Edy Reja is what we call a realist. The manager currently has his Lazio side unexpectedly in first place, but Reja isn’t ready to claim the scudetto quite yet. In fact the coach isn’t even ready to claim his spot in the top four.
Reja recently admitted that his club “is not scudetto material”, but are merely trying to land in the top six spots in the league. This revelation could be considered shocking because Reja’s club is currently 4 points ahead of second place Inter and haven’s lost a single match since the first week of the season.
And in the days of coaches talking up their teams to titles they cannot achieve, Reja has done exactly the opposite. He is basically telling his fans to not hope for too much believing that they are simply a growing team playing well at the moment.
Here is the quote from the modest manager of Lazio:
We are not scudetto material. The players and I are enjoying the moment but we are a side that points to a finish in the top six. We are growing and the team is riding a wave of enthusiasm while also fighting with courage. The players help each other out and this is the reason why we are getting great results, but it’s early days and we have to wait and see how long the team responds in the next two months.
And as much criticism as a coach can take for being humble rather then cocky, I think what Raja is saying is exactly right. Lazio is a smaller market team prone to sell young stars rather then sign them to huge deals. They sold away one of their best defenders this off season to Manchester City and two more are often rumored to be on their way out the door in January. Lazio has not finished better then 10th place in the last three years and they will likely wake up from this dream start at some point down the stretch of the season when the star teams turn it up a notch.
But for now Lazio is playing great and no matter what Reja tells the press the coach is up for Manager of the Year and that is one trophy that you don’t have to win the scudetto to earn.