Serie A 2018/19 Preview: Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti tipped to be first out the doorby Chloe Beresford / 13 August 2018, 11:21Tweet
The eagerly anticipated 2018/19 Serie A season gets underway this weekend and it promises to be an absolute cracker.
Cristiano Ronaldo is now in town at Juventus as he bids to win a league title in a third different country, with boss Max Allegri guinning to guide the all conquering Old Lady to their eighth successive Scudetto.
The defending champions will face competition from Napoli and their new boss Carlo Ancelotti, and Roma, who are led by Eusebio Di Francesco. Gennaro Gattuso will be as entertaining as ever at AC Milan, but Luciano Spalletti could well come unstuck at rivals Inter Milan.
Below we take a look at the main managerial managerial talking points ahead of the new Serie A season:
First Managerial Casualty - Luciano Spalletti (Inter)
Predicting who will be sacked first in Serie A is often a difficult task, as the smaller clubs are often run by trigger-happy owners with an easy-come easy-go approach. We have seen this with the likes of Udinese and Genoa in the past couple of seasons, the former club run by the same Pozzo family owners that oversee Watford in the Premier League. With this in mind, novice Spaniard Julio Velazquez – the only non-Italian Coach in the entire league – could be the first to go, however the first big-name sacking could be much easier to anticipate.
Inter have backed Coach Luciano Spalletti to the hilt this summer, bringing in a whole host of quality reinforcements in every single area that was lacking last term. Owners Suning have invested in the likes of Radja Nainggolan from Roma, snapped up Croatian star Sime Vrsaljko to add quality to a long-time problem position at right-back and have finally replaced the inept Eder as a backup to Mauro Icardi with Argentine Lautaro Martinez.
Matteo Politano has also arrived from Sassuolo, Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah from Lazio and Juventus respectively, while rumours persist that Real Madrid star Luka Modric or Keita Balde Diao from Monaco may also come in before the transfer window closes on August 18th. All of this is very positive for the club itself, however Spalletti is known for inconsistency and will have nowhere to hide if he fails to bring about the necessary results.
The Nerazzurri have also been heavily linked to former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte in the past, and knowing that he is currently available may just make the Chinese owners a little more willing to make an early change on the bench.
Title Winning Manager - Max Allegri (Juventus)
Last week, Juventus boss Max Allegri revealed that he turned down the Real Madrid vacancy following the departure of Zinedine Zidane. It was no surprise that this highly intelligent Coach has been on the list of many of the top clubs due to his work in Turin, having won league-and-cup doubles in the past four consecutive seasons on the peninsula.
While the club made their Champions League winning ambitions clear with the shock signing of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, it is difficult to see any other outcome than an eighth consecutive Scudetto for the Bianconeri, especially as Allegri has not yet failed to lift the trophy while in charge of the Old Lady.
Surprise Package - Stefano Pioli (Fiorentina)
Former Inter boss Stefano Pioli arrived at Fiorentina last summer with a mountain to climb before he had even begun as the club launched their project to reduce the wage budget by selling off the majority of the existing squad, forming a whole new team from younger and cheaper alternatives. The Viola initially struggled but – thanks to the great work of the Coach – mounted a late challenge for Europe with the new team fully bonded.
This summer has seen the Tuscan outfit retain their star players, and having made a few key additions look like they could hit the ground running when the season kicks off next week. Pioli is an excellent man-manager and an astute Coach, now with the advantage of a united group who could really be going places in 2018/19.