The Serie A as well as English Premier League, Bundesliga and la Liga, amongst others, stops in view of the Nations League’s matches. Let’s recap on the current situation and we are after 7 matchweeks.
At the top of the league there is Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan who, after the first defeat of the season remedied in the Europa League against Lilla, drew at home against Ivan Juric’s Verona. AC Milan, 17 points so far and with a balance of +8 compared to last season, is a half-surprise: nobody expected AC Milan to be on top, but, over the last season, AC milan invested a lot of money and efforts to create a competitive team. It seems that the management of AC Milan is working and heading in the right direction after some disappointing seasons. The key-player is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, eternal footballer who at 39 years of age is able to drag his team and take responsibility as a lightning rod in a club that wants to return to the Champions League stages as soon as possible. It is no coincidence that Ibrahimovic himself is the current top scorer in Serie A with 8 goals, two more than Belotti and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking of CR7, his goal only secured a draw against Lazio at the Olympic stadium in Rome last week. It was the 4th draw out of 7 games for Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus, which is in 5th place in the standings with 13 points, 6 less than the previous season. After 9 consecutive scudetti, it seems that Juventus is in trouble as never before in previous seasons. The change of coach and mentality is inevitably influencing the construction of the game. However, Juventus is known to be cynical and never tame and the current team is quite compact. We still believe that Juventus is again the favorite to win Scudetto but Andrea Pirlo needs to fix the many issues in the midfield.
In relation to Lazio, Inzaghi’s formation is recovering after an unconvincing start of the season. Currently, the team is in a covid storm and we are not sure how the situation will evolve. However, what has been done so far by Lazio does not seem to be enough and the team is underperforming.
Verona, only one point behind Juventus, confirmed the good performances already shown last season. The team of Ivan Juric is becoming a reality which stably occupied the first 6 spots in Serie A. Juric propose a physical but at the same time entertaining football and the team may qualify to the Europa League if they continue with this pace.
Meanwhile, in second place in the standings with 15 points is Roberto De Zerbi’s Sassuolo, a manager who can no longer be considered only a surprise. Sassuolo is now one of the certainties of Serie A. After the years of Eusebio Di Francesco, it seemed that Sassuolo should be destined to lose enthusiasm, instead the choice of De Zerbi with clear and proactive ideas, has given new life to the whole football team and we should not be surprised if we find him today in the top spots of Serie A. Sassuolo is fully responding to the requests of De Zerbi of having a fast and dynamic offensive football. The key of Sassuolo’s results is to be fearless constantly attacking whatever opponent.
Sassuolo, in short, could consider as a new Atalanta, Gasperini’s team that currently has 13 points like Juventus and that is now to be considered one of the top team of Serie A. so far, Atalanta’s season has been particularly unlucky given the number of injuries and covid cases. We are pretty sure that with a bit more luck, Atalanta could have been closer to AC Milan. Despite the lack of key players, Atalanta expressed a good performance against Inter Milan in the last Serie A match-week.
Napoli and As Roma are just behind Sassuolo both with 14 points. Napoli has improved even more the team but, at least for this season, does not look like a potential winner of Serie A. The arrival of Bakayoko has allowed Gattuso to launch with decision the 4-2-3-1 module with the possibility to make Mertens and Osimhen coexist in front. However, the Belgian footballer still appears far from his best condition and, in the scoring phase, Mertens seems to have lost the magical touch of the past seasons: only two goals scored so far between Serie A and European competition.
Fonseca’s Roma is hard to analyze. Despite they have improved since the last season, the team do not look so solid despite the 14 points brough home so far. The three-man defense, introduced in last season’s final, seems to have been the game-changer of Paulo Fonseca’s Roma. The over 30 Mkhitaryan-Pedro-Dzeko attack provides ample guarantees in terms of technique and experience: the task of the Portuguese coach will be to manage them in the best possible way, in the hope that the second lines can also make their decisive contribution.
And here it comes the biggest disappointment of Serie A: Antonio Conte and its useless 5-3-2 played by a band of old folks. The only positive aspect of Antonio Conte during his career as footballer and manager was his fire and passion in obtaining always the best from his players. Now that he lost also this positive aspect, we encourage him to retire in Puglia to enjoy his fortune. Believe it or not, Antonio Conte is the most paid manager in Serie A with 12 million euro per year. After him, 2,5 million for Fonseca, manager of AS Roma. However, going back to Inter Milan, here the main issue is not only a matter of results and points. The team does not play a modern football at all and every match is based on a physical challenge, despite Inter Milan has some of the most talented players in Serie A. Ugly to watch, difficult to play if you do not have the rugby national team of New Zealand, the 5-3-2 proposed by Inter Milan’s manager is an insult to those who love football. The number 1 candidate to win Scudetto has been spoiled by an arrogant and incompetent coach. It happens sometimes.