Thursday December 22 2011
Preziosi: 'Why I fired Malesani'

Genoa President Enrico Preziosi explains why he sacked Alberto Malesani to bring in Pasquale Marino. “The 6-1 at Napoli was too humiliating. This is football, not tennis.”

Last night’s embarrassing defeat at the San Paolo proved the final straw, as this evening it was confirmed Marino would be the new Coach with a contract until June 2013.

“I can only say I am sorry, but we could not continue like this. The rapport was difficult, despite the fact I tried to give every support possible and understanding the alibis, but I saw something shocking,” Preziosi told Sky Sport Italia.

“I stopped watching when we were 3-0 down, as I couldn’t bear any more. I wasn’t so much angry as deeply bitter to see my team humiliated on the pitch and our opponents dancing when 6-1 up. Frankly it went beyond the worst expectations.

“I think if last night Napoli had won 8-0 or 9-1, nobody could’ve complained. This is football, not tennis, so seeing my team humiliated like that forced this decision. I suffered too much that night, as did the players, even if they have to share some of the responsibility.

“I always tried to give Malesani the utmost support and don’t think he lacked for anything, but probably his philosophy didn’t gel with the needs of the club. I had hoped to make it a long journey with Malesani, who is a great man and Coach, but in certain respects he allowed the team to suffer this humiliation. Nothing like this had ever happened before.”

Gigi Del Neri had been among those linked with the Genoa bench, but they eventually hired ex-Catania and Udinese boss Marino.

“Our decision went to Marino partly due to the squad at our disposal. I think we’ll sign a good striker in January, just as we would’ve done if Malesani were still in charge.”

However, Preziosi admits there was truth in those reports that Malesani was in the balance for several months.

“The truth is I had some doubts from the start, but we tried to support him to the end. In reality, he probably didn’t feel that much faith in him and perhaps we weren’t strong enough in showing him we could’ve continued if certain situations had been eliminated.

“I never dared tell him ‘why don’t you use this player instead of the other,’ as I merely made some considerations on the alternating performances of the team. At times we did well, in other games we were simply absent.

“I had already considered Delio Rossi, Marino, Gigi De Canio, Del Neri and other Coaches, but I only made contact last night. After all, I had confirmed my faith in Malesani after the game, but when driving away in the car, I made my decision to fire him.”

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