Recent goings on in the world of football management have highlighted, once again, the lack of top class English management – it could improve soon though.
Manchester City, English Premier League champions, have just given their manager, Roberto Mancini, a contract extension that includes a huge pay rise.
The Italian has now become the highest paid manager in the country, overtaking Sir Alex Ferguson of rivals Manchester United and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, the previous top earner.
The highest performing English manager last season was Harry Redknapp, who took Tottenham Hotspur to fourth in the league and was sacked soon after.
He has been replaced by Portuguese Andre Villas-Boas, who failed when given the chance to manage Chelsea last year.
Alan Pardew had a fantastic season in charge of Newcastle United, taking them to fifth, but this was a huge surprise considering the Toon’s squad and resources, so it is difficult to see them doing something similar next year.
Chelsea were eventually taken over by Villas-Boas’ assistant Roberto di Matteo, who is Italian, though he has spent his managerial career in England.
England hired an Englishman for the first time in 11 years by taking Roy Hodgson from West Bromwich Albion, even though Redknapp was by far and away the favourite for the post.
While Hodgson is an experienced manager, he has hardly had great success in his long career, though he needs time to prove the many doubters wrong.
You can’t exactly call Redknapp the more successful of the two, because his list of honours comprises an FA Cup win with Portsmouth and not much else.
The former West Ham United manager must also be praised for leading Tottenham to their most successful seasons for a number of years, taking them into the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Russia are also searching for a new coach and Redknapp is reportedly on their shortlist, though it is dominated by more feted names from other countries.
It is a shame that England’s only candidate for one of the top jobs in European international football is a man who was just dismissed for throwing away third place in the Premier League and failing to secure Champions League qualification once more.
Though it is not all bad on the English manager front, as the Premier League welcomes two of the most exciting English management prospects in Southampton boss Nigel Adkins and Reading’s Brian McDermott.
Adkins took the Saints to their second successive promotion last season with a brand of dynamic and fast-paced football, while McDermott’s team went on an astonishing run of form to top the Championship.
The Royals were irresistible as they marched up the table, brushing challengers aside all comers with their precise and direct football.
Both these men manage in the same vein as ne Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who so impressed with Swansea City last season – Reading’s conquerors in the playoff final last season.
Rodgers has spoken of going abroad to learn his trade and taking in different styles and systems from different footballing cultures to perfect his particular brand.
If Alan Pardew can achieve similar successes next season, he could quite possibly take up the mantle as England’s premier home-grown coach.
With the greatest respect to Pardew, this is not a terribly rosy picture for the future.
It will not come as a great surprise to hear that the number of coaches in England with UEFA B, A and Pro licenses is dwarfed by their European counterparts.
UEFA data released this year showed that number to be 2769, which is pitiful compared to 17588 in France, 23995 in Spain, 29420 in Italy and a whopping 34970 in Germany.
When you see those figures, England’s predicament becomes quite clear and its solution equally so.
Until England embraces better organisation of grass roots football, 1966 will continue to be the solitary year of international glory.
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