Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Italian Job
Italian football coaches are the benchmark all over the world, and have really integrated their principles into England.
Fabio Capello is now the English national team manager, and it is not uncommon for players in the England camp to talk about the levels of discipline and professionalism both on and off the field.
Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea) and Roberto Mancini (Man City) now follow the path that was initially blazed by Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea from 2000 to 2004; since then, former Rainieri imports Gianluca Vialli (Chelsea), Gianfranco Zola (West Ham United) and Roberto Di Matteo (West Bromwich Albion) have all taken their turn in management as well.
As Kelowna.com reports, you can gauge the significant differences in off-field expectation levels between the English and Italian coaches.
The Italians have brought a touch of professionalism to the English game, ending the culture of “win or lose, we’re off to booze.” That’s something another Italian, Claudio Ranieri, noticed when he managed Chelsea from 2000 to 2004.
“There is this different culture in England, a different tradition of the players’ deportment from that here in Italy,” said Ranieri now coaching Roma in Italy’s Serie A. “In England, you fight hard on the field, then the match is over and you can think about the next thing.
“In England, it might be normal for a player to drink more than is wise and to party. All that behaviour you read about is strange to Italian soccer culture. Here, players are expected to be disciplined in their own lives.”
One player who noticed that difference was Ray Wilkins, who moved from Manchester United to AC Milan in 1984.
“I had played for Manchester United, but I can honestly say I didn’t fully become a professional until I moved to Milan when I was 27,” Wilkins told the Independent newspaper. “Diet, training, everything was totally different. Now that difference has been totally negated. It has gone totally at the top level. ”
Gianluca Vialli, a former Chelsea manager who ended his illustrious playing career with the London club after moving from Italy, wrote an interesting book about the differences between the English and Italian approaches to soccer a few years ago called The Italian Job.
“To the Italian footballer, football is a job,” Vialli wrote. “To the English footballer, it’s a game.”
Posted by Mike Jacobs at 7:22 AM