The curse of being a British Manager
For the last decade, British managers have somewhat been out of fashion, with many Premier League clubs preferring foreign coaches. Many people believe that having a Brit at the helm is old fashioned with their main view on attacking being to hoof the ball to the big man up front. On the other hand, foreign managers are seen as being more tactically aware and have a more modern approach to how the game should be played.
But is this common belief actually true? Are British managers really that far behind their counterparts across the world?
It depends which way you look at it. Are British managers no longer good enough? Or did the British way of playing with high intensity and two big men up front go out of fashion?
The top division in England only really burst onto the global scene in the late 90s and early 2000s. This new-found success brought money with it, meaning clubs could go and get the best managers, coaches and players from around the world. The first of these new managers was Arsene Wenger. Few can claim to have had as bigger impact on the way British football is played than this man. He was the first manager to really invest in foreign players, eventually creating the famous ‘Invincibles’. Ever since then, Premier League football has never looked back, becoming the biggest, richest and most popular competition in the world.
This all left British managers out in the cold.
Recently however, there has been a slight change in the wind as two of England’s biggest clubs; Liverpool and Manchester United, appointed British managers in Rodgers and Moyes. While both their seasons could not have gone more differently, does the fact that two of England’s biggest clubs appointed British managers suggest they are coming back into fashion? Bluntly, well no not really.
I can’t help but feel when the American owners were appointing Brendan Rodgers they were taking a stab in the dark. After all, Rodgers achievements before Liverpool were hardly any thing to shout about. He got Swansea promoted but let’s be honest they were expecting promotion. And before Swansea, Rodgers was of course sacked by Reading. Certainly jumping from a club like Swansea to Liverpool is not something that happens in football very often these days and was truly was an exception to the rules.
David Moyes to Manchester United can be explained in three words; Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson’s influence is the sole reason Moyes managed United. The fact he was sacked doesn’t help the British cause at all.
So looking at how both Rodgers and Moyes got the job at their respective clubs and how one lost it, the future doesn’t really look much brighter for British managers and coaches. Add this to more and more foreign owners, it looks like the curse of being a British manager is here to stay.
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