As Juventus keep slipping down the table it is becoming more and more apparent that the management in Turin is struggling to find a suitable replacement for Ciro Ferrara. The Bianconeri have lost six of their last seven games, crashed out of the Champions League, slipped to sixth place in the league and scored only six times during this time. Del Piero’s strike against Roma was only the second instance in the league since mid-November had a striker scored for the Old Lady. Injuries have ravaged the squad with Claudio Marchisio being the latest name on the wounded list and the morale of the team has hit rock-bottom. Under such trying circumstances it is little surprise then that top managers and coaches are hesitant in taking the lead to steer the Bianconeri out of the storm that has engulfed them.
When the Old Lady finished second in the league last season, everyone expected them to make a run for the title this term. The management was full of support for Ferrara, who was hired with just two games of the 2008/09 season to go. Interestingly, Claudio Ranieri was fired last year after the team had gone without a win for seven consecutive league games. During that period the team earned six points through six draws, which is incidentally the same amount of points the Bianconeri has won in its previous seven league games as well. So the death knell should have definitely rung for Ferrara by now, particularly considering that he is a rookie manager. So what seems to be holding back the management from hiring someone else?
The predicament at Vinovo has no easy solution. President Jean-Claude Blanc has not come out with his customary “we are behind Ferrara during this difficult time” following the Roma loss and it is looking increasingly likely that there may be a new man in charge by the end of the week. But with the likes of Guus Hiddink, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Rafa Benítez having ruled themselves out, one must wonder who is going to come through the doors in Turin. Why no-one wants to take the managerial position at Juve is quite obvious. Any coach will have a mammoth task of lifting the side from its current situation. If he should fail in the task, then he is sure to be fired and leave with a tarnished reputation. And leading Juventus back into the top three or four is no mean task especially with Roma and Napoli looking better by the game.
The management has itself to blame for the messy situation. The Turin-based Corriere dello Sport takes it for granted that Marcello Lippi will assume control of the team after the World Cup. No one at the club is willing to quell this story and thus adding further instability to the managerial hot seat. Sporting director Alessio Secco’s strategies have left many around the peninsula baffled and coaches appear to have little say in the transfer policies of the club. The squad needs a complete overhaul largely due to Secco’s incompetence and that is unlikely to happen due to the major investments last summer. The current state of affairs seems to indicate that an interim coach maybe the only option left for the club and then come close season will the hunt for a top manager commence again.