Cagliari and Torino hire new coaches

The short pause in-between seasons and the strong performances by most of the coaches limited the numbers of changes on the benches among the mid-table to just two so far, as Cagliari and Torino switched right after the season finale, while Genoa are rumoured to be doing the same later on, when their preferred candidate will have finished off his duties.

The Sardinians did not confirm Walter Zenga, letting his short-term contract expire. The ex-Inter goalie was brought in right before the shutdown to interrupt an extended slide at the tail-end of the Rolando Maran era, but did not have much success besides an initial bump. The Rossoblù went with Eusebio Di Francesco, who flopped at Sampdoria and was let go after just seven matches, following an up-and-down two-year stint at Roma. He previously worked wonders at Sassuolo and elevated them to current level from Serie B.

Di Francesco already announced he will implement 4-3-3, even though they are pretty short on wingers, and suggested Joao Pedro will play on the left flank. Gaston Pereiro and Kiril Despodov, who was on loan at Sturm Graz in the past season, are expected to have bigger roles, while Leonardo Pavoletti will be at their full disposal after two ACL tears and compete with Giovanni Simeone. However, they could lose two centre-pieces of the 2019/2020 campaign as Radja Nainggolan and Luca Pellegrini were on loan.

Torino did not stick with Moreno Longo, who was pretty clearly a caretaker manager after the sacking of Walter Mazzarri and, despite landing the plane, did not show enough to keep the job. They took a completely different direction as they appointed Marco Giampaolo, who struggled at Milan in his first shot in a big club, but produced good football at Empoli and then at Sampdoria in the last five years, always finishing in the top ten.

Giampaolo adopts a diamond formation and preaches ball possession, a whole new path compared to the gritty three-man defence-based tactics utilized by Mazzarri and Longo. The front office will inevitably have to improve the midfield, which lacks playmakers and technical players. Giampaolo reportedly plans to adapt Simone Verdi to the pivotal role of no.10 and pair Andrea Belotti with another pure striker, as he and Simone Zaza worked out well in the final stretch of the past season. His schemes helped Fabio Quagliarella become capocannoniere in 2018/19.

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