Faith of Zeman
A man who consistently remains faithful to the 4–3–3 formation, or “geometry” to give it its mainstream name. Zdeněk Zeman achieved cult status in Italy, even being serenaded by La coscienza di Zema (Zeman’s Conscious) The Prague born coach was encouraged to obtain a patentino by his uncle, Čestmír Vycpálek, who brought him in to help with a number of local amateur clubs.
Zeman’s most famous work is his Foggia (fojjea) side of 1989, at the time lurking in Seria C he was appointed by then owner and chairman Pasquale Casillo. Zeman’s style of football was quickly instilled which led to the phrase Zemanlandia, a label used to this day. Consisting of high pressing, maximum intensity, offside and frenetic movements’ of the players it creates exciting and spectacular football which is considered trademark. The style of football combined with a youthful Bepe Signori Foggia rapidly progressed from the midst of Serie C to Serie A and the brink of UEFA Cup qualification over an incredibly short period of time.
Over his 30 year career Zeman has managed nearly 20 clubs, discovering a number of now famour players, Nesta, Signori, Petrescu and Shalimov to name a few. His teams were famous for setting records, most recently his league winning pescara team who recorded 90 goals in 42 games earning automatic promotion to Seria A.
His cult status has reached beyond the world of football, as mentioned beforehand singer songwriter and well known Roma fan Antonello Venditti wrote La coscienza di Zema (Zeman’s Conscious) over the years he has also been the subject of many biopics, the Foggia side of 89 often referenced. To mark his return to Roma after a 13 year absence his name was mentioned in an article on the Wall Street Journal “Soccers Jedi”
Zeman is a unique entity in my opinion. Someone who does what he does because of the football, the glorious sound of a packed stadium falling in love with the style of football instilled into your local team, a style which most supposed experts consider outdated.