Friday, September 14, 2007
In Defence of Arnie - update
Certainly, there are large portions of the piece with which it's hard to disagree. The FFA appears to have employed little imagination and less flexibility in the search for a successor to Graham Arnold; all the eggs have been deposited in the big-name Dutchman basket.
Cockerill has made his views very clear in recent months; he feels (justifiably, in my opinion) that the FFA has treated Arnold shabbily. Few would suggest that Arnold gave a particularly good account of himself in the Asian Cup, but many - some of them, as Cockerill alleges, in the media - have assailed him with a scorn that he simply doesn't deserve.
To move on to the matter of how a big-name foreign manager would handle our precarious qualifying route.
The quotes from Dick Advocaat at the beginning of Cockerill's article need a bit of context, I feel. There is no comparison between the farce of Oceania qualification, blithely conducted outside of FIFA international windows, and the Asian route, full of genuinely competitive opposition and generally (if not always) reserved for FIFA-designated international dates. So let's not condemn Advocaat's internationalist credentials on that score just yet, thanks.
But the FFA, in my opinion, is showing itself to be feeble indeed in allowing Advocaat to (if you'll pardon the pun) keep dicking them around. We need a manager who can commit himself to the Australia job now, rather than waiting to see if his Russian club can reach Champions' League nirvana.
As usual, one has to take Cockerill's implicit defence of local coaches (and his backing of Arnold's truculent "it's coz I'm an Aussie" defence) with a grain of salt. But with the following suggestion of Cockerill's I can only heartily agree:
If the FFA is to go foreign, why not find a younger, lesser known, coach who has passion, drive, and enthusiasm? One who wants to make a name, not one who has a name already.
As far as I can see, the FFA has been no more enterprising than previous administrations in this respect. The only alternative to Terry Venables considered in the David Hill era, I seem to recall, was Johan Cruyff.
Advocaat has experience in Asia, but not much of it. He was drafted in to the Korea job for the last World Cup very late in the piece, without having to deal with the awkward early part of the qualifying process. Prior to that, he merely had a brief, unsuccessful spell with the UAE.
As I've stated before, Advocaat is a good option in many respects. But if he is not prepared to commit himself to the Socceroos job any time soon, the FFA should look elsewhere. And their candidate, dare I say, need not be Dutch or famous.
Guus was a media personality, that IMO was of huge benefit to football in Australia, we need someone that will capture the media's imagination IMO.
Will the players respect a not so famous coach? I guess it depends how tough he is, they certainly did not respect Arnold.
he is going to always be constantly harping on about Australian coaches
His bias and blinded vision can benefit our football in no way realy... its very dissaponting to hear comments from him at times.. especially after what 2005/06 did for the game in this country.
I agree ADvocaat needs to be committed for us to have him.
What is annoying me though is the FFA, sometimes i wonder whether they really have a clue. Why are we solely looking at Dutch coaches? What about french coaches?? italian, spanish???
I think one of the reasons that a Dutch coach is an attractive option is that they pretty much all speak fluent English (unlike many of the southern Europeans). But then, so do most of the Germans and the Scandinavians.
If he's not that keen to manage us, why should we be keen to have him?