If you haven’t heard the Atlanta United news, Gabriel Heinze has been named the new head coach, signing a two-year contract. After all the rumors about who would take the job, Heinze finally emerged as the one to lead the Five Stripes. We already talked about what Heinze could bring to the table in a previous article, so we now want to talk about the possibility of Heinze achieving the same level of success as the club’s first manager, Tata Martino.
In a recent interview, Heinze spoke highly of the current Mexico national team manager. He mentioned that he looks up to Martino as an “example of success.” The success Martino imparted in such a short amount of time is something engraved in the club’s history. Since the team parted ways with Martino, there’s no denying that Atlanta United has not played the same. As fans, we are longing for that style of soccer to return, and it’s great to hear that the new head coach wants to bring it back as well.
While his experience may seem discouraging, it is not always the factor that defines a good coach. It is an aspect, but coaching philosophies often distinguish a good coach from a great one. Taking a more in-depth look into his coaching philosophy, Heinze draws a lot of similarity to his counterpart. He loves to play an attacking style, he values possession, and he wants his teams to press high. These three were also the core principles of Martino’s style, and if that is any indication of success, Atlanta will return to its glory days.
Furthermore, if you keep up with soccer outside the United States, you know that Marcelo Bielsa is one of the world’s top coaches. He led Leeds United back to the top in English football after 16 years. Heinze coached under Bielsa for a good part of his managerial career, so that is a valuable experience that he brings with him.
When Heinze and Martino are compared, the differences are apparent. Heinze is a much younger manager in terms of coaching experience than Martino was when he took the job. Before Heinze took this role, his only other significant coaching experience was as assistant manager to Leeds United head coach, Marcelo Bielsa. Apart from that, no other managerial jobs can be found on his managerial resume.
Any manager who takes the position with Atlanta United will always have to deal with being compared to the great Tata Martino. It is something that comes with the job. The question all fans continue to ask is if any manager can achieve the same level of success that Martino brought. It’s a question Heinze will now have to answer because fans hold Atlanta United to a high standard and expect results.