BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – The gale of sack continues unabated for top European football Managers as another big name has fallen out of favour and lost his coaching job over poor results.
Coming under the heavy hammer is Napoli’s Coach, Carlo Ancelotti who has been relieved of duties by the Italian club despite taking them to the last 16 of this season’s Champions League with an impressive 4-0 victory over Genk of Belgium.
Announcing their parting of ways with Ancelotti, the Serie A side, said in a statement immediately after the match that; “Napoli has decided to relieve Carlo Ancelotti of his role as first team coach.”
Tuesday’s win over Genk, which saw Napoli finishing second in Group E, one point behind Liverpool, broke a nine-match winless run that came amid dressing room unrest and friction involving the club, Ancelotti and the players.
Among the favourite names listed as likely candidates to take over at Napoli, who finished second behind champions Juventus last season, is former AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso.
Currently miles off the pace in challenging for this year’s Italian league diadem, Napoli are seventh in the top flight on 21 points, a whopping 17 points behind league leaders Inter Milan and more worryingly eight behind fourth-placed Cagliari, who hold the final spot for next season’s Champions League.
On Monday, Ancelotti told reporters that “a coach’s suitcase is always ready” and ahead of Tuesday’s match, speculation ramped up over the 60-year-old’s future at the southern club but he had ruled out stepping down after Tuesday’s win.
“Resignation? I have never resigned in my life and I never will,” he said. “My future? The team management will make its assessment.
The club has been in turmoil this season as club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis sank into a bitter row with his players following a series of disappointing results.
The squad refused to bow to De Laurentiis’ demand that they be confined to a week-long training camp in November, reportedly receiving a collective deduction to their wages of 2.5 million euros ($2.7 million) for their disobedience.
But Union FIFPro said they would back the players against “further abuse and intimidation”, calling De Laurentiis’ decision to fine his squad “unjustified”
Ancelotti, who won three Champions League titles as a coach, twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid, replaced Maurizio Sarri in July 2018.
He guided the team to a second place finish in the Italian League last season, when they missed out on the Champions League last 16 on goal difference to eventual winners Liverpool.
“I can’t pretend, the team doesn’t give what it could give,” Ancelotti said on Monday.
“In Europe, we have seen another Napoli, the one I would like to see in the league as well. I am looking for solutions to get out of this difficult period,” he added.
They are at present without a win in seven Serie A games since October 19 and next play Parma on Saturday. – With agency reports