It’s no surprise that Gennaro Gattuso knows how to organise a defence. A snarling, ankle-biting midfield destroyer raised in the homeland of Catenaccio, you would hardly expect the 2006 World Cup winner to be averse to pragmatism.
Therefore, it’s little surprise that the fourth club in Gattuso’s managerial career, Pisa, can boast the best defensive record in Serie B this season. Yet, it’s nothing short of remarkable when you consider that the Tuscan-based club have been relegated from the Italian second tier – despite conceding three fewer goals than the league leaders.
Pisa were breached just 33 times in 40 Serie B games this season. Therefore, it doesn’t take a genius, or a well-paid coach, to work out that their problems have been at the other end. Indeed, Pisa netted a snoozing 14 goals in 40 games, emphasised by ten barren stalemates.
Therefore, Rangers fan can be forgiven for wiping the sweat from their brow. When Mark Warburton exited Ibrox in February, it seemed every former player with his coaching badges was linked with a return to the Glasgow giants.
Not that Gattuso would turn down the chance to coach the club he represented 51 times between 1997 and 1999.
“I would be interested in the vacancy,” Gattuso told The Guardian in 2015, shortly after being overlooked by Hamilton in favour of Martin Canning.
“I know the club has big problems at this moment but Rangers is still a big club with a big story behind it. For me it would be a big honour to manage this club and a big opportunity.”
And while Pedro Caixinha is yet to convince the majority that he can take Rangers forward, at least the supporters can take solace in knowing the Portuguese’s commitment to attacking football will at least guarantee entertainment.
Gattuso’s achievements in Pisa make the Leaning Tower look positively standard.