After witnessing his Bologna team get demolished at home by Serie A strugglers Frosinone, Filippo Inzaghi was deservedly sacked by the Felsinei on Monday.
The Rossoblu hosted the Canarini at the Stadio Dall’Ara on Sunday afternoon but the club from Lazio destroyed the Bolognese squad 4-0. Federico Mattiello was given a red card while the scores were 0-0 and the home side kept attacking even with a man down but they played into the hands of the visitors.
Inzaghi failed to change the formation of the team or bring on a defender after the sending off and that allowed Frosinone left wing-back Andrea Beghetto to provide two assists for the opening goals. Even when the Bologna coach made changes at half-time, Beghetto still had space to attack on the left flank and he was involved in the third Ciociari goal, which was scored by Andrea Pinamonti.
Although the defeat against the Canarini was a humiliating one, this result was more the final straw than an isolated incident, and this prompted Felsinei president Joey Saputo to sack the 45-year-old and convince Sinisa Mihajlovic to coach the club for the second time.
For the majority of his time coaching the club, Inzaghi implemented a very dour and ineffective 3-5-2 formation that essentially looked more like an 8-0-2 due to a lack of creativity in midfield. The focus was on being defensive and destructive and they rarely posed much of a threat on the counter-attack.
If his cautious approach was bad enough, the former AC Milan and Venezia coach was not able to utilise whatever attacking weapons he had at his disposal. Italian starlet Riccardo Orsolini has usually started from the bench and Argentine veteran Rodrigo Palacio carries the burden to create and score chances more than he should.
Paraguayan forward Federico Santander leads the club scoring in Serie A with five goals but the workhorse centre-forward lacks the football smarts that his former coach had as a player and the technique Orsolini and Palacio possess.
Only two wins from 21 Serie A games were achieved under Inzaghi’s reign and both times it was because the opposition was poor rather than Bologna playing impressively.
Their 2-0 victory against Roma in round five was thanks to some great goalkeeping from Lukasz Skorupski and leaky defending by the Giallorossi while the 2-1 win against Udinese was due to the Zebrette’s futile possession-based style under Julio Velazquez playing into the hands of Inzaghi.
Bologna added Italy internationals Roberto Soriano and Nicola Sansone to their squad in the January transfer window but the only change the coach made was to switch from the 3-5-2 to the 4-3-3 formation. Despite the arrival of two players, the Rossoblu’s play remained simplistic and lacking in tactical and technical sophistication.
Inzaghi had a successful playing career and he was one of the greatest opportunist strikers to have ever played the game but he is struggling as a coach. He flopped at AC Milan in the 2014/15 season and worked his way back up by taking Venezia from Serie C to Serie B but his return to Serie A with Bologna has been an unmitigated failure.
This is in stark contrast to the coaching career of his younger brother Simone, who has reached a Coppa Italia final with Lazio, won a Supercoppa Italiana with them, and helped the Aquile qualify for the Europa League. The Biancocelesti often play exciting football and the younger Inzaghi has revived the career of Ciro Immobile as well as turned the likes of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto into stars.
After underperforming as tactician of Bologna, Filippo Inzaghi is rapidly becoming another great player that has lacked the ability to become a great coach.