Top 5 Managers of the 2017/18 Serie A Season

Chloe Beresford by Chloe Beresford / 23 May 2018, 15:39

After the 2017/18 campaign came to a close, it's time to reflect on what has been a brilliantly exciting Serie A season.

Here at The Sack Race, we’ve taken a look at the contenders for manager of the season in Italy.

In reverse order, here are the top five:

5. Beppe Iachini (Sassuolo)

It was always going to be difficult to find a replacement when Eusebio Di Francesco left Sassuolo for Roma this summer. The Neroverdi initially hired Cristian Bucchi - a man with no previous Italian top-flight experience - who was predictably fired in November after a series of poor results left the club in danger of relegation. In came the experienced Iachini who stabilised the club, improved results seing Sassuolo finish in a respectable 12th position.

Already safe, they faced Inter in the penultimate match of the campaign, and the boss was fired up after both the opposition and the media talked of the Nerazzurri improving the goal difference versus the Reggio Emilia outfit. “Of course they motivated us,” the Coach revealed after a surprise 2-1 win over the San Siro giants.

“There was a lack of respect and we read some things that were downright offensive. Whoever wrote that should eat their words, because we are professionals and take our jobs seriously.”

4. Leonardo Semplici (SPAL)

Former Fiorentina youth team boss Leonardo Semplici steered his SPAL side to safety during the club’s first outing in the top flight for 49 years. Like so many that make the leap from Serie B into the top flight, the squad was unprepared for the gulf in quality between the leagues. After admitting his group of players initially struggled to adjust, the Coach set about improving the side and making his team incredibly difficult to beat.

The rise and rise of Leonardo Semplici

They may have only managed eight victories - including a 3-1 win over Sampdoria that kept them in the division on the final day of the campaign - but 14 draws made for a final total of 38 points. Those results included a 0-0 with Juventus, one of only eight occasions when the Bianconeri didn’t take maximum points in 2017/18.

3. Eusebio Di Francesco (AS Roma)

After having left Sassuolo, former Roma midfielder Eusebio Di Francesco made a large step-up when he took on the job at Stadio Olimpico this summer. A few mistakes were made due to inexperience, however the tactician steered the club to a Champions League semi-final during his first ever outing as a Coach in the competition, along with a 3rd-placed league finish.

The side’s most impressive form was away from home, the Giallorossi having lost only one match on the road this term, setting a new club record. If this season is anything to go by, even bigger and better things are expected from the tactician next year, with the help of former Sevilla sporting director Monchi.

2. Maurizio Sarri (Napoli)

Beautiful football, entertainment and a record points total, Napoli have done better than ever this season, pushing Juventus right to the limit. In three seasons under Maurizio Sarri, the Partenopei have earned club record points totals every year, becoming the first Serie A side in history to earn more than 90 points without winning the league. A lack of rotation in the side and a penchant for stubborness are the only criticisms that can be pointed towards the rumoured Chelsea target.

1. Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)

There can be no argument against this Tuscan technician for the number one spot, having become the first man in Europe’s top five leagues to secure a league-and-cup-double for the fourth consecutive campaign.

That he has used 206 separate starting lineups in 219 Serie A matches for the Bianconeri shows exactly why this Coach has mastered the art of winning while conserving the resources available. 2017/18 has illustrated many of his tactical abilities, often switching formations several times in one match. Above all, Max Allegri is well-versed in the art of winning, even if his football is not as exciting to watch as that of his counterpart Maurizio Sarri.

Special Mention

Fiorentina may not have earned anything tangible this season with an 8th placed finish, however Stefano Pioli simply must be acknowledged for the way in which he put his personal grief over the sudden death of Captain Davide Astori to one side in order to ensure the well-being of his young team. After having to notify each player after the terrible event on March 4th in a hotel in Udine, Pioli quickly lifted his side and united them, setting out on a run of results that almost saw them qualify for the Europa League.

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