No, absolutely not. And here's a quick run-down of why not.
- Absolutely no scouting: Ciro did not get Pjanic, Begovic, or Medunjanin, and frankly it annoys me a little bit that people are giving him credit for that. The truth is actually the complete opposite. Ciro was opposed to doing anything about those players until the media kept on pressuring him. He did absolutely nothing in terms of scouting. The fact that he only went and saw a single one of our players' Bundesliga games during his entire tenure says plenty. Carlos Quieroz, in one week, saw more of our players abroad play than Ciro did in his entire time as manager. Not once has Ciro seen fit to go to England, Germany, France, Poland, Russia or any country where potential national team players were showing good form. He didn't even send his assistants. He didn't even visit some of the Bosnian club teams' European matches, to see if there was a possible reserve in there.
- 3-5-2: I honestly believe that no other national team in the world uses this formation, and I think that speaks volumes. Instead of using a modern offensive formation that plays to our strengths, Ciro forced our playing squad into one he's been using since the 70s. From there we've had players like Ibricic and Salihovic playing as wing-backs.
- Individual Criticism: Ciro has not once in his tenure accepted any personal responsibility for a defeat or poor play. In fact, he hasn't even accepted collective responsibility, e.g. "the team needed to play harder." Instead he's had the ridiculous habit of arbitrarily singling out one player and then placing the entire load of the defeat on his shoulders. Nadarevic after Turkey is the best example... we kicked out one of the only three decent center-backs we have, which led to situations like conceding three goals to Slovenia. Last Saturday it was Misimovic. Yesterday it was Medunjanin.
- Player selection (i.e. Senijad Ibricic): Ciro's player selection has been extremely questionable. Above all forcing Samir Muratovic into the team at the expense of Miralem Pjanic. Keeping Vedad Ibisevic on the bench when he was the most in-form striker in the world also comes to mind... Vedo kept being criticized for doing nothing off the bench, finally started against Slovenia and exploded. Also, the fact that Senijad Ibricic is guaranteed a starting spot in every single game is comical. The only three players who should be guaranteed a spot are Dzeko, Misimovic and Spahic... Ibricic is simply not on that level.
- Senility and stubbornness: This has come up and time and time again, but here are just two recent examples. Not letting Emir Spahic (or anyone else) get a yellow card against Estonia. I understand when we were up by just one, but why not in the 85th minute when we were up by two? There are lots of reasons we lost yesterday, but the most immediate reason we conceded that goal was that we had Boris Pandza in place of Emir Spahic. And what about the substitutions in Lisbon? We were God-awful, and he only put in Muslimovic and Pjanic in the 80s?
- The Circus act: Why did Slovenia, a country that has traditionally played the role of our awkward little cousins in terms of football, qualify for their second world cup while we're going home again? Because Slovenia's FA, team and coaching staff are professional. Because they're organized. And the BiH team under Ciro has been anything but. Dzeko doesn't have room to sit down on the team bus due to all the politicians, journalists and associated ass kissers on board. Instead of practicing taking their corners, the players are wheeled around to film commercials to fill Ciro's pocketbook.
Bottom line is, no one can convince me that Ciro did anything special here and that we need him. Please don't tell me that we've never achieved this much before. First of all, we haven't really "achieved" anything. Second of all, the campaign came down to the last game twice before, in 2004 and 2006... whether it was called a play-off or not doesn't change much. Ciro, much like in 98, simply inherited an extremely talented group of players (Ibisevic, Dzeko, Salihovic and Misimovic were already there. Kodro brought back Spahic) and, with the least interference from the FA of any of our managers in the previous decade, did with them exactly what was expected. He beat Armenia and Estonia home and away. He beat Belgium at home. And he beat Belgium away, which was his only significant victory. Beyond that, our record against top level teams - the kind of teams that we will have to beat to qualify for anything - has been miserable. One point from six matches against Portugal, Turkey and Spain.
Thanks for the memories Ciro. And thank you for creating a "good atmosphere" in the team, even though it included a complete lack of organization and professionalism. In the grand scheme of things, with the FA on your back, you're only a small part of the problem. But you are a part of it, and I hope I never see you again.
Last edited by Džoni B. Dobar; November 19th, 2009 at 16:54.