Welcome aboard Harry
It’s not everyday a manager agrees to return to being just a first team coach. One often imagines a progression through the ranks consisting of youth team, reserve team, first team then manager in your own right. Thats the traditional route, but not so traditional anymore.
Harry Kewell is a name alright, and names are tending more and more to simply dive straight into management without the associated career path. MON and Mr.Gerrards starts couldn’t be more different, the man with two European Cup medals in his drawer began at the bottom and worked his way up.
The man with one decided to go big or go bust.
It pleases me that Harry went the traditional path, although I admit it might have been the only path available.
He served his time as an under 23s coach then became a manager in his own right,,but hasn’t thrived it’s fair to say.
Unemployed, he emerged on Ange’s radar and Bada Bing, we have a new coach.
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to go forwards, as the old saying goes, and that’s what happened here. It takes a certain mentality, I can’t imagine Lenny becoming a number two for example, but dropping down a level or two is the mark of the man. It screams desire.
It’s also a very smart move on his behalf. He has the opportunity to learn under a proper manager which cannot be understated. His own methods didn’t produce, the logical option is to find methods that do, and thoroughly learn them with the aim of imitating or improving.
Ange clearly has his own successful system, Harry shall gain precious insight to take onboard or not.
There’s also the opportunity for career growth with our club. His initial goal should be to impress full stop. The assistant manager role lies vacant still, and he should set his sights on it.
In three or four years time when the hotseat becomes available, he should aim to fill it.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Being in situ, offering continuity, already having the respect of the squad,,,all these would be major advantages in the hiring process.
All these are available to him now, and he will know this.
Ange states one reason for his recruitment was a desire to see the game played the right way. Looking at his management portfolio, perhaps this was his downfall.
League One and Two are mostly filled with not good enough journeymen and ex professionals milking a living out of the game as long as possible.
Tactics aren’t very important, there’s much more truck placed in winning your own personal battle against your immediate opponent, and very little time to build a team. Months in the job is common for those leagues, not years.
They are cutthroat divisions.
Asking subpar players to suddenly play exciting, attacking football can and did go wrong. A manager adapts his game to the players he has available for the most part, Ange being the exception to the rule. Yet even with his excellent communication skills and a good standard of player available the players couldn’t immediately come to grips with the new system.
That shows what you’re up against when trying to turn things around quickly, it’s hard. Very hard.
And Harry found that out big-time.
Despite that, he now finds himself in a great position. A proper manager, proper facilities, proper players, a giant club that aims to win every game,,,all the ingredients are there for the man to step up and thrive in his new surroundings.
To rejuvenate his passion for the game and become an integral cog of a winning unit.
To stake a claim to the throne.
Keep an eye on him.