Most transfer windows for European leagues officially opened at 1 July. Big transfer has already decorate the newsfeed, but the coaches flux around Europe is even more staggering. Some notable change of coaches in major clubs are Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG, and Inter Milan. It is always difficult –if not impossible- to make pre-judgement if the new coaches will succeed with their new club . But, let’s have brief analysis to see if the clubs point the right man at the right time and right place.
David Moyes couldn’t hope for greater jump of career. Now he will replace the most succesful coach in EPL history viz. Sir Alex Ferguson. Either Moyes could continue the glorious legacy of Sir Alex is a big question mark for now, but it seems MU have picked the right man for coach seat. Moyes edged out 2 other strong candidates namely Pep and Mourinho.
In term of trophy, Moyes is far far more inferior. But MU have other consideration for their coach requirement which is continuity. Pep might have built 1 of finest teams in history and Mourinho’s cold hand has guided various teams across Europe to achieve unimaginable success . But, we haven’t seen how Pep fares in long term career while Mourinho is notorious for his nomaden short term coaching tenure. MU had enjoyed the stability brought by Sir Alex in his 26 years career. They surely still want to continue such continuity and Moyes is the man. He was the coach of Everton for 11 years and guided The Toffees to punch above their weight, highlighted by reaching Champions League in 2005.
The 6 years contrac offered by MU signals what the board want from Moyes. MU will give Moyes much time to continue and build his dynasty, unlike the typical modern coach contract which generally 2 or 3 years. At other side, such lengthy contract could backfire MU if Moyes cannot perform well. Remember, Moyes hasn’t lift any trophy yet until now, not to mention if he could handle the pressure at the big club and the comparison to his predecessor.Still, it seems Moyes is the right man for MU.
Guess who returns to London once more. Welcome again, Jose Mourinho The Special Happy One ! The Blues fans must have already imagined another bountiful spell by Mourinho. Only, it could turn out to be the bad one. The main stumbling stone is the conflict between Abramovich and Mourinho.
The Russian oil tycoon loves to encroach the manager job with his minimum knowledge of football while the high-ego Portuguese always wants the full control of his team. The combination of them will not yield good result as could be seen in Andriy Shevchenko transfer who became large waste of money.
Also, the former always crave for beautiful football while the latter is famous for his pragmatic approach. Mourinho recently promised to change his skin into more attractive football, but we know that it will not become easy job. Remember that the very same man promised to meet the high standard by Madridistas to play beautiful football yet he failed to do so. Madrid might scored 475 goals under his stint, but please distinguish the definition between beautiful and productive football. The same case could occur in Chelsea.
There are 3 possible outcomes of such the transformation. First, the extreme transformation will yield unstability which will lead to failure. Second, realizing that abrupt change is impossible and then decides to lower the gear to have more gradual change. Third, Mourinho’s magic works and Chelsea still succeed. For first and second possibility, we know that Abramovich neither tolerates any slightest failure nor has the patience. For the third possibility, well, it will be the ideal scenario, but can they achieve such miraculous feat ?
There are still other problems to be addressed such as, could Chelsea and Abramovich sustain the high operational cost by Mourinho ? How would Chelsea cope with Mourinho’s departure in future ? Can Abramovich run his club only by setting short term success and not long term development ? Anyway, Chelsea fans should be more anxious than they feel now.
The sacking of Roberto Mancini is a right call by City. Gameplay wise, he couldn’t keep his team playing at constant high level, let alone to improve them. The lack of identity in City’s gameplay is the most glaring aspect. The slump at continental competition and terrible man-management didn’t help the Italian to keep his job. Thank you Mancio for the BPL title, but we really need to improve; said every Manchester City stakeholders. The appointment of Manuel Pellegrini echoes such sentiment correctly. He is the coach who brought Villareal to UCL semifinal and Malaga to quarterfinal. With such good tradition in European stage with limited resources, City will be very hopeful to see Pellegrini keeps his magic working.
As the case with Abramovich and other sugardaddies of football, they all want both beautiful and succesful football. Pellegrini is the fan of attacking football, it seems there will be no friction between him and the boards about the football tactical issue. The more potential arising issue is about the success. The only high profile club in Pellegrini CV is Real Madrid. Here, he experienced the mixed bag result between success and failure. Back then, he broke the points amassed in one season only saw himself being beaten by Barcelona which accumulated even more points. Then, Madrid was out at UCL in the hand of Lyon and their involvement in Copa Del Rey is nothing short of embarassment, edged out by Alcorcon. But, Pellegrini had logical and great reason of such failure that Madrid really didn’t take his opinion into account in building the team. Now, he will be given more freedom. Expecting instant succesful debut season may be too much, but Citizens could expect at least a challenge for domestic title or further progress in Champions League.
The quest for La Decima isn’t over yet for Real Madrid and now it is Carlo Ancelotti’s turn to deliver. The 2 UCL cups with AC Milan and couples more of trophies cement him as the big club specialist and Madrid can’t help but be attracted by him.
Ancelotti fits all the bill required for Los Merengues. He is not only known for delivering trophies whichever club he is at, but also for his exceptional man management. His ability to compromise his opinion and his superior’s is one key aspect which tempts Madrid to hire him. Remember that Ancelotti used to deal with the likes of Berlusconi and Abramovich who think they can be the president, technical director, and tactical expert at the same time. His approach to players and press are also the attribute that Madrid seek. You will not hear Don Carlo spat with media, boycott the press conference, and have a strife within his club. Madrid already have enough all sorts of controversies during Mourinho tenure and now it is time for them to turn over a new leaf. Once Ibrahimovic told the press that after winning Ligue 1 ,Ancelotti thanked every player personally for theri effort. Such gentle paternal approach is what Madrid urgently need. Furthermore, Ancelotti’s attacking style is what the club seek for and Madrid must hope for even slightest chance to salvage their €65 million Kaka.
If there is downside from Don Carlo, it is how he neglects young player development. His AC Milan, Chelsea, and PSG are all about revolving around established and senior players. Barring Carvajal, Madrid barely have any Castilla alumnus in their first team roster. Madridistas must wait longer to see their next Raul and Casillas. But, it is Madrid afterall. They have close to infinite money to spend in every transfer window and they couldn’t care less about youth development as long as they get their hand on trophies. Neverthless, Ancelotti is still the right choice for Madrid.
Don’t fix what’s not broken ? Screw it, Bayern Munich just replace their treble winner coach with another coach namely Pep Guardiola. The B. Munich management must not see the glorious treble coming when they announced Pep as their new coach at the halfway of 2012/2013 season. Jupp Heynckes is the first coach to bring treble winner to German team, but Pep did it even better with sexthuple with Barcelona. Still, there is no guarantee Pep could emulate his Barcelona achievement with Munich. It is such a risky move by the Bavarian. If there is obvious adventage that Bavarian get from Pep, it will be the leak how Barcelona run La Masia and establish it as one of best football academy in the world.
Pep will not have any difficulty to adapt in his new club. The current B. Munich is heavily influenced by Barcelona possession football, only the German add more versatility and physical presence in their arsenal. The lack of competitors in domestic league surely remind him to the familiar condition in La Liga where there is only Madrid to stop him.
Pep only has managed Barcelona in top tier competition. It is the succesfull 3 years, but it is hard to forecast the future by those mere 3 years. Anyway, winning Bundesliga is a must. Anything lower will be deemed as failure. As for UCL, it seems the UCL curse (where no team can win it for 2 consecutive years) is too strong to be broken. So, the failure in UCL would be acceptable as long as they are out in non-embarassing fashion. The 2013/2014 season will not be very interesting, but the upcoming season will be more exciting to see how B. Munich and Pep progress.
The one who fill Ancelotti’s shoes in PSG is Laurent Blanc. His run with France national team during 2010-2012 was decent, but how he led Bordeaux reigning over France was very exceptional. It is expected for him to lead PSG win the league once more.
The major problem is at continental stage. Nasser Al-Khelafi, as the president of PSG, certainly isn’t content by only domestic domination. He has already invested large chunk of money and now he must set his eye on European domination. Blanc himself doesn’t have impressive track record in cup competition. Not to mention he has Ibrahimovic in his team and we know the trend with him : win every domestic league, but fall in every UCL competition. Unless Blanc messes up, winning domestic title will not be difficult, but winning UCL is not the case. It will be interesting how Al-Khelafi will react to it. Does he consider winning only Ligue 1as a success or failure ? If somehow AS Monaco rise and snatch the Ligue 1, will he still trust Blanc ? Does he have the patience to wait his team become ready to be European powerhouse ? Or will he act like other sugardaddies who always demand instant success ? Only time can tell.
The gamble by hiring Stramaccioni as permanent coach of 2012/2013 turned out to be utter disaster for Inter Milan. This season, Moratti opted for safe route by appointing Walter Mazzarri. He is already well-proven in Serie-A with Livorno, Reggina, Sampdoria, and Napoli. He revived Livorno back to Serie-A, surviving Reggina despite 11 points deduction, leading Sampdoria to 2nd place at Coppa Italia, and 2nd place in Serie-A, Coppa winner, plus UCL competition for Napoli. Those were terrific track records which manage to lure Moratti to approach him.
The target for upcoming season is nothing less than UCL spot. The absence of European competitiion really hurt Inter a lot and Mazzarri will make sure it doesn’t happen again. With his experience and the players quality in his arsenal, 3rd spot in league table will be minimum target while becoming the champion is still possible.
Coincidentally, Stramaccioni once used 3-5-2 system in Inter and this scheme is also Mazzarri’s main formation in Napoli. The type of players in Inter are also not so much different with what he had in Napoli. So, adaptation will not be an issue here and the quest for Champion League spot will be smoother.
The only problem is just how long Inter and Moratti can continue with such tinkering pattern every years. Mazzarri may be the right man to rejuvenate Inter, but can Moratti give him full trust and authority like he gave to Mourinho ? They are not only important for Mazzari, but also to upcoming years ahead. We still don’t have any clue for how long Mazzarri will stay at Inter, but if Inter want to have sustainable succes in future, they better learn to trust their coach and they can start from Mazzari. UCL spot for 2013/2014 season ? Likely. Scudetto ? Maybe. Stability and continuity in future ? Not sure.