The Top 5 Managers Heading Into the 2019-2020 Serie A Season

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If there’s anything that’ll improve in this upcoming Serie A campaign, it will be the quality of the managers. This season will see the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte , and many others battle it out for the coveted Serie A trophy. I can’t wait for it! So, here is what I believe are the top 5 Serie A managers heading into this upcoming season.

5. Maurizio Sarri

Many Juve fans will probably not agree with this. However, us bianconeri fans need to be realistic. Sarri does bring an exciting brand of football to Juventus, as it’s very focused on attacking and pressing the opposition’s defence. However, as a manager he does not beat these other men. He only has won one trophy as a manager and that was last season with Chelsea. He doesn’t seem as though he is good at changing or adjusting his tactics against other clubs. This is why he’s at the bottom of this list.

4. Eusebio Di Francesco

If you told me coming into this off-season that Eusebio Di Francesco would be managing Sampdoria, I would’ve thought you were nuts. With all due respect, he should be managing a club with a better squad. Di Francesco not only shocked the football world and led Roma to a Champions League semifinal, but he also led Sassuolo from Serie B to the Europa League within a couple seasons. He is truly a manager that can get the best out of a group of players. Under him, watch out for Sampdoria, as they could shock many Serie A fans.

3. Paulo Fonseca

Paulo Fonseca is a manager that has not been talked about too much coming into this upcoming season. He has won silverware in both Portugal and Ukraine as a manager. Also, when he was the manager of Shakhtar Donetsk, he led them into being a formidable force in the Champions League. They became difficult to beat for heavyweights in the competition. His counter-attacking style is also very lethal towards opposing players. Paulo Fonseca is one manager to watch for Roma heading into this season.

2. Antonio Conte

Some would argue that Antonio Conte should at the very top of this list. However, either way he is a top manager. He is infamous for being animated on the touchline during matches. But, that must work because he has won three Serie A titles with Juve as well as a league title with Chelsea. He definitely possesses the merit to manage a club such as Inter. Inter may not win the Serie A next season, but Conte will definitely make other clubs work to their fullest extent to beat them. Conte is able to get every ounce out of a club’s squad and I won’t expect any different from him at the helm of Inter.

1. Carlo Ancelotti

The top manager in this list has definitely won his fair share of silverware around Europe. He has been doing it for many years, as well. Carlo Ancelotti has won multiple Champions League trophies as well as having won league titles in 4 different countries. Many managers have a specific style of play they tend to implement. However, Ancelotti is unique because his style of play is based on whichever one suits the squad of players at his disposal. He is able to be successful by implementing various styles, which makes him the top Serie A manager heading into this season. As for Napoli, I’d say they could win the Serie A title, as they recently bought Kostas Manolas and are in the hunt to either buy James Rodriguez or Mauro Icardi. So, I’d say to Juventus to get ready for a tight title race against Ancelotti’s Napoli.

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3 Reasons Why Juventus Has a Good Chance of Winning the Champions League This Season

Juventus beat Atletico Madrid and got through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday, just in case you live under a rock. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo got a hat trick and the whole squad was on point. Heading into this season, I believed that Juve were one of the top 3 favorites to win the Champions League. This belief has become more apparent, at least for me, after Tuesday’s amazing match. I will discuss 3 reasons why I believe Juve’s odds of winning the Champions League has increased ever since yesterday’s match.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Image result for cristiano ronaldo celebration vs atletico madrid marca
Image Credit: https://www.marca.com/en/football/international-football/2019/03/13/5c883ea1ca47417e108b463a.html




I know this is obvious to many fans of footy, but the fact that Juve not only bought CR7 in the summer as well as him having had such a great match on Tuesday, demonstrates that this generational talent gives Juventus a greater chance than ever to win the Champions League this season. Cristiano Ronaldo at 34 years of age is still a defender’s worst nightmare, which helps Juve. Cristiano Ronaldo also possesses the right mentality to win this competition, as he has won it 5 times in his career. Don’t get me wrong, without Ronaldo, the bianconeri (Juventus) still possesses a squad that is very capable of winning the Champions League, but having someone like CR7 at your disposal adds that extra oomph to the squad.

2. Juventus’ Squad Depth

Ronaldo said after the game: 'This is why Juventus signed me'
Image Credit: https://www.skysports.com/football/juventus-vs-a-madrid/403928

Generally, in any winning squad, there is always one player that stands out above the rest. But, in order for that star to be at his/her best they need teammates that can support them. As we have seen in this match and in many others over the past few seasons, Juventus has boasted tremendous squad depth. Even yesterday, both Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa could not play in the match because of injuries. However, Juve has so much squad depth that replacing them with Bernardeschi on the right-wing was no big deal and actually, some would argue that Federico Bernadeschi was Juve’s best player on Tuesday. It’s not just upfront, though. At the left-back position, Leonardo Spinazzola played over their regular starter Alex Sandro and played stellar too. This squad depth, as was shown on Tuesday, will give Juventus a good chance of winning the Champions League this season.

3. Juventus’ Heart and Determination

Maybe, it’s Juve’s manager Massimiliano Allegri or the players themselves, but in the Champions League, this club seems to show heart and determination even if they get eliminated in the competition. It’s like the heart and determination lives in the bloodstreams of players who wear the white and black jersey. We’ve seen countless examples of how this club demonstrates plenty of heart and determination and this season is no different. Juventus seem to be the type of club that can bend easily, but is very difficult to break. This is as a result of the club’s mentality. This will definitely help guide Juventus to winning their first Champions League title since 1996. I am hoping, as are many other fans, that Juventus pulls it off this season. Let’s hope it happens!

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Is It Possible For Roma to Get Back on Track This Season?

So far, Roma has had a very inconsistent season. Whenever the club plays, it’s as if you don’t know what you’re going to get. Roma reminds me of a common saying from a certain someone in a movie we all know. However, it’ll be interesting to see whether Roma can recover from its rollercoaster ride in the first half of their season.

Why Won’t Roma Turn Their Season Around? 

Well, Roma has qualified for the round of 16 in the Champions League, one thing has plagued them this season. That is the club’s defense. Now, I’m not going to sit here and say Roma needs to completely overhaul its backline, but the club needs to improve at the back in order to become more consistent. Roma has a wealth of pace and excitement upfront, but the club can’t rely on scoring more than 1 goal every game to win. Well, Roma plays an exciting attacking game, it will not benefit them if the defense doesn’t improve.

Roma has a very little chance of turning its season around if their main striker, Edin Dzeko, continues to not score. It’s interesting because in the Champions League he has plenty of goals, but in order to help Roma improve its results, Dzeko needs to step up. If Edin Dzeko doesn’t step up, Roma’s path of inconsistency will remain. If anyone is wondering why Dzeko needs to step up, it’s because Roma’s wingers and midfielders keep scoring goals for them, but their main purposes aren’t to score, unless your CR7 or Messi. But, in any case Dzeko needs to score to allow these other players to focus on what they do best or this season will implode for Roma.

Why Roma Will Turn Their Season Around?

Last season at this time, Roma were in a similar position in Italian soccer and ended up qualifying for the Champions League for this season as well as making it all the way to the Champions League semifinals. If there’s anything to gather from last season, it’s that Eusebio Di Francesco is a good manager and will be able to motivate and setup his squad for success in the future. If he can figure out how to improve this defense, it will lead to more consistent results.

Edin Dzeko has only scored two goals in the Serie A season, thus far. But, he only scored that many goals at the beginning of the season. He could only improve from here and that is a good thing for Roma, as they will be battling on three fronts for a while. Many clubs don’t want to imagine how good Roma would be if Dzeko steps up to the plate. Also, considering the amount of goals he has already scored in the Champions League this season, he should be doing some damage in Europe.

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Will Allegri Leave Juventus After This Season Ends? If So, What Would Be His Ideal Destination?

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There has been many rumors swirling around the football world that Juventus’ Current Manager, Massimiliano Allegri, will leave Juventus at the end of the season. However, these rumors have been circulating for a couple of seasons now. As a Juventus fan, I’m pretty content with him staying as their manager.

WILL ALLEGRI ACTUALLY LEAVE JUVENTUS AT THE END OF THE SEASON?

For the past couple of seasons, I have doubted any claims that Massimiliano Allegri is leaving Juventus. I don’t know if that’s because I don’t mind him as being Juve’s manager or not. His trophy count for Juventus definitely helps his case, in my view. However, one competition that Juve has not won in a while is the dreaded Champions League. Whatever the reasons are for that, it will be interesting to see if that trophy will dictate whether Allegri leaves Juve or not. We all know that the Drake curse is the main reason. He shouldn’t have worn Juve’s pink shirt. But, in all seriousness, I believe that if Allegri leaves Juventus at end of this season it will be because he won the Champions League with the club. Other than that, I do not see what is holding him back from leaving Juve, as he has won everything else in Turin. If Juventus wins the Champions League trophy, look for Allegri at the airport in Turin a few days later.

WHICH CLUB WOULD BE IDEAL FOR ALLEGRI, IF HE LEAVES JUVE?

There is still a good possibility that Allegri remains at Juventus until the end of his contract in 2020. But, it is fun to think of which club he would be best suited for, if he were to leave Turin. My answer for this is Real Madrid. I know many people may think that right now Real Madrid is a manager’s graveyard currently, but it would be a perfect fit for Allegri. The main reason that I believe this is because while Real Madrid does not possess CR7 anymore, Allegri would be great at working with the talent that Real Madrid has at their disposal. Allegri is very good at scouting out other club’s weaknesses and getting players to buy in to his tactics for any match. Also, one thing Allegri would bring to Real Madrid is discipline. He has shown at Juventus that no matter who you are, you are no bigger than the club which could work for Real Madrid.

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Most Impressive Player and Club in the First Half of the Serie A Season

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Image Credit: http://www.juventus.fr/actualite/1/12476/LE-CALENDRIER-SERIE-A-2018-2019

This Serie A season has been a roller coaster thus far. I know that fans of other leagues say that this competition isn’t as fun to watch because Juventus wins the Scudetto year after year. However, they are so wrong. There has been a couple players and clubs that have stood out thus far. Although I will choose one of each. So, sit back, relax and enjoy.

MOST IMPRESSIVE CLUB SO FAR : JUVENTUS

If any of you reading this right now, follow my social media pages you’d know that I am a massive Juventus fan. However, as is often the case, I had to be objective. I know, it’s the dreaded 9-letter word when it comes to football fandom.

I must admit that there were two other clubs I was considering for this Calcio Fan Blog award, lol. But Juventus stood out for me. A massive reason in which they stood out in the first half of the season for me was, well, the number 0 in the l column. Indeed, they are undefeated. But, it doesn’t seems as though they’ve hit their full stride yet, which is impressive. The fact that they’ve been accumulating so many good results is amazing, considering how they haven’t looked great all season. That’s why they stood out. They are able to find results, despite the fact that their form isn’t great. If this club remains undefeated the whole season, they will definitely be the club I’m most impressed with at the end of the season. Move along, there is no bias here…………

MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAYER SO FAR: Krysztof Piatek

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During the summer transfer window, Genoa had signed this player named Krysztof Piatek whom many people probably didn’t know of. Fast forward to now and he has 13 goals. Which is mind-boggling! He is one goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo for Serie A’s golden boot.

While, Serie A possesses the talent of CR7, Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala, and many others, no one expected that Piatek would be this good. When Genoa’s scouts picked spotted this player and chose to sign him, they were smart in doing that. He has played amazing so far and is only 23, which makes him even more fascinating. All I will say to Genoa is good luck attempting to keep him, as you’d expect many clubs to come for him in the current January transfer window as well as the Summer one. Piatek is one for the now, as opposed to the future and if he keeps impressing me, it will tough for me not to be so fascinated in the player.

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Italy’s Performance Under Mancini So Far

Image Credit: https://forzaitalianfootball.com/2018/09/mancini-keeps-faith-in-youth-as-italy-overhaul-continues/

    As the Italian National Squad ends their  matches for 2018, it is worth analyzing how far they’ve come and what they still need to improve on. 

                          Positives 

                          Their Style of Play 

          For many years, the Italian style of play has been the Catenaccio system of play, which until recently, has worked for them. Legendary defenders and attackers have assisted them in playing this style over the years. However, under Mancini that has changed. The Italian National Squad plays a more attacking style of play under Mancini because he has realized that Italy is not good enough to sit on 1-0 leads anymore. The more offensive style of play also allows midfielders such as Verratti or Jorginho to play to their strengths, as opposed to being forced to drop back and defend for long periods of time. Which, is not their nest attributes on the field. 

       Italy’s Midfield is Flourishing Again 

        It has been a few years, six years to be exact. But, Italy’s midfield looks like they’ve found their creativity again. The midfield trio that Mancini has set up, has looked awe inspiring. Of course, when your midfield possesses the likes of Jorginho and Verratti, it’ll look sensational. However, under Mancini, Italy’s midfield has been on another level. A big part of that is the fact that Mancini is allowing the central midfielders to be more free and creative. That’s attributed to Italy’s new style of play. Of course, midfielders will always have to be good at running back and helping to defend, but under Mancini these magicians are also able to show their true strengths, which has benefited them greatly. 

        Negative 

                    Italy’s Lack of Goal Scoring 

      Italy has improved immensely under Mancini so far. However, one area that is still haunting Italy is the lack of goals. Mancini has tried many different players at the striker position. However, there is still no winning formula to solve Italy’s goal scoring woes. However, what I would suggest is that Mancini should continue to test out different players at that position. Even, try putting Insigne as Italy’s number 9. It has been working at Napoli this season. Insigne is naturally more of play-maker, but based on the amount of goals he has scored for Napoli this season at that position, why not try it? However, Italy seems to be improving under Mancini, let’s hope it continues.