Fiorentina is miserable club. While owner Rocco Commisso has ponied up plenty of cash, a popular line of thinking holds that the problem is players who don’t respect the succession of paste-their-prime or journeymen managers. Per this school of thought, what these prime donne need is a boss who’ll give them a boot up the backside more than a brilliant tactician. And that, of course, means that it’s time to talk about Gennaro Gattuso.
Gattuso, 43, has been the Napoli boss since 2019, although it sounds like his time there may be running down, especially if he can’t keep the Partenopei on track for the Champions League; they’re currently in 5th, even on points with Juventus. Despite a pretty impressive record during his time in Naples—97 points from 51 matches, including a record of W18 D2 L8 this year—Aurelio di Laurentiis and company seem to believe that Ringhio simply can’t take them to the next level, as evidenced by a defeat to Juve in the Supercoppa and a humiliating Europa League exit at the hands of Granada, and are reportedly looking to replace him at the end of June.
As a coach, he’s often caricatured as a glorified cheerleader, a figure whose red-faced intensity doesn’t cover for his lack of tactical nous. That’s probably not entirely fair, but Gattuso is certainly more of a man manager than a strategist. He likes using a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 that relies on pressing and quick passing high up the pitch, but his primary attribute seems to be bringing the best out of mercurial attackers, mostly by building a strong foundation that encourages them to use their best attributes.
That, of course, has been a rather unheard-of concept in Florence for the past few years, as the team has been built solely around Franck Ribery. Bringing on a mister known for his bombast isn’t a terrible idea for this feckless organization, but whether he’ll stand up to DS Daniele Pradè, who’s been blamed by many supporters for Fiorentina’s struggles under Commisso, is up for debate. Gattuso, despite his fiery conduct on the touchlines, has always been deferential to club management; many fans would much rather see a manager who’s willing to bring things to a head with Pradè rather than a good company man.
According to FiorentinaNews, the club has offered Gattuso a 2-year contract with an option for a third. While there are any number of ticks in both the pro and con columns (and yes, we’ll be getting to those), getting someone, anyone penciled in as the boss for next year can only help sort out the organizational chaos that’s engulfed the Viola for years. Be ready to hear a lot more on this topic in the coming days and weeks.