Former Genoa defender Claudio Onofri discussed this weekend’s Serie A clash between Lazio and the Rossoblu, and the deal that saw Denis Vavro join the Ligurian club in an interview with Italian media outlet Cittaceleste.it earlier today.

First, he spoke about the loan deal that took the 24-year-old Slovakian defender Denis Vavro to Genoa.

He was criticised in Rome because he did not do well at all, but I saw him play both at Zilina and Copenhagen and I say that I would have signed him at Genoa even before he arrived at Lazio.

He has had the typical difficulties of foreigners, from learning the language to how to be on the pitch. If he returns to being what I saw at Copenhagen, Genoa have got a great player.

He’ll have to prove it, that’s clear. I’ve seen him many times and he has good passing, a good shot, he takes free kicks… All things that he hasn’t shown in Italy.

For Genoa I hope he can come back as the player I saw in Denmark, he would be an excellent reinforcement for fighting relegation.

The 68-year-old Italian then commented on if he was happy to see Davide Ballardini return to Genoa’s bench. The former Cesena midfielder has coached the Rossoblu three teams in the past.

He was the only possible solution, him or Nicola, who was not confirmed even after last year’s great avoidance of relegation. Obviously, something was broken.

Ballardini had an excellent debut both environmentally, but we knew that because he is loved by the Genoa fans for the incredible results he’s achieved, but also at an organisational level.

With Spezia, with only two training sessions, a certain type of game was immediately apparent. Something that was almost never seen with Maran except in the home game against AC Milan.

I’m happy, he’s the right man in the right place.

Onofri touched on how the Ligurian side regularly changes coaches, limiting them from starting a long-term project.

Ballardini belongs to a strategy that unfortunately, in recent years, has often been seen at Genoa. Even three a year, from Andreazzoli to Thiago Motta up to Prandelli and then Nicola.

In football you can make one wrong choice, but not ten, all in the same issue, the choice of coach. There’s something that doesn’t work either when you choose the coach or when you change him, sometimes they haven’t even been patient enough.

Then there was Maran, who had many problems from injuries to Covid but I expected more from him knowing his human and tactical characteristics. The choice of coach is important, the club should know this, we must act carefully.

The former Genoa defender looked ahead to this weekend’s league clash between Ballardini’s side and Lazio.

I liked Ballardini’s approach against Spezia. It’s clear that Lazio’s values are completely different, we’ll need a game of great concentration and timing, we’ll have to inhibit Lazio’s game.

Lazio have some problems, they’re not reproducing what they did last season. The team is still incredible, apart from Immobile, they are players of a very high dimension.

He discussed Biancocelesti forward Vedat Muriqi, who has struggled to settle in Rome since arriving from Turkish side Fenerbahce in the summer transfer window.

Let’s go back to what we said about Vavro, the choices are not always right, but Tare guesses on average 8 out of 10 times correctly.

I know Muriqi, he scored a lot in Turkey and we are talking about a league that is not so low level, with important teams.

The player will slowly become important in my opinion, especially if Caicedo leaves, I know that Fiorentina likes him.

He’s not a phenomenon, but he’s definitely a player who can give you a big hand over the course of a season.

Finally, Onofri discussed which Biancocelesti players that he thinks could hurt Genoa on Sunday, excluding Italian star Ciro Immobile.

In Milan, Lazio showed their difficulties but also their merits, with their comeback after being two goals in 15 minutes.

Of course, the goal conceded from a set piece is a problem, it must be analysed by the squad, I don’t think it was just a lack of attention.

Acerbi and Leiva will be back, Lazio have a pool of players inferior only to Juve, Inter and perhaps Napoli. Their spot on the table does not reflect the value of the team.

From Milinkovic-Savic to Correa, and Acerbi and Leiva, they are strong players. Lazio’s squad deserves a higher spot in the league table than the one they currently have.


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