Last Tuesday, Sassuolo and Giuseppe Iachini mutually agreed to part ways, citing that there no longer were the conditions to continue their working relationship. According to the rumours, the coach was irked by the fact that the club took plenty of time before deciding whether to stick with him or not. Today, the Neroverdi announced that Roberto De Zerbi has signed a two-year contract.
Iachini was appointed at the end of November, replacing Cristian Bucchi after a disappointing start, which had put them firmly among the teams battling against relegation. There has been a shake-up in the front office as well: the technical director Guido Angelozzi has left to join Spezia, leaving president Carlo Rossi and general manager Giovanni Carnevali as the main executives. The former Udinese and Palermo manager notched eight wins, eight draws and eight losses. A late push allowed them to finish in 11th position after navigating in the slums of the table for most of the year. He found some success relying on 3-5-2 and a light attack composed by Domenico Berardi and especially Matteo Politano.
De Zerbi is coming off a positive stint with Benevento, despite the relegation. He took over from Marco Baroni in late October and led the Sanniti to their first victory in Serie A. He closed with six wins, three ties and 20 losses, but drew some praise for his daring style despite a desperate situation. His only other experience in the top league, at Palermo, went sideways as well, due also to some particular environmental situations, but he is considered an up-and-comer, also for his work at Foggia in Lega Pro.
With this move, the Emiliani hope to return to some of elements of the acclaimed Eusebio Di Francesco era, signalling a switch from a conservative approach to a more exciting one. De Zerbi used mostly 4-3-3 in Campania, but also 3-4-2-1 and 4-4-2 from time to time. The Sassuolo roster is likely to be in flux this summer and some of their best players, including the defensive leader Francesco Acerbi, could be lured away by bigger clubs.
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