MILAN - Big spenders Genoa appointed former
Lazio boss Davide Ballardini as coach on Monday after Gian Piero
Gasperini became Serie A's first managerial casualty of the
Ballardini was sacked by Claudio Lotito, the owner of
current league leaders Lazio, when they were flailing near the
bottom last season and has previously managed Cagliari and
Maurizio Zamparini's Palermo.
"He's the right person, I like him a lot, maybe because he
has already had to put up with difficult presidents like Lotito
and Zamparini," flamboyant Genoa owner Enrico Preziosi joked to
reporters, confirming Ballardini had signed until June.
"I don't need a phenomenon at the moment, just something
simple," added the president, who said dismissing Gasperini was
a "painful separation".
Gasperini led Genoa to promotion in 2007 and has since
presided over mid-table finishes with his unusual brand of
attacking football with only three at the back.
His stock grew so much that he was even mentioned by media
as a possible candidate for the Juventus job last season but
this term has not gone to plan.
Preziosi brought in a host of signings in the close season,
including former Italy striker Luca Toni, in a bid to have a
crack at the fourth Champions League qualifying spot.
However, 14th-placed Genoa have struggled to find the net in
amassing 11 points from 10 games this season and lost 1-0 at
Palermo on Sunday, their fourth defeat in five matches.
"I didn't expect it," Gasperini told ANSA. "Naturally I'm
Only one sacking after 10 rounds of matches contrasts
markedly with last season in Serie A where a record five coaches
left their jobs inside eight games.
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