The rumors have been confirmed: Eusebio Di Francesco returns to the Sassuolo bench, just barely a month after being summarily dismissed by the struggling Serie A side. The neroverdi, five points from safety and currently dead last in the table, are hoping the return of the coach that brought them up from Serie B will help prevent them from sliding right back down.
The decision to fire Di Francesco was always a strange one. It occurred at the end of January, just after Sassuolo had revamped their squad during the transfer window, bringing in players that seemed to fit perfectly with the manager's attack-minded style. Odd, too, that the sacking came just two weeks after Sassuolo's biggest triumph of the season, a 4-3 victory over AC Milan.
In came Alberto Malesani, most recently seen managing Palermo for three games, after lasting just twenty days in his second stint as head coach at Genoa. Malesani lasted a bit longer at Sassuolo, guiding the side through five matches - and losing all of them. Unimpressive, to say the least.
Now Di Francesco has twelve matches to save Sassuolo from relegation. Fortunately, his first four challenges come against teams that have also struggled this season. Since the cautious approach failed, might as well let Di Francesco have another go at it. At least he's unlikely to be benching Domenico Berardi.