So far we have seen two current coaches and two former coaches named as we countdown the top ten in the history of the Hyundai A-League, today we head to the harbour city, where coaches have been plentiful but tenures have been short.
6. Viteslav Lavicka
The inclusion of the former Sydney FC boss in this list might aggrieve some fans. Viteslav Lavicka was hardly known for “total football” or “tiki-taka”; he wasn’t an entertainer on the sidelines and didn’t provide Bleiberg-esque quotes in post-match press conferences. But what he did deliver was stability, consistency and a double-winning season that Sydney FC desperately needed.
Think these two should be higher or lower? Leave a comment below.
After a tumultuous period which saw the Sky Blues go through a series of abrasive coaches in Terry Butcher, Branko Culina and John Kosmina, the calm Czech was precisely what Sydney needed. His first task was to bring a sense of European professionalism to the club set-up; training became serious business and for the first time in a long time, the playing squad had a well-developed philosophy and tactical plan to guide them.
And the team that had faltered so badly under Kosmina responded brilliantly. Lavicka brought the cliché that strikers win games, but defences win titles to life; Clint Bolton, Simon Colosimo and Stephan Keller formed the core of the best defence in the league, while Terry McFlynn, Steve Corica and Stuart Musialik packed the midfield with energy and creativity, and Alex Brosque, Mark Bridge and John Aloisi all enjoyed an excellent season upfront. Defeating sworn rivals Melbourne Victory to win both the premiership and the grand final just topped it off.
Unfortunately, Lavicka couldn’t maintain that success on the bounce and his reign faltered as the strength of that squad moved on or retired. His final season with Sydney was disappointing to say the least, but the way he brought the best out of his squad and the Cove as he led the Sky Blues to glory ensures his place in this list is fully deserved.
5. Pierre Littbarski
One season and one championship, they’re stats you can’t argue with and whatever you thought of the brand of football the German brought to the harbour city – ‘boring’ was how it was often described he got results in what is renowned as a typically German way.
If Sydney FC fans thought Littbarski’s style of football was boring they had zero idea of what they were in for when Terry Butcher took the helm... long ball anyone?
Of course it should come as no surprise that the inaugural Sky Blues were a success. On the field they had Dwight Yorke to rely upon and he certainly wasn’t past it when he was residing in Sydney, but on the sidelines Littbarski brought an effective style and had good man management skills to boot.
But what else could they have expected from a FIFA World Cup winning footballer? The answer is little and while he was only in Sydney for one season after a cut-price contract offer caused him to leave; he is without a doubt the best manager the Sky Blues have had.