This past season, Serie A was a mixed bag. On one hand, the title race was the best it’s been in years. On the other hand, I would argue that the quality in Serie A was lower this year. It felt like none of the top teams were going to win the Scudetto. I’m kidding of course, but you know what I mean.
Here are my winners and losers from the 2021-2022 Serie A season.
The Scudetto winners will always be a winner. So, this choice is pretty obvious. But, there are several reasons why they won the Serie A title.
One of the big reasons is definitely their Manager, Stefano Pioli. During the 2019-2020 season, he was appointed fairly early into the season. A lot of fans thought he would only be there until the end of the season, which turned out differently than any of us could’ve predicted.
Not only did he stay with them, but he also became one of the best managers in Serie A. Milan fans must be relieved that the upper management decided to keep him for the 2020-2021 season, despite being linked to the veteran manager and sporting director, Ralf Rangnick.
We should also talk about Milan’s squad. Not only do they have some of the best young talents in the league, but they also have top veteran leadership. Additionally, the likes of Sandro Tonali, Rafael Leao, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu and Mike Maignan really surprised me this season. In general, the squad emerged at the right time. As a result, they are Italy’s current Serie A champion!
In the 2021 offseason, Fiorentina originally hired Gattuso to be Fiorentina’s new manager. For some reason, that ended before a game was played. Soon after that, Fiorentina found its new manager. His name was Vincenzo Italiano, who had managed Spezia last season. Little did we know how good Fiorentina would actually perform under him, though.
It turns out he led them to a top 10 finish for the first time since 2017-2018. His combination of ruthless attacking tactics as well as his good squad management led them to be 7th. He didn’t win Serie A Manager of the Year, which I thought he should’ve.
Even if you’re a fan of another league other than Serie A, you should keep an eye out for Vincenzo Italiano. He could be coming to a league near you!
In the Summer of 2021, Hellas Verona lost its highly praised manager, Ivan Juric. They appointed Eusebio Di Francesco as his replacement. However, it quickly became a disaster and he got sacked. Then, they appointed former Udinese manager and Juventus assistant manager, Igor Tudor.
What a hire this was! From the first few games of Tudor being in charge, you could see the impact he was making. He did so well. He led them to a top 10 finish, which is incredible given where they were under Di Francesco.
Even members of the squad held their weight. Players such as Antonin Barak, Giovanni Simeone, and Davide Faraone were super important for this team down the stretch. If they want to keep being a top 10 team, they will have to fend off clubs’ interest in some of their talented players.
When Allegri got hired for another stint with the bianconeri, I was very surprised. As a fan of the club, I didn’t know what to make of it. Yes, he did a lot for Juve in his previous time at the club. But, I wasn’t sure if his style would fit with the squad and if his tactics still work on a consistent basis in today’s game.
After 10 games, it became pretty obvious to me that his style of play doesn’t work anymore and from then on, I realized Juve would be lucky to win a trophy during the season. What I’ve come to realize is that players aren’t taught to defend most games for over 45 minutes anymore. So, that’s a big reason why Juve failed this season.
It wasn’t just Allegri’s tactics that led to Juve performing below expectations, though. It was also the fact that for some reason at the worse times of the season, Juventus’ squads have been injury-ridden. This has been happening for the last few seasons at least. Additionally, I want to point out that this also tends to be a problem for other Serie A teams who compete in multiple competitions, which is interesting as well.
Juve’s other big problems are their midfield and the whole left side of the field. In my view, Juve has improved their central midfield the past couple of seasons. However, they need better box-to-box midfielders, in my opinion.
The part of the field that I think is the biggest concern for Juve is the left side. It’s great to see how well Cuadrado does by generating a lot of Juventus’ attacks on the right side. But, if Juve doesn’t address their left side it will be an issue that not even Chiesa or Cuadrado can compensate for.
I know it’s tough to find a top left-back nowadays. But, Juve will need to find one that is explosive and will generate attacking play on that side. Alex Sandro isn’t cutting it. Juve will also need a fast and fairly technical left-winger. If I were Juve, I’d look at trying to sign two out of the likes of Antony, Tagliafico, Julian Draxler or Raphael Guerreiro.
As a general Serie A fan, it’s sad to say that the oldest club in Italy has been relegated for the first time in 15 years.
There are so many factors that have led to this, including lack of revenue. But, the one I want to talk about is their managerial situation.
In the past three seasons alone, Genoa has sacked managers eight different times. That’s absolutely insane! How are players supposed to be at their best when there is a lack of stability at Genoa? In that type of situation, it seems absolutely unfair to everybody. However, as a person who loves Serie A, I hope Genoa figures things out and comes back to Serie A stronger.
Like every Serie A season, there are always winners and losers. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Beyond all that though, this past season was super unpredictable and that made it fun to watch. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next season!