Del Piero’s Next Move

January 14, 2013 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

They say a coach is only as good as the performance his players give out on the park, and often that can mean your career is out of your control. Yesterday Sydney FC coach Frank Farina had his players, and one in particular, to thank for a win, when their performance did not warrant one. Ironically marquee player Alessandro del Piero had a poor game, but it was his pin point cross picking out Rhyan Grant that gave Sydney all three points after Brett Emerton had pulled them level. That is the sign of a quality player, who despite playing poorly can produce one moment of magic to turn a game. It was one of the unlikeliest wins of the season, and Melbourne Heart goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne will not want to watch the replays.

That moment and the impact that it had could in fact be a sign of things to come, it could in fact also seal Farina’s fate at the end of the season; He is only contracted until that point and will be judged on his performances as to whether he is rewarded with a new contract. To add weight to the influence of Del Piero was the substitution of Ali Abbas after 39 minutes, a move that looked to have been instigated by the Italian playmaker, and possibly confirmed by the player’s reaction.

In the context of one game this may mean little but Not The Footy Show believes that the day prior to Farina’s appointment, Del Piero offered to coach the club until the end of the season, as he was confident that he had the players’ support and the know-how to turn the season around. He is by all accounts very keen to move into coaching once his playing career has ended. This would have been the ideal time for him to cut his teeth, however the powers that be at Sydney FC had already made their decision.

Farina may be coach for the time being, and seven points out of a possible 12 in the last four games would show things are improving, the question is who is pulling the strings?

After such a disasterous season this year, Sydney FC cannot afford a similar season in 2013/14. They have already stated that Del Piero playing for the club has increased the profile of the club overseas, imagine what it would do if the gave him his first opportunity to coach. Del Piero is a God-like figure in Italy, revered by football fans across the country and no doubt all would be turning an eye to Sydney to see how he was going in his debut season as coach. Such an appointment would enable Sydney FC to stretch that interest in their club for another 12 months.

The other thing in Del Piero’s favour is the fact that the two Championships that Sydney FC have won have both been under foreign coaches, Pierre Littbarski and Vitezslav Lavicka in 2005/06 and 2009/10 respectively.

There is no doubt that such a move would be tough on Farina, but it makes a great deal of sense to the club as a whole. Del Piero is loved by the fans, respected by the players and has great PR appeal. He also has a phenomenal knowledge of the game having played at all levels, having won endless honours including the World Cup in 2006. Should he be successful and move back to Italy in a similar role, Sydney FC could stipulate that his new club plays a friendly against them. He would undoubtedly have contacts around the world which would enable him to bring in quality players, which Sydney FC desperately need. There is no way that Sydney could have as bad a season as they have had this year, and the hardest task he would face would be the unpleasant one of telling certain players they are no longer required.

Should he still be interested in such a role, the move would make perfect sense. This come-back-from-the-dead performance against Melbourne Heart could well be the game the directors refer back to and see the influence he has on the team, in fact this game could well have decided who will coach Sydney FC in 2013/14.



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