Gennaro Gattuso resigns as Fiorentina head coach - just three weeks after appointment

Former AC Milan and Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso left the post of Fiorentina head coach after just three weeks.

Gennaro Gattuso in a file picture. (Credit: Twitter/@en_sscnapoli)
By Shayne Dias | Jun 17, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The modern day football manager knows that jobs aren’t forever. In an era where sacking the boss is an effective quick fix, job security is non-existent. Yet the brief union of Fiorentina and Gennaro Gattuso is, even by modern standards, exceptionally short. The former AC Milan and Napoli manager left the post after just three weeks. What’s even more amazing is that he didn’t oversee a single game. The fact that Fiorentina even managed to sign him was a bit of a coup. After all, many believed that Gattuso should not have been let go of by Napoli. As things stand, Gattuso is once again out of a job.

The main reason for his hasty departure is transfer activity. Gattuso is managed by Jorge Mendes, and the Portuguese super agent likes his players to play under his managerial clients.

Indeed, proof of this can be seen in how two of his most notable clients – Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo – operate. Both managers prefer signing players managed by Mendes.

The same was to be the case with Gattuso at Fiorentina. But there was one big flaw with that plan – the club were not willing to sign the players he wanted.

The two players in question were Porto’s Sergio Oliviera and Valencia’s Goncalo Guedes. Both are Portuguese natives and are managed by Mendes.

However, the size of the fees for the two players meant the club were not willing to sanction a deal. As a result of the impasse, Gattuso and Fiorentina parted ways by ‘mutual consent’.

Where this leaves both player and manager remains unclear. Most of the major clubs are already set as far as managers go. That also means, however, that the Viola will find it hard to get in a suitable replacement.

Who is more hurt by this incident?

Definitely Fiorentina. In Gennaro Gattuso, the team had one of Italy’s brightest young managers in their ranks. But losing him before he even oversaw a game is not a good look.

To make things worse, this means the club under new US-based owner Rocco B. Commisso have seen five managers come and go – in just two seasons.

Commisso stuck with Vincenzo Montella when he bought the club in June 2019. However, he was sacked in December of that year and replaced with Beppe Iachini. In turn, Iachini lasted until November 2020.

Fiorentina then hired former manager Cesare Prandelli but his reign didn’t go too well either. He resigned in March 2021 citing a “darkness inside” and a mental burnout. Thus, Iachini was rehired to see out the campaign.

What’s more, those two seasons saw the side finish 10th and 13th, respectively. Now, whoever they hire will be tasked with doing a better job on a lower budget than some of Italy’s bigger clubs.

Gennaro Gattuso – a look at his managerial career

This is just the latest in what has been a rollercoaster managerial career for Gattuso. The former AC Milan midfielder, known for his work-rate, tackles and tenacity, has already managed 7 clubs – 8 if you count Fiorentina.

His career began at Swiss club Sion, where he was named player-manager in 2013. But that job didn’t last long as he got the sack in three months.

He then signed for Palermo, but there too his reign was short lived. He was in the dugout for 6 games of which he won 1, drew 2 and lost 3 and was duly sacked.

His next job saw him in charge of Greek side OFI Crete, which is best remembered for him resigning due to pay issues before changing his mind. He then later resigned again due to the money issues.

After this he went to Serie C side Pisa, whom he got promoted to Serie B on his first attempt. Here too he left after the season but rejoined a month later.

However, the club were relegated back to Serie C in one season itself. As a result, Gattuso resigned and joined Milan’s youth side as a coach.

Just a few months later, he was appointed as Milan’s first-team manager. His first full season in charge – the 2018-19 season – saw him miss out on a top 4 finish by just one point. Thus he was sacked.

He then joined Napoli and, as fate would have it, suffered the exact same fate – he missed out on Champions League qualification by a point. Naturally he was sacked.

Where he goes next remains to be seen.

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