The third stint of Ivan Juric on Genoa’s bench is over as the club elected to move on and hired former Fiorentina and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. In the seven games at the helm after taking over from Davide Ballardini, the Croatian manager picked up three draws, against Juventus, Udinese and Sampdoria, and four losses, versus Milan, Inter, Napoli and Torino.
The elimination on penalty kicks against Serie C team Virtus Entella in Coppa Italia did him in, alongside the uninspiring brand of football his team has been playing, some locker room tension and the fact that he has not been able to solve the defensive issues like he was supposed to when he was chosen.
Cesare Prandelli has been a pariah for Serie A teams after the disastrous 2014 World Cup, where the Azzurri did not make it past the group stage. He has then had some short stints at Galatasaray, Valencia and Al-Nars, without garnering much success and actually being fired in all three occasions. In his long career in Italy before getting the national team job, his best results were two fourth places with La Viola and two fifth ones with Parma.
Genoa president Enrico Preziosi explained his reasoning: “I talked with Juric after yesterday’s game, he thanked me and understood the decision. He was unlucky and made some mistakes. We could not go on. I erred in recalling him, but I was convinced he could do well this time. Prandelli will fix things, I believe we will finish in the top 10. We will intervene in the January window to add some reinforcements, we are already following some players. I do not give up, it is a tough moment but it will pass. I will sell the team only when I will find some serious buyers that promise me to maintain it at a high level. That has not happened yet, even though there was some interest.”
Genoa has been using 3-5-2 so far this season, while the new coach is more accustomed to a four-man line, so a switch could be in the cards. The two-man attack formed by Krzysztof Piatek and Christian Kouame has been a bright spot and that is unlikely to change. He has coached Koray Gunter at Galatasaray and called up Romulo in the national team, so the former could get some more playing time, while the latter will continue to have a featured role. His versatility also gives Prandelli several tactical options. The coach had a squabble with Domenico Criscito in 2014 after excluding him from the World Cup squad list, but he apologized later and the ex Zenit man is a pillar of the Grifone and so it should not constitute a big issue.
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