English Managers: Will they be forced to move abroad in order to get noticed?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 16 October 2018, 13:40

Gareth Southgate has returned from the hottest city in Continental Europe as the hottest manager in autumnal England.

A cavalier destruction of Spain in Seville carrying us back to the summer and the exploits at the World Cup - rekindling memories of the adventure in Russia while offering hope it was not just a flash in the pan.

The country and Southgate needed that win and the pleasing by-product is that it raises the flag a little for the hard-pressed Englishman suffering in the global game at all levels.

Trawl through the upper reaches of the Premier League and it’s no easy task trying to unearth a Brit among the management.

With the exception of Eddie Howe at surprise packages Bournemouth, the leading four clubs resemble a post-Brexit EU summit with a German, two Spaniards and an Italian hogging the top table.

Only Spurs and Liverpool have had a British manager in the last five years. At Arsenal you have to go back to Bruce Rioch in 1995 and Chelsea was Glenn Hoddle in ‘93. Sepia-stained history in the fast-paced modern game.

The foreign coaches have done well. Nobody can argue with Arsene Wenger’s record over 22 years at Arsenal. Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Roberto di Matteo landed big prizes with Chelsea.

But while much of the debate around this latest international break centres around our young players being forced to move abroad to get game time and gratification, the same might be argued about our managers.

Jadon Sancho bit the bullet and quit Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga. Other youngsters are being urged to follow suit.

Much is said about Howe at Bournemouth; that his track record and his half a dozen years on the South Coast have established them as a Premier League club and that he is destined for bigger things.

Yet there’s a strong sense that none of the truly big clubs would be willing to take a ‘gamble’ on Howe, when anybody with any sense can see from here that he would fit in at Tottenham like Cinderella into a glass slipper.

 

Should Spurs lose Mauricio Pochettino to Manchester United or Real Madrid, Howe should be number one choice.

Maybe Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy would feel more comfortable if Howe were to move abroad for a couple of years: upsize to a decent sized club in Spain’s La Liga or in Germany to prove he can make the grade up in the stratosphere of world football where the cash flows like rainfall - ie the Premier League.

Of course it’s ludicrous that Howe should have to do this. Just as Sancho should have been given the right airing at Manchester City, just like Patrick Roberts should have too.

Just like all those promising, young footballers at Chelsea should have been allowed a glimpse into the daylight under Jose Mourinho, but weren’t.

There are currently around half a dozen English managers working abroad - if you count Steven Gerrard managing Glasgow Rangers as foreign soil which in football terms it is.

Steve Coppell, a one time contender for the England job, is in India, Stephen Constantine, Stuart Baxter is South Africa coach, Anthony Hudson, the son of Chelsea legend Alan, is boss at Colorado Rapids.

None of those are in line for the Premier League’s next top job but then again neither is Howe, nor Sean Dyche, Chris Hughton nor Mark Hughes.

Perhaps they need to become the managerial version of Jadon Sancho, to go somewhere overseas where they are truly appreciated to make English clubs sit up and take notice.

Southgate is flying the Union Jack and is proving we can produce managers as well as players but there is no way through the wall of foreign flags.

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