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L’Aeroplanino to spread his wings at Catania

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By Andrew Harding

Monday 27 June 2011

A new season is approaching and once again there is a new man at the helm of Catania in the form of a surprising choice in Vincenzo Montella. Following his release from Roma, a club who have formed much of his football identity, Montella finds himself facing the challenge of coaching the Rossazzurri, a challenge that many have taken with differing results.

Bar any further changes to the tactician line-ups for the coming season, Montella will be the youngest Coach in Serie A. His young age only serves to increase the degree of risk attached for both Coach and club. The mutual risk of such a choice only adds to the intrigue from a neutral’s perspective. Montella’s experience of coaching are limited as last season’s caretaker role at Roma is his only job thus far. His spell in charge of Giallorossi is very difficult to assess. The ownership issues clouded Roma’s season and Montella did well to steady the ship as such but 16 games in coaching does not provide much of an idea as to his style. With his established relationships at the club prior to take the top job, the effect his coaching had on the team was to a large degree unclear but now, with a clean break and a complete change of scenery, L’Aeroplanino has an opportunity to develop his coaching philosophy and his methods.

The choice of club for Montella caused the most surprise. A significant portion of the risk attached for Montella is the tendency that Gli Elefanti have with changing Coach on a rather regular basis (Montella will be their eighth Coach since they returned to Serie A in 2006). Time is something Coaches are not often afforded and this is a club that is content with such a policy and in truth it has served them well as they are now an established Serie A side but for a young Coach looking to establish himself, the risk taken is admirable and indeed necessary in the current coaching climate. Montella can draw some inspiration from the recent minor success story that is former Catania Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic who recently rejected the overtures of Inter to continue his job at Fiorentina.

The opportunity is there for Montella to grasp and without the political backdrop he faced in his tenure keeping the Roma hot seat warm, the excuses for failure will be few and far between. Catania’s renowned Argentine recruitment policy is continuing with the club keeping tabs on Boca Juniors frontman Pablo Mouche amongst others and should they also keep hold of Maxi Lopez, the tools are there for Montella to succeed. The question is whether it will be too much of a culture shock for Montella.

Montella’s stay in Sicily is expected to be short in truth. After all, Coaches do come and go with increasing regularity in modern day football. The key thing is the impact it’ll have on the career trajectory of L’Aeroplanino. The situation is nothing if not enigmatic.

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