Aston Villa and the rest of the Premier League are missing out on something special if Harry Redknapp is to be believed. They're all missing out on the magic of British managers. Redknapp, in a thinly-veiled plea for someone (anyone) to hire him, has written in the Telegraph that "we need to see more British boys managing our clubs."
More specifically, Harry says "I would like to see some far more [sic] British boys get an opportunity to manage a big club and see what they can do." His suggestion for other British managers who should be given an opportunity. Well. Uh. There's... uh... How about... no... And... oh bugger. He has none. Not a single alternative for these great English clubs to hire. Instead he prattles on a bit about how tough it is for British managers to make it in the Premier League.
"owners are saying is that they think we are not producing good enough managers at the top level. The lads go through all that work - three years to get the coaching badges - and then they don't get a look in when the big jobs come up."
Oh that makes sense. If they put in the time they should get the job. They don't need to be good. They just need to have put in the time to get their badges. As a teacher, I often complain at the end of the semester about students who tell me they deserve an A because they "worked really hard." I thought it might be a generational thing, but Harry shows me it's just a matter of entitlement.
Take Liverpool, for instance. They've just hired Jürgen Klopp, a man widely considered to be one of the best managers in the world. And here's what Harry has to say about him: "while he is obviously a very good manager, he does not have a magic wand that will suddenly turn Liverpool into champions." The implication here, in case you're missing it, is that some British manager does have that magic wand.
Listen, Harry, I'd be fine with a British manager at Aston Villa. Either of David Moyes or Brendan Rodgers could do well here. Especially if they have the magic wand you mentioned. But you know who else could do well? Remi Garde, who you say "is now looking massive favourite for the Aston Villa job but, with the greatest respect, why? What's he done?"
Well, he's worked in a system at Lyon with a director of football that had great success. A system that Aston Villa seem to be modeling themselves on. A system with French players, a commodity that Villa are rife with right now. Both Rodgers and Moyes have shown troubles in working with higher ups at previous clubs, and neither seems any more of a sure thing to succeed than does Garde.
What have Premier League clubs gotten out of British managers this year? There have been ten (Sherwood, Allardyce, Rodgers, Howe, Pardew, McClaren, Neil, Hughes, Monk, and Pulis). They have amassed a 25-21-44 record. That means they've gotten 96 points in 90 matches. 96 points from 270 on offer. Translate that to a single season and that would be a manager on pace for 40.533 points. That's... not great. I mean, most Aston Villa fans would take that right now, but it's nothing to crow about.
And how about Aston Villa, a club who have been a bastion of support of British managers in this decade. Since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, Villa have been exclusively managed by British managers, and they've compiled a record of 38-45-79 in the Premier League. In 162 matches that's 159 points, less than a point per match. In fact, that's a 37.3-point pace over the course of a whole season.
So I'm sorry, Harry. Having British managers is a fine theory, but "thinking about changing the rules to have British managers in the top division" as you propose is a ridiculous idea. The Premier League is not a place in which protectionist rules should be promoted. There is too much at stake to hire someone simply because they are British and they have worked really hard. If there is a British manager out there who is deserving of a chance (and you have named none) then they will be given one. Simply because there is so much money at stake clubs will hire the person they think will do the best job. If it's a British manager, hooray!
But, let's be honest. Since you didn't actually name any young, up-and-coming British managers Harry, this was your plea to get hired, wasn't it? That's fine. We all want jobs. But how about getting it on merit? Because at this point, I'd rather take a chance on Remi Garde and his 60-26-31 record and proven success working in a system like that which Villa are trying to create over your 556-344-480 record and history of being a belligerent man who doesn't get along with ownership.
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