With the struggles of Gary Neville at Valencia and the sackings of Brendan Rodgers and Garry Monk earlier this season, it begs the question whether a British manager will ever take one of the top jobs in the Premier League again. There are currently only six British managers in the top flight, and they are all managing teams in the bottom half. The last British manager to take a top job was David Moyes, who massively failed at Old Trafford, which has established a glass ceiling for homegrown coaches. A failure seems to tarnish homegrown managers than it does to foreign managers. It took Steve McClaren eight years to get back into the Premier League after his failure as England coach, while David Moyes hasn’t been seen in the English top flight since he was relieved from his duties as Manchester United manager.
There was a period when the likes of Moyes, McClaren and Sam Allardyce looked like they could make the move to manage bigger clubs, but it now appears that their methods are outdated and they are being left behind by the Premier League. McClaren has struggled with a very talented Newcastle squad, which should be safely in mid-table, and has had upwards of £80m to spend on new players. They are currently 17th, which is one position lower than they were at the end of last season. The failure ultimately lies at the door of the manager and Newcastle may be feeling that they would have been better off appointing a coach from abroad.
Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce have established a niche of being managers who guarantee survival for their clubs in the top flight. However that looks to be changing, with Allardyce failing to make a real impact since taking over at Sunderland, while Tony Pulis’ West Brom is starting to plummet in the league table. The latter’s management of the Saido Berahino saga has been very poor and could ultimately cost his club their Premier League status. Their negative style of play used to be an asset, with foreign coaches struggling to deal with it, but it is now predictable and easily overcome.
At the beginning of the season, many were linking Brendan Rodgers, Garry Monk and Alan Pardew with the England job. The first two quickly lost their jobs at the beginning of the season, and have yet to get back into the game. They both looked to be very talented and capable of going to the very top, but the barriers that they are facing are huge and neither could survive a slump in form. Alan Pardew is an interesting case as he appears to be very lucky as a manager. He is capable of leading teams on long unbeaten streaks, but he is also liable to losing five or more matches on the trot, as both Newcastle and Palace fans will know all too well.
Brendan Rodgers was seen as a European style of coach when Liverpool were flying high in the 2013/14 season. He was made to look a lot better due to the unbelievable form of both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Also the confidence of the players played a big part. The media always talk about Rodgers’ passing style of play and liken it to Barcelona. The main difference is that Rodgers sees possession as the aim, and relies on one or two players in the final third to make the difference. Barcelona are always looking to use their possession to score, and don’t just keep the ball at the back, which Rodgers’ Liverpool did a lot. Rodgers is a good young coach, but he has yet to mould a side and he will never be taken seriously as a top coach until he does.
Jurgen Klopp has faced criticism since taking over from Rodgers in the press for failing to improve the side. The difference is that Klopp is a world class coach and if he is given the time and resources that Rodgers was, he will mould a side in his image, like he did at Dortmund. He started slow at the German club, but he created a machine, which won two Bundesliga’s and got to a Champions League final. This was a huge over-achievement, given the relatively small resources he had available. If he is given another two seasons at Liverpool, he will create a side capable of finishing in the top four with regularity.
Eddie Howe is the only English coach at the moment, who looks like he could move onto bigger things, with his Bournemouth side playing some really exciting football. However, he has done it with a lot of finances behind him, even when in League 1 and the Championship. Meanwhile, his spell at Burnley wasn’t a huge success, and he may struggle once again if he opts to move to a bigger club.
The future for British coaches looks bleaker than it has ever before. The money coming into the Premier League is making owners even more jumpy and they won’t be willing to take risks when it comes to managerial appointments. There are still chances for British coaches, but the failures of Rodgers and Monk will have really hindered the opportunities made available to homegrown coaches, which is a real shame. It is great to see the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in the Premier League, but we need to start developing some of our own.