Vincenzo Montella made his debut as Sampdoria’s head coach this past Sunday. The Blucerchiati joined Udinese in a clash but unfortunately, Montella was forced to watch as his team suffered a 1 to 0 defeat. Udinese hosted Sampdoria at their home ground, Stadio Friuli. After the game ended, Montella attributed the defeat to his team’s lack of confidence.
It was Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Udinese’s midfielder, who netted the first and only goal of the entire match. The Ghanaian scored in the 34th minute, after striker Cyril Thereau’s knock-down presented him with the opportunity to shoot for the goal. Agyemang-Badu assisted Udinese’s lift to a higher position at the Serie A standings table. The team was just outside the bottom three, but now has moved to the 15th position with a total of 15 points.
Things got from bad to worse for the away-side, as Sampdoria’s defender, Ervin Zukanović, was shown the red card in the last few minutes of the game. Sampdoria failed in their attempts to score an equaliser.
Montella was officially appointed as the team’s coach about a week ago, after former coach, Walter Zenga was dismissed from the position. Despite the bad start, Montella is far from being discouraged. The coach is not as disappointed with Sampdoria’s poor performance as expected, and believes his team has enough potential to compensate for the defeat.
Montella’s opinion is that his team had some control over the game, but the great affection he harboured for Sampdoria, prevented him from making the right decisions.
Nevertheless, Montella commented some improvements need to be made. For instance, the coach believes the team should have made a better use of the three chances for a goal, they were presented with. In his opinion, overall Udinese did not outperform Sampdoria. “[They] didn’t do any more than what we did,” commented Montella.
He attempted to partially justify himself by affirming he had carefully weighed up all of his decisions. However, the coach is under the impression his team would have performed much better, if the players were more confident and believed in themselves.
Montella used to coach another major Serie A team, namely Fiorentina. However, in June he was dismissed from the position, as Fiorentina finished forth in Serie A. Many blamed Montella’s bad decisions for the team’s lower position.
The coach himself insists he left, because was looking for another challenge. In his own words, pushing Sampdoria to the top of the Serie A standings table would be difficult, but by no means impossible. A former football player himself, Montella revealed Sampdoria are currently working on improving the problematic aspects of their play. He concluded by saying such challenges further add to the excitement of coaching the team.