Genoa – Eight goals in the first leg. Booty too poor. Yet it had already happened to Sampdoria once again: the 1979/80 season, in Serie B but in the end it was salvation. And among the Blucerchiati protagonists, in that year, there was also George Rosellinow Ligorna coach, former Sampdoria midfielder and Gasperini’s Pescara teammate, Doria’s next rival.
Mister, how did it go?
“Well, many years have passed… but I remember that the year before I arrived in the autumn and there too we saved ourselves on the last day. In 1979/80 our salvation was even more peaceful, a 5-0 win at Parma unlocked us. Sartori and Chiorri began to score more, I scored the winning goal in the derby. But the corporate situation was different, with Lolli Ghetti and Montefiori maybe there weren’t great possibilities but the club functioned well, they were great people. And then Mantovani arrived and with him the world changed. If you have a strong club, everything is easier, Sampdoria’s corporate problems are devastating, they do what they can on the pitch but it’s tough like this. And referee episodes also have an impact. A little luck is missing but when you work well, sooner or later it comes, you have to create the right conditions”.
Since the resumption of the championship we can see a more lively Sampdoria.
“Yes, it’s true, Nuytinck is fine behind it, Winks is a real player. For me, to hope, we still need something in attack even if with the club’s difficulties it’s not easy. In football you need at least two level forwards. I’m not saying take a Chiorri, it would be like saying find a Dybala. Sartori on duty would be enough. Lammers and Gabbiadini are good, they have quality, but you need someone from the box who scores more goals and fights against opposing defenders: someone like that would also make the other forwards and midfielders score more. When I played with a forward with these characteristics as a midfielder, I scored 6-7 goals in a year, without stopping at 2-3. I liked Henry, unfortunately he was injured but that’s the type he needs. Montevago’s physicality has already helped at times but you can’t ask a Primavera player to save you”
Can Stankovic’s grit help?
“I met him in the friendly match we played in Bogliasco at the end of December: Samp must cling to his character, with someone less engaging than him there would be no hope but he has great strength”.
Here comes the challenge with Gasperini’s Atalanta, which you know well.
“I was a director, he was a midfielder, we played in Pescara’s 4-3-3 in the 80s, we had fun. As Guardiola said, challenging Atalanta is like going to the dentist, Gasp is one of the best coaches in the world, the team is now full of certainties. But football is strange. We at Ligorna (third in Serie D, group A) usually don’t create many goals, last Saturday against Castellanzese, we had a flurry, we hit posts, crossbars, missed a penalty and yet we lost 0-2. A game like this can happen to Samp in Bergamo too, never say never: I wish them to do like Castellanzese with us “:
The world of Sampdoria, and beyond, was deeply touched by Vialli’s death.
“I got to know Mancini better, we took turns when I went to Bologna, at first he took my apartment, but just talking to Vialli made me excited. I have coached for years with important results in his Cremona and this has tied me even more to him. In front of men like that, one has only to take off one’s hat”.
And how are you at Ligorna?
“It was a different experience than the many I’ve had in the professional world, but I found an extraordinary club and wonderful guys, it’s great to see their progress. I set a few rules, but by now I’ve become a “grandfather” and so I’m also with them a little better (laughs) also because they show me a great desire to learn”.
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