GGOA has been hard at work obtaining the thoughts of Sydney FC supporters on Pierre Littbarski, who left the A-League side in the spring after having led them to the 2005 championship. It is fair to say that the fans have mixed views of the the ex-JEF United player, in that they acknowledge his success in winning the title but at the same time feel that he was on occasions tactically unimaginative and was reticent about potentially important matters such as substitutions.
So, some positive comments to begin with...
*[Although he is often criticised by fans,] the fact is that [Sydney] scored the equal highest number of goals in the league season (35 in 21 games), and then scored 2 goals in each of the 2 legs of the semi-final, and then won the final 1-0. Making it 40 goals in 24 games. 1.67 goals per game.
*He was popular with the players and like all coaches had divided loyalties amongst management and fans. At the end of the day he won the championship with a team he inherited, and a coaching staff that he managed well.
*Littbarski was excellent. He won the title and put on a great display [at the World Club Championship] in Japan....what more could a team and its fans want.
*He wasn't always the most exciting, but he inherited a team of older slower players. He added ... younger, faster guys and I reckon it is no coincidence that [the form of those players] has declined since Littbarski left.
*He will do well wherever he is, coz he's committed and knowledgeable and has a good relationship with the fans and players.
*In the end, he only had one year in Australia with a squad he didn't pick. I'm sure that given more time and a squad of his own choosing we would have had a far more entertaining year. We did win the final with him, so we can't really complain too much.
*[Positives for Omiya would be] team harmony (he is well-liked by players), he's experienced (as a player - not so much as a coach) and is comfortable in Japan.
*I'm on the positive side with regard to Litti... I appreciated his willingness to try re-positioning Dwight Yorke and overall he was successful.
Now some negatives from the Sydney FC fans...
*He was defensive. After we scored one goal, we would always slow down and attack less. I did not like this - and it did not suit our players.
*His sense of player positioning was awkward and horrible IMO. Our best playmaker was played on the left wing and was useless there. Dwight Yorke (Champions League-winning striker) was played in defensive midfield, etc.
*Our captain was dropped from his role at CB and the new CB was horrible. We conceded many goals due to him but Litti would always pick him while our captain was still on the bench or in the reserves. When our captain came back our defence became much better - proving Litti was wrong.
*The two most disappointing things about Litti when he was at Sydney were the negative play after scoring & strange positional play.
*Tactically I thought he was often abominable.
*I HATED the "score one goal and defend like rabid fleas" approach.
Thanks to all those Sydney supporters who provided me with their comments.