It’s fair to suggest that Chievo’s start to the season has been nothing short of disastrous both on and off the pitch. The club find themselves bottom of Serie A after a winless start to the campaign but off field issues have led to a 3-point deduction and as they lie bottom of the table, they are yet to eradicate the minus deficit handed out by the Italian authorities. Times are tough for the club and things must improve quickly.
Times have been tough off the pitch following a points deduction at the start of September due to false accounting. The club were also slapped with a fine of £180,000 and while they have appealed the decision from the Italian FA, a successful appeal seems unlikely with numerous issues found in their accounting. Things are bad but, on the pitch, things are no better with no wins in their opening 8 games costing Lorenzo D’Anna his job with the club after successfully keeping them up last season. The club is desperate for a change in fortunes on the pitch with the club rooted to the bottom of the table and currently 5 points behind 17th place. D’Anna has failed to ignite their season and while he is respected for the job done, football is a results’ business and clearly things desperately needed to change and axe had to fall.
Chievo have turned to an experienced, well respected manager of the Italian game in Gian Piero Ventura. A man who knows Serie A like the back of his hand having overseen the likes of Torino, Napoli, Udinese, Hellas Verona, Cagliari and Sampdoria amongst his very long CV. However, a disappointing spell in charge of the Italian National team has somewhat damaged his reputation after Italy failed to make the 2018 world cup and no doubt he will want to rebuild his own reputation by getting Chievo to safety. Despite his difficult spell in charge of the national team, Ventura has an excellent managerial record at places he has managed:
Napoli (Won 17, Draw 10, Lost 7) – Win Percentage of 50%
Hellas Verona (Won 10, Draw 8, Lost 8) – Win Percentage of 38.46%
Torino (Won 85, Draw 64, Lost 67) – Win Percentage of 39.35%
There is no doubt Ventura has the pedigree to turn the situation around, but he has one huge task ahead of him if he is going to ignite Chievo’s poor season so far. Chievo have plenty of issues both offensively and defensively.
Goals: 6 = joint 15th
Shots on goal per game: 10.1 = 18th
Shots on target per game: 2.6 = joint 18th
Dribbles per game: 3.3 = joint 18th
Goals conceded: 19 = 2nd
Shots faced per game: 18.3 = 2nd
Tackles per game: 16.4 = joint 6th
Interceptions per game: 11.3 = 7th
Fouls conceded per game: 13.1 = 9th
While their defensive stats show some attempts at stopping their opposition, they have the 2nd worst defensive in the league conceding on average 2 goals a game and you cannot win football matches with that average. Ventura must address Chievo’s defensive issues and fast if they are to mount a survival charge. However, Chievo have major issues going forward with goals proving very difficult and creating chances even harder. The likes of Emanuele Giaccherini and Valter Birsa are struggling to create opportunities for themselves and their team mates. Their top scorer Mariusz Stepinski has contributed 33% of their goals so far this season with Sergio Pellissier being the only other striker to score so far this season. Chievo are desperately short of creativity so will Ventura’s style of play be able to unlock the creative forces in this squad?
Ventura will encourage his side to play football from the back meaning the defenders must be confident to play with the football. Ventura will always look to exploit the first line of the opposition’s press to get his team charging forward. While he prefers a formation of 3-5-2, Ventura has dipped out of another formation in 4-2-4. Ventura’s preference is to spread play through wingers and leave the central midfielders in the middle of the park to break up play and occasionally go forward. Ventura will instantly need good communication from the players to get his philosophies and style of play across with his teams needing to be in complete synchronicity. While Ventura will work on Chievo’s defence, his central defenders will be key for Chievo’s new style of play in which they always must be available to provide an outlet for consistent possession when attacks break down. So, plenty of training ground time is needed for Ventura and Chievo to get all his ideas across. However, they need results and fast and no doubt Ventura is well aware of the task ahead.
Chievo’s next 6 games:
So, a huge job ahead for Gian Piero Ventura and Chievo will be hoping he is the man to change their fortunes and get their failing season going. Results need to come from the start to give them any chance of fighting back this season. Atalanta at home first is a huge game for both clubs and no doubt we will begin to see Ventura’s style of play implanted from the start. The season starts now for Chievo and the fans will be hoping a win comes sooner rather than later.