The Inzaghis in management – a season of success

Brothers in football management are becoming a rarity, but Italy has a set of its own and they have had an enjoyable year in terms of successes this season.

Filippo and Simone Inzaghi, in charge of Venezia FC and Lazio respectively have defied odds and propelled their clubs to various triumphs this season.

Both managers are still relatively new to management in senior football and their accomplishments this season is sure to be a positive for years to come for both clubs.

Simone, the younger of the two, has enjoyed a less fruitful playing career, with most of his glory days coming in the late 90s and early 2000s with Lazio, while Filippo was high on success with Italian giants Juventus and AC Milan, winning three Serie A titles and two UEFA Champions League honours amongst several others.

Both brothers began managing their respective clubs at the start of this season, and it has been quite the ride for them.

Filippo Inzaghi started off with third-division Venezia, a fallen club in Italy under new American ownership, much to the surprise of many, including the owners themselves.

The club’s main goal in the near future is to return to the highest order of Italian football – the first division, where they last played in 2002.

They’ve gone bankrupt several times since, and their current form, Venezia FC, was born in 2015, when New York lawyer Joe Tacopina, along with several partners, purchased and rebranded the club.

The appointment of Filippo Inzaghi had been unexpected considering the stature and success of the man, but it brought the club great attention around Europe.

When asked about how he got Inzaghi invested into the project, Tacopina explained that it was Inzaghi himself who said he wanted to be involved and that he wanted to be associated with the rise of the club.

The older Inzaghi has completed one part of the intended aim, which was to help the club gain promotion into Serie B – the second division in Italy.

They’ve enjoyed an exceptional campaign, winning 23 of their 38 games, drawing 11 and losing just four – a run that also included an 11-game winning streak as they went on to finish as champions of their group with 80 points, 10 clear of fallen powerhouses Parma.

This was all achieved with a fine defensive record. They scored just 56 times in the season, averaging 1.47 goals per game, but conceded just 29 – the fewest in the division.

Furthermore, they’ve proved their mettle against the best sides in the division, with wins over top sides likes of Parma, Reggiana, Pordenone and Sambenedettese amongst many others adding the cherry on top of an excellent season.

They’ll be hoping to take it to the next level under Inzaghi in Serie B as Tacopina’s ambition to get the club back in the top flight having much more optimism than ever before.

Simone Inzaghi has been changing the scene in the top flight itself with his beloved Lazio.

The former forward, who spent most of his playing career with Lazio, was appointed manager of the club following a caretaker stint at the end of last season, and the resignation of manager Marcelo Bielsa just two days after he was appointed as Lazio boss in June 2016.

His job was simple: keep the club competitive in Serie A, but he’s done a lot more than just that.

Simone Inzaghi has helped Lazio sit pretty in fourth and has made the side compete for a Champions League qualification spot throughout the campaign.

Now mathematically impossible, the club will take positives from the fact that Inzaghi has added a certain aura to the side that has made them very hard to defeat.

With one game left to play, Lazio can finish the season with 73 points – the most since their title-winning campaign of 1999/2000, a side that Simone Inzaghi himself was a part of.

They also reached the Coppa Italia Final, where they lost 2-0 to Serie A leaders Juventus at their own Stadio Olimpico this past Wednesday.

His style of football is highly appreciated and the 40-year-old has developed a knack of placing faith in relatively inexperienced footballers this season.

Jordan Lukaku, brother of Romelu, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Keita Baldé – all under 23 years of age have risen to the challenge this season and have been of great influence this season while the expertise of Senad Lulić, Lucas Biglia and Ciro Immobile has played an important role in Lazio’s resurgence this season.

The capital club has seen goals come thick and fast this season, with their 72 being the joint third-most in Serie A with Juventus as only Napoli (86) and AS Roma (87) have scored more.

Under the circumstances, Simone Inzaghi has done a really good job with this blossoming Lazio team and has also earned interest from abroad, with West Ham United apparently keen on getting him to replace current boss Slaven Bilić.

Both Filippo and Simone Inzaghi have defied expectations this season and after glory-filled playing careers, the initial signs show that they’re set to continue the trend on the touchline.

Still only 43 and 40, both of them still have a long path ahead of them and their coaching careers are sure to take them places.

The Author

Karan Tejwani

Football fan and writer. Keen follower of South American football culture and an occasional thing or two for the numbers that make up the game. Currently residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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