Who will take over?

Posted on 05/03/2010


By Mina Rzouki | FootballItaliano
Alberto Zaccheroni is only here for the short haul and the media has been speculating about who will take over the coach’s hot seat for the start of the new campaign. Many names have been mentioned including Cesare Prandelli and Rafa Benitez but very few deserve the honour of being the next Juve tactician.

Latest news surrounding the peninsula suggest that the Juve board has been in touch with Antonio Conte in view of him taking over. This is after all the ex captain of the Bianconeri, a legendary icon and a decorated leader. However, employing him, despite his impressive work with Bari in Serie B would be a grave mistake. Juve is a struggling club which is trying desperately hard to recapture their glory both on a domestic and European level. As such, they need to hire a coach who can cope with such a packed schedule, who has the experience to coach a side playing Champions League games and who has the personality to instil discipline into these players. Conte may not have the nice guy approach, many criticised Ciro Ferrara for having, but despite his apparent mental strength, his inexperience will see him suffer if only because he will have an inexperienced Management backing him. His time will come but for the moment he should not be in contention if only to stop Gian Piero Gasperini from complaining.

The Italian who is infamous for his love of Juventus has often expressed his concern with the hiring of inexperienced coaches. Not only are they a big risk for the club in question but they are also a slap in the face to those tacticians who, like him, have worked for years to garner the necessary experience and credentials in hopes of one day taking over the coaching role at a big club. Gasperini has long been hailed as the fans’ choice for the hot seat in Turin. He has done wonders at Genoa to revive their fortunes, have turned them into a fabulously attacking team and has brought the best out of certain players who were once thought of as average. However, despite the positives, one should remember that Genoa currently have one of the worst defences in the league this year and have struggled to keep any clean sheets. This is indeed worrying considering the defensive mess the Old Lady finds herself in. Furthermore, considering the current Management’s failure to make good choices, Juventus desperately need a coach who has the experience and confidence to take full control without being pushed around, a man who will stand up to the directors and who will deploy his own ideas. Is Gasperini big enough?

“When I met Rafa I realised maybe for the first time just how important a coach is. He’s not just someone who sticks 11 people on the pitch and chooses a system.” These are the words of Fernando Torres in an interview he conducted with Four Four Two. When it comes to noting the positive effects of hiring Mr Benitez, they are many. He is meticulous and inspiring with his attention to detail, a man who has won plenty with both Valencia and Liverpool and a renowned tactician known for his no nonsense style of play. The only problem is, he needs to spend a lot of money to win.
Liverpool’s recent publicised woes and financial problems have aided in the demise of the Red’s season with many calling for Rafa’s dismissal and many can see why. His hit and miss signings coupled with his insistence on playing key players out of position has certainly won him many critics in England. And lest we forget, he has failed in winning the much coveted league title that has eluded Liverpool since 1990. But before you shake your head with fury at the chance of landing this Spaniard, remember this: Liverpool achieved 86 points last season and were only defeated twice and were only pipped to the post by a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Manchester United. As for Liverpool’s Management, very few can keep the boat sailing whilst a club attempts to cope with financial woes.

Lastly there’s Cesare Prandelli, probably the most brilliant Italian coach in Serie A who would relish the opportunity to embark on a brand new project. The Viola coach needs no introduction. He has restored the grandeur of Fiorentina, has exploited the strengths of each of his squads, has amazed many with his impressive tactical knowledge and has produced a team that is able to outclass and outplay any opponent. Furthermore, he knows what it means to be a Bianconero, having played under Giovanni Trapattoni at a time when Juve was unbeatable. He would certainly be this writer’s pick but Juve will have to fight to steal this man away from his purple project and from the grasp of the Italian FA who would love nothing more than to have him as the next Azzurri coach.

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