Mancini, Capello & Trapattoni: Italians in Important Coaching Positions Outside Italy
Several Italian coaches have successfully worked outside Italy in the last few years including former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti who succeeded in achieving a historic double in his first season in charge in London by leading the Blues to the English Premiership title and the FA Cup trophy. Ancelotti would be relieved of his duties at the end of the following season despite finishing second in the league. Chelsea had long set sights on winning the elusive Champions League, so without an extended run in the European competition coupled with the failure to win a domestic title doomed Ancelotti’s fate.
Roberto Mancini took over as Manchester City boss towards the end of 2009 replacing Mark Hughes who failed to impress and was duly sacked as manager of the Citizens. Mancini brings a strong CV as a player but more importantly as a winning coach. Mancini won the Italian Serie A title three time as coach of Inter. Since taking over manage of the Citizens, Mancini was able to win the FA Cup last season while finishing inside the top four in the Premiership to guarantee qualification to the Champions League. This season the Citizens are undefeated in Premier League action and are five points ahead of city rivals Manchester United.
Fabio Capello was appointed as England manager in 2008 and the strict disciplinarian known as ‘Don Fabio’ has a decent record of 28 wins and 6 losses in 42 matches in charge of the Three Lions. However, Capello’s reign has not been all smooth with a disappointing World Cup in South Africa when the English were hammered by the Germans (regardless of the ‘goal’ which was never awarded to England). Capello’s tenure will be judged once England’s journey in Euro 2012 is over. Capello’s time can be summarized as promising during the qualifiers yet disappointing during the World Cup because the Three Lions only managed to draw against both the United States and Algeria. However, England managed to defeat both Spain and Sweden by the same scoreline of 1-0 in recent friendlies to end 2011 without suffering a single defeat.
Perhaps one of the proudest managers at the moment is none other than the highly decorated Giovanni Trapattoni who won league titles in Italy, Germany, Portugal and Austria. Trapattoni succeeded in leading the Republic of Ireland into their first major tournament since World Cup 1994 (the Irish were managed by Jack Charlton) and qualifying to Euro 2012 marks the first European championship the Irish will be competing in since Euro 1988. This must be extremely special for Trapattoni since the Irish were unjustly eliminated from contention for World Cup 2010 when Frenchman Thierry Henry used his hand to assist on the equalizer scored by William Gallas in Paris in the return leg of the playoff match between the two sides.
Marcello Lippi is currently unemployed but has hinted on more than one occasion that he would like to take charge of a non-Italian team and possibly a national team with a chance of making World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Despite his disappointing World Cup in 2010 during his second stint with the Azzurri, Lippi’s accomplishments cannot be diminished considering he won the Champions League with Juventus and the World Cup with Italy in Germany 2006. Alberto Zaccheroni is in charge of the Japanese national team and he was able to lead Japan to a historic fourth title in the Asian Cup following a 1-0 win over Australia in 2011 in Qatar.
The next 12 months promise to be an exciting one for Italian coaches outside Italy with Mancini primed to fight for the Premiership title while both Capello and Trapattoni will lead England and Ireland respectively during Euro 2012. In addition, it would not be surprising to see one of Ancelotti or Lippi take over a prominent coaching job in 2012.