After a dismal finish that brought them to the brink of relegation, Genoa have decided to move on from Cesare Prandelli, who took over midseason, and hired Empoli’s coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, the one they sent to Serie B thank to a better head-to-head record.
The former Italy coach had an okay start in December after replacing Milan Juric, losing just a pair of times in the first two months, but then his side plunged into a long crisis and failed to win from the start of April on. Few ties down the stretch proved to be just enough to avoid going down. He had a year left on his contract.
Andreazzoli penned a deal till 2021. He has been Luciano Spalletti’s assistant for more than a decade, first at Udinese and then at Roma, staying with the Giallorossi also under Luis Enrique, Zdenek Zeman and Rudi Garcia and serving as caretaker manager in 2013.
Empoli gave him the keys in 2017 and he immediately led them to the promotion with the contribution of his fizzy phylosophy. Last year did not start particularly well for him and Empoli, as he was sacked in November after winning just one of the first eleven games, but he was recalled in March and went on a run in May with three massive victories a row, only to come just short also due to a heartbreaking loss to Inter in the final game.
Either way, Genoa saw enough to give him another shot in the top league after a season where they changed coach three times, from Davide Ballardini to Juric and finally Prandelli, and actually just the first one had satisfactory results, but he was quite inexplicably dismissed due poor defending.
The Griffon lacked a true identity after they sold Krzysztof Piatek to Milan in January and Andreazzoli will help a lot there, as the Azzurri, despite some problems in the back, always tried to be proactive and excelled when having room to counter. Such tactic would bode well if they kept Christian Kouame, who performed strongly next to the Polish striker but then struggled in the second half.
Andreazzoli opened the season with a 4-3-1-2 and closed it with a 3-5-2 that was built under Iachini and was a better fit after the January transfer market session, so he can be flexible tactically. The Rossoblù did not have many bright spots last year other than Domenico Criscito, who was solid and showed great charisma, and young centre-back Cristian Romero, therefore they are likely to overhaul the roster in the summer to accomodate the new coach’s beliefs.
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