1. Ronny Deila is great… so far
New head coach Ronny Deila is off to a fantastic and thrilling start as the head coach of New York City FC. The defensive struggles are concerning and must come together as the 2020 season progresses, but winning 5-3 in the away leg of the CCL in your first-ever match as head coach of a new team? That is very impressive.
There was consistency with Deila’s tactics. As instituted in previous seasons, he continued with the possession-based, attacking football. Using a 4-3-3 shape, his use of fullbacks and wingers to move the ball up the pitch was evident in the game. The left side with Alexandru Mitriță and Ronald Matarrita was especially active with this, leaving both players with an assist.
There was also an eager intention to press when the ball was turned over. Whenever a player was dispossessed, the team would immediately attempt to regain the possession with quick, sharp pressing. And once they did regain possession, they would revert back into their controlling passing moves. One adaptation was the speed of NYCFC’s passing. Their passes in the final third were quicker, hastier, delivered with more purpose and tempo.
As 2020 continues, fans may notice more of Deila’s tweaks on this style, but the consistency in the way NYCFC played against San Carlos will be relieving to fans. As they say, why change what is not broken?
Plus, Deila already kept his promise regarding youth. In the 62nd minute, he put on 17-year-old Joe Scally to replace Anton Tinnerholm. Not only did this give the Long Island native needed professional minutes; it indicates Deila’s willingness to trust Scally in an important game. This also sends a positive message to the other youth players in the squad, as well as Scally himself. Play well and train hard, and you will be rewarded.
With just one competitive game played, Deila is already proving he belongs as head coach for New York City FC. Of course, the year is long and only time will tell whether he was the right choice. But for now, Deila has started swimmingly.