Blog Written by Joshua O'Byrne (@JobJobBinks):
Walter Novellino becomes the seventh different manager to take charge of Palermo since November and the eight coaching change (Iachini was fired and reappointed). Palermo are a club in disarray with trigger happy owner Maurizio Zamparini seemingly impossible to please. It's no surprise to find them in real trouble sitting in seventeenth just one place and one point above the relegation zone. Can Novellino steady a fast sinking ship? Or will Zamparini drag Palermo back down into Serie B?
One might call Novellino brave for taking on the Palermo job, working under an owner who provides no security to his managers. Zamparini has sacked Iachini and Ballardini after both earned wins this season. Palermo are currently on a run of seven matches without a win. Their last win came against Udinese on January 24th. This barren run has seen them fall to seventeenth place in the table with Frosinone hot on their heels just one point behind them.
The majority of blame has to lie with Zamparini for this poor run of form. Throughout his time at Palermo, Zamparini has always been fond of sacking managers. Since buying Palermo in 2002 there has been 35 managers in just 14 years at Palermo. This figure shows the chaotic background scenes at Palermo and a clear lack of stability from the owner. Beppe Iachini who was Palermo's longest serving coach under Zamparini (September 2013 to November 2015) was fired this season after a 1-0 victory. If we take a look at Palermo's managers this season the statistics are incredible. Beppe Iachini started the season and lasted until November as he was sacked after a 1-0 win. Davide Ballardini took the reins after Iachini but lasted only seven games during which he faced a revolt from the players led by the captain Stefano Sorrentino. He too was then sacked after a 1-0 win. Next up was Guillermo Barros Schelotto, however Palermo failed to realize that the Argentine did not have the necessary UEFA License. Up stepped Giovanni Tedesco who was put in charge until Schelotto got his license from UEFA but Schelotto's application was declined by the European football governing body. Palermo then turned to Giovanni Bosi who lasted just one game in charge, a 3-1 defeat to Torino. Iachini was then re-hired who lasted three games before being sacked again after a 3-1 defeat to Inter.
Now the new man in charge is Walter Novellino who's first match in charge is at home to Napoli, a tough ask for Novellino to pick up any points. Novellino faces an extremely tough task to keep Palermo up and will need to be given some time by Zamparini. Novellino is going to be relying on the form of Vazquez and the experience of Sorrentino and Gilardino if he is to succeed. If Novellino can get Vazquez firing on all cylinders then Palermo have a great chance of staying up. The Argentine has already provided 5 goals and 7 assists this year and is easily Palermo's most important player. He will be a key figure if Novellino is to succeed at Palermo.
Palermo getting relegated might be the final straw for Zamparini and he could finally grant the Rossonero fans wishes and sell the club. Perhaps a season in Serie B with a new owner might not be a bad thing for Palermo or maybe as it has done many times in the past, Zamparini's method of changing coaches more often then he changes his mind about selling the club will prevail and Palermo will somehow manage to survive with Zamparini's managerial carousel well intact.