NorthEast United FC's 35-year-old head coach, Gerard Nus Casanova, is a refreshing appointment by the Indian Super League side. The Spaniard is the youngest head coach in ISL 2020-21, which naturally raises questions around his experience and approach. However, a quick look at Nus' CV reveals a lot about why NorthEast United FC thought he was the right man for the job ahead of the new ISL season.
We take a look at Gerard Nus' career thus far and his journey to India and NorthEast United FC.
Always a coach, never a player
Unlike many famous managers who enjoyed careers as professional players before entering coaching roles, Nus never officially played for any club. Choosing to set his sights on managing professionally, he completed all his coaching badges when he was just 16 years old. At the age of 22, he joined the coaching setup at the Liverpool academy.
Nus was swiftly promoted to the first team coaching staff, and after gaining experience, went on to become an assistant coach for Brighton and Hove Albion, and Melbourne Heart in Australia.
Time working with Avram Grant
Gerard Nus also got an opportunity to experience the professional environment at the international level, when he was appointed assistant coach of the Ghana national team. The head coach at the time was Avram Grant (who was also appointed as advisor for NorthEast United FC in 2017).
Nus gained invaluable tactical knowledge under the veteran coach's tutelage. His most successful achievement as Ghana coach was reaching the final of the 2015 African Cup of Nations, which his side lost on penalties to Ivory Coast.
As head coach, Nus previously led Rayo Oklahoma City in 2016, and Irtysh Pavlodar in the Kazakhstan Premier League in 2017.
Why was Gerard Nus appointed by NorthEast United FC?
One of the main reasons behind Gerard Nus' appointment is the fearless brand of football that his teams play. He is an attacking coach, who prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation and believes that attack is the best form of defence.
Commenting on Gerard Nus' appointment, North East United's executive director Priya Runchal said,
"He is known to develop budding talent while playing a brand of attractive and attacking football. We are confident that he is the right appointment for the club."
Gerard Nus is NorthEast United FC's eighth manager in seven seasons and it would be unwise to place lofty expectations on him just yet. However, if he can get NorthEast United FC to play attractive football while improving on last season's disappointing ninth-place finish, there's every chance that the club keeps him around for the long haul.Published 21 Nov 2020, 10:11 IST