The coaching career of Gennaro Gattuso has taken another blow after Olympique Marseille’s decision to sack him, leaving the former midfielder in an uncomfortable position.

The former Milan hardman has proven an interesting character in the dugout since his initial step into first-team football with FC Sion and Palermo back in 2013.

It took a few years for him to find his rhythm, with a spell at Crete most notable for his amusing press conferences and a vaguely promising spell at AC Pisa from 2015 to 2017.

Gattuso showed humility in July 2017 when he stepped back from first-team coaching, returning to Primavera level with his former home Milan. After a strong 12-game run, he was suddenly given a chance with the Rossoneri senior squad.

Ultimately, the former midfielder did fairly well during his two-year spell in charge, guiding them to a sixth-place finish in his first term and a bitter fifth place finish in his second, just a point behind rivals Inter.

Whilst he failed to take them back to the Champions League, Gattuso did well to right the ship after a chaotic three-year spell prior, which saw six coaches take over following Massimiliano Allegri’s 2014 exit.

Gattuso’s work earnt him a move to Napoli in December 2019, taking over from the sacked Carlo Ancelotti. His appointment came with much amusement considering his well-known fiery personality and the unpredictable nature of Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

In his first season in charge, the Italian coach only managed a seventh-place finish in Serie A but bought himself time with a Coppa Italia victory, beating Juventus on penalties to lift their sixth domestic cup and first since the 2013-14 term.

The second year, Gattuso was again bitterly close to securing Champions League football, with his Napoli finishing just a point behind rivals Juventus. As such, he was shown the door by De Laurentiis, but his stock looked to be high.

Three years on, everything is different. Gattuso is looking less like an intriguing up-and-coming coach with good man management skills, and instead more like a former star whose skill on the pitch didn’t translate to the dugout.

This left Gattuso in a delicate position, making his next coaching move vitally crucial. Managers like Filippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney have all been in the same spot, needing to find the right project to truly prove themselves at the highest level, and now the former Milan man was taking on that challenge.

He ultimately chose to move to France for his next adventure, joining the ever-chaotic Olympique Marseille in September 2023. A perceived sleeping giant, the hope was that Gattuso could take Les Olympiens back to the upper echelons of Ligue 1, at least giving Paris Saint-Germain a run for their money.

Gattuso failed to hit his mark. Across his 16 league matches in charge, the Italian coach only managed five wins and six draws, failing to build a strong identity in the team and not managing to keep up with the pack in the race for a European finish, leaving the club ninth in the table after 22 games.

This is the second successive spell in the dugout where Gattuso has not looked up to the task and it’s fair to say that his coaching stocks are clearly on the decline, making him a real risk to clubs looking for a new coach in the summer.

In a world where coaches like Simone Inzaghi, Roberto De Zerbi and Vincenzo Italiano have continued to develop and grow, Gattuso is at real risk of slipping out of view and ending up with just a few provincial clubs knocking on his door.

One thought on “What happened to Gattuso after Milan and Napoli promise?”
  1. I like Gattuso as a coach. He was indeed an influential player when he was on the field! Good luck to him in his future endeavors!

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