Luciano Spalletti and Eusebio Di Francesco in hot water, but who will be sacked first?by Chloe Beresford / 07 February 2019, 11:44Tweet
While Serie A’s bottom clubs are always trigger-happy in hiring and firing their Coaches, this season has seen two of the biggest clubs less than happy with the performance of the man on their respective bench.
Inter’s Luciano Spalletti and AS Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco are both feeling the heat after poor results have blighted both of their campaigns so far, but who will be the first to get the chop?
Already out of the Champions League at the group stage and having recently been eliminated from the Coppa Italia, Inter have been on a downward slide since the beginning of 2019.
Spalletti has overseen 1-0 defeats to both Torino and Bologna plus a disappointing 0-0 draw with Sassuolo, leaving the Nerazzurri without a goal in the first three fixtures of a calendar year for the first time since 1956.
Those matches were certainly ones in which Spalletti’s side should have been aiming for maximum points, but taking just one from the nine available saw them compromise their ability to reach the Champions League next season almost immediately.
Lacking the consistency to recover from those January missteps, they now hold just a five point cushion over fifth-placed Atalanta, a small comfort indeed for a side seemingly in freefall.
“You need special conditions to sack a Coach and here those conditions don’t exist. Spalletti will stay with us,” affirmed Inter Sporting CEO Beppe Marotta after the defeat to Bologna.
Is the Champions League decisive for his future? There are some objectives that must be achieved. After that we’ll make our considerations.
“The culture of winning must be improved here. We come out of this crisis, trying to elevate this concept. We’re all under review, stock is taken every week.”
The statement makes it very clear that Spalletti’s position is by no means guaranteed, and the latest Italian reports suggest that Marotta is due to meet former Inter boss Jose Mourinho in Milan this week.
The “Special One” can be backed at 6/1 to take the Inter job as his next role, and Unibet give 5/1 on Spalletti to be the next manager to be fired from Serie A.
As you can see, either of those are good options at the moment, but there is another man to consider here too.
Eusebio Di Francesco is clinging on to his job at Roma for dear life, after an abject humiliation at the hands of Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia last week.
The Giallorossi were all over the place during the 7-1 mauling, yet the Coach managed to steady the ship with a credible 1-1 draw with AC Milan at the weekend.
"I can rule out a resignation. That has never been a thought in my mind."— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) January 31, 2019
Eusebio Di Francesco after Roma were thrashed 7-1 by Fiorentina pic.twitter.com/m3uRm3tFUt
That said, American owner James Pallotta will have expected a lot more from the man they recruited from Sassuolo last summer, with inconsistent results seeing the Capital club sit sixth in the table.
“The match against Milan is a turning point,” defender Federico Fazio told Sky Italia earlier this week.
"We produced a great performance. It’s a shame we drew with a direct rival but with 16 games to go, we have to face every game as if they were Finals.
"We know the importance of playing in the Champions League. Going through would be nice but we have to earn qualification for next year."
The financial ramifications of not reaching Europe’s elite competition for those teams like Roma and Inter who have big overheads are huge, and the Giallorossi will surely have to take action sooner rather than later if the powers that be feel like Di Francesco is incapable of delivering.
EDF is now priced at 13/1 to be the next to be fired in Serie A, it may well be worth a punt.