Europe’s next top manager: Little Airplane set to scale great heights

Catania boss destined for greatness, if he ignores Inter and Chelsea


The similarities between catwalk and dugout are vast: the posturing, the ability to silently convey a message interpretable only by the profession’s elite (ie Tyra Banks, John Terry), the bitchiness and above all else the fashion accessories.

When it comes to cutthroat-itude, to invent a term that should exist, though a dugout is an even scarier place to strut around than a catwalk, as the rapid rise and fall of bright young things like Andre Villas-Boas, Sinisa Mihajlovic and anyone who ever managed England demonstrates.

The potential for one toxic working environment or semi-failure to sabotage a coach’s reputation makes picking out the next Jose Mourinho an impossible task, so naturally that’s exactly how The Spoiler is choosing to start the week.

And the man we’re backing and in doing so doubtless condemning to a career spent employed by the likes of Azerbaijan, the Portland Timbers and Aston Villa is one-time gluttonous goal grabber Vincenzo Montella.

The 37-year-old Little Airplane, almost half the age of Giovanni Trapattoni, achieved a dignified end to a near-disastrous campaign for Roma when promoted from the youth setup last February, but it is his work this season that really has us cooing.

Hired by Sicilian team/wannabe Argentines Catania, a good first stop for managers given the delicious blend of low expectations and apparent imperviousness to relegation, in the summer, he has led them to the dizzying heights of seventh.

They are above reformed comedy club Inter, tied with the Roma side who ditched him then spent gazillions of US dollars on a squad makeover and seven points off the Champions League pace, near certain to finish higher than 13th for the first time since 1964-65.

And all that glory has been gained without sprinkling euros about everywhere and despite losing Maxi Lopez to AC Milan’s substitute bench in January.

Vinnie M’s performance has seen him linked with Inter, though given the shambolic running of the Nerazzurri post-Champions League delight, he’d be wise to fulfil the requirement of all airplanes and keep his phone switched off.

Bet365 are offering odds on who finishes in Serie A’s top three, as well as £200-worth of free bets to all new customers via this link

Leave a comment
  1. View comments in RSS feed