Zamparini Explains It All

After the latest resignation by a Palermo dS (eerily on the same exact date one year later from Sabatini’s resignation), Zamparini held a press conference to give a status on the current state of the club. Below is the full transcript of Zamparini’s presser, where for once, he seems a bit less crazy than he usually is. Granted, not everything is agreeable, but there are some sensible things in his statements – it’s like playing a long game of “Where’s Waldo?” In the meantime, Zamparini appointed Luca Cattani as the new dS. Cattani had already been serving as the team’s lead scout and previously worked with Sabatini. He’ll be the main man until Zamparini appoints someone else.

Here is the transcript:

On why Sogliano left

“The society has already communicated Sean Sogliano’s resignation and we’ve accepted it. I just came from a wonderful meeting with our coach, Mangia, who is obviously saddened, seeing the rapport the two shared. I reconfirmed my trust in him again and I’ve already given the order to adjust his contract with Palermo, given that I maintain him adapted to the first team. Today, I’ll go to the field to talk with the team. I’ve called Luca Cattani back from South America, he has the license to be a dS as well. We spoke with the mister about strategies. We are knocking down a project, speaking about players as well. Mangia is a young coach and I hope he can stay at Palermo for many years. Why did Sogliano resign? He came from a place where he was accustomed to doing something more than just a dS. Beyond that, he wasn’t able to insert himself in this place and have the right relationship with me. I wouldn’t give a blank check, without a minimum of respect, not even to Moggi. We had a confrontation but we realized we have very different characters. It’s better this way. There’s esteem between us, but he didn’t have the credentials to bring Palermo forward by himself, notwithstanding the fact he’s a serious and prepared lad. Even in marriage, when you fight, it’s better to separate.”

On his relationship with the dS

“In ten years at Palermo, I’ve had three sporting directors. For as much as happened with Sabatini a year ago, there’s been mutual repentance. He had already given ample willingness to continue a working relationship with us, Sabatini’s availability to me was to the maximum.”

On the possible future dS

“Have I singled one out? No, but I’ve already understood who will substitute me, that is, the new director general, in Galliani syle. I have too many commitments and I have a desire to stand aside. There will be no need for a new dS and I’ve already confirmed Mangia. A new dS doesn’t help, but rather, a substitute for me, because I can’t be the president every 15 days. Does my substitute actually work at Siena [ed. note. a reference to Perinetti, the dS at Siena]? I don’t know.”

On the importance of the dS role

“Last year, a buffer between me and Rossi was necessary. With Mangia, I have a great dialogue and he even expressed his thought on how he wants to organize the team. Mangia must be convinced of his ideas because I’m not the one to want to make the team. I only want to have a dialogue with my collaborators. After many years in calcio, I think I understand calcio more than many other sporting directors and I want a relationship based on discussion. I told Mangia that the error of many coaches is to want to win a match with their invention, for example, what Mazzarri did yesterday. The coaches make mistakes at times by being arrogant and I invited Mangia to have the same humility he had in the first week of the season when he came from the Primavera. With these pretenses, he can become a great coach.”

On the desire to continue

“I’m very tired, but not of Palermo. I’m tired of the world of calcio. In modern calcio, you need a [permanent] presence, there can’t be presidents around once in a while. I asked my son to take over my post, but he didn’t want to. I repeat, a figure that can be more present than as much as I can be is what is needed.”

On the fans

“Ours is a strong team for the city of Palermo. In January, Vazquez will arrive and with him will be another two forwards that we’ve optioned, of which I won’t reveal the names. Since I’ve been at Palermo, I’ve only invested. I accept the criticisms but not negative opinions. The fans are those that I meet in the street and not those that circulate certain rumors. The team has won four matches at home and I’m sure they will win five away from home. In this first part of the season, we’ve faced important teams away like Udinese, Roma and Milan. The Friuliani are very strong because they have a great technical coach like Guidolin. He’s the true champion of Udinese. Mangia has the possibility to become like him. Palermo is a laboratory, just like Juve had been in the past few years. I uphold the point of salvation to stimulate the lads and I believe that our team is organically stronger than Udinese when you consider the quality of the second line at Mangia’s disposal.”

On Mangia

“He was with the Primavera and Sogliano knew him well, therefore he advised me when I needed to substitute Pioli. The autonomy requested by Sogliano? All autonomies, dictated by the wrong reasons, lead to bad choices. He thought he was still at Varese and obviously it wasn’t that way. Braida, for example, can’t do whatever he wants, but he always confronts Galliani. Saturday evening, before the match with Udinese, we ate together and he told me nothing about the tactical change of the team. I came to know it only a half hour before the match. When one comes to Palermo, he needs to know that he isn’t alone, but there’s a president, Maurizio Zamparini. Regarding Mangia, we’ll call the Lega to ask for an exception as it relates to Mangia and his coaching course to make sure that our technician can fully extend his work.”

On the tactical project

“It will be Mangia to decide the tactical project of the team. Reja at Lazio changed his footballing creed based on the players at his disposal. Guidolin, at Udinese last year, after adapting the module to the players, began to get results. Mangia told me he will adapt his footballing creed to the players he has at his disposal. Palermo had been constructed for the ideas of Pioli. Mangia played at Varese with the 4-4-2 and not knowing the players at the beginning, opted for this solution. I never told Rossi to play with the three man defense. Against Napoli last season, it was said that we lost because of my idea to play with three at the back, when, instead, the principle error was made by Rossi with that change of Pinilla in the final moments.”

On Iličić

“I refused €15 million for Iličić in June by a Russian club. Like all players that have quality, they must be supported psychologically. If a player doesn’t play or isn’t considered properly, obviously it strikes them. I never have needed to impose his utilization, but I’ve always said that a player like Iličić would make the difference in all the teams in Serie A. We, then, don’t have many players that can give us a step up in quality. Also, this year we have a workmen-like midfield. We’ve talked about this aspect with the coach and the head of the scouting department. In January, Vazquez will arrive, who isn’t a Pastore but has the same quality as Ricky Alvarez at Inter. It isn’t easy to find quality midfielders: Juve had to focus on Pirlo, Siena rediscovered D’Agostino. I have excellent players, but not all of them enable us with a step in quality, also because there aren’t that many around. We are working for next year, not to reinforce in January. It’s the road we’ve always followed. If Palermo didn’t sell anyone, with the money available, the season would be notably reduced [in terms of where they finish].”

On Bologna & miscellaneous matters

“I’m never calm, otherwise I’d watch all the matches. Mangia, however, gave me a bit of tranquility. And now we play at home, while, in general, the problems we have are when we play away from home.”

“My fatigue is due to the situation of our country. Given the situation and needs of my business outside of calcio, I don’t have the desire anymore to occupy myself with this sport. I, too, get tired of seeing the same president after ten years.”

“Cassano always gave me himself and would’ve willingly came to Palermo and I would’ve signed him. We were definitely going to agree. I was pleased to read today that his problem isn’t as serious as it seemed and I’m happy of the affection he’s received in these past few days. He’ll still have his ‘cassanate’ but he’s a true and authentic person.”

7 thoughts on “Zamparini Explains It All

  1. Tip of the hat to you Lorenzo! Never a dull moment at Palermo.
    Hopefully the players react well against Bologna, because there is nothing like three points to make our worries go away. FORZA PALERMO!!!

  2. Don’t know whether to believe the 15 million euros for Illicic or not. Zamp has threatened to give up the presidency many times and I usually just ignore these kinds of comments – but there does seem to be something more genuine this time – we’ll see. For now it seems like Mangia is safe in the rosanero “laboratory”. Let’s see what he can cook up for Bologna on Saturday. FORZA PALERMO!

  3. Interesting that Zamparini’s son turned down the offer to take up Presidency.
    Just like Murtaugh, I think that indeed Maurizio is getting to old for this shit! Dealing with Lega Calcio bureaucracy can’t be too good for the health of an aging President.
    Also, notice how talk of the Saudi Sheikh has pretty much disappeared.

    • The talk of the Saudi Sheikh has disappeared because some of Palermo’s stocks have been seized by police, thus Zamparini can’t sell none of them…

  4. “The Friuliani are very strong because they have a great technical coach like Guidolin. He’s the true champion of Udinese”

    Later, he goes on to say that our team is stronger than theirs…when I say watch out for Guido coming back, I’m being only half-facetious ragazzi

  5. Anthony: I was starting to agree with you when I heard about tonight’s news conf. (fri) In it, Zamp compares Mangia to Napoleon ! Actually (Benny or Zo can correct me) he compares part of Mangia’s character/personality to that of Napoleon. In any event, I always see this kind of public praise as like a kiss of death. Still you can’t help wonder when/where Mangia’s ‘Waterloo’ will come ? Not after we win tomorrow for sure – Forza Palermo sempre

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