Football Italiano’s Coach of the Year 2008/09
Gian Piero Gasperini
Chris Sloley: Gian Piero Gasperini – The man went from being popular just for getting the Grifone back into the top flight to really earning admirers this season after some careful acquisitions saw Genoa push deep into European contention. Unfortunate not to be in Champions League qualification next year, the club has augmented an innovative side around an experienced spine of players such as Thiago Motta and Matteo Ferrari. The revelation of Diego Milito upfront has helped and many pundits can attribute his sudden explosion in value to Gasperini’s faith in his abilities.
David Swan: Mimmo Di Carlo – Di Carlo receives my vote, for the fabulous work he has done at Chievo since taking over in November. The Donkey’s entered the Christmas break with only nine points, and reached the halfway stage of 19 games with only 13 points. The accolades for comfortably surviving relegation, and the results they achieved along the way, belong to Di Carlo for dragging performances out of a team that looked utterly hopeless before Christmas. Mathematically, it went down to the penultimate game of the season, but they were so far ahead before this point that it would have taken an almighty collapse for them to drop back to Serie B.
Jasmer Gill-Towner: Gian Piero Gasperini – Gasperini gets the nod as Coach of the Season over Inter’s Jose Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri of Cagliari down to not only how Genoa have overachieved from expectations, but also the style of football they have been playing. The 3-4-3 formation has produced the best football in the league, and whilst Diego Milito has taken the headlines there have been solid performances throughout the side. Equally impressive is how Gasperini has revitalized the careers of players who looked finished such as Matteo Ferrari and Thiago Motta, and it is for all this that he has been the best Coach over the past season.
Mike Carre: Gian Piero Gasperini – Has to be Gasperini. What an effort from him and his Genoa side this campaign. With such a small and unspectacular squad, the former Juve youth Coach has really proved he can cut it at the top level after leading a full-blooded assault on Champions League qualification. His side seemed certain to fall just short, but to have even be in contention at such a late stage in the season was a phenomenal effort from the Grifone. Reports suggest his star men of Milito and Motta could well be on their way to Inter and with a promotion and now European qualification under his belt, Gasperini certainly deserves a similar kind of move.
Mina Rzouki: Gian Piero Gasperini – Genoa is one of the only teams every Italian loves to watch, which is essentially down to Gasperini’s great tactics that ensure his team is always fighting to score another goal. Having achieved a respectable 10th place in the league last season, Genoa only had the objective of improving their position this term. Due to their sensational game, scoring on average 1.94 goals at home, they only marginally missed out qualification for the Champions League. Gasperini has returned the Rossoblu to former glory, managing to achieve excellent results whilst playing attacking football, possibly the hardest feat for a Coach, especially one in Italy.
Chris Davies: Gian Piero Gasperini – Wins the vote after guiding Genoa to the brink of the Champions League and ultimately a place in next season’s Europa League. Gasperini invested wisely last summer bringing Diego Milito back to the peninsula for another goal-laden spell, reviving the previously injury-prone midfielder Thiago Motta into one of the best players in the division and introducing talented youngsters such as Salvatore Bocchetti into the first team. Will he remain at the club next season to lead Genoa into Europe or could he end up back in Turin in the Juventus hotseat? If he does remain next season his ability to achieve as much as this season will be tested to the maximum with Motta and Milito departing for Inter and Hernan Crespo and Ricardo Quaresma (rumoured) inbound.