Paul Merson and Phil Thompson sparked a bit of debate over the weekend – shock – the pair are professionally ignorant. Still, the Sky Sports pundits hardly held back on Marco Silva being appointed as the new Hull City boss.
“Why has it always got to be a foreign manager? I’ve got nothing against foreign managers, don’t get me wrong.
But, [British] footballers spend four years doing their badges, spending a fortune and nobody gets a chance to manage at the top level.”
The recruitment of the Portuguese boss infuriated the Sky Sports fools, as English gaffers are seemingly not given enough of an opportunity; supposedly sidelined by owners adamance on recruiting foreign managers.
They sort of have a point, with just seven British managers being employed at top flight; only two of these are in the top 10. And, the pundits went further by arguing that sacked Birmingham City coach, Gary Rowett, had just as good a shout at the Hull City job, but was overlooked due to the foreign preference.
Wonder where they voted last June?
All Brexit jokes aside, we see where the pair are coming from. It seems that there is an undercurrent of politics which is keeping certain personnel out of work. We all know of FIFA corruption, that it has reached a point where we wouldn’t be all that shocked if FIFA affiliates watched Narcos for a Monday meeting; just to take snippets of advice from the show.
But still, it seems that this politics runs from the top to the bottom. If it’s not the FIFA oligarchy, it’s our former English manager; if it’s not him, then it’s players of clubs and countries in the ‘FIFA Best’ awards. The manipulation is everywhere.
Nowadays you can't escape politics it's in football, school, TV shows, in the streets everywhere!
— Rowdy Gent. (@ToddGraham12) January 9, 2017
And, Jorge Mendes – we’re sure you’ve all heard of him; the agent to the one and only, Cristiano Ronaldo. Well, he’s created his own political cauldron with the exact appointment of the Hull City gaffer. There’s no doubt Mendes knows the ‘right people in the right areas’, a serious case of ‘his-dad-knows-my-dad’ sort of syndrome. Well, Marco Silva’s agent is Mendes, and look who gets the Hull City job.
We don’t want to turn speculation into accusation, but this sort of appointment then makes Jose Mourinho’s comments on the newly appointed Hull City gaffer all the more eye-opening:
“Nobody knows he [Silva] was a champion and now he comes to the big one. It’s a big opportunity for him so I hope he loses three matches and wins every (other) one.”
When we heard these comments, it seemed a bit odd; but then when you remember who Jose’s agent is, oh yeah, of course, Mendes. The cycle probably went a bit like:
“Hey, Jose, I’ve twisted a few arms to get Silva this bloody role, put him in the spotlight, please; say a couple of nice things, and we’ll do something about your contract. Those Red Devil idiots hand out money as if it’s growing on trees”.
Remember, this is just loose speculation. But the cycle seems all too predictable. It’s too much of the same story in football, and for once, although perhaps slightly xenophobic, Merson and Thompson have a point.