Italy has developed a reputation over the decades – rightfully – for having incredibly trigger happy chairmen, and the past week has seen a swathe of sackings, Steve Mitchell guides us through a few of the latest dismissals. Just a month into the new season and the powers that be at several clubs around the peninsula have finally panicked and shown the red card to their current managers.
The most high-profile name to fall through the trap door this week was Spezia coach Elio Gustinetti who was relieved of his duties on Monday. The final straw for the 56-year-old tactician was Sunday’s 3-2 derby defeat at Cremonese which prompted president Gabriele Volpi to make a change. It’s only three years ago that Gustinetti so nearly took Albinoleffe into Serie A but his spell in charge of the Aquilotti has been turbulent to say the least and he vacates his post with the club 14th in the table with only four points from their opening five games. On Wednesday, Michele Sereni was announced as his replacement and he has experience of lower league Italian football having coached at Grosseto, Venezia and Mantova.
Mantova themselves have made a managerial change this week dispensing with Archimede Graziani following the clubs poor start to the new campaign. The club from Lombardy are struggling in C2A and Sunday’s home defeat to Bellaria Igea Marina signalled the end for Graziani. President Bruno Bompieri wasted no time in bringing in his successor Claudio Valigi within 24 hours of Graziani clearing his office. The 49-year-old coach has spent the past 12 months in charge of the youth team at Sambonifacese.
Coach number three to receive his P45 was Alessandria’s Alessio De Petrillo who was asked to vacate the hot seat before last weekend’s derby game at Casale. It has been a torrid few months for I Grigi, relegated into C2 because of a former directors involvement in the Calciopoli scandal, the side have failed to live up to their billing as pre-season promotion favourites and De Petrillo has paid the ultimate price. His assistant Luigi Manueli took charge of the team for the trip to Casale and came away with a creditable draw before he too was asked to pack up his things and leave. The new man in charge is Giuliano Sonzogni whose CV can boast spells with Palermo Avellino and Spal. He will work alongside Giorgio Danna who has just been appointed as the clubs new sporting director. Both men have a tough winter ahead.
Part four of our sack race special takes us to back to Lombardy and to Salo whose football team Feralpi have terminated the services of coach Claudio Rastelli. The club is still seeking its first win since last seasons promotion into C1B and on Sunday they were beaten 1-2 at home by Siracusa, a result which led to president Giuseppe Pasini to hastily arrange a press conference in which he thanked his former coach for all his efforts. At the time of going to press it is thought that former Verona coach Gian Marco Remondina will be asked to try to ensure the clubs survival in Italy’s third tier with his appointment set to be formalised later this week.
There is obviously something in the water in Lombardy with another club from the region, Lecco, becoming the fifth team in Lega Pro to have made a change at the helm this week. President Sergio Invernizzi went one better than his rivals by dismissing his two-man coaching team of Alessio Delpiano and Alfredo Magni and replacing them with former tactician Maurizio Pellegrino who also had a brief spell in charge at Catania in the early part of this century. The team is currently propping up the C2A table and Pellegrino will hope to work his magic as he did back in the 2008-09 season where he ensured the clubs very survival in a dramatic relegation play-out game against Sambenedettese.
News from coaches who still have a job
So after a look at the weeks losers, lets take a look at the winners from the latest round of matches. In C1A Taranto march on after a 2-0 win over Viareggio. Both goals for Davide Dionigi’s men were scored by their inspirational French striker Julien Rantier to put his team a point clear at the top of the table. Ciro Ginestra just cannot stop scoring for Sorrento right now, his fifth goal in as many games ensured his side took all three points from Sunday’s derby clash against Avellino.
C1B witnessed a huge upset as Prato beat high-flying Pergocrema 2-0 at the Stadio Lugobisenzio to pick up their first points of the season. Goals from Matteo Cavagna and Andrea Alberti were enough to seal the victory. Five games five wins for Cremonese who, as mentioned earlier, saw off Spezia at the Giovanni Sini on Sunday. Oscar Brevi’s side are on fire right now and in Giuseppe Le Noci, they have a striker on top of his game, his 22nd minute penalty at the weekend was his 7th goal of the season.
In C2A its Treviso who lead the pack following their 3-0 away win in Valenzana on Sunday. Cuneo’s 4-0 destruction of Lecco keeps them a point behind the leaders whilst Casale’s goalless draw with Alessandria maintains their push for an automatic promotion spot.
C2B sees Paganese setting the pace after a 1-1 draw away to Vigor Lamezia in the divisions big game of the weekend. Perugia’s 1-0 win at Giulianova pushes them up to second spot with Catanzaro moving up to fourth after a 2-1 home win against Chieti. Finally, the bravery award of the week goes to Catanzaro’s Salvatore Carboni whose header after just two minutes gave his side the lead only for the player to be momentarily knocked unconscious after his head connected with a stray boot from a defender. Incredibly, the veteran midfielder continued to play for the entire 90 minutes, just another reason as we explained on these very pages last week, why he is so revered by the clubs supporters.
C1A: Avellino 0-1 Sorrento, Benevento 1-1 Pro Vercelli, Como 0-0 Foggia, Monza 2-2 Pavia, Pisa 0-2 Tritium, Reggiana 2-1 Foligno, Spal 0-2 Lumezzane, Taranto 2-0 Viareggio, Ternana 2-1 Carpi
C1B: Barletta 1-1 Latina, Cremonese 3-2 Spezia, Feralpi Salo 1-2 Siracusa, Frosinone 2-1 Virtus Lanciano, Portogruaro 2-2 Piacenza, Prato 2-0 Pergocrema, Sud Tirol 0-0 Virtus Bassano, Trapani 1-1 Andria Bat, Triestina 2-3 Carrarese
C2A: Casale 0-0 Alessandria, Cuneo 4-0 Lecco, Mantova 1-2 Bellaria Igea Marina, Poggibonsi 0-1 Rimini, Pro Patria 0-0 Borgo a Buggiano, Sambonifacese 0-2 Savona, San Marino 3-0 Giacomense, Santarcangelo 3-1 Renate, Valenzana 0-3 Treviso, Virtus Entella 0-1 Montichiari
C2B: Aprilia 3-2 Vibonese, Arzanese 3-2 Celano Olimpia, Campobasso 1-3 Fano Alma, Catanzaro 2-1 Chieti, Gavorrano 1-1 Milazzo, Giulianova 0-1 Perugia, L’Aquila 0-0 Fondi, Melfi 1-2 Isola Liri, Neapolis 2-1 Aversa Normanna, Vigor Lamezia 1-1 Paganese
Come back next week for your weekly dose of Lega Pro insight, but in the meantime you should follow Steve Mitchell on twitter (@barafundler) for more regular updates.