Bologna v Lazio Is A Christmas Inzaghi Family Affairby Chloe Beresford / 26 December 2018, 11:53Tweet
Boxing Day would not be complete without being forced together with your siblings, the 24 hours that follow the main festivities always a family affair. Yet for brothers Simone and Filippo Inzaghi, it won’t all be about selection boxes, re-runs of Ben Hur and leftover turkey, but instead, they will meet each other as opposing Coaches on the football field.
Of course, it was Pippo had the more successful playing career – scoring 57 goals in 120 appearances for Juventus, 73 strikes in 202 matches for Milan, and 25 in 57 for the Italy national side as he was part of the World Cup winning Azzurri side in 2006 – while his brother earned just three international caps. Yet Simone has emerged as the more successful Coach so far, with over 100 matches in charge of Lazio already under his belt.
“The special match? For me they will all be special, but clearly Bologna-Lazio on 26 December has a particular flavour,” admitted former AC Milan striker Pippo when the fixtures were released back in July.“For me and my family it will be an exciting Christmas.”
Becoming one of many ex-Rossoneri players to endure a failed spell on the bench, Pippo took Venezia from Lega Pro to promotion to Serie B in 2016/17, his side then losing in the playoffs the following season as they attempted to reach the top flight. He then moved on to take charge of Bologna, but any early excitement for the Boxing Day fixture has likely dissipated due to a poor start to the campaign.
Failing to score in the first three league matches for the first time in their history, Inzaghi’s side have continued with that theme, scoring just 13 times in their opening 17 games this term. So far, the club have stuck with the failing boss, but the Rossoblu sit in the bottom three of the table and his sacking can’t be far away if the poor results continue.
The problems have become so bad that club director Marco Di Vaio admitted to reporters that they have taken steps to bring in a psychologist, a move that doesn’t exactly reflect well on Inzaghi and his training ground methods.
Meanwhile, Lazio had their own mini-crisis earlier this month, a 1-1 draw with bottom of the table Chievo Verona forcing Simone to place his side into “ritiro”, a crisis training camp. A draw with Sampdoria and a loss to Atalanta followed in the league, however Inzaghi then tweaked his formation in order to record a 3-1 win over Cagliari last Saturday, his side rising to fourth in the table just before he faces his brother on December 26th.
"We would’ve deserved a few more goals, but we’ll enjoy this victory that has been absent for too long,” Simone admitted during his post-match press conference. ”Next we can start preparing for Bologna. The system change was only a small part of it, as I think the interpretation of the game was more important. The lads took the right spirit and immediately made Cagliari feel on edge.”
While Boxing Day usually brings about some kind of squabbling between siblings, a win for Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio here could very well see his brother come very close to getting the boot. Now that’s an awkward conversation to have over the Inzaghi family Christmas Dinner.