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Ventura may be the right choice for Torino

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By Marco Maioli

Tuesday 21 June 2011

After two failed attempts to gain promotion to Serie A, Torino has now chosen Giampiero Ventura as their next Coach. As the club's turbulent coaching history shows, in the last five years almost everyone has encountered failure. Is Ventura the right man to bring the Granata back where they belong?

Unlike Franco Lerda, who was chosen to lead Torino last season after only one year in charge of a Serie B side, Ventura is a veteran who has spent the last three decades coaching at clubs of different sizes and divisions, achieving some remarkable results such as a Serie B play-off semi-final with Pisa in 2008, and a 10th place in 2009/10 Serie A with a Bari side whose entertaining football has recently been praised by Porto's André Villas-Boas.

At the age of 63, the Genoese tactician, as he has declared, continues coaching just for the pleasure of it, driven by the desire of watching players who enjoy themselves while playing football. Excited by the new adventure, he has insisted on signing only a one-year contract that should be extended in the event of Torino being promoted to the top flight – a sign of his will to stay at the club only if good results should come.

Even with the help of sporting director Gianluca Petrachi, who knows well the new boss having worked with him at Pisa, the task of bringing back the Piedmontese side to the first tier will not be made easier by the summer transfer market. Captain Rolando Bianchi, the club's top goalscorer of the last three terms, is destined to leave for a Serie A side, while Angelo Ogbonna, the young centre-back recently called up to the national team, has been linked with a number of clubs despite having stated his will to stay.

To make matters worse, several players on loan will return to their clubs, the biggest loss being that of Dejan Lazarević, owned by Genoa. The Slovenian left-winger, considered one of the best youngsters of the last Serie B campaign, would have fitted perfectly in Ventura's 4-4-2 (sometimes more similar to a 4-2-4) with his pace and ability to dribble past players. Also, the return of goalkeepers Rubinho and Davide Bassi to their respective clubs will leave Torino in desperate need of a new man between the sticks.

With all these players leaving, President Urbano Cairo has already admitted that, in addition to forward Giulio Ebagua, who has recently signed for the Turin side, he will have to buy eight new men. Given Ventura's ability to improve youngsters and increase their market value, Torino, as Cairo has recently stated, will change its transfer market policy, focusing on young players and accepting loans only when buying options are included in the contract.

Ventura has not an easy job ahead of him – angry fans, a President famous for sacking Coaches and a team that needs to be rebuilt. If he can bring back goals (last season Torino only scored 49 in 42 matches) and enthusiasm, then his appointment could turn out to be a success.

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