FAI Seek People Who Understand Football
As I’m sure they’re busy today counting out Steve Staunton’s compensation money, I thought I’d help the FAI with this recruitment advert:
And what was John Delaney thinking when he made the bizarre claim that the FAI hired Steve Staunton because they were following a ‘European model’ at the time of hiring former players with no coaching experience because international coaches cannot buy players? If he believes this, which of course he doesn’t, he is madder than any of us ever thought possible. When the FAI appointed Staunton in January 2006, the European countries who had qualified for that year’s World Cup had done so with coaches who had an average of fifteen years experience each before they were appointed. >>>
Errikson and Aragones were coaching for thirty years before leading England and Spain, and Domenech and Lippi for twenty years before getting the French and Italian jobs. Only Germany’s Klinsmann had no coaching experience, but he did have had six years business experience and had been technical advisor to LA Galaxy. And he only got the job after it was turned down by Bayern’s Hitzfeld, who was World Coach of the Year twice, and Greek coach Rehhagel, who had over thirty years experience.
So Klinsmann was an exception, not an example of a ‘European model’. In any case, when the FAI appointed Staunton, Germany were playing badly, Klinsmann’s job was under pressure because he insisted on living in California, and the German media was ridiculing him for his meticulous psychological management style, which was much more like that of Brian Kerr than of Steve Staunton. So it is not even remotely credible that the FAI hired Staunton because they wanted to copy what the German FA was doing in January 2006.
But what about the smaller European countries who qualified for the 2006 World Cup? Before getting the Czech Republic job, Bruckner had been coaching for almost thirty years; Portugal’s Scolari and Switzerland’s Kuhn had twenty years experience; and Croatia’s Kranjcar, Poland’s Janas, Serbia’s Petkovic and Ukraine’s Blokhin over a decade each. Lars Lagerback had spent seven years as Sweden’s assistant and joint coach before getting the top job, and Netherlands’ Marco van Basten had been coaching for only one year, but unlike Steve Staunton he had got his coaching badges.
So let’s be clear. As usual, John Delaney is talking nonsense when he claims that the FAI were following a ‘European model’ of hiring former players with no coaching experience because international coaches cannot buy players. The FAI hired by far the least experienced coach in European football, for no apparent sensible reason. Now that the inevitable has happened, Delaney is blaming his decision on an imaginary ‘European model’ of making incompetent appointments. And so the circus begins again.
Roll up, roll up!