Who is new Genoa coach Alexander Blessin?

by | Jan 19, 2022 21:03

New Genoa coach Alexander Blessin comes from the Red Bull Leipzig school of Gegenpressing, who would’ve been at Sheffield United if not for Brexit, but might find Serie A difficult. ‘What’s the point if I’m immediately under fire after two defeats?’

The 48-year-old German has signed a contract until June 2024 and had to be bought out of his current deal with Belgian club KV Oostende.

Blessin worked all the way through the various levels of the Red Bull Leipzig academy starting from 2012, initially as assistant manager, then from 2017 as head coach.

He was in charge of the Under-17, Under-19 and then Youth League sides before going out on his own at KV Oostende in July 2020.

In 65 games in charge, Blessin oversaw 26 wins, 11 draws and 28 defeats, his team scoring 99 goals and conceding 107.

Official: Genoa buy KV Oostende coach Blessin out of contract

The all-attack, high press, extreme work-rate of the Gegenpressing system will be tough to implement in Serie A, but above all he could be in for a rude awakening when it comes to the media and pressure of Italian football.

“For me, it is important that somewhere I can do what I want to do,” he told Sport Magazine in October 2021.

“At a number of clubs, that was not the case. I feel I can still make mistakes here without being punished for them.

“What’s the point of going to a club that has the ambition to play at the top, but where I’m immediately under fire after two defeats?

“If no club came along that I felt good about, I wouldn’t have to leave here.”

It seems the long-term contract to June 2024 has been enough to convince Blessin, although it’s difficult to see why he’d think there was stability here.

Genoa started the season under Davide Ballardini, fired him in November and then sacked Andriy Shevchenko under two months later.

They had agreed terms with former Hertha Berlin manager Bruno Labbadia, until he pulled out after seeing their 6-0 Serie A defeat to Fiorentina on Monday evening.

It was assumed that if Blessin did leave Oostende, it’d be for the Premier League, which he very nearly did for Sheffield United last summer until Brexit rules saw his work permit rejected.

“The only team that interested me was Sheffield United, because English football fascinates me. Without Brexit, there was a chance I would have made that move.”

Blessin tends to favour a 3-5-2 formation, similar to the one Ballardini had, whereas Shevchenko was asking for players in January that could adapt to 4-3-3.

4 Comments

  1. Andy

    Genoa hoping their poor performance till now was a “Blessin”g in disguise 😛

  2. FERBAN

    He’s the next for the chopping block, probably in March, and he’ll be paid till the end of his contract with about 5 others.

    Genoa will probably re-hire him at least twice more after re-hiring 4 other ex managers in that time.

    Welcome to Serie A.

  3. Feroli

    ‘In 65 games in charge, Blessin oversaw 26 wins, 11 draws and 28 defeats, his team scoring 99 goals and conceding 107.’
    That doesn’t seem like a very good record. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see another style of football in Serie A. If it works.
    Hopefully it will go well for Genoa and their latest coach.

  4. Ivano

    Feroli, c’mon, doyou realize that he was the trainer of KV Oostende?
    It is a very weak team, players-wise.

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