I never thought I’d say this – but David Moyes has lit a fire in me. Moyes and Sean Dyche actually. I know – just imagine it.
What exactly have they done to wake me from my blogging slumber though? It all centres around recent comments made by both about the furore surrounding the appointment of numerous high profile managers to the Premier League over the summer. In addition to Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at Liverpool last season, the Premier League can now claim to be home to arguably the world’s most in-demand managers as Jose Mourinho took over at Manchester City, Antonio Conte took the reigns at Chelsea and Pep Guardiola took charge at Man City.
Burnley boss Dyche was first to take a pop, specifically referencing Italian Conte with his comments to The Standard earlier this week,
“Antonio Conte came in at Chelsea and he got commended for bringing a hard, fast, new leadership to Chelsea, which involved doing 800-metre runs, 400m runs and 200m runs. Come to my training and see Sean Dyche doing that and you’d say, ‘Dinosaur, a young English dinosaur manager, hasn’t got a clue’. So is it perception or is it fact? I have no problem with it. It’s the reality I say. Perception is radically different to what is going on with young English managers. Conte I thought was interesting because if you saw us doing that you’d say we’re running them round in circles. At Chelsea under Conte, everyone thinks it’s amazing – they’re working really hard, like it’s incredible.”
Moyes, recently appointed manager at Sunderland following Sam Allerdyce’s departure to take over as manager of England, followed up these comments by stating the English media are ‘fixated with overseas managers’, further stating that English managers receive ‘very little credit’.
Where do I even begin? Let’s ignore the fact Dyche refers to himself in third person and inexplicably implies that you can be described as both ‘young’ and a ‘dinosaur’ in the same sentence. Let’s ignore Moyes’ preoccupation with how little credit English managers receive, seemingly forgetting that he himself is Scottish. None of that matters really – but the attitude behind those comments most certainly does.
I’ve no problem with people highlighting hypocrisies, inaccuracies and inconsistencies within the free press – without it, there would be no discussion and the game we love would be without much of it’s excitement and talking points. What I do have a problem with, however, is that these comments and those of others within the league that follow a similar line simply reek of sour grapes.
You may genuinely believe there is bias against English managers within the English press but, given the often over-emphasised nature of the praise lavished on domestic based players and the Premier League (it’s not the best league in the world, by the way), I really doubt this is the case.
Looking throughout the history of the English game, it can’t be denied that foreign managers have had a huge impact on the game. Arsene Wenger, despite his more recent failings, is widely regarded as having changed the culture of English football for the better. Even more recently, it’s arguable that Mauricio Pochettino has provided the Premier League’s most exciting brand of football for a number of years, contributing to the development of innumerable BRITISH footballers in the process. Why men like Dyche and Moyes can’t accept that there is the potential for another such revolution in British football with it’s recent managerial additions, I’m not sure. To be fair to Moyes, in particular, he’s been too busy buying the players from Man Utd that got him the sack there in the first place, to care what Pep and co are doing.
Instead of getting hung up on whether they are receiving enough praise, maybe the English/British managers seeking validation should earn it. Managers like Pep, Conte, Mourinho and Klopp have all bring something different to the game. In the case of Pep, in particular, it could be argued we’re living in the time of a football revolutionary. So stop your whining lads. Appreciate football in all it’s forms, domestic or foreign. Learn, improve and most of all, let the talking be done on the pitch.