La Gazzetta dello Sport, today suggested ten crucial questions for the year 2024, with a particular focus on football managers and the uncertainties they face.
The first question focuses on Luciano Spalletti. In his article for Rosea, Sebastiano Vernazza suggests that the European Championship primarily needs to serve as a path back to the World Cup. While this may indeed be true, being the reigning champions, it would be shocking if they were to exit disastrously.
Next, attention shifts to Simone Inzaghi. The year 2023 has been transformative for his image and, for him, minor cups can now be overlooked; this is evident from his recent elimination from the Coppa Italia. His team’s triumph in the Champions League Final in Istanbul and their leading position in the league points towards more ambitious horizons, to which Inzaghi seems ready.
For Vincenzo Italiano, pointed questions arise. If you end the year in fourth place, it’s expected that you’d be hungry for more success. Will Fiorentina, a team that takes the Conference seriously, be capable of balancing two different focuses without getting lost? If successful, Italiano may emerge as one of the most compelling managers of the period.
Turning to Walter Mazzarri, aside from initial impressions, there doesn’t seem to be much change in Napoli’s trajectory under his guidance, as compared to Garcia’s reign. To solidify his position, he needs to ensure that Napoli doesn’t drop out of the Champions League, from which they are currently five points short.
Finally, Roberto De Zerbi merits note. La Gazzetta applauds De Zerbi: “De Zerbi has absorbed Guardiola-style football to the point where Pep himself watches De Zerbi to grasp adjustments and updates to his format.” The question here is whether De Zerbi will accomplish a remarkable feat with Brighton, exceeding beyond mere aesthetic appreciation. Or, will the beauty of his football sooner or later – more sooner than later – earn him a top position, not necessarily in the Premier League which it’s hard to leave given its appeal.