The likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs have all moved into the world of football management quickly after hanging up their boots, while Eddie Howe and Gary Monk have also impressed over recent years. Clubs across Europe have long been putting their faith in inexperienced coaches, however it now appears that this trend has reached these shores.
While it was formally common for young and inexperienced coaches to hone their skills in the lower leagues, an increasing number of chairman are putting faith in them from the off. Lampard has Derby County in the Championship promotion mix-up, while former England teammate Gerrard has helped Rangers to once again challenge rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish game.
Many believe that age is now a significant factor nowadays, with many young coaches having learnt from the leading managers of their time, as well as having a better understanding than most of the demands of the modern game. It is important for managers to understand the different needs and skills required at different levels, while players are likely to respond well to learning from respected figures within the British game.
Germany is a football nation that has long developed coaches from within, rather than spending millions on recruiting from other countries, and while this is something that still seems to be a long way off in the Premier League, the appointments of former star players is certainly a step in the right direction. The likes of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel both worked their way up the ranks in their younger years, leading to them earning the top jobs at Liverpool and PSG today.
There may be some resentment from younger coaches who do not have the same profile as the likes of Lampard and Scholes, however their potential early success should help to pave the way for more such appointments, meaning that clubs will first look at home, before venturing abroad for new managers.
It remains to be seen as to when such a manager will earn the top role at one of the Premier Leauge’s top clubs, with Eddie Howe being one man whose work to date has seen him linked with a move to a top four team. Meanwhile, should he keep up his impressive work as interim Manchester United, Ole Gunnar solskjaer could well be named as the permanent boss at Old Trafford, something that would have appeared hugely unlikely just a matter of months ago.
The success of such young managers should help to inspire the next generation of coaches at all levels, with English football still sitting well behind their European competitors when it comes to the number of qualified coaches within the beautiful game. Part of the reason for such a demise has been the cost involved, with coaches requiring an investment of over £4,000 to gain the much-coveted UEFA A license, compared to around £800 in Germany. This is certainly something in which the FA are looking into, as they look to make up ground on other countries at both grassroots and professional levels.
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