What’s The Stigma Hurting English Managers?

So whadda y’know Mark Hughes is back managing in the Premier League and in London to boot.

The decision made by QPR’s owner Tony Fernandes to ditch Neil Warnock on face-value is a controversial one, but it’s hard to argue that given Hughes’ record it’s a decision that doesn’t make sense long-term.

Last January Roberto Di Matteo was cruelly at the time given the chop after the Albion suffered a slump over the festive period. It looked a very harsh decision as the Italian in all honesty had done little wrong and he had the support of his dressing room and more importantly perhaps that of the fans too.

However fast forward 12 months and the decision to sack the ex-Chelsea midfielder proved to be the correct one as Roy Hodgson came in, kept the club in the league made some impressive signings and has a more than good chance of stabilising West Brom as a Premier League club.

What was the reason why West Brom went for Hodgson, one word – experience. Hodgson knows how to operate a side and get the best out of (and this is no disrespect to Albion) decent players and build them into an organised team. That perhaps was something Di Matteo in the long-term couldn’t do.

It’s worth noting Hodgson’s nationality. Oh yes, he’s that dreaded E word, no not Eczema but English. He’s English and would you like to guess how many English managers there are now in the English Premier League (or EPL as the Yanks love to call it)?

Thought about it yet? The answer’s a paltry three.

Yep that’s right 3 out of 20 managers in the EPL are English, well four if you want to include Mick McCarthy who was born in Barnsley, as you could probably tell by his accent.

In Ligue 1 in France, 17/20 managers are French. In Serie A in Italy, only Roma’s Luis Enrique is only non-Italian coach. In La Liga in Spain, 14/20 managers are Spanish with 14/18 managers in Germany’s Bundesliga being German.

Doesn’t that just about say it all for the current state of English managers?

Think about it, who is the only English manager who the majority of the nation wants to be England manager when Fabio Capello goes? Harry Redknapp.

Which other Englishman could possibly be up to the job aside from Redknapp? Hodgson and erm that’s about it sadly.

Why is this? Why does it seem like it’s once in a blue moon that an Englishman land one of the top jobs in the Premier League yet alone realistically be in the running for the job?

When will it change? Why don’t more English coaches go abroad?

I believe aside from the money and the fact it’s a ‘easier’ option to take to stay in England and coach, it’s the fact that English football is still seen as the birthplace and be all and end all of football.

Obviously because of that if you’re a manager you want to do well on your own turf and build a legacy for yourself.

There’s nothing wrong in that but the way that the Premier League is heading it’s going to be harder for younger managers to get their chance because of the fact the average-managerial term these days is so short compared to what it used to be that managers are out of the door before they’ve sat down at their office.

With that in mind more managers should be going abroad. Then again if there’s a stigma about England producing poor managers which has only really started since Steve McCLaren’s humilting tenure in charge of the national team, then perhaps even if they wanted to move abroad, some managers wouldn’t even be thought about as potential candidates by owners of clubs abroad.

Employing an English manager shouldn’t be seen as a gamble for an owner of a Premier League club. There are some very talented managers (Eddie How and Lee Clark spring to mind) coming through in the football league who given time and resources could succeed at the right club…

..It’s just a shame that right now it does seem like a gamble and until that changes English managers will still be seen as inferior on the continent. After all if you are not seen as ‘good enough’ in your house, you’re in effect a ‘nobody’ to the chap to living in the next street.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87

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