Parma replace excuses with a fight

As Edgar Álvarez’ 92nd minute goal nestled in the back of the Parma net, Pasquale Marino knew his time as I Gialloblù coach was at an end. The crucial ‘six-pointer’ was a must win for Marino and he was now the latest coach to be axed in the cut throat world of Serie A.
The official club statement read “Parma FC announce the removal of coach Pasquale Marino from his position. We thank Mr Marino for the work done and professionalism shown. The name of the new coach will be released later.” This short and matter of fact statement was followed up on the clubs website with a message from the club’s chief executive Pietro Leonardi who said “We don’t want any more excuses. We have taken this decision to put the responsibility back on to the team.” In short, the general consensus was that enough was enough.
Welcome in Franco Colomba, who was officially announced as the new coach and charged with improving on the record that has seen Parma gain only seven points in 10 games. Speaking at his unveiling he said “I am proud to be here. It is a top class squad and we are ready to fight for Serie A. I thank everyone for the warm welcome. Parma are an important club and a top class squad, despite some negative moments. This is what I wanted: to be in a Serie A side.”
Colomba has had a 19 year managerial career spread out over 17 clubs since his retirement from playing in 1990. The 56 year old has mainly coached lower league sides although he has also notably taken charge of Napoli, Livorno, Cagliari and Bologna. The latter of these was his previous appointment in the 2009/10 season; this was his boyhood club a job he had always coveted. Colomba had also played for the Rossoblu and wanted desperately to impress as their coach. He succeeded in helping Bologna avoid relegation, however, this was not enough for him to keep his job and he was dismissed two days before the new season after falling out of favour with new owner Sergio Porcedda.
Colomba paid homage to Bologna in his press conference: “Bologna was a nice time in my career, then things changed and cancelled out my dreams, but now I have a new dream to take care of,” This new dream will not be an easy one to fulfil but he is confident of success: “We’ll try to get our heads back up and turn around the negative trend. it’s too early for me to say what the problems are, but I noticed there is a lack of consistency, even within the same match.”
Parma have a tough test in their next match which sees them face Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Lazio are looking to bounce back from a 4-3 defeat to Napoli and will be keen to reignite their dreams of Champions League football. Colomba however, is prepared and seems to know exactly how Parma will need to approach their up coming games: “We know what awaits us: we must go out there and fight for Serie A.”

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