Antonio Conte isn't the only tactician who caught the eye of Italian football fans on this recent 2011/2012 season, as Zdenek Zeman also sparked his genius again with Pescara. The veteran re-launched his fame by once again creating an offensive side which managed to win the Serie B title by performing attractively, reminding many of his famous Foggia team back in early 90s. But what should we expect from the coach on his return to the topflight? Dewa Nugraha explains...
For Italian football lovers, especially those who already followed the sport way back in the early 90s, Zdenek Zeman's name must stick in your head, as his attacking football philosophy brought something fresh into Serie A. After several disappointing coaching years, the Czech is now set to resume his top flight coaching career again, although he m not do it with his current Pescara team as according to recent news, AS Roma would once again be his destination.
Zeman 's history with the Giallorossi started back in 1997 where he lasted until 1999, despite leading the club to fourth and fifth finish respectively, in his two seasons. He was eventually replaced by Fabio Capello. Apparently, the 65-year-old feels he has some unfinished business with the capital club, so leaving his current Defini boys looks to be a possible outcome.
Being known mostly for his work in bringing the best out of lower sides such as Foggia, Lecce and recently Pescara, one might still doubt whether the Czech could actually succeed at a bigger club. Until now, Zeman's best finish in Serie A was taking Lazio into second place, an achievement that for some top club owners may not be enough. That's why some would rather see the 65-year-old stay on with the Biancazurri for at least one more season, as they want to see a sparkling low tier team playing football for fun at the top.
However, it seems that Zeman's personal ambition in fixing things at Roma will beat Pescara's pledge, especially considering the current chaotic situation at the Giallorossi after Luis Enrique's resignation after the season ended. Having a similar approach to their football, the 65-year-old is being considered a suitable replacement for Enrique, as the capital club look to reclaim their spot amongst the competition's best.
Looking at the Giallorossi's current project, appointing Zeman might be an interesting solution to continue creating that new image they're craving for, becoming an entertaining attack minded football team. Without setting the bar too high, we might see another exciting 'Zemanlandia' type of magic back in Serie A next term, although there's always possibilities that things won't work out according to plan.
For those who aren't familiar yet with 'Zemanlandia', it's a footballing term which evolved when Foggia took Serie A by storm in the early 90s, introducing an exciting attacking brand of football with mostly youngsters and unknown players, who immediately reached fame after it. Zeman was the main culprit of that football idea, which is definitely a new breed in Italian football back then and maybe even still to this day. Creating a 4-3-3 system, that put more attacking emphasizes rather than defending, this system took away many neutral fans hearts, as they were entertained each time the veteran tactician's team took the pitch.
The attacking philosophy also attracted many critics, mainly due to the fact that Zeman's sides regularly leaked goals at the back. See Pescara's season just gone for a perfect example - 90 goals scored, but 55 conceded. In a very tactical and defensive mannered football environment, obviously many top clubs owners were not fond with Zeman's system, especially since it still hasn't resulted inany titles at a top level until this date.
Still, it would be interesting to see Zeman's work again in topflight football such as Serie A, whether it's with Pescara or most likely Roma, since attractive playing style have been pretty rare sightings in the competition recently. Moreover, with the current mess caused by the latest match-fixing scandal, 'Zemanlandia' is definitely something that Calcio fans can rely on for the upcoming season, which might actually be much more exciting despite of recent issues.
Have your say. Should Zeman stay with Pescara, or should he bring his attacking philosophies back to the Italian capital?