MANAGERIAL MERRY-GO-ROUND: WHO WILL JUVENTUS, REAL, BAYERN AND INTER MILAN HIRE?
In the last few days, some of Europe’s biggest and best clubs have seen their managers step down form their position.
Whether that be to move to a different job, underperforming in their current role or not seeing eye to eye with the owners, the managerial turnover approaching this summer has been like no other.
So with that being said, let’s look at who has departed and who each club should be looking to hire before the start of the 21/22 season.
Departed: Andrea Pirlo
Despite winning two trophies, this has not been a great season for Juventus, as they finished fourth in Serie A after years of complete dominance over the league. With players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Chiesa, it is no wonder that the Juventus board were not happy with new manager Andrea Pirlo. His status as a club legend on the pitch will never change, but after being thrusted into the role with little preparation and experience, he was just sacked as manager of the club.
There is no need to speculate who will replace Pirlo, as reports across football media tell us that the new manager will be Massimo Allegri. No stranger to Italian football and Juventus, Allegri’s last role was with the Old Lady, as he won the Serie A five times in a row, which is even more impressive when you consider that he was there for five years. Most known for his possession based football, Allegri will be looking to bring the good times back to the Juventus Stadium, and prove that this season was just a blip.
New Manager – Massimo Allegri
Departed – Antonio Conte
Inter Milan were the team to end the Juventus reign at the top of Serie A, and a lot of credit is owed to Antonio Conte, who made Inter a force once again. Conte’s side were clearly the best team in Italy this season, scoring the most goals and conceding the least. Despite all things looking good on the pitch, Inter Milan appear to be struggling off it. With the COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll, Inter may be forced to sell some of their star players, and struggle to strengthen, which was enough for Conte to depart.
This will be a tough job for whoever takes over, with slashed budgets and a whole load of expectation after such a great season. Inter are set to keep an Italian manager in the hotseat, and pursue Simone Inzaghi, who has recently stepped down from his role at Lazio, having guided them to a sixth placed finish. Inzaghi retired at Lazio as a player, and worked his way up the ladder through the development teams before becoming manager in April 2016. Since then, he has won one Coppa Italia as well as getting Lazio back into the Champions League. Inzaghi operates mainly with a 3-5-2 formation, so it could be the perfect fit to keep Conte’s system alive.
New Manager – Simone Inzaghi
Departed – Zinedine Zidane
In a season marred with off the pitch controversy, mainly through club president Florentino Perez, Real Madrid came two points off the La Liga title, finishing second in the league. A disappointing campaign was summed up best with the disappointing Champions League defeat to Chelsea, where they struggled to get going, especially in the second league. Despite this, no one expected Zinedine Zidane to be either sacked or to walk, but he has chosen the latter. A club legend on and off the pitch, Real Madrid struggled after his departure in 2018, so it will be interesting to see how they fare this time around.
The culture of Real Madrid makes it a tough job for any manager, with expectation sky-high from both the board and the fans, and a recruitment policy that sometimes seems to target the ‘Galactico’ type players, over those that could help build a system. However, all signs seem to point towards a manager we’ve already spoken about, Antonio Conte. Fresh off a superb season with Inter Milan, the former Chelsea manager has gained a reputation for going to clubs, winning things and leaving quickly. It will certainly be interesting to see how Conte will cope under the leadership of Florentino Perez, but if he can get the players he wants, Real Madrid could become one of the best teams in the world again.
New Manager – Antonio Conte
Departed – Hansi Flick
Bayern Munich have dominated German football for years, winning nine consecutive titles. This year was no different as Hansi Flick guided them to another title. The year prior, Flick rescued Bayern from losing their grip on the Bundesliga title, as he succeeded the man he was assistant manager to, Niko Kovac, and went on to not just win the league, but also the Champions League and the DFB Pokal. Add a Club World Cup to that and you have a pretty successful reign, especially when you consider he has been an assistant manager for most of his career. His performances caught the eye of his former employer, the German national team and Flick has been confirmed to be taking over the role after the upcoming European Championships as Joachim Low steps down.
It seems obvious as to who will take over at the Allianz Arena, and the board at Bayern have made it no secret that they want the RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann. One of the most exciting managers in football, Nagelsmann burst onto the scene as manager of Hoffenheim where he took them from 17th in the table to the Champions League after taking over in November. After three years at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Nagelsmann signed with RB Leipzig, where he has kept them challenging for the title and regulars in the Champions League. Questions have been asked over his approach in the big games, but he will get plenty of opportunities to prove the doubters wrong if he gets the Bayern Munich job.
New Manager – Julian Nagelsmann