Football Club Lugano and Guillermo Abascal parted ways at the end of the first round and the Bianconeri appointed Fabio Celestini the new first team coach.

Well, both coaches managed the team for 9 games now. It’s therefore time for a comparison!

A comparison that, as usual in our style, includes statistics. But also a comparison that, especially in this case and in terms of statistics, must be interpreted. As we always say, statistics are a very interesting food for thoughts but they never tell the whole story.

In fact, it’s important to emphasise that Lugano, regardless of the results, seem now more solid.

In our opinion, Guillermo Abascal is not a bad coach. Far from that. Probably, however, and with all due respect, he was asking too much from his players. Without forgetting that the Spanish coach – probably because of the lack of experience – was way too much stubborn.

Mind you, it’s great to have clear ideas and take them through to the end. This is a symptom of personality and seriousness. At the same time, however, football is not an exact science. In other words, you always need to have a “plan b”. A “plan” that Guillermo didn’t seem to have. It was therefore not an accident that the Bianconeri earned most of their points during the first round when the players decided to go “outside the box”.


Guillermo Abascal left Lugano 6th placed while now the Bianconeri are 8th placed. Put it like this, it’s clear that the change of coach didn’t pay off. Let’s see…

The goal difference is exactly the same. In fact, however, Guillermo Abascal earned one more point compared to Celestini. Curiously enough, it was probably that point earned against Basel… in a game that will go down in history because of Angelo Renzetti “courtesy visit” on the bench during the game…

But let’s get down to the details… let’s start with the shots and shots faced.

Lugano’s number of shots remained unchanged. The only small difference concerns the shooting accuracy… Lugano under Guillermo Abascal had a 38.4% shooting accuracy while under Fabio Celestini have a 40.4% shooting accuracy.

Lugano’s number of shots faced increased with Fabio Celestini. We’re talking about minor changes though… in fact, it’s fair to say that overall the situation didn’t change.

Let’s move on to the scoring and saving percentage…

The scoring percentage slightly increased with Fabio Celestini. We’re talking about minimum difference here… Lugano’s lack of accuracy in front of goal is a chronic problem, after all. The main difference with Celestini, is mostly that the strikers started to score regularly compared to before.

Lugano’s saving percentage increased with Fabio Celestini. Also in this case, however, there is only a minimum difference.

Let’s move on to the trend of goals scored and goals against over the arc of the 90 minutes…

These charts show that once again there are no huge differences. It looks like, however, that Lugano under Fabio Celestini score – and concede – more during the latest stages of the games.

And now one more stat… the one of the average ball possession.

Also in this case, it’s safe to say that almost nothing has changed. Lugano’s average ball possession dropped by one percentage point with Fabio Celestini.

Finally then, one last stat. A significant one, in our opinion…

Lugano suffer much more fouls under Fabio Celestini… This could be because the Bianconeri are playing better football and this forces the opponents to foul them more often.

Well, now, after all these stats… let’s see our:


From the outside, it’s safe to say that results were not the main reason for Guillermo Abascal’s dismissal. At the end of the first round, Lugano were 6th placed after all… several stats, moreover, showed us that Lugano even got worst after Fabio Celestini’s arrival.

However, as we said… in this case, stats should really be interpreted.

Football is not an exact science. Obviously, there were problems between the club and the Spanish coach. Without forgetting that Guillermo Abascal proved way too stubborn… see even arrogant several times.

Fabio Celestini for his part proved immediately more “open”. This, for better or worse, it’s always an advantage because it allows to remain more calm.

Is Fabio Celestini therefore the right coach for Lugano? Surely, he hasn’t been able (yet) to turn things around in terms of results…

Now he’ll have a couple of weeks to work with the players though. So far, he’s been able to give the team a certain system of play… without forgetting that he’s been able to find the right place for several players.

Time will tell then, if Fabio and Lugano are made for each other.

Best wishes!