FanDuel - WFBC

February 12, 2008

Why do African teams need European coaches?: Paul Doyle reflects on the African Cup of Nations.

posted by yerfatma to soccer at 07:24 AM - 7 comments

It's obviously a business just like any other sport out there. Popular or not that's the reality. Go figure. Can't wait 'till College Football '08....

posted by aMAIZEd Mark at 02:53 PM on February 12

For the most part I think this is something US Soccer and MLS are doing right, with very few boss men (Ruud Gullit being the major recent exception) not being American or Canadian. Doyle is right to suggest African nations do the same.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:37 PM on February 12

There could be a reasonable argument somewhere in the article, but I have trouble finding it. As a corollary, does Paul Doyle think the FA should get rid of Cappello because he's not English? Coaching development often takes a back seat to player development. If foreign coaches are an 'issue' for Africa (and I have trouble believing that they are, in the same way that 'too many foreigners in the Premiership' is a trite argument), then set up a continent-wide development scheme, perhaps using European coaches as mentors.

posted by owlhouse at 07:35 PM on February 12

For the most part I think this is something US Soccer and MLS are doing right, with very few boss men (Ruud Gullit being the major recent exception) not being American or Canadian. Doyle is right to suggest African nations do the same. Think you might be mistaken on this point. Of the 14 current MLS coaches there are: 6 Americans (One of which is Preki, who is actually Serbian) 1 Canadian 1 German 1 Costa Rican 1 Colombian 1 Scot 1 Englishman 1 N. Irish 1 Dutchman

posted by Chargdres at 09:23 AM on February 13

There could be a reasonable argument somewhere in the article, but I have trouble finding it. I guess it came out poorly in the piece. I linked to it because I was very interested in his passion about the story in last week's podcast (and some of the previous weeks' broadcasts as well). He spent some time in Africa earlier in life and perhaps his care comes out in person better than in print. I don't think the Cappello comparison is apt because there isn't any echo of colonialism or caretaking in an Italian coach for an English team (especially one who had to recently boot a native son coach for incompetence). The answer to Doyle's question seems most often to be, "Because no one else has tried it," and that's the unfortunate sort of attitude that kept black coaches out of the NFL for years.

posted by yerfatma at 10:02 AM on February 13

I agree with yerfatma that the mere optics of white men coaching predominantly black teams brings to mind some sort of imperialism. I think perhaps a bigger issue than the colonialism/imperialism angle from a practical standpoint is that many of these white coaches just suck. We've talked about this in other contexts, but there is a strong pull in sport to bring in coaches with "experience" even where experience has borne out that they are just not good coaches. Of course, there are some exceptions (Bill Belichick comes to mind in American football), but in many instances teams go with a known entity rather than someone who may actually have some creative ideas and be able to penetrate the glass ceiling of on-field performance and success that the Berti Vogts' of the world just can't seem to breach.

posted by holden at 10:11 AM on February 13

Chargdres, my bad, I thought only Gullit and Osorio are not American or Canadian. Still half plus the recent MNT coahces seems good considering how few Americans and Canadians have coached a, say, major European club or national side.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:02 PM on February 14

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