Wednesday December 11 2019
Gattuso the right man for Napoli?

Napoli have sacked Carlo Ancelotti to make way for relatively inexperienced Gennaro Gattuso. Livio Caferoglu wonders if it’s a step forward – or a step back...

The worst-kept secret in Serie A was finally revealed on Wednesday, when Napoli appointed Gennaro Gattuso as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement. It came just hours after Ancelotti had guided the Partenopei to the last 16 of the Champions League, although in the eyes of President Aurelio De Laurentiis, that was not enough to make up for their dreadful domestic form.

The decision to sack Carletto was brave and probably needed to revive the Partenopei’s fortunes in Serie A. The same can be said about the man replacing him. Brave, indeed. But was he needed?

Gattuso looked like becoming the latest in a long line of ex-pros consigned to the managerial scrapheap after failed spells in charge of FC Sion, Palermo and OFI Crete. Granted, he won promotion to Serie B with Pisa in 2016, but they made a swift return to the third tier at the end of the following season and he certainly seemed to have no business managing in the Italian top flight.

Instead, he became the latest Milan hero to take the reins in November 2017, replacing Vincenzo Montella after a stint as coach of the Rossoneri’s Primavera squad. For a while he appeared to be no more than a glorified caretaker, a pawn for Yonghong Li’s board to get the fans back on side.

Yet not only did he outlast the Chinese businessman and his cronies, he also proved there was more than just ‘grinta’ to his coaching credentials, achieving two top-six finishes and reaching two cup Finals amidst all the uncertainty with regards to the club’s ownership. Despite that, the Diavolo felt he was not the right man to take them into the Champions League.

Fast forward six months and he is considered the right choice to breathe life back into a Napoli side whose problems go far beyond the pitch. Only last month, the squad refused to go on a punitive training retreat arranged by De Laurentiis, who went on to fine every member of his first team barring the injured Kevin Malcuit, resulting in a group of players who don’t know whether they’re coming or going.

Milan finished fifth in Serie A last term but failed to capitalise on the likes of Roma, Lazio and even Inter all underachieving, in part due to Rino’s tactical naivety; from persisting with a 4-3-3 formation without a recognised left winger at his disposal and insisting on his side playing out from the back with an ill-equipped defence to a frustrating tendency to leave substitutions too late.

On the other hand, Gattuso’s iron fist comes in stark contrast to the ‘soft power’ approach of his predecessor, which arguably culminated in his demise. Maybe some tough love is what this Napoli team need to get going again in the short term, especially after Ancelotti almost seemed to condone them choosing to disobey their paymaster De Laurentiis with his fence-sitting.

However, there is no getting away from the impression that the 41-year-old is the most underwhelming managerial appointment at the San Paolo since Roberto Donadoni all the way back in March 2009.

Like his fellow Milan icon, Donadoni arrived with a chequered coaching record, having gone from managing just Lecco, Livorno and Genoa to somehow succeeding World Cup winner Marcello Lippi as Italy’s CT in 2006. Just five wins from 19 matches later, he was sacked and replaced by Walter Mazzarri, who set Napoli on their way to becoming the Serie A force they are today.

Of course, this version of the Partenopei is far stronger than the one Donadoni inherited and there is every chance both they and Gattuso pull off this unlikely partnership. But the inkling remains that Napoli should’ve taken the Roma route, writing the season off and bringing in Edy Reja for the rest of 2019-20 before embarking on a brand-new project with fresh players and a fresh coach.

Whatever happens, there will be no shortage of entertainment with Rino and Aurelio both the stars of this show. Whether it’s the kind that pleases Napoli fans or opposition supporters, only time will tell.

Have your say...
@United States of Totti,I agree to certain extent, ADL g has no interest whatsoever in football, and certainly no knowledge of the game, he is good at making money. He is a disaster in communication, all that's happened was of his own making, he's so manipulative, putting palyers against manager, aginst each other, etc. He does not give a damn about neither Naples, nor Napoli nor its Tifosi, to whom he always gave false hopes since he took over from Ferlaino.PS,Mertens on the bench is a big sin.
on the 22nd December, 2019 at 11:04pm
Insigne instead of Mertens is a big crime, the Italian presstitutes kknow it, that is why they always lobby for Inigne, I say it again, playing Insigne is playing with 10 men against 12, Insigne is imposed by the Camorra, and helped by the presstitutes,and people still dont want to see it. Ancelotti was sacked becaus he was the only one who dared put signorina on the bench, and neither the presstitutesm nr the Camorra like it.
Napoli will play serie in B if Insigne continues to play.
on the 22nd December, 2019 at 8:24pm

Hahaha.. I have big respect for Allegri. Perhaps you misunderstand my words. English is not my first language, sorry. I was just being sarcastic with this word of luck pasted on Juve's victories but hey nothing personal. Anyway, I agree that Sarri is underperforming at the moment.
on the 18th December, 2019 at 4:23am
Also @ Napoli,

In a lot of games THIS SEASON
-Juve only managed to win with a sudden spark from their superstar player (Dybala, Costa, Higuain...).
-or win in last minutes of the game.

My choice of words, "lucky" is inappropriate, but I only wanted to point out that Napoli wasn't as "lucky".

Watch Napoli's game against Atalanta.
Then watch Juve's game against Atalanta.

And yet, Juve won and Napoli didn't.

See Sarri's face at end of Juve games.
See Ancelotti's.
Their looks say everything :)
on the 17th December, 2019 at 7:11pm
Are you calling Allegri's Juve lucky?
Have some respect, that man brought you 2 CL finals.

I am talking about Juve's play THIS season.
Do you even watch them?
Against Bologna, Genoa, Lecce, Milan, Torino, Lokomotiv M., Sassuolo, Atalanta, Lazio, ...
And you are satisfied ...with THAT??


You shouldn't need luck.
on the 17th December, 2019 at 6:42pm
You insist too much in put the word luck on Juve's victories and make silly invention of media such Sarriball as if it's the only way for Juve to win games.I feel you have forgotten Juve is Juve, an Italian team packed with champions who play football the way Italian play:solid display,balance football. Before Sarri, Juve have dominated football world for a long time with what did you say? LUCKY FOOTBALL? With Sarri in charge, Juve play more attacking without losing identity,that's all.
on the 17th December, 2019 at 4:15am
Is this Pinturicchio character for real? It's not some type of parody account? How troll behaviour like this is tolerated at all is beyond me.

It says something when that's not the worst of it, I saw the racism blog and FI should be ashamed such people frequent here.
And I might as well point this out: Neither Napoli, city or club, not its people deserve this.
on the 16th December, 2019 at 6:07pm
Nah, "Napoli"...
It's called "LUCK".
INCREDIBLY lucky in some Serie A games AND in CL this year.
Very little "Sarriball".

I just hope it won't cost you guys to lose Scudetto against Inter.
Please, get yourself together and finally start playing like champions team that you are. (You are OVERPACKED with Champions, they are practically falling out of your seams!)

Chiellini is a HUGE miss for you guys...
on the 15th December, 2019 at 10:54pm
@United States of Totti

"Sarri only lost once?
How is that possible I still don't know!"

Of course you don't know, you're too busy with lame conspiracy theory of yours.
on the 15th December, 2019 at 3:05pm
Napoli at least had CL to look forward to...
Now, with Gattuso, that's over.

You were killing LIVERPOOL in summer friendly & in first CL game!!!
It's unbelievable how the team has fallen, what pressure from missfortune can do.

Napoli played AMAZING, hitting woodwork etc, but was UNLUCKY drawing/ losing...
Juve this year was OUTPLAYED almost constantly, yet were still LUCKY winning.
And media bashed one coach and praised the other.

Sarri only lost once?
How is that possible I still don't know!
on the 14th December, 2019 at 11:37pm
Racism against Naples is REAL!
You are targeted as ugly ducklings of Italy.
People play dumb & look other way.
But it's obvious.

Honestly I'm surprised FI allows Pinturicchio to constantly wommit this hate speech against Napolitans.
...but I'm sure they wouldn't allow this treatment for black people.
on the 14th December, 2019 at 11:14pm
Scarpetta I know that. See my "HAHAHA" post bellow ;)

You're Napoli fan so I'll just give my take on ADL as some fans are bashing him.
I don't like the frog.


You guys should appreciate what he has done, almost winning Scudetto from C!
He didn't want to sell Higuain for 100.
Koulibaly for 100??
PFFFTT, You guys don't know how lucky you are
--Our Jim would have sold both players at 50 already!

Roma wanted to sell Alisson for 65.
ADL wanted to buy Alisson for 65.
All you need to know! :(
on the 14th December, 2019 at 10:34pm
@United States of Totti, you are right, but they only do that to Napoli, the Club of the South, the most hated in the land, they would never do that to Milan or Inter, and especially not to Robentus, they own all of the Presstitutes, and that is why they killed Italian football in the last 20 years, they take advantage over their rivals by all means, especially illegal, and shifty means, as always. They make sure Napoli does no win anything, it is cultural-regional racism.
on the 14th December, 2019 at 8:07pm
Many foreign coaches, and jounalist have been amazed by the Napoli's logic of always playing Insigne instead of Mertens, I, and a couple of people have been saying this for the last 8 years, people just do no want to see reality in the face. Journalists, and personal opinions cannot make great players out of nothing. and this is the reason why Italian football is in the wilderness for decades now, the Italian system is mined by corruption at every level, and needs a total re foundation.
on the 14th December, 2019 at 7:58pm

....And now Inter is ignoring press because one




wrote that Conte plays ugly defensive football
& that he'll never, NEVER, succeed in European competitions (where 95% only attacking play wins!)

Oh dear,
Media you can't publish things like that.
You mustn't disturb northern clubs
--You can only afford to destabilize Roma, Lazio & Napoli.

"Conte inept in CL???"
"Noooo, never..!"

What a small, small man he is.
on the 14th December, 2019 at 7:49pm
Neapolitan presstitutes lobby for INSIGNE not for the same reasons, they do it because the Naples the Camorra, has decided 8 years ago that "Il Magnifico"who cannot play football, has to play no matter what, and that is why MERTENS became the enemy number ONE in Italy in the last 8 years, simply because he is brilliant, one clan hates him for preventing signorina from playing, and the other clan hates him because they think Napoli with him can win the Scudetto, and hat is out of the question.
on the 14th December, 2019 at 7:48pm
The same establishment Presstitutes, who sacked Ancelotti, are obliging Gattuso to play abysmal INSIGNE and sacrifice MERTENS whom they know dam well that if he always plays, Signorina would never play again, and Napoli would certainly win the scudetto. That is why they always lobby for Signorina against the far SUPERIOR MERTENS, this is te sad truth at Napoli
on the 14th December, 2019 at 7:38pm

They were just stirring fire, adding fuel to it. Adding pressure on club and players...
(They really did their job on Napoli --First time I've seen players ignore Ritiro!)

Media can make players better, sky-rocket their value.
They can put pressure on club, and shelter other clubs.
They can influence refs, make people lose their jobs.
Make people look BAD or GOOD...

I don't know which is worse,
When they're manipulating intentionally or accidentally (& just leave the toy they broke
on the 14th December, 2019 at 12:04pm
LMFAO it's cute @Zoli you think I'm softening up or some nonsense like that to justify my opinion(s)... I don't give a rat's behind to what you think. I've visited Naples, I've seen the barbaric way Napoli fans react to losing, even though they win nothing. 
on the 14th December, 2019 at 5:23am

That "idiot" did not make up the number. Wikipedia's list of Italian football club owners says 600m. I think technically Filmauro owns Napoli, which might explain the discrepancy. ADL is personally worth 50m, and his company is worth 600m. And I bet much of that 600m is actually the value of SSC Napoli. So that actually makes his achievement notable, as he really did build it up Napoli Serie C1.
on the 13th December, 2019 at 9:53pm
@Anonymous. I think that even if Napoli reach the CL, which they very much still can, a 4th place finish will not be enough to keep Allan, Fabian and K2. Although, of the 3, I see K2 as the likeliest to stay given his outward displays of loyalty to Napoli over the years despite having the highest value. Allan definitely wants to challenge for silverware and it will be tough for Fabian to resist Real/Barca. I think this squad still can, if they stay together, but it will be hard to convince them.
on the 13th December, 2019 at 9:42pm
No use in trying to present yourself in a civil manner because nothing you say will change my opinion about you so enjoy my last note.
I’ve been registered here for about five years.
My favorite teams are Fradi (Ferencváros), Timbers (Portland) and Milan.
Let me speed it up for you ... I’m a Hungarian-American who was born and lives pretty far away from Naples and (unfortunately) never set foot on Italian soil.
Are we clear ?
Now go/or stay and (you know what) yourself.
on the 13th December, 2019 at 3:24pm

You must be new here, unaware of the law of the jungle and all that...

Neapolitans talk smack as if they've won 10 UCLs and 40 Scudetti, not to mention they think anyone leaving them is Merda, Figlio di Puttana etc.

A club which are the self-proclaimed "Barcelona of Italy" even though they win NOTHING.

The trash fans who vandalise opponent's club facilities whenever Napoli loses.

You can crib all your want, but respect is earned, not demanded.

Go cry elsewhere, Neapolitan.
on the 13th December, 2019 at 9:18am
Time will tell with Rino. Probably a short time :)
I agree with the logic that why would he be good at Napoli when he didn’t make the cut at Milan ? If he succeeds, one of the explanations would seem to be he didn’t have a squad good enough at Milan, which is also partially true.
At any rate I wish him well but it’s hard to see that the extra he has over Ancelotti–whatever that may be besides grit and a firm hand–is what’s needed for a rapid recovery.
I definitely would have kept Carletto.
on the 13th December, 2019 at 12:56am
I admire your remarkable courage of having your own name here and not being “one of a billion idiotic cowards” calling yourself Anonymous. I also agree with your dislike of ADL because I can’t stand the guy either.
But when you speak about a city, a club and all of its fans in this derogatory way – not to mention everyone here that disagrees with you - you just expose what kind of a piece of a (you know what) of a human you are.
on the 13th December, 2019 at 12:48am
As much as I liked Ancelotti, Napoli have lacked fire and inspiration unde rhim. They have the talent, they have the strength, they have the depth. Yes, different squads, but over the last ten years they seem to respond best to those whose passion echos the passion of the city: Mazzarri, Sarri, and let's now hope Gattuso. If he can re-build some of what Ancelotti undid of Sarri's impact (4-3-3), rotate more wisely, and motivate, then I am confident we can pick things up again.
on the 12th December, 2019 at 4:33pm
He forced Sarri and now Ancelotti out for Gattuso, enough said. Napoli has been punching above their weight for some time now and it seems it's about to come to an end. The owner is the problem, not the coach.
on the 12th December, 2019 at 4:06pm
hahahaha...what does it say about a club, when they appoint Gattuso as their head coach?? He can't even speak Italian properly. All his tactical analysis end up with the same conclusion - grinta, energia, sangue,determinazione......blag blah...completley inept as a coach!!
on the 12th December, 2019 at 9:16am
Koulibaly will leave for 80m and Allan for 50m.They don’t have the bargain power anymore without UCL qualification and the 100m+ salary. Otherwise they may have 30m more cashing in them.
But 130m is only enough for replacement of the duo, Callejon and Mertens. Fabian may also want to leave. It’s catastrophe for Napoli and at least 3 years to rebuild a team competing for top 4 spot.
on the 12th December, 2019 at 8:19am
NAPOLI peaked with are a club facing a decline that will go same root as AC Milan MAN U already started with the signing of Gattuso. Spaletti would of been better choice. respect to Rino played his heart out with ferocious stamina for club and country, but as a coach ...idk. ADL seems to be helping in the falling of Napoli.yes he built club back up from garbage,but now is destroying it.
on the 12th December, 2019 at 4:51am

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