De Girolamo facing long layoff
Gian Piero Gasperini has left Palermo for the second time in six
weeks as Serie A’s bottom club prepare to make a fifth managerial
appointment of the current season.
In what is fast becoming a farcical season at the Stadio Renzo
Barbera, Gasperini departs by mutual consent only 15 days and two
games after returning to the hotseat on February 24.
The 55-year-old was reinstated after Alberto Malesani’s brief
19-day reign, which started on February 5 and comprised only three
games, but a goalless draw at Torino and Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat
to relegation rivals Siena have persuaded former Inter Milan boss
Gasperini to move on.
A statement published on palermocalcio.it read: “After a meeting
between adminstrative director Giorgio Perinetti and Gian Piero
Gasperini, Palermo can announce it has reached an agreement for a
consensual termination of the coach’s contract.
“The owner has tasked the director with assessing who should
take control of the first-team squad.”
Reports in Italy suggest the Rosanero will now turn to
Napoli-born coach Giuseppe Sannino, who started the season in
charge of the Sicilian club only to be sacked after three
The Neapolitan tactician would return to the Renzo Barbera
almost six months after he became president Maurizio Zamparini’s
first casualty of the season on September 16.
Gasperini then claimed three wins from 20 games to leave the
Sicilians in 19th place upon his original departure, with UEFA
Cup-winning coach Malesani appointed the next day.
Malesani could not improve Palermo’s fortunes, however, with
three points from three draws leaving the Rosanero bottom of the
table and ushering in the fleeting return of Gasperini.
Zamparini told the Corriere dello Sport early on Monday: “We
won’t be able to save ourselves now, it’s folly to think we can do
“We would need a lot of luck and for our players to act as if
they’re men rather than baby food. I don’t know what they are made
“I’m not giving up but the maths reads otherwise. In my 30 years
in football I faced relegation twice with Venezia and on both
occasions we returned to Serie A.”
The first task for Gasperini’s replacement is a trip to face
third-placed AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday.
Palermo are currently tied for last place with Pescara on 21
points and five points from safety.
The 19-year-old’s stay at Home Park from the Premier League side
has been hampered by a number of injury concerns.
“Reading feel that it would be better to have Gozie back at the
Madejski Stadium with the Royals’ Under 21 development squad so
that they can best monitor his progress,” a Pilgrims statement
A 2-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday
was the club’s fourth in a row.
A statement from the club read: “Reading Football Club has
announced today the departure of Manager Brian McDermott.
“Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to
Brian who had achieved great success with the club since taking
over as Manager in December 2009.
“Brian gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League last year
for only the second time in the club’s history thanks to a
remarkable run at the end of last season. However, in our current
situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a change was
“The search for a successor will start immediately and it is
hoped that a new Manager will be in place as soon as possible to
lead the fight against potential relegation.
Full story to follow…
Despite losing 3-2 at Ross County on Saturday after taking a
two-goal lead, the Hoops are still 15 points clear of Motherwell at
the top of the table and cruising to their second successive
While Neil Lennon’s men were lavished with praise for reaching
the last 16 of the Champions League, many believe Celtic have been
affected in the league by the absence of their old Govan rivals who
languish in the Irn-Bru Third Division, where they re-emerged this
season after falling into administration and then liquidation.
Mulgrew was at Hampden on Monday to promote PFA Scotland’s
player-of-the-year awards event, yards from where talks about the
rule book for proposed league reconstruction were taking place
between SPL clubs.
Asked if was down to him, would he have Rangers back in the SPL,
the Celtic defender said: “If it was my choice? Probably, yes.
“I don’t want to get involved in what is going on that side of
things, I am just concentrating on things at Celtic and hopefully
things will work out for the best.”
The Scotland defender then addressed the notion that the Celtic
players have subconsciously, if intermittently, let their guard
down this season due to the loss of the Ibrox club from the top
“It is hard to say,” said Mulgrew, who was both PFA Scotland and
the Scottish Football Writers’ player of the year in 2012.
“There is not as much pressure on you but I am not using that as
“The players know we weren’t good enough against Ross County on
Saturday and the performance was not acceptable.
“We should have gone on and won that game after being 2-0 up but
we never so we have to look at that and hopefully will be ready
when the next game comes.
“We just know we have to do better.
“At a team like Celtic there should never be a lack of
“The fans demand and the club demands that we win every
“So it’s not a lack of motivation, it’s just that we have to do
better. It is simply that.
“It has been a good season for us, we got to the last-16 of the
Champions League when nobody gave us a chance.
“We have had a couple of disappointing results but the main
thing is we win the league.
“It doesn’t matter how much we win it by, as long as we win it
and we are also in the Scottish Cup so we will look to do as best
we can in that as well.”
After the Dingwall defeat Lennon said that some of his players
were perhaps looking at life away from Parkhead.
However, the former Aberdeen player said: “Everybody is focused
on the job ahead at Celtic, all the players are focused on what
they have to do.
“So I don’t think people’s heads are elsewhere. I just think it
was a bad performance and we have to look to rectify that in the
The Chesterfield-born player, who has an Italian father, damaged
his knee while playing for the Italy Under-18s against Austria last
week and will have a scan to determine the full extent of the
De Girolamo, 17, had been in contention for his first start for
the Blades after making substitute appearances in recent home games
against Colchester and Leyton Orient.
“Diego will have scan on March 20 to confirm what we feel about
the problem,” manager Danny Wilson told a press conference ahead of
Tuesday night’s game at Crewe.
“He isn’t going to play for a while, but we don’t know how long
he will be out for at the moment and I’m not prepared to
“It isn’t fair on the lad without knowing all the facts, but he
will certainly be missing for the next few weeks, minimum.
“We’re all gutted for him, especially with him being a young
“He has got everything in front of him, but all that excitement
has been taken away from him now.
“He would have relished the opportunity to feature in the
run-in. But this injury is how football is and he will have the
support of the club throughout his recovery.”