After leaders Juventus notched a 1-0 victory over Sassuolo on Friday evening, closest rivals Napoli defeated Palermo by the same scoreline two days later to bookend a largely predictable weekend in Serie A. Champions League hopefuls Inter and AS Roma both took three points from their matches as they battle for a coveted third place finish, with Fiorentina’s 1-1 stalemate at home to rock-bottom Hellas Verona boosting the duos’ chances of a return to European football’s elite competition.
However, while supporters of that leading group can begin to look forward to what next season might bring, a number of Coaches around the peninsula should perhaps be more concerned with their immediate future. Indeed, despite their loss to Roma being somewhat expected, Udinese still parted ways with Stefano Colantuono after some disappointing results and pressure from their normally serene fan base.
What follows is a look at five men whose place on the bench may already be under similar threat, with rumours of various changes being widely discussed as positive results continue to haunt their respective clubs.
Vincenzo Montella (Sampdoria)
Having steered Fiorentina to three consecutive fourth-place finishes, it was surprising to see Vincenzo Montella arrive at Sampdoria back in November. The Genoa-based club had won just four of their opening twelve matches under previous boss Walter Zenga, but the new Coach has largely failed to improve their fortunes.
Held to a 1-1 draw by Empoli this past weekend, Sampdoria have collected just sixteen points under the former Fulham and Roma striker, with just six points now separating them from the relegation places. “The League table doesn’t make for pleasant reading,” Montella said ahead of their most recent outing, and until it does his tenure will continue to be questioned.
Fabrizio Castori (Carpi)
The 2015/16 season was always likely to be a difficult one for Carpi, the Emilia-Romagna based minnows currently playing their first ever top flight campaign and have been a constant presence in the bottom three since it began. While they enjoyed a victory over fellow relegation battlers Frosinone on Sunday, they remain in 19th place which may prompt the club to look elsewhere for answers despite the respect held for Fabrizio Castori.
The 61-year-old was already fired back in September, returning two months later after replacement Beppe Sannino won just a single match during his brief stint in charge and may soon find himself unemployed once again.
Walter Novellino (Palermo)
Seeing the name of Palermo’s current boss Walter Novellino on this list should come as very little surprise, with the Sicilian club having already changed Coaches on no fewer than eight occasions this term. Club owner Maurizio Zamparini has a well-earned reputation as a man with very little patience, and the new man starting his tenure with a loss to Napoli on Sunday will undoubtedly see him already under pressure.
His predecessor Beppe Iachini – who has been sacked by the club twice in 2015/16 – gave his forthright opinion on the situation in an interview with the Rete Palermo website. “The President is of a certain age and it’s difficult to exchange ideas with him,” he explained on Monday. “Zamparini is a generous person who cares a great deal about his team. He can get too emphatic and go over the top sometimes, but he certainly means well and doesn’t intend to hurt Palermo.”
Siniša Mihajlović (AC Milan)
If Coaching changes in Sicily have become commonplace, then they are beginning to be just that at Milan too, with the San Siro giants already on their third boss since firing Max Allegri in January 2014. But while former players Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi failed to arrest the club’s slide into mediocrity, tangible progress has been made under current incumbent Siniša Mihajlović.
The Serbian has instilled a winning mentality into his side and insists no decision will be made about his position before the end of the season, yet that has not stopped speculation he may quit this summer and join Lazio, a club he represented earlier in his career.
Edy Reja (Atalanta)
Level on points with Udinese and just three ahead of Palermo, Atalanta’s loss to Lazio continued a desperate sequence of results which stretches back to December 6. Since then, Edy Reja’s men have gone fourteen matches without victory, with the veteran tactician’s position understandably being closely scrutinised.
The highly respected Gianluca Di Marzio reported on Monday that the 70-year-old Coach will likely remain in place until their next outing – at home to Bologna – before making a decision.