It’s sink or swim for top flight’s new bosses

It’s sink or swim for top flight’s new bosses

It’s sink or swim for top flight’s new bosses

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

I have always said that when the fixtures came out I used to hope the first game would be away from home.

Basically every team is up for the first game because of all of the training they have done in the pre-season, but if you happen to lose away from home it’s not too unexpected, whereas a home defeat brings a bit of doom and gloom over proceedings before you’ve hardly got started.

Last weekend was a perfect example where only two of the home teams actually won in the Premier League.

One of the biggest surprises of course was the home defeat of Manchester United by Swansea City.

If ever you wonder why bookmakers are rich, this is a prime example.

How many people would have backed Swansea at Old Trafford, especially with the much heralded arrival of Louis van Gaal and their unbeaten pre-season games?

All eyes will now be on the transfer window before it closes as United supporters will definitely not accept anything outside the top four this year, otherwise they would want to know why David Moyes was shown the door a little bit unceremoniously before getting his feet under the table.

United definitely have the money to spend, they have the biggest ground and the biggest crowds and are popular around the world.

Van Gaal must, like all other coaches and managers, get his head down and get on with the week-to-week programme, which of course he will find is more demanding and busier than any other league anywhere in the world.

Ours is a tough league and last weekend was quite an introduction to the various new managers.

Thankfully our new boss at Saints Ronald Koeman, pictured below, did a bit better than van Gaal at United.

Saints’ display at Anfield was praised by all concerned and it should have been a draw, which would have been a terrific result.

The performance with, let’s face it, a new team put together in a very short time was a credit to all concerned.

I was still in America at the time but was able to watch the whole game, as virtually every top flight game is screened there.

When the talk at home is about the lack of English managers and coaches coming through, it’s pretty obvious what most of the former top players are doing now.

If you listen to the co-commentators in the States, all British of course, you can see the route they have taken compared to the comparatively hard work of completing coaching badges and working your way up the system.

People like Warren Barton, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe are based throughout the season in Los Angeles, while other big names such as Trevor Francis and David Pleat can be heard co-commentating from the grounds around England.

We have also seen players like Rio Ferdinand and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, performing well on TV and former Saint Alan Shearer is an established part of the Match of the Day team.

They have all presumably said ‘no thank you’ to the possibility of a career in management.

It obviously puts more focus on the few that have gone down the management route and two of the potential top English managers of the future face off against each other at Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe, who is continually getting good write-ups, was up against Stuart Pearce, who has gone through all angles as a coach with the England teams and is now back into management at the club he made his name with, Nottingham Forest. Although it’s early days, both of these young managers have made a good start this season, as the league table shows.

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