Sampdoria are currently languishing at the bottom of the Serie A table after eight rounds and this has prompted the Blucerchiati to relieve coach Marco Giampaolo of his duties.
A 3-0 defeat to newly-promoted Monza on Sunday afternoon was enough to end the former AC Milan and Torino tactician’s second-spell with the Ligurian club. What seemed like an opportunity for the Swiss-born coach to get his career on track now looks like something that has perhaps ruined any hope of him coaching in Serie A again.
Sampdoria lacked style and substance under Giampaolo
This season Sampdoria have failed to produce the type of performances and results achieved under Giampaolo in his first stint in Genoa from 2016 to 2019.
Il Doria finished as high as ninth on the Serie A table in 2018/19, but they were often on the periphery of qualifying for Europe, and they played some of the best football in Italy, earning Giampaolo comparisons with current Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri.
During his first stint at Sampdoria, Fabio Quagliarella became the leading goalscorer in Serie A at the age of 36 with 26 goals in 2018/19 while many players who played under the Swiss-born coach have gone on to star elsewhere such Milan Skriniar, Lucas Torreira, Bruno Fernandes, Luis Muriel, and Duvan Zapata.
Giampaolo returned to the Ligurian club in January to replace Roberto D’Aversa and he was able to steer the Blucerchiati away from the relegation zone, Samp still lost 10 out of 16 matches under Giampaolo in 2021/22.
Sampdoria defeated Serie B side Reggina in the Coppa Italia in August, but they have not won a competitive game since then. Giampaolo had moved away from his preferred 4-3-1-2 formation when he returned and he had stubbornly stuck with the 4-1-4-1 since then.
There have been many games in which Samp have dominated possession, but the Blucerchiati have often failed to generate many scoring opportunities from that. With such futile possession, Il Doria have failed to win in Serie A this season, and it was more than justified that Giampaolo was given his marching orders.
Ownership situation places dark clouds over Sampdoria
Although Sampdoria’s results were reflected by Giampaolo’s tactical flaws, it must be said that the Blucerchiati have one of the weakest squads in the division. Despite having some talented players Emil Audero, Tommaso Augello, Filip Djuricic, Abdelhamid Sabiri, and Fabio Quagliarella, there are some glaring weaknesses too.
The lack of quality signings is down to two reasons: the departure of chief scout Riccardo Pecini in June 2021 and the ownership scenario. Pecini had a phenomenal eye for talent, but he joined Spezia to become their CEO, and the club is under the guidance of interim president Marco Lanna, who has been in charge since Massimo Ferrero was forced to resign in December 2021, until the club finds new owners.
Italian film producer Francesco Di Silvio and Khalid Faleh al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, have been linked as potential buyers, but there are not many signs suggesting that a purchase will be completed soon.
With such uncertainty about the future, this is surely filtering into the minds of the players, who would have concerns if they will get their next payday or not.
Sampdoria travel away to Bologna for their next Serie A fixture on Matchday 9.