Written by Joshua O'Byrne (@JobJobBinks):
This season Lazio have made an excellent start to their Serie A season surpassing many people's expectations with 18 points after the first 10 rounds. Almost typically of the Biancocelesti the man who has brought the best out of them Simone Inzaghi, is someone who they didn’t actually want. After taking over from Stefano Pioli at the end of last season, Inzaghi did well to finish the season strongly with the Aquile. However, he was told that his services would no longer be required as Lazio chose to appoint Marcelo Bielsa. The eccentric Bielsa, to much controversy, never showed up and forced club president Lotito to return to Inzaghi and reappoint him. While it's not what Lotito had in mind the reappointment of Inzaghi has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Returning to the Biancocelesti was not going to be easy for Inzaghi. The club’s ultras were on strike in protest against stadium segregation and Keita Balde Diao and Felipe Anderson were both looking for moves in the summer creating a bad atmosphere around the club. Yet despite everything looking bleak in the summer, Inzaghi has managed to turn the whole atmosphere at the club around. The summer signings of Ciro Immobile and Jordan Lukaku have excelled under their new boss. The return of Stefan De Vrij has also been a boost and managing to keep a hold of the aforementioned Keita Balde Diao and Felipe Anderson. Both of whom have been in fine form this season under Inzaghi's guidance. Ciro Immobile is also having a fantastic season helped by the creativity of Keita and Anderson, the Italian striker has scored 8 goals already this season and looks more like the man who was capocannoniere for Torino two years ago.
Under Inzaghi so far this season Lazio have only lost twice, 2-0 away to Milan and a 1-0 defeat at home to champions Juventus. It seems having those eight matches at the end of last season to implement his ideas and get to know the squad has done Inzaghi a world of good. This season the Biancocelesti have been flying high under Inzaghi and look like a real contender for the European places. After all, minus Candreva this is a similar squad to the one the qualified for the Champions League play-off round just over twelve months ago. Another advantage for Inzaghi is they are not competing in Europe this year so they can focus their full attention on the Serie A campaign. Lazio are currently just two points off third place; I think they could be dark horses to finish in third and steal the final Champions League place.
Nonetheless, Le Aquile still have the usual problems such as Lotito being a hated figure by fans. The Ultras are also leaving the Curva Nord empty on matchdays, however if Lazio keep performing this well the Ultras might not be long about returning to the stadium. It's still early days yet as well and we have yet to see how Inzaghi's side responds when they come across a sticky patch of form. For now however Inzaghi will be hoping to make sure that his Lazio side continue to thrive in Serie A…