Monday, 27 August 2012

Out with the old, in with the new...

Sean Sogliano, new Hellas SD
"If it's not broken, then don't fix it":

..a statement that rings true in all walks of life. Why change something that works? After all, meddling could result in breakage. Yet in the case of Hellas Verona and in particular the new management team of president Maurizio Setti and sporting director Sean Sogliano, new foundations are being laid after two successful years under previous duo Martinelli and Gibellini. Perhaps wanting to stamp a new authority on the squad has resulted in the raft of changes seen in the squad, but were the changes necessary?

We all know the relationship between coach Andrea Mandorlini were never great.
Mandorlini believes Gibellini didn’t provide him with the striker he believes would have taken Hellas to Serie A(indeed, after victory at Livorno in December, Mandorlini hinted at a lack of dialogue with the SD, asking “Gibellini? Does he still work for Verona?”) Upon Gibellini’s exit in the summer, the new Como SD even accused Mandorlini of hitting him after defeat in last seasons opener with Pescara.

Ferdinando Sforzini, Verona target
So perhaps it’s refreshing for the coach to see Verona and Sogliano chasing some forwards. Being in talks with a big Serie B ‘bomber’ such as Andrea Caracciolo shows serious intent from the Gialloblu (despite it being likely the front man will stay with Brescia), whilst talks continue with Grosseto over striker Ferdinando Sforzini. In the meantime, Verona did conclude talks with players of a good calibre in Andrea Cocco and Emanuel Rivas.

Of the other new arrivals, Armin Bacinovic clearly stands out, even before his excellent goal against Modena in the opening game. Linked with Manchester United 12 months ago, the Slovenian will be hoping to shine with Verona and again be linked with the top clubs. Although Hellas will be sad to see Panagiotis Tachtsidis to leave, a replacement of Bacinovic’s quality helps heal the wounds. Simon Laner returns to where it all began for him, whilst in defence Vangelis Moras, an experienced Serie A campaigner has arrived to partner ‘Mimmo' Maietta.

Pichlmann celebrates after his Brescia stunner
Of course, there cannot be arrivals without departures. Whilst there cannot be any sentiment when constructing a team hopeful of promotion, some of the players who have left Verona played a huge part in resurrecting a club that was on its knees in Serie C and going nowhere under Gian Marco Remondina and 'Beppe' Giannini. Although not lacking the technical abilities of many Serie B players, some of the departed players gave their all in the Hellas shirt. Players such as Thomas Pichlmann (who could forget his winner against Brescia?) or Francesco Cangi, who particularly in C attacked from the full back position to give us extra bodies when facing sides hoping for one point.

Overall, Hellas will be pleased with their transfer campaign, which could still change until Fridays transfer deadline. Despite last seasons excellent season, Mandorlini will be keen to expand his squad. Last season is forgotten and a new challenge awaits. Although almost every coach will always want new players, Mandorlini will be relatively confident he can get this new team to challenge towards the top. 

Charles Ducksbury

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