The imminent return of the British old guard: Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 28 November 2017, 08:32

ALAN PARDEW and Sam Allardyce are the final two pieces of the jigsaw which will confirm the new job description of the British football manager.

If their appointments at West Bromwich Albion and Everton respectively go through, the Premier League table will take on a remarkable symmetry that will be both eye-catching and despairing.

For the top six clubs in the world’s flagship league will be run by foreigners while in the bottom six it is beleaguered Brits all the way.

From Stoke in 15th all the way down to Crystal Palace propping up the rest of the table, poor old Union Jack has found a new role in football at least.

Not only that, only one of those discarded ‘home-grown’ coaches will be under 50 years old - Swansea’s Paul Clement.

Other than him, it’s a sea of grey hair and weary older men who have been around the block a few times.

That’s not to say they don’t have anything to offer. It’s more the inevitable side effect when foreign owners take over English clubs, they just do not trust the very people who probably understand English football better than anyone else.

The problem is that among the elevated clubs at the top of the table; at Manchester City, United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, they do not see their future as part of the English game.

The Arabs, Americans and Russians are looking outward to the vast moneypot of the European and then the global game to satisfy their power lust.

West Brom, West Ham, Stoke and Crystal Palace can go figure. Clubs like these are becoming increasingly surplus to requirements as the glitterati court European Super Leagues and 39th games played halfway round the world ten time zones away.

It is not even worth taking a punt on who will be the next British manager to win the Premier League.

It’s already nearly four years since Alex Ferguson lifted that huge trophy for Manchester United in 2013. And he was 71 years old.

Interestingly, the following season Manuel Pellegrini became the first coach from outside Europe to win the title as the Chilean took the world view of football to a new level.

At the moment, those who believe in the domestic roots of our game and are concerned at the rising tide of money like rising sea levels have only Sean Dyche and Chris Hughton to turn to.

They are the only two Brits currently sitting in the Premier League’s top ten.

And with the greatest respect, there is no way Man City’s Arab power structure would permit the appointment of either man.

Where’s the immediate prestige in giving a job to blokes who can work miracles on meagre budgets and get their players to punch well above their weight?

Sit down and have a good, long think. Which British manager out there is really going to get a realistic chance to manage one of our top clubs in the next twenty years.

Don’t even bother making a cup of tea while you do because it won’t have cooled down sufficiently to drink before you realise the answer is nobody.

As our country glows with patriotic fervour at the announcement of yet another expensive Royal Wedding, it is quite timely that in the one place where there is more money than sense, the Premier League, nobody is backing British.

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Michael Collins
Michael Collins
(Bradford City)
3rd September
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