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How did Beppe Sannino welcome new signings in Italy? By making them tell him to **** off
Updated 10:34am Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Sport
Beppe Sannino describes Sir Alex Ferguson as his role model but it's fair to assume that - unlike the new Watford boss - the Manchester United legend did not encourage new signings to tell him to **** off.
Italian journalist Paolo Tomaselli has written an extensive profile on Sannino which is being used to help promote the book Tales from the Vicarage volume two.
Part of Tomaselli's profile says: Sannino builds a bulletproof bond with his players: when a new one arrives, Sannino asks to be greeted with a "Vaffanculo!" - "**** you!" - to immediately break down a barrier between them and relax into the environment.
It's not fag-packet psychology, although the technique may seem a touch primitive. At Coverciano, the Italian national academy for aspiring coaches, Sannino graduated having written his thesis on "the coach-player relationship".
So he's done his homework. And what he calls the "therapeutic insult" is an important prong to his method. In Sannino's view, depending on the day, the situation and the player in front of him, a coach must fulfil the role of father, brother or friend. Because, as he'll discover, there's a world of difference between Serie C2 and Serie A.
"I give my players everything and I want them to reciprocate. We are two different sources of energy which complete each other: if there's distance between the master and the pupil, you won't get anywhere. We might go for a drink together off the field, but on the pitch I don't care who you are and I say exactly what I think. My great strength is that I'm genuine, true to myself; if you're playing a role, you get nowhere. The most important thing is to be positive and proactive.
"In life there's good and bad and the only thing that you should ever be afraid of is ill-health. I worked in a hospital for ten years: I saw people die, I saw what suffering was. We're lucky, we really shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves."
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