Western United Isuzu UTE A-League Men Head Coach John Aloisi was the star of the latest A-Leagues All Access episode which dropped on Thursday.
Episode 11: In the Blood followed Aloisi behind the scenes as he prepared his side for the trip to Hobart and how he helped engineer the ensuing 1-0 win over Sydney FC.
From work on the training ground to preparing his team-talk in a café, the All Access cameras catch Aloisi in his element in the lead-up to the match, but one situation during the game proved to be one of the biggest takeaways.
With the deadlock yet to be broken at half-time, Aloisi and his coaching staff noticed a tactical tweak in defence needed to be addressed.
Inside the changerooms at half-time, Aloisi called over centre-back Leo Lacroix to join him and Tomoki Imai at the whiteboard and proceeded to detail the message to his defender, speaking entirely in Spanish.
“Leo? Where’s Leo?” Aloisi begins.
“Leo, come here for a second.
“Sometimes, Max Burgess comes too open. This is for Tomoki (motioning to the whiteboard). Understand?”
“I’ll tell Topa (Nikolai Topor-Stanley) because sometimes when I want to go, he tells me wait, wait. That’s why I don’t go.”
As the pair continue to speak and maneuver markers on the whiteboard with Tomoki Imai in the background, Aloisi instructs.
“But that’s why you have to go and Topa has to stay.”
“He goes up, and I move across,” Lacroix says.
“Yes, good, good. Good Leo,” Aloisi concludes.
As the players emerge from the dressing room and head onto the pitch for the second half, Aloisi fires his star defender up with a simple “vamos”, meaning “come on” in Spanish.
Aloisi is a fluent Spanish speaker having spent some six years in the Iberian nation playing for Osasuna and Alaves in country’s top two divisions.
That tactical conversation proved to have a strong bearing on the game as United did a better job of defending Sydney’s forward advances in the second half, leaving the game there to be won.
Alessandro Diamanti’s viral long-range winner was caught perfectly by the All Access cameras, as were the celebrations from Aloisi and the entire bench.
Having clinched the win, the entire Club then celebrated in the dressing rooms together, capping off a perfect day in Hobart.
This conversation, the detail from Aloisi and his ability to converse in different languages adds further insight into his coaching pedigree and sheds a light on what it took to secure victory in such an important game.
Stream A-Leagues All Access | Episode 11: In the Blood now, on the KeepUp website and YouTube channel and on 10Play and Paramount+.