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Gennaro Gattuso Appointed to Replace Carlo Ancelotti as Napoli Manager

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

FERRARA, ITALY - MAY 26: Gennaro Gattuso head coach of AC Milan gestures during the Serie A match between Spal and AC Milan at Stadio Paolo Mazza on May 26, 2019 in Ferrara, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Napoli have appointed Gennaro Gattuso as manager after firing Carlo Ancelotti on Tuesday. The Partenopei announced Gattuso's appointment via their official Twitter account on Wednesday:

Official SSC Napoli @en_sscnapoli

#WelcomeGattuso 💙 #ForzaNapoliSempre https://t.co/O0lCiDs2C8

Former AC Milan midfielder Gattuso, who played for Ancelotti with the Rossoneri, was welcomed to Naples by Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis:

AurelioDeLaurentiis @ADeLaurentiis

Benvenuto Rino! #ADL

Napoli parted company with Ancelotti despite him guiding his side to a 4-0 UEFA Champions League win over Genk and into the competition's last 16.

It was the Italian side's first win in 10 matches in all competitions, a run stretching back to October 23. Despite his dismissal, Ancelotti offered thanks to the club following the end of his brief stint in charge:

Gattuso takes charge with the Neapolitan outfit—who have finished in Serie A's top three in seven of the last nine seasons—seventh in the table after 15 matches.

Napoli are 17 points behind leaders Inter Milan and eight off fourth-place Cagliari.

Football writer Kaustubh Pandey believes Gattuso can secure qualification for next season's Champions League, but he does not expect them to do well in the knockout phase in this campaign under him:

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Kaustubh Pandey @Kaus_Pandey17

Getting Gattuso gives Napoli a chance for Top 4. That's the purpose of bringing him in. It's a short-term attempt to salvaging something from the season. He will get players to play for the club. If they don't, he will get them sold. But with him, Napoli won't go far in Europe.

Gattuso became a manager in 2013 when he took over Swiss side Sion, and he had spells at Palermo, OFI Crete and Pisa before he took over at AC Milan—where he spent the bulk of his storied playing career—in 2017.

The 41-year-old replaced Vincenzo Montella at the San Siro in November that year with the team seventh in Serie A, having lost six of their first 14 games. Under Gattuso, they only lost four of the remaining 24 matches in that campaign and finished sixth.

Last season, Milan came fifth with 68 points, their best league finish and points total since finishing third with 72 in the 2012-13 season. They were just one point off a Champions League place, and they boasted their best defensive record since 2011-12.

Gattuso isn't likely to help Napoli return to the attractive attacking football the team played under Ancelotti's predecessor Maurizio Sarri, but he'll bring more intensity to the dugout than Ancelotti's more relaxed approach.

His first game in charge will be against Parma on Saturday. Parma are eighth, level on points with Napoli, so it won't be the easiest of tests.

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