Are we STILL feeling sorry for British managers in Premier League?

Date published: Monday 15th November 2021 9:47 - Editor F365

British bosses Eddie Howe and Dean Smith

Three British managers have been appointed by Premier League clubs in the past week but still they are being badly treated…


Brit Box
Three Premier League clubs have appointed British managers in the last week to take the total up to seven and yet there are those who still insist on crying foul when it comes to the prevalence of foreign managers at the biggest clubs.

Next up on this particular well-worn track is Daily Mirror columnist Sam Quek, who is looking towards ‘the start of a new era for British managers in the Premier League’. Just don’t mention that in August 2019 there were nine British managers in charge of Premier League clubs.

‘The appointment of a British manager to a top Premier League job is still unusual. For instance, when the Tottenham job became available, I don’t think there was a single home-grown candidate in the running.’

Well that’s just bollocks. Antonio Conte was the odd-on favourite for Tottenham as soon as it became clear he was bizarrely interested but among the other men linked were Graham Potter, Ryan Mason, Brendan Rodgers and Eddie Howe. Indeed, the latter has just been employed by the richest owners in football; we suspect that might count as a ‘top Premier League job’.

‘British managers have rarely been as highly regarded as foreign coaches.’

British managers have rarely achieved as much as foreign coaches, Sam.

‘On the rare occasion that a British manager has secured a big job and then been sacked – like David Moyes at Manchester United and Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool – it seemed only to strengthen the argument against home-grown talent.

‘Yet when the opposite has happened (United sacking Jose Mourinho, for example) there hasn’t been a shift in perception back towards British managers.’

First, there are more than two nationalities. It isn’t just British or Foreign. It would be really sodding bizarre if the failure of a Portuguese manager led to a swing away from all managers from all other countries all over the world. And second, football clubs are businesses; they appoint a manager because they believe he will succeed, regardless of nationality. Unless we’re talking about Wolves.

Manchester United did not rush to appoint a non-Brit after David Moyes; they rushed to appoint a manager with more experience at dealing with elite footballers. Liverpool did not rush to appoint a non-Brit after Brendan Rodgers; they rushed to appoint a manager who had won trophies and built a successful side who had competed in the Champions League.

‘People may argue that there just isn’t the quality among British managers at the moment but I don’t accept that. Opportunities have just been limited.’

Both Chelsea and Liverpool had British managers before their current, very successful bosses – it’s odd how Frank Lampard is not mentioned once in Quek’s column about British managers being overlooked. A curious oversight.

Looking down the Premier League table, the British boss in third has already failed at Manchester United, the British manager in seventh has reportedly turned down Tottenham and the British boss in 12th has already managed at Liverpool and reportedly also turned down Tottenham. The next British boss is in 16th and has only just been appointed, while the other British bosses are in 18th, 19th and 20th. Exactly who is not getting an opportunity here?

‘At some point Germany’s Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool and Spain’s Pep Guardiola will leave Manchester City. I want to believe that, when those days come, more than one British candidate will be seriously considered for their jobs.’

Why do you need more than one? British manager Gerrard is the favourite for the Liverpool job and British manager Rodgers is the favourite for the Manchester City job. If they prove they deserve those jobs, they will surely be considered. The last thing middle-aged white men need is more positive discrimination.


ZZ Top
British manager Brendan Rodgers is odds-on favourite for the Manchester United job – which is curious when British managers do not get opportunities – but it’s Zinedine Zidane who provides all the clicks so it’s Zinedine Zidane who dominates the Mirror football website.

‘Zinedine Zidane’s Man Utd blueprint includes key tactic switch and Cristiano Ronaldo plan’

There’s literally no evidence he is remotely interested in the Manchester United job, which is not currently available.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s role in persuading Zinedine Zidane to take Man Utd job’

There’s literally no evidence he is remotely interested in the Manchester United job, which is not currently available.

‘Zinedine Zidane’s conditions for taking Man Utd job as he makes feelings clear’

There’s literally no evidence he is remotely interested in the Manchester United job and this story actually begins with the admission that
‘Manchester United have reportedly not approached Zinedine Zidane as the highly-rated manager continues to be linked with the Old Trafford job’. So to whom has he made his feelings clear and who is relaying these ‘conditions’ if an approach has not been made?

‘The Red Devils have not entered discussions with the Frenchman, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

‘It’s also claimed Zidane is not ‘desperate’ to accept a proposal from United, or any other club, as taking on a job midway through the season does not appeal to him.’

So his ‘conditions for taking Man Utd job’ (that is not actually available) is that it would have to be available at the end of the season, when it may or may not be available. And even then he ‘could also consider taking the France job if it becomes available following the 2022 World Cup’ as he clearly has no burning desire to manage in the Premier League.

But still, let’s not let that stop the flood…

‘Man Utd players’ view on Zinedine Zidane as Frenchman’s conditions become clear’

So, so clear.

‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sack date clearer after Zinedine Zidane outlines Man Utd stance’

It really is so very clear.

Zinedine Zidane pulls his trousers up


Express delivery
This is genuinely the pits from the Express, mind…

‘Man Utd icon Sir Alex Ferguson’s orders over Zinedine Zidane as Glazers consider change’

…which refers to Sir Alex Ferguson asking Tony Cascarino to ‘have a word’ with Zidane while playing in a testimonial in Marseille over 20 years ago.

That ‘as’ is doing a f*** of a lot of heavy lifting in that headline.

Stand and deliver
Mediawatch is old-fashioned; we still believe that children should take their own plates to the kitchen and that quote marks should still signify quotes. So when we see headlines like this on The Sun website…

‘Man Utd ‘set to hijack Chelsea’s Jules Kounde transfer and are prepared to pay Sevilla defender’s £69m buyout clause”

…we wonder who has said that Manchester United ‘set to hijack Chelsea’s Jules Kounde transfer and are prepared to pay Sevilla defender’s £69m buyout clause’.

What we don’t expect is that nobody at all has mentioned any kind of ‘hijack’ (‘unlawfully seize (an aircraft, ship, or vehicle) in transit and force it to go to a different destination or use it for one’s own purposes’) and that actually, what Manchester United might do is pay a release clause for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde that Chelsea refused to meet.

Not so much ‘hijack’ as ‘be rather more desperate than anybody else’.

And we have a word of warning about any kind of ‘hijack’; this is the last time we saw Manchester United linked with such an act of villainy by The Sun:

‘Man Utd to hijack Real Madrid’s £49m transfer for Donny van de Beek – but will bid just £36m for Ajax ace’

How did that one go again?


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