Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I’m somewhat neutral on the matter of a technical director. While I felt there were more pressing priorities for the FFA, their new appointee has an excellent CV and will doubtless have much to offer. However, we have yet to see a genuinely detailed job description for Mr. Baan, beyond the fact that he will be taking charge of the Olyroos in the lead-up to Beijing.
In Foster’s piece, the word “technical”, as usual, gets a fair old workout. New Foz favourites appear to be “methodology”, “philosophy” and “vision”. Sadly, those interested in the day-to-day details of what Mr. Baan will actually be doing (apart from getting our Under 23s ready for the Asian Olympic qualifiers) will find no answers in Foster’s panegyric.
There are two points in the article with which I take particular issue:
A Dutchman, 63-year-old Rob Baan, was appointed as this country's first meaningful and internationally experienced technical director…
Rather insulting. Is the implication that all those who have fulfilled the role (or something similar to it) in the past, and their efforts, were essentially “meaningless”?
As for international experience, it should be pointed out that Mr. Baan’s entire career, outside of a brief stint in the UAE, has been in Dutch football.
Then there’s this:
He will be responsible for setting a co-ordinated system and style of play for them all, male and female. In future, the Young Socceroos (under 20s) will be a carbon copy of the senior side…
I sincerely hope not.
Not every group of players is the same, and to imagine that there is one system which will fit all is mistaken, in my view. Adaptability ought to be encouraged, by all means, but not to the point of shoving round pegs into square holes just to fit some predetermined tactical scheme.
Our new technical director himself appears to be aware of this, in any case:
…we need to have successful teams, so whatever style is needed we must use it…
Well said, Mr. Baan, and the best of luck to you.
"...and he made it clear in his first interview yesterday that he wanted homegrown coaches to be given their chance.
There are just three Australian-born coaches in the eight-team A-League..."
This criteria to be classified as a homegrown coach is something that doesn't sit well with me. Why do you have to be born here to be homegrown?
Lawrie McKinna has been here since the mid-1980s (on top of a year in Oz as a child), and started his coaching here (a fair while after arriving), yet he's still referred to in every media outlet as Scottish. So what if he has such a heavy Scottish accent. I know for a fact that he considers himself Australian now. Ernie Merrick's story might be similar, but I'm not too familiar with it. Same probably goes for guys like Miron Bleiberg and Ron Smith.
Just nonsense, and such thinking stupidly limits us when we're looking to appoint a "homegrown" coach to a NT position.
Secondly, it's pleasing that Baan doesn't subscribe to the theory that we need a rigid national tactical formation of some description. Hiddink said the same thing.
Thirdly, is 'panegyric' some type of venereal disease? ;o)
I think Merrick's been here since the 70s, so he's arguably more Australian than McKinna Hiro. Or should we now call you "The Best Independent Football Analyst In The Known Universe"? ;o)
Fair enough. I just feel that if you're going to spend big money (which I would assume it is) on a foreign expert, you would want to have a very definite idea of what he's going to do.
Incidentally, we're hearing that he was hired on Guus's recommendation; no disrespect to Mr. Baan, but did the FFA go through a proper scouting/interview process for the position, or did they just plump for this bloke because St. Guus recommended him? I think we should be told, as they say.
...Thirdly, is 'panegyric' some type of venereal disease? ;o)...
I'm just trying to get Subby diving for the dictionary again, quite frankly. ;-)
I'm keen to find out how it was conducted and the day-to-day, nuts and bolts of the job description if only so we can put you at ease mikey.
Even though they usually remain tight lipped, I'm thankful that the FFA at least leaves the gushing to the pundits.
Ajax 1995 European Cup.
That's it as far as Dutch success in the last decade.
Oh, and of course we have Hiddink's minor triumphs in geting unfancied teams to WC success; but let's not dwell on the staggering ineptness / corruption of the refereeing that helped the Korean's get as far as they did, not let's dwell on Hiddink's stupid swaying from team formation and keeper selection in Germany. I swear Hiddink may well have been a catalyst for better performance than the execrable Farina, but the term over-rated comes to mind.
The fact that he's a shoo-in for the Chelsea job when Mourinho goes to Inter in another matter.
I don't buy the Dutch stuff. For every decent dutch player, there's a couple of poor ones. Plus there's the attitude of the younger players that needs sorting.
Total football? Total bollocks.
I think there is many things to admire about dutch football, but then if I look close enough, I'm sure I'll find things to admire in everyone's football.
Yes, even English football.
If only! "TEAM USA" didn't sign him, so he is still available.
At the very least I think a Technical Director gives us someone who is independant of a coach so the firing of a coach is a less of a big deal. And every time we get a new coach not everything has to change.
I actually agree with Fozzie the moran that the youth systems should be a copy of the senior (to get the young players used to a system so there is less time wasted as they change to a new one) but it should not be the system that dictates the squad but the other way around, and it might be Baans responsibility to see that and evolved the team.
In reality a TD just does everything a brilliant coach should do - but it means we don't have to sign a brilliant coach everytime.
Well you succeeded.
I'm a little bit of a fence sitter on this issue too. Not quite sure how much of an impact this bloke will have on the much maligned "youth development" issue we keep hearing is in crisis. Have this daunting feeling that he will not be the road to a production line of endless van Basten's and WC glory he is being made out to be. But hey, I could be wrong.
But at the very least, I will be happy to see someone introduce a system of increased analysis and accountibility to our NT coaches.
Thankfully though, Mr Baan doesn't seem to be displaying a type of delusional hubris that would reflect the expectations placed upon him by Mr van Fozzie. Or is it Fozzaldinho?