Jose Mourinho blasts all but one Roma player after Europa League defeat

'Everyone else, myself included, deserved to lose.'

Jose Mourinho blasts all but one Roma player after Europa League defeat
Jose' Mourinho head coach of Roma
Jose Mourinho was furious after Roma lost to Slavia Prague in the Europa League (DPPI/Shutterstock)

Jose Mourinho singled out Edoardo Bove for praise after Roma’s 2-0 defeat to Slavia Prague in the Europa League and claims every other player in his team ‘deserved to lose’.

Roma delivered a dismal display in their fourth game in Group G as second-half goals from Vaclav Jurecka and Lukas Masopust sealed the win for the Czech side.

Mourinho was furious with his players after their first defeat in Europe this season but picked out 21-year-old Bove, who only made his first-team debut for Roma two years ago.

Asked what was missing in Roma’s defeat to Slavia Prague, Mourinho said: ‘Everything.

‘I don’t want to talk much. The players’ decision not to talk to the media was my decision. Belotti spoke because it was straight after the game. No one should speak because there’s not much more to say other than what I have to say.

‘Slavia Prague really deserved that result, in a positive way, and we really deserved it too, in a negative way.

Roma's Romelu Lukaku and Bryan Cristante look dejected after the match
Roma’s defeat to Slavia Prague leaves them second in Europa League Group G (Reuters)

‘I didn’t like anything. I’ve already spoken to the players in the changing room. I don’t normally do that because I get so much adrenaline from being on the sideline but the fact that I watched it from above, far away from the pitch, gave me a different type of tranquillity that allowed me to go and talk to the players.

‘What I said stays between us. I only want to be honest with the Slavia players, who deserved to win 2-0.

‘Nothing worked. In the first game we played against them, they played very similarly to how they did today, and we’d prepared our game plan in a very similar way. The fact that [Nicola] Zalewski wasn’t able to play, and El Shaarawy played as a wing-back with Belotti up top on the left, could be used as an excuse. But we were so bad that I don’t want to.

‘Nothing worked. In terms of individuals, very few of the players had the right attitude, the professional attitude I demand. Lots of the players had the wrong attitude for a serious game where there were goals to achieve.

‘I’m disappointed. I don’t want to talk anymore because I’ve already done my analysis with the players, and I’ll do it tomorrow.’

Roma's Edoardo Bove gestures to fans after the UEFA Europa League group G soccer match between Slavia Prague and AS Roma
Jose Mourinho singled out Edoardo Bove for praise after Roma were beaten by Slavia Prague (EPA)

Asked if he expected a difficult match, Mourinho replied: ‘Yes, we did.

‘That’s why we prepared for it as best we could with all our limits, leaving out Paulo and Bryan.

‘But today the best player in our team – the only one I really liked because he gave everything technically, tactically and mentally – was a 20-year-old kid who wasn’t even in the first team two years ago.

‘We had one player who played with legs, body and mind – just one. When you have 11 players on the pitch and only one like that, you can’t win.

‘The only player who didn’t deserve to lose was [Edoardo] Bove. Everyone else, myself included, deserved to lose.’

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