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Which Viola players would make good managers?

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As we hit the international break, it’s time to engage in a bit of whimsy.

ACF Fiorentina v AS Roma - Serie A
Pictured: eyeing a new career.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

One thing I like about international breaks is that they give us a time to take a deep breath, re-evaluate everything that’s going on with the team, and then ask all the stupid questions we don’t have time for during the 2-matches-a-week craziness of the season. To that end, we’ve rated the Fiorentina squad in terms of how good they’d be as managers after they hang up the boots. 10 is a Guardiola/Sacchi/Chapman-level visionary, while 1 is Delio Rossi on a bad day. We’re only looking at players who’ve been with the club for at least a couple of years, to make sure we’ve got a good grasp on their personalities.


Davide Astori: 7. His understanding of the game and commitment to good passing out from the back would make him a good tactician, and his quietly reassuring presence—he’s universally popular with his teammates—mean he could probably inspire a squad as well.

Khouma Babacar: 4. He’d be an excellent player’s manager, given his convivial nature, but his tendency to drift in and out of matches makes one wonder about his understanding of the game.

Milan Badelj: 3. Would probably be an excellent tactician, but his prolonged flirtation with AC Milan indicates a certain unsteadiness that would probably torpedo his chances.

Federico Bernardeschi: 4. He’d probably build a fearless team that would play on the front foot, but again, not sure if he’s got a grasp of the tactics that a good manager requires.

Josip Ilicic: 5. As much as he drives us crazy, he’s obviously got a good appreciation for the game, even if he can’t always make it pay dividends. He’s also been a good company man through good times and bad, and that kind of faith could bring results.

Nikola Kalinic: 2. A streaky striker whose confidence seems to desert him on a regular basis is not the sort of steadying presence one wants in a dressing room.

Gonzalo Rodriguez: 8. Hard-nosed and inspirational, the Viola captain also has a good deal more skill than you might expect from a centerback. Combined with his excellent reading of the game, would probably create technically sound, cohesive, and pressure-based squads. Think of a more laid-back Diego Simeone.

Ciprian Tatarusanu: 5. Steady. Even-keeled. Reliable. These are all words that you want to describe a manager, and they all apply to Tata. He’s certainly got the mentality, but it seems like goalkeepers make the jump into management far less frequently than their outfield counterparts.

Nenad Tomovic: 6. He’s absolutely faithful to the club, which is pretty important, and he’s not afraid to do the dirty work. Also has a good grasp of the game, as can be seen by his attempts to do all the things a good rightback should do—the problem on the pitch, of course, is that he just isn’t equipped for those things.

Borja Valero: 9. Understands the game better than anyone at the club, and has boundless personality and enthusiasm. The only possible drawback one can imagine is a certain lack of pragmatism, even when positive and attacking football aren’t the best policies.

Matias Vecino: 3. For all his running and hard work in the middle, always seems a bit behind the ball. You get the feeling that managing a club might overwhelm him

Mauro Zarate: 4. He’s so one-dimensional as a player, it’s hard to imagine him changing as a coach. Would probably build a team designed to defend, then get the ball to one or two attacking stars to make something happen. Think Gerardo Martino.


Since arguing about purely arbitrary and hypothetical points is what we do best around here, go ahead and let us know how and why everything up here is wrong (or right, but this is the internet, and we know that’s never the case).