Sampdoria fire Delio Rossi -- who's next?

Dino Panato

After three straight losses put Samp into the relegation zone, the club cut its losses and said ciao to manager Delio Rossi. But are either of the names mentioned as replacements really suitable for the job?

Sampdoria take a more rational approach to managerial changes than many clubs in Italy, preferring to sit back, take a few deep breaths, and observe how their manager handles the situation. But perhaps, in this case, Samp should've pulled the trigger much earlier.

Delio Rossi was appointed Sampdoria boss last December, after the club made the silly decision to sack Ciro Ferrara. Rossi achieved his target: 14th place and no truly serious relegation concerns after the midway point of the season.

And then came the current season. And Rossi should've been fired after just three rounds. Sure, 'Doria were stuck with a horrible opener, against Juventus. Then they came from behind to draw Bologna. But the side were absolutely awful, just truly terrible, in the derby against Genoa. It wasn't so much that they lost 3-0, but that the squad didn't seem to care. That was the moment that it was clear this Sampdoria just wasn't working.

But somehow Rossi held on. Until the loss to Fiorentina in Round 12, that is. That was Samp's third consecutive defeat, pushing them down into the relegation zone and pushing Rossi out the door. And how embarrassing for it to come against his former club, one who'd also given him the boot. Rossi didn't even get the chance to punch someone this time.

Now comes the hard part -- who steps in to keep Sampdoria from falling down? Two names have been mentioned thus far: Zdeněk Zeman and Siniša Mihajlović. Neither of these are a quality solution for the suffering Samp. Zeman is the type who absolutely needs a preseason with his players, teaching them his complicated strategy of attack-attack-attack. Take a look at last year's AS Roma squad. Now take a look at this season's 'Doria players. Zeman couldn't manage to keep that giallorossi side performing well. There's no way he could do it with this Sampdoria team. Although it'd be amusing for the rest of Serie A.

Then there's Mihajlović. Yeah, he could probably keep the side up, but at what expense? Football at its most dreary, even more dull than that under Delio. Remember the horrors of Fiorentina under this man? Plus, there's Miha's tendency to grab a grudge and run with it. One imagined slight from Eder or Manolo Gabbiadini and they'll be sitting in the stands for the remainder of the season -- even if Samp are dead last and  haven't scored in five straight matches.

Please, Sampdoria, broaden your horizons.

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