It is a familiar situation for Chievo as it is for many Serie A clubs, starting a new season with a new tactician to lead the way. This time, the new man at the helm for Chievo is a familiar face in Domenico Di Carlo. Di Carlo returns to il Mussi Volanti with his tail firmly between his legs after the horror show that turned out to be Sampdoria’s season.
The move was meant to be one of ambition with Di Carlo leaving behind the minnows of Chievo for a team in the qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League, Sampdoria. Unfortunately for Di Carlo, events predominantly out of the Coach’s control conspired against him and come March 8th, he found himself seeking employment elsewhere. The Sampdoria hierarchy didn’t exactly help Di Carlo’s situation during his tenure with selling established quality in Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini and replacing them with Massimo Maccarone and Federico Macheda. Nevertheless Di Carlo’s reputation did take somewhat of a denting but now he’s hoping that returning to the familiarity of Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi will reinvigorate his coaching career.
The signs are that such a reunion may not be as harmonious as the club or Di Carlo may like. Chievo continued to punch above their weight last season under the guidance of Stefano Pioli who departed for Palermo. Arguably the club’s best player last season, Kevin Constant, has also departed Verona and time is against Sergio Pelissier continuing his extraordinary influence in front of the opposition’s goal. The club’s achievements last season may have raised expectations just a little for the fans. The last season Di Carlo was in charge, Chievo scraped out of the clutches of relegation to Serie B. While Di Carlo was getting that sinking feeling in Genova last season, il Gialloblu flirted with Europa League qualification on occasion – the season away from one another has highlighted the risk posed by Di Carlo’s return.
Retaining Serie A status is the paramount objective for Chievo. Season after season, il Mussi Volanti are tipped for relegation and with their more illustrious albeit fallen neighbours Hellas Verona only a tier behind them, perhaps they might look down a little too much for comfort. The summer has also seemed a little slow for il Gialloblu as they have yet to make any real moves in the transfer market and speculation has been more in relation to players leaving Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi as opposed to any players looking to call it home.
There is a common adage which goes along the lines of “never go back”. Admittedly it’s an adage Coaches show an increased disdain for in the world of Calcio but occasions where the adage has been proven false have been few and far between as of recent times. Some have suggested the familiar face of Mimmo Di Carlo has the potential to tip the scale for the Veronese club and cause the Flying Donkeys to lose their footing in the top flight.