Prandelli a coach with morals, respect and standards

Cesare Prandelli is a coach with high moral standards who shows and expects a high moral standard in return.


Francesco Saverio Intorcia a reporter with La Repubblica made the bold claim last Saturday that Italy manager Cesare Prandelli will “almost certainly” coach Tottenham.

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There is the small matter of a World Cup to get out of the way first where England meet his Italians in the sweltering heat of Manaus on June 14th in the Group stages.

Despite Tim Sherwood having Spurs closer to the top of the table at this stage of the season than any other Spurs manager since the top flight was rebranded in 1992, speculation has continued and after the woeful Norwich performance, not our first, it's not hard to see why.

You only have to look at Manchester United to see the difference a quality manager can make. With an average team for the last couple of years he finished second and won the title. An average manager comes in and with basically the same players they are below us, miles away from the top of the table.

Appointing a complete novice was a wrong move. Obviously it was an interim appointment without the Rafa Benitez title until some of the national managers became available after the World Cup. The only other positive to come out of this is the form of Adebayoe who is carrying Spurs with his goals right now.

Louis Van Gaal has been one of the names prominently mentioned as being a target. He is currently managing the Holland national side and has not distanced himself from the Spurs role or the Premier League when he has been asked.

“There’ll be a moment I can tell you guys more about that but that moment is not now.”

“I’ll quit after the World Cup… and everybody knows that there’s one more top competition I would like to work in.”

That rather suggests he wants to come to England and that there is something he knows that others don't. However he is not the only name in the frame.

Cesare Prandelli is currently managing Italy, rather successfully, and is expected to become available after the World Cup. Italy rather like their managers to serve for 4 years before they move on, his predecessor Marcello Lippi came out publicly to say just that.

Unlike Van Gaal though, Prandelli has made no comments on his or situation or the Spurs speculation. His reputation is of being a gentleman who respects others so his code of ethics would prevent him doing so.

Back in September though, Sky Italia’s Alessandro Alciato claimed Prandelli will step down after the World Cup. At the time that rather forced Prandelli's hand so he announced to La Repubblica on February 5th:

“After the friendly with Spain I will meet with [FIGC] president [Giancarlo] Abete and we will make a series of considerations. We will not go to Brazil with the matter in suspense.”

Clearly then Prandelli will have his future sorted before he goes to the World Cup, at least his future with Italy.

Giancarlo Abete says “there’s still the possibility [Prandelli] could stay after Brazil,” which rather indicates that at the moment it is doubtful.

Many international managers, and Prandelli is no different, miss the day-to-day work with the players which only adds fuel to the general belief in Italy that a manager should only manage the national team for 4 years. Their thought is the players might grow tired of hearing the same manager.

Prandelli has worked minor miracles with Italy. When Marcello Lippi left in 2010 Italian football was in a poor state and Italy had the problem England have with the number of nationals playing in their league. They had just finished bottom of a group including Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Prandelli worked to restore national pride both in the fans and players. He imposed a code of conduct and took on a role of social responsibility. He too the players to train on local pitches the locals were too afraid to use amid mafia intimidation. He took them to train in towns that had suffered natural disasters and invited lower league players who reported match-fixing to spend time with the national team.

Clearly this is a man of morals, a man who will stand no nonsense, a man who gives you responsibility and expects you to conduct yourself in a professional manner. Reading up on the man I am beginning to like him already.

He has ditched the stero-typical notion of defensive play and has Italy playing attacking possession football, looking to impose themselves on the opposition. He took the team to the Euro 2012 final, a remarkable achievement from where they were just 2 years earlier.

After the World Cup there is unlikely to be a job to suit him in Italy, were he to leave the national team. Juventus intend to extend Antonio Conte’s contract, Milan have replaced Massimiliano Allegri (favourite to succeed Prandelli) with Clarence Seedorf. Inter under their new owner Erik Thohir seem intent on retaining Walter Mazzarri. The options in his home country are limited.

Franco Baldini chose Prandelli to replace Fabio Capello at Roma a decade ago so the two have history. Could it really be that Franco has spoken to him and convinced him to take the Tottenham job? Would that help the likes of Erik Lamela feel more comfortable?

It is believed that Spurs have made contact with Prandelli and it would seem natural that Baldini would be the man to do so without raising suspicion or undue concern. The noises being made are that he is keen on the idea and his salary of just £2 million a year would be less than other top managers.

It may be that Daniel Levy wants 62 year-old Louis Van Gaal and Baldini wants 56 year-old Cesare Prandelli. If it were a straight choice between the two I'd probably opt for Prandelli.

If the Italian is to join Spurs it will be Italy's loss and our gain.





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