After a very rough start, Chievo have decided to sack coach Lorenzo D’Anna and hire Gian Piero Ventura, who agreed to a two-year contract. A club legend, D’Anna was promoted from the youth team with three games to go last season, when the team was in hot waters and Rolando Maran was fired. The Flying Donkeys won all the remaining fixtures, securing the Serie A stay, however they have struggled mightily so far this season.
They have lost six out of eight matches, drawing in the other two. By virtue of the penalization stemming from the false profit case with Cesena, they are at -1 in the standings. They are coming off four straight defeats, against Milan, Torino, Genoa and Udinese, where they scored just once. They had their best showings against Juventus in the opening match, where they were pipped at the post, and versus Roma at the Olimpico Stadium, where they came back from a two-goal disadvantage.
Before the infamous debacle in the World Cup play-offs against Sweden while leading Italy, Ventura coached for over 25 years at a club level. He had his best results in Serie A at Bari in 2009/2010, when he finished tenth, and in the most recent five-year run with Torino, where he concluded in 7th and in 9th position in back-to-back seasons. Previously, he had managed also at Pisa, Verona, Napoli, Cagliari, Udinese and Sampdoria, Lecce and Venezia, mostly in the lower leagues.
Ventura generally counts on two schemes: a high-flying 4-4-2, which drew widespread praise with the Gallettini and the Granata, or a more conservative 3-5-2. Chievo have been using 4-3-2-1 with Valter Birsa and Emanuele Giaccherini supporting Mariusz Stepinski. The two can operate as wingers, even though they are not particularly speedy at this point in their careers, but the squad would have very little depth, with only Fabio Depaoli and Mehdi Leris as possible back-ups on the flanks. They can deploy Filip Djordjevic, Sergio Pellissier, Riccardo Meggiorini or Manuel Pucciarelli as second strikers.
They have the men to use a three-man defence thanks to the summer additions of Federico Barba and Luca Rossettini, but they would have to find a solution for the left flank, as D’Anna was reluctant in giving playing time to their only pure wingback, Pawel Jaroszynski. The Gialloblù so far have not been able to compensate for the massive departures of Roberto Inglese and Lucas Stepinski, since Stepinski disappeared after a good start and Filip Djordjevic and Joel Obi have been in and out of the squad list due to injuries.
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