Chievo Verona has been one of the most exciting teams in Europe over the last few seasons. Their spectacular attacking football brought them many fans from all across the world and the club is one of the main reasons Serie A has regained popularity as one of the most entertaining leagues. Except in this Universe, Chievo is the exact opposite.
The Flying Donkeys have been known for years for their pragmatic style, which more often than not translates into extremely dull football. Dull or not, what's most important for Chievo, and their (not so numerous) fans, is that they enjoyed a successful season in Serie A and will be in the top division yet again.
Last season they finished the campaign around the middle of the table, safe from the relegation battle, and that's what the Flying Donkeys will be looking to repeat. Could their new coach, Giuseppe Sannino, bring a more adventurous style of football while still staying clear of relegation? Their transfer window was once again very smart (in my opinion, there are no more than 2 or 3 Directors of Football in Italy that do their job better than Chievo's Giovanni Sartori), but it doesn't really promise spectacular football. It promises, as we're accustomed to with Chievo Verona, pragmatic football that gets the job done.
Luciano. The artist formerly known as Eriberto has left the clivensi after almost 12 and a half years at the club (he spent half a season at Inter). No great loss in terms of his importance last season, considering his advanced age, but the 37-year-old Brazilian is a club legend and second only to Sergio Pelissier when it comes to appearances in the yellow-blue shirt.
Isaac Cofie. The 22-year old Ghanaian who played 27 games for the Flying Donkeys before leaving for Genoa. Cofie isn't a spectacular player in any way, but he had an important role in the midfield and will be missed by Chievo Verona.
Marco Andreolli left Chievo to return to Inter Milan, the club where he started as a kid. He was one of the most important players for Chievo over the last three seasons, but they let him go on a free this summer.
Bojan Jokič, the Slovenian left back, left for sunny Spain where he's joined up with Villarreal.
Kamil Vacek returns to former club Sparta Prague after spending three seasons in Verona.
Manuel Pamić. The left back has been brought in on loan from Sparta Prague, where he spent the last four seasons. Pamic actually earned a call up for the Czech Republic, but he declined it stating he wants to play only for Croatia.
Dejan Lazarević will be the fastest flying donkey next season. The Slovenian winger transferred from Genoa, but spent last season on loan at Modena where he performed very well.
Ivan Radovanović adds to the list of ex-Yugoslav players that joined Chievo this season. He came from Atalanta where he had a solid season, managing to get a few call ups for Serbia along the way.
Boadu Acosty. The promising Ghanaian winger comes from Fiorentina on loan, after a good season on loan with Juve Stabia in Serie B. Along with Lazarevic, Acosty is probably the most exciting signing for Chievo.
Keep an eye on
It's hard to say with Chievo. Their biggest strengths are team-based rather than individual based. But could this perhaps be the season in which Alberto Paloschi finally shines? This product of Milan's youth system has been likened to Filippo Inzaghi, but, with the exception of one season with Parma a few years ago, he hasn't shown much quality, let alone anything resembling Superpippo's feeling for goal. Last season, however, he was a bit more consistent, scoring 7 goals. This could potentially be the season in which he finally explodes -- and potentially makes Chievo a tiny bit more interesting.
With the new coach, Giuseppe Sannino, maybe we can hope for a little less dull football from Chievo. But what he will expect is that Chievo will, once again, be battling for survival. That fight takes priority over exciting football, but the Flying Donkeys will almost certainly succeed.