Serie A

New Roma Coach Says “I want to excite fans”

Zdenek Zeman is back in charge of Roma, thirteen years after his first time in charge of the club.

Zeman was introduced to the media earlier this week, and here are some of the things he said in the press conference:

“My thanks go to the club which has placed its trust in me and brought me back to Rome. When I left in 1999 I said to some friends of mine, ‘I’ll be back’. So I thank the club for bringing me back. I hope to work with the club in the best possible fashion and do something really worthwhile together.”


“I’ve come back to Rome after thirteen years and signed a two-year contract because I feel part of the city, I live here. Roma are my team and I’ve wanted to return for many years. I’m happy and I hope that by the end of the season everyone else will be too.”


“Do I want to win? I don’t know anyone in this job who doesn’t, but you’ve got to do better than the others, try as hard as you can and believe you can succeed. I hope the team can be exciting, be fun for the fans to watch. Obviously not everybody in football likes the same thing. We’ll try to produce some good things and we want to convince the sceptics that we’re going in the right direction. Our aim is to show people good football, get them behind the team, give them some excitement.”


“At Pescara I had several young players and a number of senior players. Sansovini is 32, but he performed as well as the young lads. A coach always wants players who are willing to learn, but there’s no reason why experienced players can’t do the same. One who did is Aldair, who used to play for me.”


“Totti is a Roma player and will be treated like the rest of the team. I reckon he’s a midfielder, not a central defender. If necessity dictates he can adapt, sure, but that’s not what I expect to ask of him. His role is playmaker. We’ve got time to build the team. Last season some players were below their best, nothing very remarkable in that, but we’ll give them the chance they deserve. We still have to look at things, I got here yesterday and have no fixed plans. We want to build a good footballing team, one which can make life hard for all our opponents.”


“I haven’t changed, but given the way things are going perhaps I should say I have. I think something has changed in Italian football since my last season in Serie A. Our teams used to win in Europe, now they’ve made way for English and Spanish teams. Luis Enrique? I think each manager has his own ideas and as far as I’m concerned many of his were good – perhaps I’m even more inclined to attack the opponents’ goal.”


“I’m used to working within a certain time framework when preparing for the season. I’ll have to change things a bit this year and I hope it won’t change the result.”


“Yes, I did say the derby is a match just like any other. I know the city and the people of Rome very well, I know there are Laziali and Romanisti. For me it’s different. But the game is still worth three points. The best place to watch the derby is in the stands amongst the fans, because you don’t see much down on the pitch. The Roma fans always get behind the team and I hope it will be no different this year. They must help the team to grow and get better.”

“I think the coach is always an important part of the team. If the team plays or behaves in a certain way, it’s thanks to the coach. Having said that there are teams that don’t need a coach.”