After all, the fight between Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini and his captain Papu Gómez in the dressing room seems to have more far-reaching implications. Gómez now addressed the Atalanta fans on Instagram after Bergamaschi revealed last week that it was a conflict “like in all families” and it was subsequently confirmed that the head coach would soon extend his contract until 2023, or remain at least until the end of the season. In doing so, he indicated that the Champions League round of 16 participants would want to withdraw.
In his Instagram post, the attacking midfielder wrote, “Dear Atalanta fans, I am writing to you here because I have no other way of defending myself and talking to you. I just wanted to let you know that when I quit, you will know the truth. You’re acquainted with me and the guy that I am. I do love you guys.”
The problem was caused by the match against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League (1-1) on December 1. Gasperini had told the Argentine at halftime to switch from his central attacking midfield role to the right-wing. Gómez refused and was later substituted for Josip Ilicic, who also sided with his social media teammate. In the following league match against Udinese, which was postponed due to weather conditions, the Nerazzurri’s squad missed both offensive players.
While Gómez was back on the pitch in the decisive 1-0 Champions League victory at Ajax, he was on the bench for 90 minutes in the weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina. For the crucial match in Amsterdam, according to Sky Italia, a “truce” was negotiated, but the split between Gómez, whose contract still runs until 2022, and Gasperini was irrevocable.
With the intense timetable, Gasperini justified his decision to leave the playmaker out We had nine league matches and six in the Champions League. In these games, Papu played the most. We conceded fewer objectives with this formula and were more effective in the game.