Brescia sack Beretta to mark return of the Iach

Only in Italy would you see a club sack a Coach, and then less than two months later re-hire him after his successor fails miserably. That is exactly what Brescia did after their 3-0 loss at home to Chievo in Week 22, sacking Mario Beretta and bringing back Giuseppe Iachini.
Iachini, their Coach at the start of the season, was removed in December after a miserable run where he managed to win only three out of 15 games, losing nine. The 4-3-1-2 he used, with Alessandro Diamanti as trequartista, was reasonably effective and made best use of the players he had at his disposal, but problems arose as the team started to lose games.
After their third win (in Week 4, against Roma), the team went on a five game losing streak. They were not getting thrashed (each of the five losses was by a single goal), but Iachini started to become more defensive in his set up in an attempt to stop the streak. Striker Éder was pulled incredibly deep (out of position), to an extent where the system essentially became 4-3-2-1. The Brazilian found himself within touching distance of his midfielders on many occasions during a match, meaning that when they won possession of the ball, he was further away from goal than a striker who scored 27 goals in Serie B last season should be.
This was intended to serve a purpose at both ends. The set up provided one more player to help defensively, but it also allowed their offensive game to be based on counter-attacking football, for which his pace was useful. Despite two consecutive draws against Inter and Juventus, two further defeats after these games saw Iachini overhaul the team completely to a Napoli-esque 3-4-2-1 for his final two games in charge. On paper, it was meant to provide more width to the counter-attacking style he had decided to pursue, but Milan managed to exploit the players’ lack of familiarity with a three-man defence, and the 3-0 loss signalled Iachini’s dismissal.
When Beretta arrived, he tried to keep the width, but reverted back to a four man defence. He utilised a 4-3-3, placing Diamanti on one flank and usually Éder on the other, meaning the Brazilian was once again out of position. Although it was an attempt at more adventurous football, the product was not much different from Iachini’s. The width was not ‘natural’ – Diamanti is not really a wide player and spent much of the time roaming away from his flank. This is fine, but Éder on the opposite side was doing exactly the same thing, but wandering nearer the penalty area where he is more inclined to play his football. The system just became a 4-3-2-1 when in possession of the ball, and the width Beretta was looking for from his wide forwards did not materialise often enough.
There was little difference defensively. They were rarely thrashed, but still conceded goals. The central midfield could not really exert any control over a game, and opposing teams found space between the lines incredibly easy to come by, which Chievo took full advantage of. That 3-0 defeat was Beretta’s fifth in seven games, and was enough to convince President Luigi Corioni to bring back Iachini, despite his record not being a great deal better.
Iachini’s first two games back at the helm (against Roma last Wednesday evening, and Bari at the weekend) have seen him revert to the three man defence that characterised the end of his first stint in charge this season. This time, instead of copying Napoli, he plumped for Udinese’s version of 3-5-2 – using Diamanti in a similar way to that of Alexis Sánchez. The negativity has remained, with a line of five defenders sat on the 18 yard line whenever Roma or Bari entered their half, but a creditable draw at the Olimpico and a home win against Bari suggest it is now starting to work. It will need to work for the rest of the season if they are to survive the drop.

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