Having long been a heavily successful yet controversial character, Sam Allardyce has long been a name that people associate with the more successful side of the modern British manager. Given an English manager has not won the Premier League since its inception in 92/93, though, the claims made by Allardyce when on the beIN Sports show with former Sky presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys ring a little hollow.
“I think you are almost deemed as second class because it is your country,” he told the two presenters on their flagship football show.
“It is a real shame that we are highly-educated, highly-talented coaches now with nowhere to go.
“The Premier League is the foreign league in England now.
“When you look across the owners, the managers and the coaches (and) the players, that is exactly what it is now.”
While the duo seemed to agree with him, the facts don’t really seem to back up the assertion. The claim was made after Claude Puel, a successful title winner with AS Monaco and a good manager with clubs like Lyon and Nice, got the Leicester job. Uproar about the appointment – after he had ‘failed’ at Southampton – meant many felt that a ‘British’ manager should get the job.
Well, Leicester alone show the folly of this. They had Nigel Pearson, who done a decent job but hit a glass ceiling. They then hired Claudio Rainieri, who won them the league out of nowhere. They then showed him no patience and sacked him, putting his assistant, Craig Shakespeare, in charge. That never lasted long and he got sacked too, now being replaced by ‘a foreigner’. For balance, Leicester also appointed ex-England manager Sven Goran Erikson, who was a flop.
It’s almost as if the nationality is not quite as important as the quality of the coach. However, the lack of English managers to have won their own league in the last 25 years is a disgrace. Given that the number of managers by nationality in the league since inception shows that the highest ‘foreign’ country to have managers appointed is Italy, with 9, this does not quite stack up.
In fact, 104 different Englishmen, 34 Scots, 8 Welshman, 7 Northern Irishman and 6 Irishman says that the league gives plenty of opportunities to British managers. And after the debacle of the likes of David Moyes at Manchester United, surely there is ample proof that nationality counts for nothing, but quality instead?
Sorry, Sam; this one won’t fly with us.