Not only did Giampiero Ventura shock the nation by failing to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958 following a 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat at the hands of Sweden, but the experienced manager continued to display his delusions by refusing to accept blame for one of the biggest embarrassments in Italy’s football history.
“My Italy among the best Italian sides over the last 40 years. I lost only two games in two years”, was what Ventura said according to reports from Tuttosport.
The veteran tactician overlooked a series of specific decisions such as the one not to introduce striker Lorenzo Insigne as a late substitute in Milan and go for midfielder Daniele De Rossi instead, which sparked plenty of rage from AS Roma star himself.
Uninspiring end to a frustrating campaign and below-par performances were only one of the reasons for Ventura’s sacking and Italy now commence search for a new manager who will be requested to rebuild the shattered side and bring back the old glory days to one of world’s biggest footballing nations.
Some of the options listed below include the top favourites but also the outside contenders to take the job.
Carlo Ancelotti – 2/1
Experience is not the only thing former Bayern Munich boss would bring to the Italy helm.
One of the most respected Italian tacticians boasts plenty of qualities – managerial and personal alike – seen as required to do such a demanding job such as leading the top national side like Italy’s.
The 58-year-old’s impressive trophy-winning record at club level is a form of a guarantee and a huge upper hand in the race against other candidates for the job. At 2/1 betting odds, he stands as the first favourite for Italy next permanent manager.
Roberto Mancini + Antonio Conte – 6/1
A high-value 6/1 price is available for both Roberto Mancini and Antonio Conte – two of Italy’s next-generation managers considered to be a top choice for the position as well.
Former Manchester City boss and current manager of Russian giants Zenit, Roberto Mancini boasts a wealth of experience at the top level, although many would argue that he is a vastly overrated tactician whose results do not offer enough of a backing for his undeservedly imperial reputation.
As for the Chelsea manager Antonio Conte who led Italy to a quarter-finals charge at Euro 2016, whispers of discontent make case for throwing him into this group of Italy’s potential new managers. Conte’s diligent and thorough approach is exactly what many believe Italy needs at the moment, although he himself faced plenty of criticism for squad selection during his national stint.
Massimiliano Allegri – 8/1
A less glamorous choice for Italy, Massimiliano Allegri is arguably the most underrated of the choices on this list.
The 50-year-old had an inconspicuous career in football and is currently on his way to build the same one as a manager. He led AC Milan to glory in the first season as tactician, whereas he also guided current Serie A champions Juventus to three Scudettos. Despite this all, he is still not given the recognition he deserves.
The Italians believe Allegri would be extremely keen on taking up the Italy job but still don’t see him as the best person for it.
Luigi Di Biagio – 10/1
Current manager of Italy’s Under-21 national side, Luigi Di Biagio is reluctantly dismissing talks of him becoming the Italy boss. Yet he is being thrown into the mix with competitive 10/1 betting odds that make him the outside choice for the gig.
Di Biagio offered a counterargument to all of those criticizing Giampiero Ventura and blaming it all on him, stating that red flags had been up there for a longer period of time but someone decided to ignore them.
Luigi Di Biagio is the least experienced choice of the top five we outlined in this list but is nevertheless given strong odds to take over, perhaps not permanently though.
Fabio Grosso – 33/1
The man who’s doing wonders in Serie B with Bari is another outside choice for the Italy’s managerial post.
The 39-year-old is also the youngest of choices, but his age is also his advantage as many believe Grosso would be a long-term solution and a perfect choice to overlook a thorough generation shift and rebuild the national team from bottom up.
Grosso is doing wonders with a limited team in a demanding competition of the second tier of the Italian football. His Bari are currently fourth in standings with 24 points from 14 games and many have already started dreaming of things he would do with a quality Azzurri side.
Who do you think Italy will choose as their next permanent boss?
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