The merry go round begins as the top world soccer coaches get off in one country and get on in another. It’s not just the top players who will find new lands to play in, the coaches usually move first, and then bring their favorite players with along with them. Soccer coaches or managers have a short life expectancy at top professional soccer clubs. The demands are high.
Coaches are funny, all of a sudden one-coach switches to Real Madrid, Juande Ramos, and the team starts winning. His placement over at Tottenham, Harry Redknapp, starts to win again too when he takes over. Did it all just come down to a language barrier for Ramos while in London?
They all have their reasons for why the change works. Some blame management. Some blame players. But it’s always a carousel ride no made how you look at it. And usually the same coaches get on and off again and again. To see Ferguson and Wenger at the top for so long, you have to tip your hat to them. Perhaps the best soccer coach or manger in the last thirty or so years is Carlo Ancelotti, who has coached Juventus, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and now Napoli. There isn’t a top soccer club that Ancelotti has managed.
Scolari said when he didn’t sign Robinho and he was doomed at Chelsea. Really though, his down fall can be more attributed to when Michael Essien went down with a knee injury. When he returned Chelsea were a much different side all together.
Over at Real Madrid, Schuster’s down fall came when Ruud Van Nisterlroy got hurt. They had no forward who could replace him. At Tottenham, many blamed selling of Berbatov and Robbie Keane. Berbatov was destined to leave but Keane took the air right out of the club.
Fabio Capello quit after winning the title with Real Madrid. He was smart to leave on his own terms and at the top. Guus Hiddink, who has turned around Chelsea, although I think Essien’s return has been a big help, has said that he won’t return to coach at Chelsea next year. He too will leave having down what he was asked: give the club a chance to win the Champions League. They nearly reached the finals, but went out to an Iniesta injury time goal. Now, there are rumors that AC Milan coach, Carlo Ancelotti, will take over as The Blues boss, which he has denied, but it looks like change is going to come.
And guess who might take over for Ancelotti at AC Milan, non other than legendary Dutch forward Marco van Basten. Van Basten was coaching at Ajax. However, when they failed to qualify for next year’s Champions League, he resigned. He too went out on his own terms.
His countryman, Frank Rijkaard, is another former coach without a team right now. His name has been bantered about as the person to take over for Mark Hughes at Manchester City. But Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak stated that they are sticking with Hughes and he will remain the City boss next season. They will no doubt spend a ton of money to bring in players. Let’s just hope they let the own goal master Dunne leave too.
And don’t forget about Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was fired as coach of Mexico and is looking for work. He’s most visible on Special One TV these days but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up coaching in the MLS. Does the LA Galaxy want to make another stupid coaching change?
Top coaches from various European leagues names always come up when there’s trouble at one of the big clubs. Coaches are given very little time to mold and shape their club – develop a youth program, that’s a laugh. The only club who has done that successfully is Barcelona. Yeah, look where they are. The mantra with all big clubs is win right now or else.
One coach who has been able to mold a big club recently is Rafa Benitez. How has he done it? That’s an easy answer, by buying and buying more players, and he’s said he’ll break the bank next year too. Tevez might end up there. Rafa now has more Spanish speaking stars on his said then English ones, if that says anything. But really, Rafa has brought on key players like Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano, and then kept a star like Gerrard as the foundation for his club. Some coaches and management make terrible decisions that make teams self implode. Trading off key players instead of building the side around them. The selling of Makelele comes to mind for example by Madrid some years ago.
Coaches on the coaching carousel