Written by Joshua O'Byrne (@JobJobBinks):
Rolando Maran was appointed by Chievo Verona in October 2014 to steer the club, who sat in seventeenth position, to safety. Chievo finished that season in fourteenth place and avoided relegation. In Maran's first full season with Chievo he brought the Flying Donkeys to a highly credible ninth place finish. Maran believes that his Chievo team can better that position this season and so far Chievo look very promising under Maran. It's time that people begin to sit up and take notice of Maran's great work at Chievo.
Chievo appointed Maran during the 2014-15 season and the former Chievo defensive stalwart successfully guided them to safety. Maran took over a team who were struggling to win matches in Serie A and often criticized for their bland style of play. Chievo, since 2011, have seemed to favor appointing bald managers and Maran continued this unusual trend. However this time it seems that Chievo finally got the (bald) man that they were looking for. Chievo were hoping to see the Maran that brought Catania to eighth place in the 2012-2013 Serie A campaign. In that season Maran achieved a record breaking 56 points for the Sicilian side and received many plaudits for his work with Catania.
Last season however he brought the Gialloblu to ninth place, a great job considering how close to relegation Chievo were the season before. Yet this time no one seemed to notice Maran's great work and the Italian tactician almost silently went about his business, with The Flying Donkeys improving every week. Maran did an excellent job last season, getting the best out of notoriously inconsistent players such as Valter Birsa and Riccardo Meggiorini. He kept the previous solidity that Chievo had under Corini while Maran has also added a more attacking edge to Chievo while keeping the gritty and tough style of play that the Flying Donkeys are known for. Alberto Paloschi's departure in January didn't help and Chievo still haven't found a suitable replacement. Maran is missing a goal-scoring striker in his team with Sergio Pellissier coming towards the end of his career and Meggiorini being more of a provider yet the Flying Donkeys achieved a credible top half finish. It could have possibly been even better had injuries been kinder to Maran's men.
The Gialloblu crucially managed to keep a hold of Maran this season amidst interest from Atlanta. Chievo have started this year like a house on fire gaining 10 points from the first five matches. Maran's team has already claimed some notable victories beating both Inter and Sassuolo. While Maran has not publicly set the objective of reaching the Europa League places, surely that must be his aim for this season. Perhaps the only thing that might hinder Maran is the previously mentioned lack of a goal scorer. Perhaps Antonio Flores Flores might be able to step up and provide some goals this year. So far this season none of Chievo's strikers have scored, however one could argue that if the strikers start scoring then the Gialloblu will be even more dangerous than they are now. Maran must be excited about the start that his side has made to the season. Although early doors The Flying Donkeys look like they can actually challenge for a Europa League place.
Chievo's revival is largely down to Maran's excellent work. So far Maran has gone quietly about his business and no one has really taken notice of the great work he is doing. However, I'm sure that at the end of the season he will be hoping that everyone will be talking about his Chievo side and how Maran made The Flying Donkeys soar once again.