MILAN: Torino's Walter Mazzarri became the 10th manager in Serie A to lose his job this season on Tuesday, with the side sliding down the league table after shipping 17 goals in their last four games alone.
The gruff former Inter Milan, Napoli and Watford coach, who had been in charge for just over two years, is replaced by Moreno Longo, a former Torino player and youth team coach, the club said.
Torino's indifferent season took a sharp turn for the worse when they lost successive league games 7-0 at home to Atalanta and 4-0 at lowly Lecce with a 4-2 Coppa Italia loss to AC Milan sandwiched in between.
The 58-year-old Mazzarri, who has been sent off around 20 times in his career and is known as one of Italy's angriest coaches on the touchline, led the side to seventh place last season, despite a health scare when he was ordered to rest for several days.
However, instead of progressing, Torino, who haven't won the Serie A title since 1976, have taken a step back this term and Mazzarri, who has a degree in psychology and sociology, has been unable to turn the situation around.
"President Urbano Cairo and coach Walter Mazzarri, after a thorough analysis of the current situation, have decided to end their professional relationship," the club said in a statement http://torinofc.it/en/news/04/02/2020/torino-and-mazzarri-part-ways_23704.
"The club wishes to thank the coach and all of his staff for the commitment, fairness, and professionalism shown in these last two years."
Longo began his professional career at Torino after being raised at the club, for whom he made 31 appearances. He went on to play for several lower-tier teams in a career punctuated by injury.
As a coach, he was in charge of Torino's youth team for four seasons and led Frosinone out of Serie B in 2017-18, although he was sacked after four months of the following campaign in Serie A, his only top-flight coaching experience.
"It was an offer I couldn't refuse," Longo told reporters.
"We need to approach things with self-esteem, starting from this season's training. We need to ditch the pessimistic attitudes and condition the players mentally so they produce what they are capable of."
The other coaching changes in the 20-team league this season have been at Sampdoria, AC Milan, Napoli, Udinese, Fiorentina and twice each at Brescia and Genoa.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Brian Homewood; Editing by Hugh Lawson)