FAI Seek People Who Understand Football

October 25, 2007 at 4:45 pm 2 comments

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:

FAI Coach 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!


Entry filed under: Ireland, News, Sports.

The First Time That I Applied to Manage Ireland Willie O’Dea to be Paid More than Dick Cheney

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tiny Planet » He's not wrong  |  October 26, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    […] a good post on That’s Ireland about the FAI’s general shoddiness when it comes to hiring for the top […]

  • 2. peter donegan MI Hort  |  October 29, 2007 at 1:55 pm


    I read the book who stole our game and whilst the delaney family dont come out looking so good; I still dont understand how when a muppet such as he is employed by [my and your] state coffers how he can keep his job. Is there no way the irish people can have this guy sacked. He’s a poor decision making, ‘blameless[??]’ muppet. If we pay his wages surely we can sack him?! stan, kerr, mc carthy aside are we on for another…..

    slán go foill


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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


October 2007
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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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