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Third time unlucky for sacked again Genoa boss, while Chievo put their faith in Ventura

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By Football Italiano

Wednesday 17 October 2018

The first managerial casualties in Serie A have arrived, with just eight rounds of league fixtures played at most clubs, after Genoa and Chievo moved swiftly to make coaching changes this week, aiming to improve their respective fortunes in the Italian top flight.

The most surprising dismissal when looking at the league table, is that of Genoa boss Davide Ballardini, with the team sitting relatively comfortably in 12th position in Serie A. Despite being in the bottom half of the table, the team currently remains only two points outside the Europa League spots, and within only three points of the top four and Champions League positions.

Nevertheless, while online bookmaker moplay.co.uk has Genoa priced at lengthy odds to finish in the top six, club president Enrico Preziosi apparently has much higher ambitions, with the 3-1 home defeat suffered against Parma last weekend exhausting his patience. However, that’s not the only surprising element surrounding the dismissal of Ballardini.

“I consider him to be a terrible coach,” fumed Preziosi in comments to Italian newspaper, Corriere della, via ESPN, after the sacking of Ballardini was announced. Perhaps most bizarre of all, the Genoa president has not only hired Ballardini to lead the team three times, he’s also now fired the 54-year-old three times as head coach now.

Remarkably, the trigger-happy club president has now appointed Ivan Juric, who is also no stranger to being hired and fired at Genoa. During the 2016-17 season, the 43-year-old Croatian coach was incredibly appointed, sacked, then re-appointed as Genoa manager. Last season he was dismissed from his post just two months into the 2017-18 campaign. It’s not without some irony that his replacement was none other than Ballardini.

Meanwhile, the circumstances surrounding the sacking of Lorenzo d'Anna at Chievo are somewhat less sensational, or surprising. After such a poor start to the season and rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table, the pressure was always mounting for the 46-year-old coach, despite being considered a club legend as a former player, and as a managerial saviour just a few months ago.

Mired in the thick of a relegation battle, Chievo turned to d’Anna towards the end of last season in April. Seemingly destined for the drop to Serie B, d’Anna guided The Flying Donkeys to three straight victories to finish the campaign, ensuring that Chievo avoided relegation and remained amongst the Italian top flight elite.

Starting the 2018-19 season, the fortunes of Chievo have been the exact opposite, with the team failing to win any of their opening eight matches of the season. After six defeats and two draws, Club president Luca Campedelli decided a change was urgently needed to stop the rot, opting for veteran managerial experience with the appointment of Giampiero Ventura.

The 70-year-old has been out of work since his last post leading the Italian national team, but that was marred by their failure to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup. In what seems likely to be the final challenge of his lengthy managerial career, Ventura will now be tasked with masterminding the survival of Chievo Verona in Serie A, with the odds stacked firmly against his team.

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