As reported in French sports daily L’Equipe, Rudi Garcia will leave his role as coach of Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille to take over the same position with Serie A side AS Roma. This is a club who in the last two seasons under new ownership has seen its project go through three different coaches in the two seasons.
In Garcia, Roma will have a manager who, aside from having an impressive resume, will also help Roma advance the footballing side of the overall project started by Thomas DiBenedetto and now under James Pallotta as club Presidents of AS Roma.
As coach with Lille, Garcia led the team to a domestic double in 2011 and guided the club to European club competition in the first four years of his five year tenure. In addition to those achievements, Garcia was instrumental in helping Lille’s youth team players make the transition to become first team players and then emerging world class stars. The two players that benefited from Garcia’s tutelage where Eden Hazard, now at Chelsea, and Yohan Cabaye, now at Newcastle United.
In addition to knowing how to integrate and get the best of young players, Garcia also will know how to play and employ a system of play that balances the desire to play attacking football with the solid defensive necessities needed in order to do well in Serie A play.
An issue with Roma the last two years was that they have hired coaches who failed to properly recognize or know how to balance both aspects in Luis Enrique and Zdenek Zeman. Garica should have no such issue as he has shown an ability to be able to have teams that do both well at a championship level.
While the off-field project that AS Roma have embarked on has been successful in increasing the number of fans who have season tickets for league play and increased the commercial viability of the club, the sporting side has had a few hiccups. By appointing Rudi Garcia, Roma would be on their way to achieving the sporting success that is necessary and desired of any club of its stature.