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A Football Dream


With MyFootballClub creating a dream for so many football fans out there by allowing them to be a part owner of a non-league football club with the hopes and aspirations of seeing them rise up the divisions into the Football League, I had a similar dream last night.

What if a major Premier League manager decided to leave and spend his last few years of management at a club in the lower divisions of the Football League?

Sounds ridiculous, I know. But hang with me for a minute. Most of the Premier League managers don’t have to worry about money (they have more than they could possibly need right now anyway). And wouldn’t it be a true test of their managerial skills if they could take a team suffering in the lower divisions and turn them around into a winning side capable of being promoted.

As far as I know, nothing like this has ever happened. Sure, there have been managers who earned their managerial experience at a lower league or non-league club before eventually moving up to the Premier League, but not the other way around.

Could you see an Alex Ferguson going to manage Forfar at the bottom of Division 3 in the Scottish League? Or what about Mark Hughes going to Wrexham at the bottom of League Two?

Of course, it’s a dream and nothing like that would happen while the managers were at the top of their game. And it should only be possible when they’re on the verge of retiring. But talk about a great way to give back to the game of football that has served them so long.

If you could pick a lower league club and a dream manager, who would they be and why?

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  1. Charlie

    November 28, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    As long as we’re dreaming … Martin Jol for Millwall!

  2. Brian

    November 28, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Tyduffy, I think you’re probably right about a lower-league job requiring a different skill-set from managing in the Premier League. Still, I’ve always thought this was a fascinating hypothetical.

    How riveting would it be to see what Wenger (or someone of that stature) could do with, say, Forest Green Rovers over 5-6 years? And think what a luster it would add to the famous manager’s reputation if he could actually win a couple of unlooked-for promotions with a lower-league team.

    It’ll probably never happen, but it’s a nice dream.

  3. tyduffy

    November 28, 2007 at 8:36 am

    I think that Harry Redknap makes a good point about this on the Times podcast this week.

    A manager is often only as good as the setup they have in place. If you put Arsene or Sir Alex in the Lower Leagues they aren’t going to necessarily be able to do the job.

    I think it is a different skill-set to get shit players to perform vs. finding and molding elite talent.

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