Farewell Ivan

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It’s official, Juric is no longer the coach of Hellas Verona.

Richard Hough

The column of the week from Richard Hough for all the Verona-lovers speaking english.

It’s official. Ivan Juric is no longer the coach of Hellas Verona.

His contract with Hellas Verona, that should have kept him at the club until 30 June 2023, has been terminated. Juric has today signed a three-year contract with Torino, for a reported €2 million a year.

Juric obviously enjoys a challenge, joining a club that finished 17th in Serie A this season, just one place above the drop zone, and in an apparently precarious financial situation.

Juric’s decision comes down to just one factor – ambition.

His ambitions for Hellas Verona, both in terms of funding and objectives, were not met by the club’s hierarchy.

Juric wanted to strengthen his squad, while the club would only agree to new acquisitions if existing players moved on. Juric believed the club should be aspiring for a European finish, the club’s sole objective was salvation.

These differences in outlook were clearly irreconcilable.

While letting Juric go will inevitably be seen as another failure on the part of club president Maurizio Setti, the Croat, it seems, was determined to leave. Hellas even reportedly matched Torino’s offer to keep him at Verona, but Juric’s mind was already made up.

Juric has seemed unsettled for a few weeks and the reason is now abundantly clear. He has obviously been contemplating this move for a while, as on the pitch Hellas suffered a catastrophic dip in form.

Despite the feelings of shock, disappointment and dismay that accompany Juric’s departure, the overriding emotion is one of gratitude, not betrayal.

Juric has been a loyal, forthright and honest servant of the club, Verona’s most successful manager since the glory days of the Bagnoli era. Above all he deserves our gratitude for the incredible job he has done, achieving back-to-back top ten finishes for a side that most tipped for relegation, but one can’t help but feel regret for what might have been.

The search for his replacement has already begun, and Hellas are expected to announce their new coach in the next few days.

Amongst the names being touted are Vincenzo Italiano, Alessio Dionisi and Igor Tudor, the Croat defender who was on Pirlo’s coaching team at Juve. Like his friend Juric, Tudor is known to favour a back three, has a decent international profile and knows the Balkan states well, a favoured hunting ground for the Hellas scouting system in recent years.

Italiano is perhaps the preferred option, a former Hellas captain, he would command a salary similar to that of Juric. Having earned promotion with Spezia he guided them to a respectable fifteenth place finish this season. Spezia, though, are likely to cling on to their respected coach, who has a €1m release clause which might deter the notoriously frugal Setti.

Pep Clotet is another contender. Since joining Brescia in February he has achieved impressive results (ten wins and four draws from 18 games). He has no professional footballing experience but has coached at a decent level across Europe.

Other names in the frame include Paolo Zanetti and Rolando Maran. Zanetti has just achieved promotion with Venezia and, at just 38 years old, has no coaching experience in Serie A. Maran is an experienced if unspectacular coach who was sacked by Genoa in December.

Aside from the question of who will succeed Juric, of just as great importance is the question of who will follow him out the door. That list will certainly include Silvestri, Zaccagni and DiMarco, but could also include the likes of Barak, Ilic and Faraoni.

Whoever comes in will face a substantial task, as once again the prospect of uncertainty and defeat hangs over the club.

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