The appointment of Roberto Donadoni as the head coach of Parma has closed a circle. The former Italy tactician had been out of work since August, when Cagliari made him the first of many managerial casualties this season: so many you could almost assemble an XI from those who have been dismissed in a Serie A campaign not even at its halfway stage.
Donadoni was out of a job at Cagliari before a ball had been kicked in anger. Ditto Stefano Pioli parted company with Palermo, who by December had added Devis Mangia to a list that takes in Gian Piero Gasperini (Inter Milan), Pier Paolo Bisoli (Bologna), Marco Giampaolo (Cesena), Sinisa Mihajlovic (Fiorentina), Massimo Ficcadenti (Cagliari, again), Eusebio Di Francesco (Lecce) and the man Donadoni replaced at Parma, Franco Colomba.
Colomba's last match had been the 5-0 loss to Inter which left them 15th, but still seven points clear of the relegation zone. Which begs the question: How urgent was the division's 11th managerial change in five months?
Patience with coaches is not an Italian speciality. Ask Claudio Ranieri, who not so long ago revived his career by rescuing a Parma side genuinely threatened with the drop. He did the same with Roma and very nearly won the title. He restored Juventus's status after their term in Serie B.
Ranieri is now propelling Inter back into the title race yet he is still regarded as a quick-fix coach. He is not unique for that. Long-term projects in Serie A too often exclude the dispensable coach.