(REUTERS) - AS Roma are in freefall, with the cracks continuing to widen as the same Jose Mourinho gripes remain headline news in the Italian capital.
All was going so well for the Portuguese on his return to Serie A at the start of the season.
Back to coach in Italy, where he had steered Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble during his last spell in the country, Mourinho led Roma to six wins from his six opening matches in all competitions.
Italy seemed like the perfect place for the 58-year-old to revitalise his coaching career after he had been sacked from his previous two jobs at Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
Results, however, soon took a turn for the worse, as his men slid to seventh in the Serie A standings, having won only five of their last 13 league matches.
As is often the case with Mourinho, he has looked elsewhere when searching for someone to blame for Roma's slump.
Referees have been subjected to his ire on several occasions this season, while after October's humiliating 6-1 defeat by Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League, it was the players whom he targeted.
"If I could pick the same players every time I would, but it is a risk. There is a difference in quality between one group of players and the other," Mourinho said after the away game.
Following Saturday's (Dec 4) 3-0 loss at home to second-placed Inter - a very one-sided affair from start to finish - his news conference after the match was spiky, even by his standards.
"Your job is a lot easier than ours, which is why we earn a lot more than you," Mourinho snapped after refusing to answer the first question from journalists.
His television interview was no less fractious as he refused to take questions from pundits in the studio, before giving one monologue viewpoint of the game, adding in another excuse for the defeat.
"Inter are stronger than us in normal conditions," he told DAZN. "In non-normal conditions, they are much stronger than us.
Last season, they were 29 points ahead of Roma, who now trail leaders AC Milan (38 points) by 13 points after 16 games.
"Today, with injuries and suspended players, it was very, very difficult."
With new owners in place to work with, Mourinho was always going to get time to turn things around in Rome as they look to strengthen the squad.
But the gulf between Roma and Inter (37 points), who did not have to over-exert to earn victory in the Stadio Olimpico, showed just how much work he has to do.
More performances of such below-par nature will not do much for Mourinho's mood, with fireworks set to continue to attract plenty of attention.