Next Italy Women’s National Team coach: Carmine Gautieri emerges as favourite to replace Milena Bertolini

The Azzurre are still without a coach following Milena Bertolini's departure after the 2023 Women's World Cup. Carmine Gautieri has emerged as the frontrunner, most recently sacked by Sangiuliano after suffering relegation to Serie D.

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It has become a daunting task for the FIGC to find a successor to Milena Bertolini as coach of the Italy Women’s National Team and Carmine Gautieri has emerged as the prime candidate to take on the role.

Fifty-six-year-old Bertolini left her position as Azzurre coach as her contract ended after the team failed to progress from the group stage at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, ending her time in the role which included reaching the quarter-finals of the previous Women’s World Cup four years ago.

According to LFootball, Gautieri is the favourite to be appointed as Italy Women’s National Team coach after the likes of Alberico Evani, Attilio Lombardo, Luigi Di Biagio, Paolo Nicolato, and Andrea Stramaccioni turned down the role.

Italy Women’s coach Milena Bertolini speaks to the press. [@AzzurreFIGC]

Gautieri has no experience in women’s football

As a player, Gautieri was a right-winger or wide midfielder, who played for the likes of Bari, AS Roma, and Napoli in the 1990s and 2000s. During his time with the Giallorossi, he was coached by Zdenek Zeman, and he was inspired by Il Boemo’s offensive tactics.

The Naples native has coached predominantly in the men’s Serie B and Serie C throughout his career, and he was sacked as recently as April when he was coach of Sangiuliano where he failed to prevent relegation down to Serie D.

Should he be hired, the FIGC do want to appoint a female as Gautieri’s assistant coach to help bring greater insight into women’s football in Italy, ruling out the likes of Juventus Women coach Joe Montemurro and his Sassuolo counterpart Gianpiero Piovani. Azzurre legend Patrizia Panico has openly revealed her interest but only for the head coaching role after she left Fiorentina at the end of last season.

Gautieri can implement an attacking philosophy Italy’s Women’s team crave

Bertolini was lambasted by the majority of her players on social media after the early elimination from the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, citing a lack of trust from their coach, and therefore lacked the freedom to express themselves.

Despite Gautieri’s lack of experience working with female footballers, he can still bring fresh ideas to the Azzurre. As a disciple of Zeman, he would likely use the 4-3-3 formation, a high defensive line, and aggressive pressing tactics.

Under Bertolini, the Italy Women’s National Team looked lethargic and devoid of ideas as well as balance. Gautieri should give the squad an identity and a platform to freely display their talents.

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