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British Managers Squander Opportunities To Join Premier League Elite

In his WSJ column, Gabriele Marcotti brings up the dearth of British managers at the top of English football.  Seven of the 20 Premier League managers are foreign.  Sir Alex Ferguson is the only British manager among the so-called “Big Four.”  Manchester City dumping Mark Hughes for Roberto Mancini seems only to exacerbate this trend.
Many in England believe this indicates domestic managers aren’t given a fair chance.  As Marcotti notes, Harry Redknapp expressed this sentiment in his column for the Sun.  “If any manager lower down the football pyramid believes they will get a big club…They won’t.  They simply won’t get a look in.  No chances will be taken.”
Such a sentiment is attractive, seemingly sensible, but ultimately ludicrous.
Viewing England’s top four as fixed entities is tempting and convenient, but it’s untrue.  Alex Ferguson inherited Manchester United in the 1980s and built the team into a perennial fixture.  Arsene Wenger did the same with Arsenal in the 1990s.  These managers joined clubs with resources and potential and built them.
British managers have had similar opportunities.
Sam Allardyce accepted the job at Newcastle, a large, heavy-spending club.  He failed and was finished by January.
Manchester City gave Mark Hughes a blank check.  He spent hundreds of millions.  He either bought poorly or managed the talent at his disposal poorly, but whatever he did it was poorly.  He was fired.
Harry Redknapp, the author of the aforementioned quotation, has the opportunity this season to finish in the top four.  He has been given ample talent.  He has a favorable league position.  He needs to lead them there.
Newcastle (before relegation), Manchester City and Tottenham were big jobs, similar to Arsenal and Man U once upon a time.  The clubs are among the wealthiest in Europe.  The resources are there.  They just need to use them correctly.
The most prominent British managers, men like Hughes Redknapp and Allardyce, have had opportunities to get to the top.  They didn’t take them.
British managers are not victims of structure.  They need no subsidy.  They just need to have some ambition, take the initiative and perform better.

robertomancini 1141 18615836 0 0 7013615 300 British Managers Squander Opportunities To Join Premier League Elite

In his WSJ column, Gabriele Marcotti brings up the dearth of British managers at the top of English football.  Seven of the 20 Premier League managers are foreign.  Sir Alex Ferguson is the only British manager among the so-called “Big Four.”  Manchester City dumping Mark Hughes for Roberto Mancini seems only to exacerbate this trend.

Many in England believe this indicates domestic managers aren’t given a fair chance.  As Marcotti notes, Harry Redknapp expressed this sentiment in his column for the Sun.  “If any manager lower down the football pyramid believes they will get a big club…They won’t.  They simply won’t get a look in.  No chances will be taken.”

Such a sentiment is attractive, seemingly sensible, but ultimately ludicrous.

Viewing England’s top four as fixed entities is tempting and convenient, but it’s untrue.  Alex Ferguson inherited Manchester United in the 1980s and built the team into a perennial fixture.  Arsene Wenger did the same with Arsenal in the 1990s.  These managers joined clubs with resources and potential and built them.

British managers have had similar opportunities.

Sam Allardyce accepted the job at Newcastle, a large, heavy-spending club.  He failed and was finished by January.

Manchester City gave Mark Hughes a blank check.  He spent hundreds of millions.  He either bought poorly or managed the talent at his disposal poorly, but whatever he did it was poorly.  He was fired.

Harry Redknapp, the author of the aforementioned quotation, has the opportunity this season to finish in the top four.  He has been given ample talent.  He has a favorable league position.  He needs to lead them there.

Newcastle (before relegation), Manchester City and Tottenham were big jobs, similar to Arsenal and Man U once upon a time.  The clubs are among the wealthiest in Europe.  The resources are there.  They just need to use them correctly.

The most prominent British managers, men like Hughes Redknapp and Allardyce, have had opportunities to get to the top.  They didn’t take them.

British managers are not victims of structure.  They need no subsidy.  They just need to show ambition, take the initiative and perform better.

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24 Responses to British Managers Squander Opportunities To Join Premier League Elite

  1. Simon Burke says:

    I also think British managers are going to have to do what Robson and McLaren have done well – go abroad.

    I do think British managers don’t get a look in at the top jobs because chairmen think a foreign manager will know the foreign market better – it was true with Wenger and Maurinho also ransacked his old Porto players. Rafa has clearly brought in a heavy Spanish influence at Liverpool and I suspect Hughes had he been Liverpool manager would not have been able to.

    That said there are chances that have been squandered – Allardyce and Hughes didnt cover themselves in glory – Moyes has done very well (though not English) and I’d be curious to see what’s next for Moyes. He has done well enough to have a big club take him.

  2. Jason Gatties says:

    No mention of how Roy Hodgson has taken a club with very little money from relegation to Top 10 in just over 2 years? Last I checked, he’s a Brit.

    • But he spent most of his coaching years abroad which clearly distinguishes him from the likes of Hughes and Allardyce. Hodgson is outstanding- I was appalled by how negative the British press was on him when he replaced the awful Lawrie Sanchez. Simply because Hodgson had been off their radar for years, they assumed he couldn’t manage.

      He and Fulham are getting the last laugh.

  3. Guilherme Lessa says:

    Last time I commented here, I was booed thoroughly for saying Hughes should’ve been sacked a long time ago for being such a lame manager during his spell with City.

    Then came Mancini – who you all criticized – and the team started winning again. So, what will you say now? Will you boo me again? (It’s pretty easy to boo, huh?) Or will you keep trying to argue that English managers are better for English clubs and all that nonsense?

    You know the one thing that really disgusts me: English people will ALWAYS think they know football better than others. That’s why you didn’t take part in any World Cup until 1950, when you were surprised to learn that the Americans actually knew how to play football. Funny coincidence, this event took place in my hometown of Belo Horizonte, exaclty where my club plays nowadays: Estadio Independencia.

    Fact is: the English just invented a sport that was since reinvented a hundred times.

    AND the all time best English manager is a Scot. How ironic is that?

    • Tyson says:

      No you got critisized because you are an idiot. Every single game City have played since Mancini came to the club is against opposition at the bottom half of the table. They are all easy games.

      It’s funny how your disgusted by the English yet you speak English. How many English people speak Spanish?

      No wonder a lot of Spanish people are referred to as parasites.

      • Josh says:

        Brazilians speak Portuguese.

        The fact of the matter remains that City is playing better under Mancini. The last four games have not seen the mental and defensive breakdowns that brought on the run of draws under Hughes. I was upset when Hughes was relieved of duty but I’m definitely happy now that Mancini has brought the lads together and strung together some convincing wins.

      • “they are easy games.”

        These are the same types of teams Hughes drew with.

        HOME DRAW TO BURNLEY
        HOME DRAW TO HULL
        AWAY DRAW TO WIGAN
        AWAY DRAW TO BOLTON

        I doubt any other aspiring top six club in England will have such a poor run of matches against relegation threatened opposition.

        Mancini and Hughes are light years apart in terms of tactics. We always knew that. The question was whether Mancini win the dressing room and could he adapt to English football. He’s won on both counts.

      • ovalball says:

        “No wonder a lot of Spanish people are referred to as parasites.”

        What is the point of that? Totally unnecessary.

      • Eric T says:

        It’s funny how your disgusted by the English yet you speak English. How many English people speak Spanish?

        A. You’ve used that line about 40 times on this site alone, cool it. The logic there is so faulty I won’t even begin to comment on it.
        B. That was completely unnecessary/bitter.
        C. Pointing out how many English people speak Spanish is utterly irrelevant.

        The bottom line is that Hughes did not get the job done at city. Maybe it was a bit “knee-jerk,” but he couldn’t convert seemingly easy games into wins.

    • oliver says:

      what’s really ironic is you participate on a site primarily about the *English* Premier League and yet you appear to hold English football in disdain. Why not just not watch it and not comment on it instead?

      • Guilherme Lessa says:

        I don’t hold English football in disdain and my comment was not intended to sound like an insult to the English. I just wanted to pinpoint the fact that there are a lot of arrogant and racist opinions around here, especially among readers who comment (feeling very confortable about the anonimity of booing).

        Tyson’s ridiculous reply just made clear that my feelings were right.

        As for football itself, the EPL is clearly the best league in the world today, and that’s why I watch it and read about it. Actually, the EPL only got better when it started to have an expressive number of foreign players, managers, owners and so on.

        (BTW, the last phrase is an irony. As opposed to Tyson’s irony, which was rather racism, making him the REAL idiot here.)

        • oliver says:

          fair enough… but you can’t really lump in all English people together due to the shortsightedness of the FA in 1934 and 1938. To be fair, only 13 teams entered the first world cup and it was suspended between 1939 and 1949 due to WWII

  4. Tyson says:

    The Premier League is like one of those expensive hookers for sale to the highest bidder.

    The fact that an English league is foreign owned is ridiculous and to make matters worse a lot of the clubs in the Premier League are owned by Americans or Arabs.

    If you look at a lot of the American owners they refinanced from banks that either collapsed or are still struggling. They have created a money void through their dealings and are taking money from banks that don’t have it.

    On the other hand the Arabs are the biggest morons of them all. They spent decades throwing away the money they have accumulated through oil and now they have nothing left.

    If you look at the city owners and you look at the property they own in Dubai there is nearly a trillion US dollars worth of property there and its like a ghost town. They even went bankrupt recently. The UAE is on its deathbed and will be gone in a few years.

    These clubs have not only piled on debt but they come from countries that are struggling financially as well so they are now having to turn to bonds in hopes the Chinese and Asians will come bail them out.

    The thing is the Asians would be happy to buy out Manchester United at way over what it is valued and develop the brand in the worlds biggest market so here is United stuck with some broke morons when they are sitting at the cusp of becoming the most profitable sports brand on the planet backed by a consortium that is part of a new world superpower.

    If there is going to be foreign ownership of British clubs it can’t be somebody that blows a lot of money then ends up going down with a failing economy. The fact that arabs are buying clubs makes no sense those countries are on the cusp of bankruptcy failing one after another. Dubai has already gone bankrupt completely!

    End of the day foreign managers isn’t necessarily a bad thing but a lot of the time the foreign managers replace domestic managers that are better than them. There will be a tidal shift in economies in the next decade though and with Premiership Clubs being such big worldwide entities its not hard to see they will be okay as they are very highly in demand.

    On a positive note the laws imposed by the FA are going to have some drastic consequences on football practises. In fact they might be overturned as most clubs wouldn’t be able to operate the way they do now with those new budget rules.

    • Huh says:

      What the hell are you talking about? Dubai and Abu Dhabi are different places remember the last time you tried to tell everyone that Abu Dhabi’s oil is nearly all gone and made another load of crap up as well as making a fool out of yourself, your a very sad bitter red. I live in Manchester and I have never meet such a sad UTD fan as u. If there is a club that’s a financial disaster waiting to happen it’s UTD. Maybe you should bye some of the debt bonds the’ re trying to get permission to sell you silly man! City are currently £90 in the black, compare that to the growing more and more every year £700m+ that UTD are in the red, now who is in the real trouble eh? Who are ‘the Asians’ that would be happy to lose millions every year? Utd have won the league nearly every year since the Glazier’s take over and have been in two CL finals winning one, they have spent practically nothing on players yet still lose millions to interest every year (profits this year include player sales). If their fickle world wide success driven (mostly) fans stop buying their merchandise and move on to another club they are in serious trouble. So if I were you Tyson I be a little bit more concerned with my own club instead of talking total bollocks about City that u clearly know nothing about!!!

  5. Ryan says:

    The MLS should try and court some of these guys which could help deveolpe the talent we have here and possibly lure some better talent from abroad.

  6. Rob Dee says:

    People like Mr Lessa seem to have a real problem with the English, its not a new thing as its been happening for years goes all the way to the top and stops at fifa. Our crime seems to be giving the game to the world and being passionate and knowledgeable about it. UEFA hate the fact that English teams have been a success in Europe over the last few years and furthermore will seem to do anything to stop us from getting the world cup. We have a right to defend our league, clubs, and national team as much as others have the right to criticize us. Hopefully this world cup will be the best ever,as i believe the standard of football worldwide is better than ever, and England has aided its development as much as anybody else. Roll on June!!!

    • Guilherme Lessa says:

      I don’t have any problem with the English whatsoever. I have problems with people who say and do stupid, arrogant things.

      And I don’t think the English are more passionate about football than, say, Argentines or Italians. That’s pure arrogance, man.

      The conspiration you’re implying is so not real. I couldn’t disagree more.

  7. rob dee says:

    No where in my post did i say that we are more passionate than anyone else, so that’s pure stupidity on your part and as for arrogance for you to belittle England and English players part in bringing the game forward is arrogance of the highest order!!! we dont think we are better than anyone else but surely players like Beckham, Gerrard , Lampard, Rooney, Terry and others , the growth of the premier league and its worldwide appeal has helped a little. maybe not in your eyes!!

  8. I think English players and managers are too soft when it comes to moving abroad, i’d like to see it more often as it could improve the national team and the quality of football so much more. I was happy to see McLaren move abroad and so far hes done a decent job at Twente and appreciate that he took that challange on!

  9. Brandon says:

    7 out of 20 managers in the PL are foreign. That means 13 out of 20 managers in arguably the best league in the world are British right? That seems like a pretty good % to me.

    The success of foreign managers aside, I don’t think it’s a horrible thing to have a larger percentage of foreigners. Much in the same way it is with the players, more foreigners equals more competition and better quality.

    The PL is branding itself as the best in the world, and it has to accept that it will be impossible to keep it that way if it solely relies on british managers/players. I would be willing to bet that in 5 years, 10 out of 20 would be an optimistic projection for Brits.

  10. F1Mikal says:

    Maybe start identifying managers from other countries as ‘international’ as opposed to ‘foreign’.

    For some reason calling them foreign is a dig as inferior.

    The NBA figured that out…and the Americans didn’t invent the English language.

  11. Durk says:

    This post is a long time after the others but I want to make a comment anyhow.
    The reason Hughes was replaced at City was not about where City finished in the league, just out of Champions League qualifying.
    No, it was because foreign managers have the ability to attract the best of the foreign players.
    Hughes proved unsuccesful at that.
    Man United are also going through a period of drawn games but not losing has kept them top when others have failed.
    Guilherme Lessi’s original piece reeks of ‘Anglophobia’. He has since backtracked.

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