Take a look at the top ten managers in the Premier League and there isn’t an Englishman in sight.
The highest up the table is Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, a classic example of a former player who has gone into management and has achieved quite a lot despite being just 38 years of age.
It’s been a worrying trend for a few years now, but the problem doesn’t look like going away, especially when former players are instead turning to punditry instead of taking up football management.
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Gary Neville tried and failed with Valencia. He showed he couldn’t cut it in the Spanish top flight. Would he try again in England and face the same ridicule? Definitely not.
If Manchester United formally approached him to be their next manager, he’d probably brush their proposal under the carpet in order to save face. He’d much rather have a comfortable position in the Sky Sports studio where he gets to criticise other people's work and management.
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English managers are afraid of failure. They are too concerned about their reputation.
Robbie Savage was called out on '5 Live' the other night for a comment about his punditry on the Manchester City vs. Real Madrid game and appeared to take offence to his opinions being questioned.
Would he survive in football management? Definitely not.
Where are the good English role models for younger players to look up to? They’re all on TV, that’s where.
Just look at the name of English footballers that are now in the studios rather than in the dugouts. Alan Shearer, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Jamie Redknapp, Martin Keown and Danny Murphy to name just a few.
How many English coaches are there currently employed in the Premier League? Just the three. Howe, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce.
All these pundits are young enough and intelligent enough to be successful managers, but instead, they took the easy route.
These ex-players all take the easy route because it’s exactly that, easy, but what do they actually provide to the game other than rubbish insight?
Jamie Carragher is exactly the type of player who should move into management. He won the European Cup for heaven’s sake.
Jamie Redknapp’s father Harry moved into management, but his boy wanted to go down the media route.
It’s not about money. It’s about being afraid of failure.
If former players were really passionate about football, they’d be in management not sat in a studio commenting on how badly the foreign coaches are handling their game.
Alan Shearer or Jamie Carragher should put their money where their mouths are and step into trying to lead a team on the sidelines rather than wearing a suit and sitting in a warm studio debating tactics.
Also, leave the journalism to those who went through school or spend hours writing about the game.
These former players have a duty to pass their knowledge and experience on to the next generation of footballers. No-one learns anything from their ramblings on Match of the Day or Monday Night Football, however, excellent those programmes are.
Not saying we don’t want to see ex-footballers on TV providing insight into the game, but how many do we actually need?
Maybe the next great English football coaches aren’t made in football. Maybe they’re like Mark Warburton, who started out as a city trader and took his knowledge and love for the game to Brentford where he almost got them promoted to the Premier League, and now to Rangers where his team have returned to the Scottish top flight at the first time of asking.
Maybe the great managers are out there, the ones who played Football Manager for hours in the dark getting Shrewsbury Town promoted to the Premier League and winning the European Cup.
Maybe those guys deserve the jobs because these football pundits sure don’t seem bothered. They’d rather talk about the game and take out of it rather than actually putting something back into the game which made them a career in the first place.
Take the Argentine league and look at the number of Argentine coaches, it will be staggering, the same with the French or Spanish leagues.
England is an anomaly and it runs the risk of having all of the English managers squeezed out of the top flight.
Stan Collymore is another obvious example. The former player would much rather sit on Twitter and argue with current players than setting an example to younger players on the training ground and in football stadiums in the country which gave him a profession.
The lack of English coaches will eventually see no more English players coming through the system. Why would the young English player play ahead of the French boy who was brought in aged 15 and has arguably better technical skills than him?
Certainly his chances will be even less without an English manager picking the team.
Is the lack of English managers in the Premier League a real problem for the game? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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