Gennaro Gattuso has not arrived without fanfare to Valencia. An iconic midfielder for Milan, Gattuso’s managerial career has been rockier than he would’ve liked, but in Valencia has the chance to make a name for himself.
He does not come into a healthy club. Valencia have been on a slide since Marcelino Garcia Toral left in 2019 and are in a cycle of selling their best players, which will probably be the case once more. Although it seems improbable, propelling Valencia back into a European competition would put Gattuso‘s own career back on track.
“I would like to work with players that have failed, with a profile almost of a loser, I like that profile, players that think that Valencia truly believes in them and that arrive with desire.”
It’s an interesting idea. The quote will likely draw a few chuckles from rival fans but it does say something about the culture that Gattuso wants to impart on Los Che. Something which was backed up by further statements.
“We have spoken about our way of seeing the team, from playing out, of schemes, of tactical aspects, but above all what we want are players that have desire, with fire inside them, that want to win. Players that think that playing for Valencia is like playing at Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
Although previous manager Jose Bordalas managed to tap into the fanbase and players during their run to the Copa del Rey final, there has been a growing apathy during their league campaigns. Perhaps that is what Gattuso is trying to address.