Sampdoria have achieved great things under Del Neri, they were able to claim fourth spot and qualify for the qualifying rounds of the Champions League next season. Not only this, but they were competing heavily with Inter Milan for the scudetto at the beginning of the season. Now Del Neri is gone, and two names were being thrown around on who would lead them next season, Sinisa Mihajlovic, and Domenico Di Carlo (or Mimmo Di Carlo), it seems that the club has chosen Di Carlo to guide them into the Champions League.
No official announcements have been made by the clubs or thee manager, but it seems imminent that the Chievoverona manager will go to Sampdoria for next season. While at first many will think that this is a step down for Sampdoria, I think it’s a relatively smart decision considering who is out there, and what Mimmo has achieved. But let me say it know, it’s a shame that Sampdoria weren’t able to keep Del Neri, he left them for Juventus some time ago, leaving a club with Champions League football for one in ruins. Del Neri is an organized and skilled manager who could’ve done great things in the Champions League with Sampdoria, and if you’re interested in his departure from Sampdoria here’s an article about Del Neri joining Juventus.
In his first year in the Serie A, Di Carlo was able to guide newly-promoted Chievo up to 16th place, keeping the club in the top tier of Italian football. That 2008-2009 season was just the beginning as Di Carlo had big plans on where to take the club next season. And so this past season Chievo arrived 14th, two places higher and with much more solidity in the team’s play and style. It’s also important to note that Di Carlo has never had much to spend, and has achieved quite a bit with a team of rather old and aging players. So what could he achieve at Sampdoria with the likes of Cassano, Pazzini, Palombo and more? If he can strengthen the squad in the summer, keep important players, and then organize the team well, Sampdoria could make a dent in the Champions League and maybe the Serie A.
The Italian market for managers has become slightly smaller, we don’t see the big names floating around anymore like Mancini or Zenga, instead they’ve moved abroad to bigger clubs like Manchester City and Al-Nasr (ok, maybe not Al-Nasr). So for Sampdoria to find a manager like Domenico Di Carlo, I think it is a great success, and I expect next season’s Samporia to be organized and no weaker than this season’s.