So after more than 3 months of searching the Irish Football Association have captured Giovanni Trapattoni as the next manager of the Republic of Ireland’s national football team. There was a lot of sniggering behind hands around the appointments of the completely untried Steve Staunton and Brian Kerr before him but the doubts proved valid. Now they’ve appointed someone with huge experience and you can feel the shock waves over here in sleepy Buckingham.
If anything this guy outshines Capello in his achievements; 7 Scudettos apiece, 1 EC apiece and FC has 1 La Liga title. Trappo has titles in Germany and Portugal, 3 EUFA Cups and a Cup Winners triumph. Plus he was in charge of the Italian national team from 2000-2004 winning just the WC and Euro Nations Championship. Blimey. He looks a steal at £1.5m pa given they were paying Staunton and Robson (who was hardly there for health reasons) just the £700,000 pa. In fact he looks better value than Capello but let’s not go there.
None of this means he will automatically be successful with Ireland of course. But they have someone who knows how to organise a team and win things a la Capello. The change in attitude and atmosphere surrounding the England team is already apparent. I’m sure the same can be done with Ireland.
But do you know what makes me reflective? It’s the thought that the most highly qualified English coaches don’t come anywhere close to these guys. I thought Hughes or Moyes would have been great choices for Newcastle but they are both proud Celts of course. So Newcastle went for KK who has failed to win zero major trophies and who has walked away from every managerial job from NU, Fulham, England and Man City when the going got a little bit tough. Then there was McClaren – the most qualified English manager of his generation to lead the national team having won a LC Final and reached the EUFA CF with Boro. Well at the FA he was out of his depth from day 1 and hadn’t a f*cking clue about managing high profile players/media. He not only fuc*ed up our very reasonable chances of qualifying for Euro 2008 (let’s face it, it wasn’t the toughest qualifying Group – ask Scotland about that) but made us look a laughing stock and who walked away with over £2m in pay-off. Before that we had Glenn Hoddle who seriously thought that disabled people were bad people from the past reincarnated as a form of punishment. Sigh. Before him El Tel who everyone rates as a coach but who’s now regarded by officialdom as as dodgy as a deal with a bunch of Colombians. Before that it was the Turnip. Another sigh.
Of the current managers there’s Big Sam who’s not so grand now, ‘arry Redknapp but that’s like having The Bill parked outside Soho Sq, Curbs (do me a favour) and then we’re down to Southgate who hasn’t even got his coaching badges yet. If I’m missing someone, apologies.
For frigs sake what on earth happened to all the truly great English managers in the last 40 years like Clough, Revie, Nicholson, Paisley, Fagan, Ramsey, Cullis, Kendall, Mercer who dominated the national scene and would inspire fear internationally through their club achievements. Where are their successors? In the Championship? …. maybe. But I think we’re losing the art of grooming great managers. The Scots have a fantastic coaching development system and we should emulate it instantly at hardly any cost. Forget the national training centre at £100m’s. It’s people and skills and intelligence that matter; not buildings and real estate. If we don’t do this we won’t have a single English coach in the top two divisions inside 5 years and an English coach of the national side inside 25 years if we aren’t very careful.
Do we care? Well I f*cking do.