Greedy Nepotism Will Make Young British Managers Extinct – Stan Speaks

This week we saw Chris Powell and Chris Ramsey getting the sack at Huddersfield and QPR respectively and there has been talk of introducing the ‘Rooney rule’ into English football to ensure an adequate number of black and ethnic minority candidates are interviewed for top positions at football clubs.

Powell’s record wasn’t great but he’s been around the block and he’s a good manager. But lo and behold we see Jurgen Klopp’s old assistant move in 25/30 miles away from where Jurgen lives and move straight into the hot seat at Huddersfield.

Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough has done very well, I have no problem with his ability, but he’s there by virtue of the fact that he knows Jose Mourinho very well.

Jobs For The Boys
I’ve seen it before – a great player comes to play in the Premier League and soon after his brother comes to play for the likes of Bury in the lower leagues. Recently Andre Ayew came over to play for Swansea and of course his brother Jordan comes over and arrives at Aston Villa. For me it’s time to stop.

When I was at Liverpool it was Paul Dalglish. He was blatantly not a Premier League striker but he played for Liverpool and Newcastle. We know it exists. Jamie Redknapp and Frank Lampard were more than good enough players, but now we have jobs by association that are stopping home grown managers and former players taking jobs either as Chief Executives, administrators or managers.

Chris Powell and Chris Ramsey both got the sack because they weren’t doing the jobs at their clubs, no problem, but my point is that it’s not just a Rooney rule for black and ethnic minority managers we need.

The amount of English or British managers plying their trade not only at the top level but going down the divisions is getting less and less year in year out. It’ll soon be a question of whether any British managers are getting the jobs full stop, and that is a massive concern to me.

I’d like to see a rule whereby so many English or British managers of whatever colour or creed have to be interviewed for jobs in the Premier League and lower divisions.

We need to be careful it doesn’t become a closed shop for home grown talent.

I have seen no evidence that Huddersfield’s new boss David Wagner would necessarily be a better candidate than for example Gary Rowett at Birmingham, who is doing a fantastic job. There are plenty of other managers lower down the leagues that could’ve got the Huddersfield job and made it work. Wagner has essentially got the job because of who he knows.

We have a very long history of great British and Irish managers and I don’t want to see it stopped because Jurgen Klopp wants his mate nearby at Huddersfield, however good Klopp is.

John Terry v Robbie Savage
I like John Terry, he is a great player, a great captain and has done everything in the top flight of football but if he’s serious about denying Robbie Savage a view based on nearly 350 Premier League games, playing for Wales and a League Cup winner’s medal, then essentially he’s saying anybody reading this, any fan, any journalist, or any broadcaster, unless they’ve won the Premier League or European Cup then their opinion is worthless. And that’s nonsense!

I wonder if John Terry had started his career at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, would he have said you’re not worthy of questioning me or giving me tactical advice because you were only a translator under Bobby Robson? Of course that translator went on to be a great manager and has added significantly to the game.

Football isn’t rocket science, most fans understand the system that their clubs play and can judge whether it’s successful, entertaining or value for money. So the added bonus of having an ex-professional talking about it is useful. They’ve been in the dressing room, they know the dynamics and know what coaches and managers say.

Robbie was a former team mate of mine, I like him very much as a person. I’m not always a fan of his analysis or punditry, I don’t always agree with everything he has to say, and I’m sure that’s reciprocated. But I recognise his right as much as anyone else to be able to analyse and criticise John Terry, especially with so many matches under his belt for club and country.

United’s Possession Football
I’ve watched Manchester United in the derby and in the flesh 3 or 4 times this season, and going back to when I first played a Louis van Gaal side against Ajax, they were possession based. They had the likes of Seedorf, Blind, Van der Saar, the de Boers and Kluivert. They ground you down with possession and came alive in the final 3rd.

The difference between that type of possession football and Pep Guardiola’s style of possession at Barcelona and now Bayern Munich, is that it’s quick in its tempo. If United had Pep, it would be based on the same principles as LVG; if you have the ball the opposition can’t hurt you with it.

But it’s a much more dynamic and pacier possession based brand of football which we see whenever Bayern and Barcelona have looked irresistible.

What we see in LVG’s philosophy, is the possession football of 1995, which is 2 or 3 gears lower.

Although it keeps the ball from the opponent, it doesn’t chime with what United are all about – width, pace, getting behind teams, creating chances and scoring goals.

LVG is the right man for United to add stability and maybe challenge for the league, but I’d go all out if Guardiola became available. The kind of possession football and the attacking style he introduced at Bayern and Barcelona would be the modern version of Fergie football. Ferguson wasn’t too fussed about possession but he was all about attacking and scoring goals.

Guardiola likes to keep the ball away from the opposition as much as possible, but he also likes to score and attack. If Manchester United want anyone to take them back to the Fergie days then it’s Pep Guardiola.

I don’t want to be too critical of Louis Van Gaal. He’s doing the job he’s paid to do in the wake of the aborted attempt to have David Moyes as the main man; to bring stability back to Old Trafford. It’s a big club and a difficult one to turn around overnight, but I think that Van Gaal is going to prove to be the caretaker for Pep Guardiola’s possession and attacking based football.