Marco Giampaolo’s Sampdoria presently stand 10th in the Scudetto via registering 33 points from 24 Serie A games in the current campaign. The Genoa-based club, who have finished 10th place in Serie A in the last two consecutive seasons (2016/2017 and 2017/2018), have won one game from their previous six Serie A fixtures, whilst also scoring nine and conceding 11 during Il Doria’s relatively patchy stretch which witnessed Sampdoria dropping 14 points from a maximum of eighteen.
Meanwhile, I Blucerchiati have scored 40 goals and conceded 32 at the opposite end in the Scudetto this term, coupled alongside registering nine wins, six draws and losing on nine occasions in Serie A in 2018/2019 under Giampaolo. However, Sampdoria are currently five points apart from seventh place Lazio, who currently have 38 points with 11 wins, five draws and eight losses under the managerial guidance of Simone Inzaghi.
La Samp, who most recently signed Manolo Gabbiadini from English Premier League club Southampton for €12M, has aptly provided support for evergreen 36-year-old forward and club captain, Fabio Quagliarella, who has scored 16 goals in the Scudetto this season. Quagliarella, who scored 19 goals in the Scudetto last season, remains in equally rich form in 2018/2019 as the former Italy international forward aims to inspire Sampdoria with positive results in the second half of the current Serie A season.
Meanwhile, Sampdoria’s next seven Serie A fixtures are against: Cagliari (February 24), S.P.A.L (March 3), Atalanta (March 10), Sassuolo (March 16), AC Milan (March 31), Torino (April 3) and AS Roma (April 7).
Before Sampdoria’s forthcoming Scudetto encounter at home against Cagliari inside the Stadio Luigi Ferraris this Sunday, FOX Sports Radio 96.9 FM/1340 AM’s Dean Perretta briefly caught up with Sampdoria and Poland midfielder, Karol Linetty, to discuss I Blucerchiati’s ambitions for the second half of the Scudetto season, coupled alongside the talented Poland international midfielder’s views on Poland’s Euro 2020 qualification group, as well as touching on the next generation of talented young Polish players to inspire the nation to qualify for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Dean Perretta: Karol, what are the primary objectives and goals for Sampdoria in the second half of the Scudetto season?
Karol Linetty: The target is to keep improving, from a personal perspective, and to do as well as possible with Sampdoria. I know they might sound like platitudes but that’s the way it is; I want to deliver better numbers and improve the level of my performance. We’re fighting for a place in Europe next year – we want to reach the Europa League, together. We will give everything to do that, until the very end, that’s for certain.
Dean Perretta: How would you describe the philosophy and tactical acumen of Marco Giampaolo from a player’s perspective?
Karol Linetty: He (Marco Giampaolo) is a workaholic and a maniac for details – I mean that in a positive way, of course. We go into all the little details during the week, and it pays off during matches. We’ve got a playing style with a clear system, based on good possession and control of the ball. If someone sees Sampdoria play, they recognize us right away, and not just because of our shirt. Our coach (Giampaolo) does very good work and knows how to help talented youngsters develop, as he’s shown over the years.
Dean Perretta: How would you describe the confidence levels and atmosphere within the Sampdoria training camp at this moment in the season?
Karol Linetty: We’ve had three losses on the bounce, each of which was different in nature. We played very well in Milan but did not get the points we deserved. Sometimes you don’t get the result you merit, but we’ve been working very hard and we’ll keep doing so until the end of the season. There’s still a long way to go and we shouldn’t let ourselves get bogged down – we need to stay positive. We’re only three points worse off than at the same stage of the previous round of fixtures, at the end of which we ranked sixth in the table. We need to remain confident in the ability we have and what we’ve achieved, then results will come.Dean Perretta: What are your thoughts on Poland’s Euro 2020 qualifying group?
Karol Linetty: We’re the top-seeded team in (Euro 2020 qualifying) Group G, but that should not lead us to think it’ll be easy to qualify. There are six teams in there, so it’s one of the largest groups. We’ll need to be fully focused and try to avoid any slip-ups. We want to bounce back after the Nations League, so this is clearly a good opportunity to do that. There are good-quality opponents in there and no teams should be underestimated – that would be a big mistake. All I know is that we want to qualify, whoever our opponents are.
Dean Perretta: Lastly, can you talk about Poland’s long-term aims, notably qualifying for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the current and next generation of Polish players which are emerging into the national team?
Karol Linetty: Qatar is a distant objective, but it would be nice to see Poland at the World Cup again. The last time we qualified for two straight World Cups was 2002 and 2006. I’d love to be involved again with the national team and perhaps improve on what we did in Russia. There are lots of talented Polish players currently, particularly in Italy. There are lots of guys who have shown what they can do in Serie A and that could be a big boost for the future of the national side.