English managers on the rise in Premier League
The Premier League will always have its army of foreign players, some of whom are no better than English teenagers who make way for them, but the number of home-grown managers is at least growing.
Ex-Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams became the 10th English manager in the 20-team Premier League on Tuesday when he took over at Portsmouth, following Englishman Harry Redknapp’s move to Tottenham Hotspur days before.
On top of that, a further six managers hail from Wales, Scotland, Ireland or Northern Ireland, leaving Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, Liverpool’s Rafa Benitez, Chelsea’s Luiz Felipe Scolari and West Ham United’s Gianfranco Zola as the only managers not from the British Isles. (Newcastle interim coach Joe Kinnear was born in Dublin and played for Ireland but we are counting him as English given his broad London accent…)
This is a far cry from the disastrous days of Ruud Gullit at Newcastle United, Alain Perrin at Portsmouth, Jean Tigana at Fulham or Christian Gross at Tottenham. Nowadays these clubs and ones of a similar stature are going for the likes of Paul Ince (Blackburn Rovers) and Gareth Southgate (Middlesbrough).
Cynics might point out that I have neglected to mention until now that three of the remaining four foreign managers currently have their feet up in offices at some of the Premier League’s top clubs, excluding Manchester United.
But then is this surprising given that an English manager hasn’t had a chance to prove himself at a top side in years?
The resurgence in appointing home-grown talent, or at least providing an opportunity to discover some, might one day see one of the big four appoint an English manager and England fans may again get a compatriot in charge of the national team.
Do you think foreign managers are good for the game?
Or should we be looking forward to a new era of emerging English or at least British managerial talent, perhaps starting with Hull City’s mercurial manager Phil Brown?
PHOTO: Portsmouth manager Tony Adams gestures during their English Premier League match against Liverpool, Oct. 29. REUTERS/Phil Noble