Home » Not much is right at the FCZ, but the sports director still expects a win against YB

Not much is right at the FCZ, but the sports director still expects a win against YB

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Not much is right at the FCZ, but the sports director still expects a win against YB

The 2-0 loss against Winterthur in the cup also suggests that FC Zurich has lost itself. He now has two co-head coaches, but it is their superior Milos Malenovic who speaks most in the media.

Murat Ural – one of two co-head coaches who also receive “inputs” from sports director Milos Malenovic on the coaching bench.

Michael Buholzer / Keystone

You can’t accuse FC Zurich of lacking ideas. For example, when Bo Henriksen moved to Mainz almost three weeks ago, he had the idea of ​​continuing without a head coach. And he invented the term “co-head coach” for Henriksen’s assistant Murat Ural and the previous U-19 coach Umberto Romano. The logic: Two assistant head coaches make one head coach. More is more. One plus one equals one.

Such beautiful ideas need to be taken care of. This is the task of sports director Milos Malenovic. He makes sure the equation works out. During games, Malenovic sits on the dugout between the two co-head coaches and gives “inputs” when he is “asked about it.” That’s what he says. The Canepa presidential couple want him to be close to the team on the bench. As a kind of supervisor of the assistant head coaches. You’re not entirely sure how nice the new idea is.

Once one assistant coach speaks, then the other – but the sports director always speaks

There is much more to it than just being a solution in times of need if the head coach leaves. Behind it lies: “philosophy”. Philosophy is something much bigger than an idea, it sounds like a university, like Plato and Socrates or at least like Pep Guardiola and his fetish for dominant possession football. Philosophy sounds good.

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Malenovic likes to use the word. “Press hard, run a lot, play dominantly, give everything with technical precision,” he says about “the new FCZ philosophy.” Everything from the Pampers department to the first team has to be based on her. Malenovic also knows the “Montessori philosophy”. He said recently that it was used at his home when he was accused of treating an FCZ junior unkindly.

Murat Ural would be the co-head coach, who could perhaps give a more concrete account of the day-to-day implementation of the new philosophy. Ural is an interesting coach. Fourteen months ago, the then sports director Marinko Jurendic brought him to the FCZ as an assistant. The 36-year-old Ural was soon leading the training sessions under Henriksen’s eyes, and he now knows the team well. Ural is a lawyer and already has the UEFA Pro license.

Before Ural moved to FCZ, he was the U-21 coach at FC Winterthur, where he began his playing career as a junior. It never took him to the top, but at least it took him to the GC junior ranks, the U-21 national team, St. Gallen, Servette, Vaduz or Schaffhausen. At FC Winterthur he was considered a smart, talented trainer. What’s important if he takes the next step at FCZ from assistant to co-boss – and perhaps even further?

Unfortunately, the FCZ does not want Ural to talk to a journalist outside of mandatory appointments. Maybe he could reveal the closely guarded secret of the FCZ equation “One plus one equals one”? When the mandatory date before the match against YB comes up on Friday, the question is what has changed since Henriksen left. “Not much, we work even more closely together,” is the answer.

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It doesn’t come from Ural, but from the other co-head coach, Umberto Romano. Bad luck, the co-head coaches sometimes take turns without announcing when someone speaks again. But Malenovic always speaks, “so that no rumors or misunderstandings arise,” he says. For example about the U-15 coach who just left the FCZ. Or the “resinous” contract negotiations with the U-21 striker Labinot Bajrami, whom Malenovic is said to have once advised. He says: “The past is the past.”

FCZ-PK before the match against the Young Boys.


It doesn’t fit in the back, it doesn’t fit in the front

The 0-2 defeat in the cup against Winterthur is also a thing of the past. But it is still so fresh that we are now working “against the disappointment, especially mentally”. Against YB on Sunday, Romano wants to “knock the ball over”. Malenovic knows “that the ball will finally go in and the FCZ will win”. These are the recipes for a team that has increasingly lost itself in recent weeks.

You can see it in the 7 goals that FCZ have scored in the last 11 games, you can see it in the 9 points they have won in the last 10 championship games. And you can see it when you watch FCZ play. The attack doesn’t match the defense, the back doesn’t fit the front, there’s a hole in between in which the players sink into a lack of plan.

When the FCZ defeated the Young Boys 3-1 on November 25th with an inspiring performance that went beyond their natural limits, the NZZ asked whether a championship coup like 2021 was possible for the Zurich team – the question and the answer are there done, the FCZ is pursuing new ideas. Where they lead is still a mystery.

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