Chievo Club Focus: Corini trying to make Gialloblu hard to beat
The last two results haven’t gone to plan for Chievo coach Eugenio Corini. A 2-1 defeat at home to Juventus was followed up this weekend with a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Inter in Sunday night’s late kick-off in the San Siro.
Although Juventus bossed the first 45 minutes at the Stadio Bentegodi a week ago, ‘the flying donkey’s’ had a real go in the second half and pulled a goal back early on through Alberto Paloschi, and could seriously consider themselves unlucky not to have taken at least a point against the defending champions.
This weekend saw Corini’s side fall behind after only two minutes thanks to Antonio Cassano, but a 21st minute equalizer from Luca Rigoni saw the Gialloblu momentarily back on track. Goals from Andrea Ranocchia and Diego Milito saw Inter home comfortably despite relative periods of Chievo pressure.
These two results are all relative however when you look at the bigger picture. On his arrival at the club following the dismissal of former coach Domenico Di Carlo, the Bentegodi outfit had won just once and lost four of their opening five games and being kept off the bottom courtesy of the fact that Siena had started the season on -6 points. Corinis’s first job was to try to plug a very leaky defence.
The man who once captained the Gialloblu into Serie A and then to a UEFA Cup qualification, appreciated the fact that his first two games in charge were both at home, a 2-1 victory over Sampdoria and a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.
His next job was to turn the clubs fortunes around away from home. A narrow 1-0 defeat at Napoli was followed by a 5-1 drubbing at Milan and it seemed he had a much bigger job on his hands then first thought.
Slowly though Corini has managed to mark his character on the squad. Despite an embarrassing Coppa Italia exit at home to Serie B outfit Reggina, Corini got the dreaded vote of confidence from president Luca Campedelli.
Back to back away wins at Genoa and Catania seemingly pulled the club around and as they headed towards the Christmas break with an outstanding 1-0 home win over AS Roma.
Once they had returned from the Christmas break, Corini’s men followed the tremendous home win over Roma with an equally stunning 1-0 win away at Roma’s city rivals Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico, before the last two results have brought them back down to Earth.
Corini set about making his mark on the squad in the January transfer window. Out went long standing first choice keeper Stefano Sorrentino, surprisingly sold to relegation threatened Palermo. In return, Albanian shot-stopper Samir Ujkani was signed on loan from Palermo. Corini also made a trio of loan signings from relegation strugglers Genoa.
Former Gialloblu defender Francesco Acerbi was brought in alongside midfielder Felipe Seymour and fellow central defender Mario Sampirisi. Defensive midfielder Niko Spyropoulos was brought in from Greek side Panathanikos and Argentine striker Gabriel Hauche came in on loan from Racing Club.
All these signings have enabled Corini to change the team to his favoured formation of 3-5-2, with two holding midfielders. Corini is expected to continue with this formation at the weekend when his side entertain Palermo at the Stadio Bentegodi in a game that just three weeks after he left will see the return of former fans favourite Sorrentino.