Genoa Club Focus: Welcome back Gasperini
It wasn’t a matter of if, but when Fabio Liverani would be shown the Marassi door; and what a door it is, as it has slammed into the backsides of some very well-known Italian coaches.
Liverani has now exited the Marassi and made way for the return of one of the most successful Genoa coaches in the club’s history. That man is none other than Gian Piero Gasperini, who himself was sacked in November 2010.
Meanwhile, Liverani’s stint as coach lasted about as long as this writer predicted back in August, and he becomes the ninth man to lose the Genoa coaching job since Gasperini left the post nearly three years ago.
When Liverani was hired in the summer, on the back of limited coaching experience with Genoa’s Allievi Regionali squad, whom he had some success with, the club preached a new approach of bringing through youth.
However, Genoa have promoted little to no youth as has been the case over the last few seasons with the club having to continually rely on tried and true veterans to achieve la salvezza. Liverani’s coaching stint was doomed from the start and it didn’t take an expert to see it would end in tears. His hiring and subsequent firing by Genoa’s all-controlling president Enrico Preziosi begs the questions: What was the point?
The club could have just hired Gasperini in the summer, though the coach could have been bidding his time and playing the market. Whether Genoa had sounded him out then is unknown to this writer at the moment, but what is known is Gasperini has filled Genoa supporters with large doses of optimism. That hope faded at the end of last season with the sacking of coach Davide Ballardini – a coach this weekly column will continue to sing the praises of until he proves it wrong – following survival.
Meaning Gasperini’s preferred 3-4-3 formation didn’t have the players it needed to be successful. Gasperini’s time at Inter lasted slightly less time (five games) than Liverani’s time at Genoa (seven games).
Of course, Gasperini is well-known in calcio circles for the rebirths of Diego Milito and Thiago Motta. Both players moved to Inter after success with Genoa and Milito has gone from strength to strength since then. That is when he hasn’t been sidelined with injury.
Gasperini also led Genoa into the UEFA Cup in 2008/09 following a brilliant fifth place finish the year before.
The only problem with his hiring maybe the nostalgia factor. This team is different than the successful ones he previously coach at the club. And to be honest, Gasperini’s career hasn’t reached those same lofty heights since his November 2010 dismissal from Genoa. A poor spell at Inter led to two spells in one season at Palermo last term.
But as they always say, if you can coach and get sacked at Palermo, then you can coach and get sack at Genoa, too. As a matter of fact, Gasperini already holds the double in getting sacked by the two most ruthless and, at times, ridiculous owners of Serie A teams.
Regardless of what the future holds for Gasperini this time around, this is the hiring that should have been made last June. This is a coach that can get the best out of Genoa’s players. Let’s hope he can, and let’s hope the players can get the best out of Gasperini.