Empoli have decided to ax Giuseppe Iachini and put Aurelio Andreazzoli back in charge following the tough loss to Roma on Monday night and few days before a pivotal clash with Frosinone. The Azzurri were unlucky in the Olimpico bout, but they have won just once in the last 12 games and find themselves with just a one-point advantage over the 18th-placed Bologna.
Andreazzoli led the team to the promotion from Serie B last season, but was sacked after picking up just one victory and six total points in the first 11 matches. The Tuscan side turned to the relegation race specialist at the beginning of November and he provided an immediate spark by winning three of the first four matches, but then they fell into a prolonged slump that ultimately led to today’s firing.
There is a stark difference between the approach of the two coaches, as Iachini uses a sturdy 3-5-2, while Andreazzoli prefers a free-flowing and aesthetically pleasing 4-3-1-2. Once the first one stopped working, and they conceded in all but one fixture under Iachini’s tutelage, they opted to go back to the way that was successful a year ago.
They no longer have Miha Zajc on the roster, who was their featured guy in the hole but was sold to Fenerbahce for a good buck in January. However, they can use Rade Krunic as no.10, deploying both Afriyie Acquah and Hamed Traorè in the midfield, or marshal the rarely used Salih Ucan, who has shown some intriguing flashes but has never seen consistent playing time thus far. Domenico Maietta could resurface with a four-man back-line in lieu of Cristiano Dell’Orco and Frederic Veseli. Iachini was a big proponent of Antonino La Gumina, but he has struggled with injuries during his tenure and recently suffered a significant knee problem, so they will move forward with Diego Farias and Dimitri Oberlin as main partners for the team’s leading scorer Francesco Caputo.
Iachini commented the club’s decision to TuttoMercato Web: “When I was hired, we would have gone down, now we would be safe. I remain certain that we would have avoided the drop, the squad was lively. We have conceded a little too much, but we have scored more too. Caputo is breaking his seasonal record. We could have benefitted from the head-to-head clashes. However, I do not want to raise any polemic: I thank everybody because I had a good time here. Sometimes it happens in football. I thank the players for their effort and dedication.”
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