- Hiddink the Hero. Credit hspam via flickr.
If I had my way, Guus Hiddink, unveiled today at Chelsea, would be the first of several managers to manage both their national and club sides at the same time. It makes perfect sense: the running gag in the British press always seems to be the enormous amount of free time national managers have between meaningless fixtures, a situation that gets less savoury when you consider how much money associations like the FA are willing to pay these talented part-timers. Why couldn’t Hiddink or Capello, or god-forbid Raymond Domenech manage both club and country at the same time?
Just look at the “pro” side! A “country-club” manager will certainly be less likely to whinge about the international breaks, at least with the frequency that some Premier League gaffers do. And who better to judge the quality of players fit for the national team than a proper league manager who has to study these players week in, week out as part of their club routine?
Of course there is the little tricky problem of “conflict of interest.” Player call-ups would be questioned with every international fixture; after all, what would prevent a manager calling up a key competitive star for a meaningless game against Paraguay before a major top of the table clash? Or leaving his own players out?
Wait wait wait, this is a ridiculous idea. I mean, Hiddink has the power to call up Andrei Arshavin and run the little guy into the ground just in time for Chelsea and Arsenal’s epic quest for fourth place. He could spite Tottenham simply by slotting in Pavlyuchenko as a full-back. Did anyone think of this? Is there any time left to stop it?
Preferably before Chelsea meet Aston Villa, brimming with confidence under an intelligent, tactically astute Dutch manager?