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Serie A: the league where coaches have shorter life
Nine managers have been fired so far in Italy, three in the last week. Italian presidents have less patience than Premier League and La Liga's ones. Does this strategy bear fruits?
by Federico Formica
Firing a coach is one of the favourite sports of Serie A club owners. Nine managers have been sacked so far (Fabio Liverani by Genoa, Ronaldo Maran by Catania, Delio Rossi by Sampdoria, Giuseppe Sannino by Chievo, Vladimir Petkovic by Lazio, Stefano Pioli by Bologna and, in the last week, Davide Nicola by Livorno, Luigi De Canio by Catania and Massimiliano Allegri by Milan). 

 

Max Allegri is the most illustrious victim. Throwing out a manager is a very unusual move for the red-and-black club: the last coach to be fired by Milan was Fatih Terim in 2001-2002. His place was taken by Carlo Ancelotti: a winning cycle started, and the rossoneri fans hoped that the arrival of Clarence Seedorf could have the same effect. Looking on the opposite side of the city, Inter coach Walter Mazzarri has never been fired in his career: in Italy, this is certainly a record. Although the Beneamata is facing a tough moment, as yesterday Inter lost at Genoa and now are 11 points behind the third place).

 

To be coach in Italy means to have a very precarious job. At least if we compare Serie A to La Liga and Premier League. Up to the 20th of January, in Spain only four managers have been sacked so far, and six in the English Premier League. If we take into consideration the last four seasons, the difference is clear:

 

SERIE A Sackings up to 20th of January
2013-2014 9 sackings
2012-2013 7 sackings(13 at the end of the season)
2011-2012 11 sackings (20 at the end of the season) 
2010-2011 6 sackings (13 at the end of the season)
 

LA LIGA Sackings up to 20th of January
2013-2014 4 sackings
2012-2013 4 (8 at the end of the season)
2011-2012 6 (12at the end of the season)
2010-2011 5 (11 at the end of the season)
 

PREMIER LEAGUE Sackings up the 20th of January
2013-2014 6 sackings
2012-2013 3 (6 at the end of the season)
2011-2012 2 (4 at the end of the season)
2010-2011 5 (8 at the end of the season)
 

But does all these layoffs bear fruits? On the face of the last matchday, the answer is definitely no. Among the three new managers, the only winner was Clarence Seedorf (Milan-Hellas Verona 1-0). The return of Rolando Maran on Catania's bench (who was fired on October 20th) interrupted the short love-story between Mister De Canio and the etnei (just 88 days). Unfortunately for Maran, his new first step was a failure, because Catania was bombarded in its home stadium by Fiorentina (0-3 the final result). Catania has won only three games in this season.

 

In the last matchday, the Serie A fans were quite surprised seeing Attilio Perotti on Livorno's bench. Many of them were convinced that the old coach had retired (his last match in Serie A as a manager dates back to 2003), but Perotti's resurrection did not awake Livorno's zombies, who were demolished by Roma 3-0. The amaranto are still at the bottom of the table – together with Catania - and it's difficult to predict how the wiseman Perotti could change this trend.

 

In the 2012-2013 season, same story: Pescara, Siena and Palermo changed their coach on the fly without avoiding their relegation.

 

Palermo's bizarre president, Maurizio Zamparini, made an authentic masterpiece. He fired Giuseppe Sannino after 102 days, hiring Gian Piero Gasperini. In February he threw out Gasperini replacing him with Alberto Malesani, who endured only 19 days before being sacked. His successor was... Gian Piero Gasperini again! But Gasperini barely had the time to unpack his luggage, because two weeks later Zamparini fired him again.

In the end, Palermo's players re-encountered their first coach: Giuseppe Sannino (who was fired at the end of the season, after the relegation). Sorry for your headache...

 

In 2011-2012 Lecce, Novara and Cesena tried to change the Mister but the result was the relegation in Serie B. At least, in that season Maurizio Zamparini's Palermo managed to remain in Serie A. Maybe, the president thought it was thanks to himself, who fired two managers (Stefano Pioli and Devid Mangia) just for not spoiling his average for sacking.

 

The 2011-2012 was one of the worst seasons ever for Italian coaches. Twenty of them were sacked before the end of the league. Virtually, each one of Serie A's clubs changed their managers. Actually, some clubs made multiple substitutions (Inter, Cagliari, Novara and Palermo sacked two coaches and Genoa three).

Monday, January 20 th, 2014
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