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Goal.com Special: Serie A Coach Of The Year 2009-10

Nominations:

Jose Mourinho (Inter)

If Mourinho has an honours board at home – and let’s face it, it’s not altogether unlikely that he would – then it will already be more populated than those on display in many club boardrooms. He’s now won everything there is to win in Italy to go with similar achievements in Portugal and England. Next stop Spain? 

Regardless of what Saturday holds, the ‘Special One’ has written his name into Inter’s history books, as well as into Nerazzurri hearts. Season-changing tactical masterstrokes like those employed against Chelsea and Barcelona have set him apart from many Calcio coaches of the recent past. And when the pressure has been on his players, he’s always been willing to absorb every last drop of negative publicity in order to allow his charges to concentrate on their game.

 

Claudio Ranieri (Roma)

It’s still hard to believe that Roma actually came so close to winning the Scudetto given their dreadful start to the campaign and the turmoil behind the scenes. Ranieri was quickly brought in after Luciano Spalletti’s amicable parting with the Giallorossi and at first it didn’t look as though an awful lot had changed. But a six-month unbeaten run left them on the verge of earning a first major honour for their native coach before that vital defeat to Sampdoria. But when you’re winning, ‘tinkering’ is simply tactical adaptability, and Ranieri’s bold changes often earned his charges crucial points, never less so than when he hauled off Totti and De Rossi in the second Rome derby.

 

Luigi Del Neri (Sampdoria)



Though Del Neri announced immediately after the season climax that he had quit the Marassi, he left the Blucerchiati with quite the parting gift. A superb start inevitably tailed off but they stayed in contention for Europe throughout, and it says a lot for their coach that their head of steam was built up whilst Antonio Cassano was exiled/injured. Just two defeats were suffered in the second half of the season as Del Neri instilled an uncanny ability to win football matches, as evidenced by their sensational haul of 10 single-goal victories during the ritorno.

 

Delio Rossi (Palermo)

The Sicilians so nearly earned Champions League football after a fantastic turnaround under the former Lazio coach. Having taken the reins from Walter Zenga with the side wandering aimlessly around mid-table, Rossi induced near Scudetto-winning results to rack up 48 points in his 25 matches at the helm. Add to that the crowd-pleasing nature of the football his side played, and you suddenly had a team many neutrals were cheering on in the run-in. The axe is not normally far away for Maurizio Zamparini’s coaches, but the president may finally have met his perfect match.

 

Francesco Guidolin (Parma)


Guidolin’s has not been a start-studded coaching career, with workmanlike spells at many of the peninsula’s less heralded clubs being interrupted only by a quickly forgotten season with Monaco. But the Veneto product has found his feet with the Ducali. Promotion was gained with a swagger last year, and this season they recorded a fantastic eighth place finish thanks to sheer persistence and hard work. When many other pretenders were falling by the wayside, Guidolin was constantly refreshing his lively forward line to keep his troops as competitive as possible and overcome the disadvantage of having one of the league’s leakiest defences.

 

Goal.com Serie A Coach of the Year:

Jose Mourinho (Inter)

Who else? Back-to-back titles is one thing, but progress – finally – in Europe has been achieved on the back of some magnificent Mourinho moments. But their run-in must also not be overlooked. After a difficult spell had seen them fall behind Roma he was able to reinforce his troops, juggling his squad to perfection in order to bring home the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia at a time when attention could easily have been switched to their Barcelona double-header. With the Goal.com Coach of the Year secured, there's now there’s just one space to be filled in the Mourinho trophy cabinet.

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