5 Contenders For The Italy job

Chloe Beresford by Chloe Beresford / 28 March 2018, 14:34

It’s just over four months since Giampiero Ventura steered Italy to a disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign, the Azzurri failing to obtain a place in the tournament for the first time in 60 years.

Interim boss Gigi Di Biagio has been temporarily promoted from the Under-21 side, but remains by no means a certainty to get the job on a permanent basis.

Who should take on the role full-time? We take a look at the top five candidates with the odds available here.

Gigi Di Biagio

Gigi Di Biagio

Why he should get the job

After taking charge of the side for recent friendlies versus Argentina and England, Gigi Di Biagio has made some long-overdue changes to the squad, integrating some of the talented youngsters he worked with when in charge of the U21s.

Why he shouldn't get the job

While his squad selections are an improvement, the former Azzurri midfielder has already proven that he has failed to garner the best from a treasure trove of resources, disappointing with early exits in both the 2015 and 2017 European U21 championships.

The Sack Race Verdict

Perhaps FIGC vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta summed it up best with a backhanded compliment last week, declaring “If we have the opportunity to get someone better than Gigi Di Biagio, and I don’t think there are many, then we will.” Italy must take this chance to find a boss of the highest pedigree in order to properly rebuild this fractured side.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte

Why he should get the job

Since leaving the Italy job for Chelsea after Euro 2016, Antonio Conte has gained valuable experience of English football and has developed his knowledge of the Champions League. The former Juventus boss has a proven pedigree and his motivational skills are also well-documented.

Why he shouldn't get the job

While he always managed to draw every last ounce of effort from his team, Conte was guilty of ignoring the younger and more talented candidates for the national team, instead relying on more workman-like players such as Emanuele Giaccherini.

The Sack Race Verdict

They say you should never go back to an ex, and this is very much the case for Italy with Conte. The side must progress and develop their youngsters, and his stubborn ways represents a step backwards in what they are trying to achieve.

Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti

Why he should get the job

His record speaks for itself. Four league titles won in four different countries as well as three Champions League trophies with two separate clubs, Carlo Ancelotti has proved himself in all of Europe’s top-five leagues and has the kind of pedigree that Italy really must aspire to with their next boss.

Why he shouldn't get the job

The only real problem with Ancelotti is that he has inherited squads at all his domestic sides rather than building his own from scratch. Italy desperately need someone to rebuild, can he do this for them?

The Sack Race Verdict

Reports in Wednesday’s Corriere dello Sport suggest that Ancelotti was due to meet his former Milan defender Costacurta about the vacancy this week, and Italy really must ensure that they can convince him to join them ahead of any potential suitors that have courted the boss from the Premier League. This is the man with the highest calibre, the one who can pull the Azzurri out of the doldrums.

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

Why he should get the job

A man who has won the league with Inter and Manchester City and has experience in Turkey and now Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg, Roberto Mancini at least deserves to be under consideration for the vacancy.

Why he shouldn't get the job

Italy would presumably have to pay a fee to Zenit as Mancini remains under contract, and he hasn’t been convincing enough as a boss to warrant this.

The Sack Race Verdict

The 53-year-old seems to court drama wherever he goes, something Italy simply don’t need right now. Best to steer clear.

Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri

Why he should get the job

A fan’s favourite, it only takes a look at what Claudio Ranieri did with Leicester to realise what he is capable of. His man-management skills and work with youngsters would be ideal for Italy’s rebuild process and he would relish going out to prove everyone wrong.

Why he shouldn't get the job

Again, Ranieri is currently under contract with Nantes, but the Ligue 1 club’s owner has already declared that he would consider releasing the boss should Italy come calling.

The Sack Race Verdict

Ranieri is a sound second choice should Ancelotti turn down the opportunity. The veteran has already declared his interest in the position and has the right experience to turn around the fortunes of the Azzurri.

sackrace
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