodov did not exactly take to Italy like a duck to water. Arriving from Genoa for €17.5m, the 26-year old seemingly never quite kicked on, scoring just three league goals in 28 appearances. However, context is important here as the Uzbek only accrued roughly 700 minutes of action, so an argument can be made Mourinho never quite gave him the burn necessary to catch fire. Still, considering the size of the fee and Roma’s need for attacking support, the lack of return on investment leaves much to be desired.