domenica 1 aprile 2012

Not all on him

The nightmare became reality. There was always a feeling in the air that for Gamba Osaka would have been hard to adapt to life without former manager Akira Nishino. But things are gone more badly. Last week's 2-1 defeat to Jubilo Iwata leaded president Kikuo Kanamori to sack Nishino's successor, Jose Carlos Serrao. A former Gamba player for 13 seasons and an assistant coach since 2010, Masanobu Matsunami relieved Serrao to write a 1-1 draw with Albirex Niigata in his first game in charge of Gamba. The team failed to adapt to journeyman Serrao style of football. But it's not all Serrao's fault. Bad things started last season when rumors emerged that Gamba would not renew Nishino's contract. After the decision to part the ways with Nisinho, Gamba tried to sign former striker Wagner Lopes, just to discover that the Brazilian had not license to coach in the J. League. The problem was that the head coach never had the needed support from the ownership. The choice of Masanobu Matsunami represents the tentative to make fans quiet after the initial turmoil, being Matsunami a former team's star with no great coaching experience. Serrao has been under pressure to balance his tactics during his brief stint with the team but he also had a roster depleted after the losses of veterans Satoshi Yamaguchi and Hideo Hashimoto and of Lee Keun-Ho, Gamba's top scorer last term.

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