Am I the only one that is starting to get frustrated about the lack of British managers in the Premier League? The harsh departure of Mark Hughes from Manchester City once again reflecting the new found culture of failing to give our hard grafting British managers chances of managing in the top league. You don’t have to be a football fan to see this ongoing trend. Since the introduction of the Premiership in 1992, no English manager has collected the Trophy come the end of the season. Whilst both Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish won the league, they were both Scottish.
For any team looking to replace their manager, it now seems almost inevitable to look overseas. The likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Guus Hiddink continuously linked to roles. Whilst foreign managers have brought substantial success to clubs, namely the legacy that Arsene Wenger has built at Arsenal and the short but highly successful spell the mouthy Mourinho had at Chelsea – success is not guaranteed. A 6-1 defeat to Chelsea in Christine Gross’s first in charge of Spurs as well and a run of four wins in twenty games for Pompey boss Alain Perrin saw them shown them both being shown the door.
Foreign managers are certainly subject to the same demands from clubs, but one has to question why British managers are failing to be given the best opportunities. David Moyes has worked wonders at Everton, stabilising the club and building a solid team with a blend of astute signings at youth players – yet he continually seems to be overlooked for the top jobs. Other candidates like Steve Coppell, who performed miracles at Reading and Paul Jewel oversaw successive promotions at Wigan continue to find it hard securing top Premier League jobs. Equally both Martin O’Neill and Harry Redknapp have assembled sides that are [based on current form] certainly capable of getting wins against the top four teams, something not possible over previous seasons.
These were all experienced players who know the English game – it speed, aggressiveness and what the FA cup means to fans. Compare these profiles to that of Mourinho, a previous translator and sports teacher and Wenger, a player who only turned professional aged twenty nine. Clubs are no longer owned by real fans, instead they are owned by billionaire “investors” who are simply playing with small change in a cold country. The appointment of Roberto Mancini at Manchester City reflects this. Whilst Mancini was an all time great player and has had success managing in Italy, he speaks little English and in his brief spell at Leicester player owned made four starts.
However, does the appointment of Owen Coyle at Bolton and Brian Laws at Burnley reflect a change? The answer is probably not. Whilst Bolton were prepared to spend £3miillion to secure Coyle’s signature and he was a former player at the club – the main reason behind his appointment was that of Chairman Phil Garside, a British Chairman. This same trend is seen at Burnley, who have also yet to be subject to a foreign takeover appointing Laws, who was only recently sacked at Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
Like many others, I have a close affinity to the Premier League. I have grown up with it on Saturday afternoons, seeing it overtake La Liga and Seri A to become the best league in the world. I however, also have British interest at heart and want to see the perceived top clubs making greater efforts to give our mangers a chance.
Written By Jonathan Ireland