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Ciro Ferrara appointed Italy U-21 Coach

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From the FIGC's Official Website- "Ciro Ferrara is the new coach of the U-21 National side. He was nominated today by the FIGC President Giancarlo Abete, after discussions in the last few days with the Club Italia President Demetrio Albertini and the Technical Coordinator of the National Youth System, Arrigo Sacchi. At his side, as assistant coach, will be Angelo Peruzzi, currently already in the national ranks. In the next few hours, the FIGC will finish the contract with Ferrara that will end with the currently 2011-2013 cycle. Monday on the 25th, at 3pm the FIGC will present him formally.

I tossed Ferrara's name out there yesterday on the Juventus Offside twitter as a candidate for the U-21 side, I think he's a great option. Ideally, the U-21 coach is a young guy, who's had a little bit of coaching experience, and preferably some history with young players. Check, check, check. Other pretty ideal candidates in my mind were Gianfranco Zola, or Antonio Conte. Ferrara is early in his coaching career, was Primavera coach and coordinator of the Juve youth teams for several years, and of course had a brief tenure on Juve's bench as head coach. He's also well acquainted with the FIGC and Nazionale, having been assistant coach to the senior team for 3-4 years, while coaching Juve youth teams.

Obviously the big discussion in Italy regarding Ferrara will be his Juventus experience. I think he showed enough promise (as a coach) during his brief experience that he's a solid bet. Ultimately, it brings us back to what went so wrong last year. For me, Ciro Ferrara was not a complete failure of a coach. Certainly, history shows us that he was not ready for our bench, but I don't blame most of last year's failures on him, he was part of it of course.

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For me, Ciro's two chief failings as a coach was simply lacking in experience- first, it meant he couldn't necessarily control the personalities in the team. I don't refer to Del Piero here, I think in that case Ciro simply created the sensation of ADP pressure, by virtue of being his friend and former teammate. Moreso, new big money transfers like Felipe Melo clearly didn't respect him enough. Second, it meant he didn't know how (or again, have the authority) to lead the team out of crisis which was ultimately his undoing. The sign of a good coach is one who can either tactically or psychologically get their team out of a slump, but that's something that needs to be developed.

So I think Ciro is a smart move. He's got a decent understanding of tactics, has worked with very successful youth teams in the past (see Viareggio) and the U-21 won't have the difficulty of managing personalities or the kind of slumps that league campaigns bring. Good decision from the FIGC, and good decision from Ciro to take it.