• Thomas Pombart

The A-League Men needs Devis Mangia

Relatively unknown amongst Australian football fans, former Serie A manager Devis Mangia is making a name for himself on the international stage with Malta.


Mangia famously beat Italian giants Inter Milan on his Serie A coaching debut with Palermo and arrived in Malta with a point to prove.

Mangia has also coached at club level in both Italy and Romania. (Dominic Aquilina)


Mangia joined the Maltese national team at one of the lowest points in their history.


The small island country in the Mediterranean was sitting 184th in the world rankings when the Mangia reign started.


The brand of football that Mangia wanted his players to impose on the opposition instantly came to life.


He guided Malta to only two defeats in his opening ten matches, going down to The Faroe Islands and Russia.


Mangia utilizes a 3-4-2-1 formation but also switches frequently to a 4-5-1 formation when playing high-calibre opposition.


Under Mangia, Malta has climbed the rankings, now occupying 171st, a 13-place improvement since Mangia took over.


That sounds great, but why would Mangia be a good fit for the A-League Men?


Mangia puts into practice a similar formation to that of current Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Carl Robinson.


But he is a bit more tactically flexible, and the Wanderers have a plethora of squad depth.


Therefore, he would be able to pick lineups suited to the opponent each week.


He could be the perfect fit to replace Robinson if he fails to have the excellent start that the Wanderers fans ask of him this season after missing out on the finals in 2020/21.


Wanderers fans would also buy into his personality.


Speaking to the media about Malta’s chances of qualifying for a World Cup, Mangia said to FIFA.com, “Never say never!”


The Maltese head coach is also never shy about asking for improvement from his players, who have undoubtedly shown that under his style of football.


He has been quoted previously as saying that “consistent improvements can take us to new heights!”

Malta players celebrate a crucial goal. (Dominic Aquilina)


Mangia has a clear idea of what he wants from his players.


He understands their capabilities, which has led to a better quality of football from Malta under the 47-year-old.


Malta's performances are improving despite losing the majority of the matches they have played, mainly due to a general lack of quality.


The high-pressing and possession-based system that Mangia uses would undoubtedly be a perfect fit and correct vision for Western Sydney.

Malta's Teddy Teuma running with the ball. (Dominic Aquilina)


Mangia is not afraid to rely on youth, giving debuts in friendly games to younger players from the Malta youth teams, which is another quality that many Wanderers fans have insisted Carl Robinson do.


This preference towards youth is echoed by fans right around the league, making Mangia an excellent candidate to become an A-League Men coach in the future.


Mangia would also be well suited to Adelaide United.


Adelaide's philosophy in recent years of promoting youth has unearthed some of Australia's best talents, such as the Toure brothers, Riley McGree and Mathew Leckie.


This policy goes hand in hand with the mindset of Mangia, and given that United also often prefer to hire managers with an attacking style of football, he is a good fit.


Mangia would undoubtedly be a brilliant fit and could help facilitate an exciting new project down under with any club due to his style on the park and his outgoing demeanour.