A couple of shambolic, inexplicable mistakes
Roma’s Round of 16 Coppa Italia exit to lowly Spezia Calcio was compounded by the humiliation of Fonseca utilizing six substitutes in the match. That would be completely fine if five weren’t the maximum number of subs permitted. He substituted more than half of his starting team in the embarrassing home defeat to Spezia, a side that finished just six points clear of being demoted from Serie A.
In fairness to Fonseca, his sixth and final sub came in injury time of extra time. Though there is no excusing that type of harebrained mishap. The fact he didn’t have a clue about his transgression makes the blunder even worse.
"When asked about the error, Fonseca told reporters: “If there was a problem, that I honestly didn’t know about, we’ll discuss it internally.”"
His side also received two red cards in the space of five minutes, ensuring Fonseca won’t soon forget, for all the wrong reasons, about the one-of-a-kind outing.
Roma forced to forfeit match for using ineligible player
Roma didn’t start the 2020-2021 season the way the coaching staff drew it up. Quite the opposite, in fact.
On the opening day of the season, Fonseca’s side were on the wrong end of a disciplinary judge’s decision after starting midfielder Amadou Diawara, who was not listed on Roma’s 25-man team list. The forfeit was officially recorded as a 3-0 loss.
The match against Hellas Verona was Roma’s first under new owners, after the Texas-based Friedkin Group took control of the club from fellow American James Pallotta. That, however, does not excuse the hapless oversight.
Luckily those points, as Fonseca’s side finished six points adrift of Lazio, weren’t all decisive in Roma’s quest for a top six spot. But the mishap, whether or not Fonseca was fully culpable, leads one to question the overall competence of the gaffer and his coaching staff, especially in conjunction with the infamous six-sub match.