Could Cannavaro be the Answer for Leeds?


Fabio Cannavaro” (CC BY 2.0) by  Doha Stadium Plus 

The future of Leeds United is yet again uncertain under the ownership of Massimo Cellino.

Reports have suggested that the club are to part company with manager Steve Evans at the end of the season and just seven months into his reign at Elland Road.

Leeds are 13th in the Championship, sitting comfortably in mid-table and 10 points clear of the relegation zone. However, they are well out of contention for the playoffs.

The Italian has overseen six managers since his arrival at the club, with no man lasting a full season in charge.

Leeds are in dire need of stability on and off the pitch in a tumultuous campaign which has seen supporters revolt against Cellino’s ownership of the club.

The Whites are 12 years removed from their last season in the Premier League and seem a long way from even challenging to earn promotion back to the top flight.

Due to the club’s position in the Championship, Cellino has time to consider his options and allow Evans to see out the campaign before making a decision on the future of the team.

Controversial Italian, Cellino, has reportedly set his sights on replacing the 53-year-old Evans with World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro to improve the club’s fortunes.

Cannavaro was one of the finest defenders in the history of the game, with a distinguished career at clubs including Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Juventus. He earned greater plaudits for his performances at international level, making 136 appearances for the Azzurri in a 13-year career.

The 42-year-old’s finest hour came in the 2006 World Cup when he led his side to glory in Germany, starring in the heart of the defence which earned him the Silver Ball.

Cannavaro’s leadership was crucial in the tournament as he and his teammates held their nerve to stave off the host nation and then France in the final to clinch Italy’s fourth crown.

The defender captained Italy 79 times during his career and his side appeared to miss a reassuring presence on the pitch at Euro 2012 when they were beaten heavily by Spain.

The Azzurri have struggled to impose themselves in the tournaments since Cannavaro’s retirement, which is why they have odds of 16/1 in the Euro 2016 football betting as a rank outsider.

With manager Antonio Conte heavily linked with the Chelsea job, Cannavaro may consider re-entering the managerial world to enhance his credentials to manage the Azzurri in the future.

At the end of his playing career Cannavaro assumed a coaching role with Al-Ahli as the club won both the UAE Pro League and League Cup.

The success led him to taking the manager’s position with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, although his tenure there last just 23 games, yielding 11 victories before he was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Cannavaro returned to the dugout last year with Saudi side Al-Nassr but again failed to make a lasting impact before he opted to leave the club.

The Italian is in an interesting position in his career after his two failures. Looking at his accomplishments in the game he should have all the attributes needed to succeed as a manager with his knowledge and inspirational leadership.

A move to the Championship would present a major challenge, although Cellino has never been afraid to make daring decisions.

Cannavaro’s passion and nous, along with the gravitas he would bring to the club, would make him an intriguing option and he could be the man to return Leeds to the Premier League.

20 responses to “Could Cannavaro be the Answer for Leeds?

  1. Another manager, another trip into a world’ of uncertainty, another risk, another unknown quantity at the helm.
    It just goes on and on. Like everyone else I am just tired and weary. There is still time for more doom and gloom and then a break to convalesce until we are sent to the front again.


    • Scally Lad

      It’s still good to dream, and whether this new Italian is the answer we need for 2017 and the years beyond, we have got to get rid of the Watermelon Man who is tactically unimaginative, uninspiring, and taking us nowhere.


  2. Rob, u obviously read the Star, lol


  3. I am not anti Cellino, neither for nor against but, Cellino was to be the solution and instead he has turned out to be the problem! He has money and nous but lacks method and decision making skills. Unconventional certainly, which is not always a bad thing, but he can’t make his ideas work! In my view he should stick with Evsns and give him financial backing, but he probably won’t.


  4. Sadly, whilst Cellino is in charge, we are destined to stagnate/go backwards regardless of which stooge he names as head coach. It’s very sad to consider that we are light years away from even the mid table Premiership clubs, never mind challenging at the top again. With the new tv deal imminent, we fall further and further behind. Without a white knight (a pipe dream), I fear that with respect to following Leeds, I’ve seen as good as it’s going to get.


  5. Belfast White

    Intriguing thought. However it seems that the only route to success is MC going. He will never pay a good coach good money as it costs too much when he sacks him. Can’t see any coach doing well long term under this lunatic. Either he spends this summer to greatly improve the squad (if only!) or he scuttles off back to Miami. Then Cannivaro might be an exciting option. With predictive texting his nsme develops as cannibalism! 🙂


  6. Kevin Lane

    Morning Rob. Do you REALLY believe he could be the man? I am also just weary of MC making our great club a laughing stock. Saw a photo in the week after the death of JC of him shaking hands with Billy in the ’75 semi. My heart aches for those days but I fear that I may never see their likes again.


    • I think it’s true to say that anyone would struggle under a lunatic like Cellino, but that – just perhaps – an Italian of undoubted pedigree might stand the best chance.


      • Kamil Biały

        I don’t think that Cannavaro would be in better position because his appointment gives Cellino exciting and ecstatic thought that he have some sort of power above Italian worldstar…It would feed his narcissistic personality disorder.


      • I think actually understanding Cellino is to the detriment of Italian native tongue speakers. Just look what happened with Carbone & Festa! Although I still support Steve Evens and think he has done an OK job with what he has and who he works for, I am a little bit excited [like the players probably would be] at the prospect of a modern world cup winning defensive mastermind in charge of a flaky Leeds. However, he will have no say in transfers what so ever, but he might give us a psychological boost we need to kick start the season. I think if Conte comes calling for him, then he wont come to Leeds.


  7. David Dean

    There can be no appointment until the FL sort out his appeal – the ban hanging over his head. Hardly a mention of it recently. How can players be bought and sold when the transfer window opens if the ban is upheld.


  8. Reality Cheque

    He has absolutely no credible managerial/coaching experience or success so he fits the Cellino bill perfectly Rob. As an added bonus, Cellino will not need an interpreter when meddling in every aspect of Fabio’s plans. Sorry to be so sceptical Rob, but after two years of Cellino it is pretty damned obvious what the outcome will be for Fabio and our football club a couple of months down the line.


  9. Karl Major

    Cannavaro could be the next Simeone, but without backing in the transfer market he would have no chance. If available, I would take a gamble on him and let him pick his players to bring in. What is clear, is that Evans doesn’t look like he is developing a winning mentality within our oh so fragile team. I’d prefer Cellino to leave but if he stays let’s have a man with the gravitas to insist on doing it his own way and that might be Cannavaro.


  10. intriguing as it is……… cellino he knows very little about the championship and how difficult it is to gain promotion, he would need to come in with the view point that he effectively needs to build a premiership side in the championship to get leeds promoted………. For me that’s the mind set that gets you up


  11. I’ll say it again. Whilst ever the narcissistic psychopath remains at the helm we have no chance. I truly despair, the football world is passing us by. Each season we slip further back and will become irrelevant if this lasts much longer. We need a billionaire but if that were possible it would surely have happened by now. We’ll probably have to sink further and build from the bottom – like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.


  12. And make Bellusci captain…..why not ?


  13. Kevin Wilson

    I would worry about Cannavaro Rob with his track record (or lack of it)in management, it’s another gamble as already said above. Great players, as we know don’t necessarily mean great managers! I don’t think an Italian coach is necessarily a bad thing, might solve the communication problem and they are usually good at organising defences. I think there may have been a better clue in the Hudddersfield matchday programme. I don’t know if you read it but there was an interesting interview with ‘Beppe’ Bellusci and he said that one of his heroes is Genaro Gattuso who was also linked in the dire press last week. According to ‘Beppe’ he’s a character who also gave 200% in his playing days. I remember him well as a player another uncompromising sort. At least he does have management experience in Europe, now at Pisa. Bellusci also admitted the game was different in Italy, more tactical. Maybe that’s what we need, Evans was clearly out of his depth against David Warner.Mind you having said all that when Evans leads us on the 8 match winning run to the end of the season who knows what might happen…….


  14. Iain Alcorn

    Apart from his choices of manager and opening his mouth before engaging his brain, l have no problem with MC. He has put money into the club, sorted out the finances compared to the disasterous decade + before he came. He had bad luck with a few of his transfers in being unable to get close to fulfilling promise through injury or managerial decisions not to give them play time. The reason for the managerial turn around is theat they have failed in varying degrees to make best use of the talent provided. S. Evans is no exception. He is an enigma to me. The two potentially most exciting forwards we have on the books, Caryiol and Botaka barely get any game time. He prefered to continue play out of position Wooton, rather than Coyle who is a natural. Last seasons defensive stalwart Bamba has not had a good year his form affected by irregular match time. But Bellusci has improved beyond recognition because he is playing regularly. He seems very limited in tactics especially at home where he seems affraid to play our few flair players. I would suggest that Cook, Mowatt, Murphy, and when we had him Byramare all good players but we were regularly over run in midfield until he brought in Bridcutt and Diagourami, as soon as he changed the set up, we got stuffed. It took him ages to realise that neither Doukara or Antenucci play as a loan striker.
    Iwould be willing to bet that 50% of all free kicks and corners dont get beyond the first man. Its no wonder the strikers havpoor strike rate.The best crosser, Caryioll has barely played.
    I agree, we need continuity, but l am not sure the man or Cannavaro.We need someone with English football experience preferably with a good track record in the higher league. David Moyse springs to mind and he is availabIe. I dont think that we have much hope of persuading a manager already with a club to come. To get our man, he should be offered a 5 year contract and rewarded handsomely on RESULTS. a bonus to get in the playoffs extra to get promoted and even more to get automatic promotion. We show against the top clubs, that we are a match for any, but totally unreliable against sides we should beat. If they were paid accordingly, perhaps both manager and players they would be more consistant.
    In my opinion none of the mangers he has appointed were as good as Brian McDermot, and he was never given a chance. Was it MC or GHF who sacked him?


  15. No manager is good enough at Leeds United come on fans get your finger out of your bum show your words with action who is good enough as manger ?


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