Is Steve Corica a good manager or did he just inherit a very good squad?

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There’s no denying that Sydney FC are a top-tier club, but is their continued success a result of Graham Arnold’s original squad or Steve Corica’s tweaks since he took charge?

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There’s a lot of commentary that Corica has inherited a good squad left by Arnold, and many believe he couldn’t achieve the level of success he has at another club.

In saying this, Corica has had to replace several big-name departing players in his time such as Adrian Mierzejewski and Jordy Buijs, followed by the experienced duo of Matt Simon and David Carney.

Towards the end of the 2014/15 season, Corica was drafted into the role of assistant coach to Graham Arnold for the Sydney FC A-League Men team. From 2015 to May 2018, Corica continued as assistant coach to Arnold on a full-time basis.

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In Corica’s time with the club, they have finished in the top-two teams on the ladder in six out of seven seasons. Although Corica was not manager for all this time, his role as assistant coach should not be discredited. He has been involved in every one of Sydney’s seven A-League Men grand final appearances and the records don’t stop there.

Coming off the back of Arnold guiding the club to back-to-back premierships, a championship and a maiden FFA Cup, Corica had big shoes to full. He wasted no time in proving he was up to the challenge. In his first season as manager, Corica took his team to the grand final and left with a win.

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Having worked so closely with Arnold in his time as assistant coach, it’s no surprise that Corica has continued implementing the same winning formula. He has managed to maintain the successful culture at the club, whilst subtly changing the tactical philosophy of the side.

Overseeing the A-League Men’s most successful club is not easy, however, Corica has taken it in his stride and continues to prove the haters wrong.

Despite his outstanding record since taking charge, Corica is still undervalued and many argue that without the club’s star-studded line-up, there would be no success.

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On the contrary, from the 11 players that started in Arnold’s final game compared to the 11 that started in Sydney FC’s round two clash against Macarthur, only three players remained.

Despite taking the reins at a time when the club was at the height of their success, Corica has worked tirelessly to replace departing players with the same calibre needed to continue their winning streak.

This has led to Corica taking Sydney FC to three grand finals, winning two, in the three years he has been in the top job. That’s no mean feat.

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Corica has proved himself more than capable of carrying on the legacy that Arnold helped build but on his own terms and he should be applauded for his success.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Grace Clegg
Grace Clegg
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Communication (News Media and PR) at the University of Newcastle. Coffee addict.

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