Article By David Temple – Follow @dmjuve
Italian football has had many great managers throughout its history. Most of the best Italian managers manage Juventus, Inter, and Milan because it is the pinnacle of the country. For all the greats there is also some managers that get lost in shuffle because they haven’t managed the biggest clubs in Italy. The most fascinating thing about the managers that manage low to mid-level clubs is how they use the resources that are at their disposal. They do not have the budget of the bigger clubs but they find a way to get the right players for their system. The most important aspect is that fact that the smaller clubs give their managers a little more time to manage themselves out of slumps.
Insert, Gianpiero Gasperini a journeyman manager throughout Italian football. He started his coaching career with the Juventus youth sector. He would use experience from that stint with Juventus to take over Crotone and would get them promoted back to Serie B. He would then get the opportunity to manage ambitious side Genoa in 2006. At Genoa he used the 3-4-3 which became a very stylish formation at the time and gained praise throughout Italy. He would get them all the way to fifth place the highest place in nineteen years.
Furthermore, he would start becoming known as a manager who could relaunch player’s careers. Players like Thiago Motta and Diego Milito, who would go on to play for Inter and win a treble. In the case of Diego Milito he would break out and become one of the best strikers in Europe. Gasperini gained a reputation of using upcoming youth and down and out players to help rejuvenate his squads. His teams had fighting spirit and never say never attitudes. Jose Mourinho once said that Gasperini was the one coach who put him in the greatest difficulty. Coming from a manager that usually was the one creating difficulty for others was a great compliment. After Genoa, Gasperini would get opportunities at Inter and Palermo where his style didn’t mesh the club personnel. He would find an enticing project with Atalanta.
Atalanta was a club renowned for their youth program. Producing quality players all over Italy. Gasperini in his first year used his similar idea of youth and players past their prime. Insert, Alejandro Gomez or known simply as “Papu” the best example of how Gasperini’s teams played. His team has grit and determination. Most mid-level clubs went into the matches with top clubs just looking to not get blown out. Under Gasperini Atalanta would always come to get points anyway they could. Gasperini would lead Atalanta to a fourth place finish and Europa league. Astonishing, since they were predicted to be fighting in the relegation zone. Gasperini would lose a lot of promising talent for 2017-18 season but the manager continues to get everything out of his players.
Gasperini is the prime example of Italian managers who get over looked. The man might not be a glitz and glamour manager who will win you the league. He will make teams exciting and determined. He knows how to get the best out of his players and exceeds expectations. The Gasperini effect could be found in many more managers throughout Italy who just need some time.