Since Cesare Prandelli publicly announced that he would be resigning as Italy’s Commisario Tecnico, rumours have been raging about who would be the next man to lead the Azzurri for the future. Many names have been thrown around, including Roberto Mancini, who recently has resigned as manager of Turkish side Galatasaray, other big names are Luciano Spalletti and Massimiliano Allegri, who were dismissed from their positions at Zenit Saint Petersburg and AC Milan respectively.
Hopefully, the readership of ItalianFootballDaily will have responded with a resounding: “NO!”, upon seeing Allegri’s name. Luciano Spalletti on the other hand could be an interesting choice. He is noted for his creativity on the offensive side of the ball, he is known for having aided in the rebirth of Francesco Totti in the 2006/07 Serie A campaign, of which Totti was the Capocannoniere. Although this is true, many Spalletti-lead teams have left something to be desired in terms of defense. Therefore, seeing as there are so many international forwards with the ability to dismantle a poorly constructed defense, I doubt that he would be the proper choice for the Azzurri.
The three mentioned above are all great coaches, (Milan fans forgive me), however, I do not think that they would be a good choice, because they are all club coaches, and as far as I know, they would like to remain as such for the time being, also they are not particularly known for their use or development of young players, which is something that the Italian FIGC should start reflecting on seeing as this last World Cup was the last with players from the last Golden Age of Italian football. It’s now the responsibility of both the Serie A teams and the FIGC that the next Italian Golden Age arrives as soon as possible. If this means giving the helm of the national team to a lesser-known manager, so be it.
That being said, there are some managers who I think would be a good choice for the Azzurri. My first choice would be Alberto de Rossi, he has coached AS Roma’s Primavera squad for the past 7 years and has helped produced such young players as Alessandro Florenzi, Alessio Romagnoli and Alessio Cerci. He has experience in a large team, granted not as the head coach, but he knows how to work. His expertise with young players would be ideal for the national team, since he can collaborate closer with Luigi Di Biagio as he coaches the Azzurrini.
One of the biggest concerns with the national team is how to curb the behavior of some of the more diva-esque players, who tend to make more noise on the field than off the field. More often than not, it is not a necessarily compassionate coach who adjusts off and on field antics, but a tough coach, a hard-ass. The first name that comes to me would be that of Edy Reja, he took a mediocre team with Lazio and took them to a respectable position, not huge in terms of performance however, he did all this with the almost invasive presence of Claudio Lotito over his shoulder, therefore I do not discount this feat at all. He has proven that he is a competent coach; he brought Napoli back to Serie A, and he performed well at Lazio, furthermore he is at the age when he might want to consider leaving clubs and going to national teams.
After the poor performance in this World Cup, Italy has to seriously shake things up if they want to reach the pinnacle of soccer yet again. They need a coach who can work side by side with the Under-21 coach to ensure that the best young players are getting the experience they need. He needs to be able to curb the personalities of players who’s off field antics make more headlines than their on-field performance. If the FIGC makes the wrong decision, this could turn into a very disappointing series of years for Azzurri fans. Lets all hope that they choose the right man for the job.