This has been a banner last two for Italian managers. Giovanni Trapattoni turned 80, Arriigo Sacchi was ranked as the third best manager ever by France Football and Claudio Ranieri returned to his beloved Roma to try to salvage the season. But while these three coaches have an already established legacy, the Italian managerial school has produced some new tactical minds ready to take the next step in their careers.
Let’s take a look at their future outlook as well as the situations for the managers they could replace next season:
Gian Piero Gasperini
Atalanta’s manager already has some experience at top clubs since he managed Juventus’ youth teams in the 90s and Inter’s senior squad for 5 matches at the start of the 2011/12 season. After re establishing himself at Genoa, Gasperini has taken Atalanta to the next level with his trademark bubbly offensive style despite having three center backs on defense.
While Gasperini’s brand is strong enough to be a serious candidate for Roma, where he would fit very well because of his ability to develop young players and talent with relaunching reclamation projects, he could decide to just become to Atalanta what Guidolin was to Udinese awhile back.
Atalanta have an ambitious project both on the field and off it. After selling numerous up and coming players in recent years, the Percassi family is investing 35 million euro in modernizing their stadium, which will now be team owned which will allow them to keep more of their best players moving forward. No matter what Gasperini does this summer, he’ll be taking a step forward in his career.
The profile of Sampdoria’s manager continues to rise. Back in 2015 Empoli choose him to replace Maurizio Sarri, a manager he has strived to emulate with his tactics- particularly the tight lines between defenders, midfielders and strikers. Since moving to Genova, Giampaolo has achieved impressive results while developing numerous players.
While many will point to Giampaolo’s success with strikers because of Quagliarella’s recent success and both Muriel and Schick moving on for big fees after successful stints at Marassi, we are witnessing Danish center back Joachim Andersen following a similar development to Milan Skriniar who left Sampdoria to become one of the most impressive defenders in all of Europe at Inter.
While Sampdoria are certainly in the upper tier of Serie A’s middle class, they aren’t quite at Atalanta’s stage when it comes to making a further leap in the standings. Giampaolo could be an excellent alternative to Gasperini for Roma or a solution for Lazio should they decide to move on from Simone Inzaghi.
Roberto De Zerbi
While the derby della Madonnina and Juventus’ first loss of the season against Genoa got most of the headlines from the weekend in Serie A, Sassuolo’s home loss to Sampdoria was the most entertaining match of the 28th round. While Giampaolo is a Sarri disciple when it comes to style of play, Sassuolo’s manager De Zerbi has modeled himself after Pep Guardiola.
As a matter a fact, the way Sassuolo currently plays was one of the reasons why Barcelona targeted Kevin Prince Boateng during the January window. Prior to this season, De Zerbi established himself as one of Italy’s best young offensive minds at Foggia, he then joined the long list of managers sacked by Zamparini at Palermo before rebounding at Benevento, a team that played well despite finishing in last place (De Zerbi took over mid way through the season).
While Roma is probably a bridge too far at the stage of his career, De Zerbi would be an excellent option for either Sampdoria or Atalanta should their managers move on.
While Gasperini, Giampaolo and De Zerbi are examples of the new breed of Italian managers who focus more on the offensive phase, Parma’s current manager is an old school “catenaccio” manager whose bread and butter is a strong defense and deadly counter attacks.
D’Aversa has overseen two promotions in a row at Parma and even more impressively he has ensured the team was never really in the relegation race upon returning to Serie A. D’Aversa has worked well with young players, particularly defender Alessandro Bastoni, as well as veteran players- strikers Gervinho and Inglese have been excellent all season, Bruno Alves performed so well both Juventus and Inter pursued him in January and Kucka fit in perfectly after arriving in January.