Glenn Moore: Will industrial decline north of the border deny us our rich seam of Scottish managers?

The Weekend Dossier

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The Independent Online

When the respective managers retire for a chinwag and a drink in the coaches' office after this weekend's matches, the Scottish accent will dominate in two of the rooms.

At Goodison Park today, and Villa Park tomorrow, both dugouts will be commanded by Glaswegians.

David Moyes and Paul Lambert are in opposition at Everton v Norwich, Alex McLeish and Kenny Dalglish at Aston Villa v Liverpool.

A third of the Premier League's technical areas are infiltrated by Scots with Sir Alex Ferguson, Owen Coyle and Steve Kean making up the current septet. The preference of leading clubs for Continental managers rather than English ones has often been explained by a combination of a cultural cringe, the need for Champions League experience, and the advantage of having a manager well-versed in the better-value European transfer market. Why mid-range clubs prefer Scots is not, though, as evident.

The presence of Ferguson as a standard-bearer is obviously a factor, not least because he often advises club chairmen on appointments. Ferguson, though, is only the latest in a long line of distinguished Scottish managers beginning with George Ramsey, Tom Mitchell and Frank Watt who respectively achieved great success with Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United in the game's early decades. While they were part of a committee which selected the team, Ramsey, in particular, trained, organised and recruited players.

Sir Matt Busby, then Bill Shankly, reaffirmed this tradition after the post-war years before Ferguson came south. Between them Scots have won 27 of the last 60 English league titles, with Kenny Dalglish, George Graham and Dave Mackay also contributing to the haul. Is it any wonder chairmen look north when a vacancy is to be filled?

How long, though, will this persist? The Management (Birlinn, £9.99), by the Scottish football journalists Michael Grant and Rob Robertson, examines the Tartan influence on English football dugouts, and identifies certain characteristics common to most of the successful Scots, the bulk of whom are from in-or-around Glasgow. Chief among these is an old-fashioned working-class resilience, work ethic and sense of authority born of a background associated with mining or heavy industry. Busby, Shankly and Jock Stein were ex-miners, the fathers of Ferguson, McLeish and Moyes all worked in the Clydeside shipyards. Graham's father was a steelworker.

It could be argued that this applies to many English managers too. Bob Paisley was a miner, Herbert Chapman and Sir Bobby Robson were the sons of miners. In the modern age Neil Warnock's father was a steelworker, but the experience of an industrial upbringing seems more central to Scots' management style.

Ferguson has said: "I am sure any success I have had in handling men, and especially in creating a culture of loyalty and commitment in teams I have managed, owes much to my upbringing among the working men of Clydeside."

However, that environment is now history. The mines and shipyards are largely quiet and the values they forged less apparent in modern society. Grant and Robertson ponder whether this means the production line will disappear. They conclude it may dwindle but not dry up, because of the influence of Largs, the Scottish FA's widely admired coaching centre. The new generation of Scottish coaches (including Lambert, though he also took qualifications in Germany) are technocrats as well as leaders of men.

Craig Brown, the former Scotland manager, now at Aberdeen, has noted that it is not just the heavy industries that have gone, so has the old culture of respect for authority. "Players are millionaires now," he told The Independent. "If you are strict with a player now he'll say, 'My agent will see you tomorrow'. But Scottish managers have adapted. Look at the ones coming through, like Derek McInnes [Bristol City], Malkay Mackay [Cardiff City] and Dougie Freedman [Crystal Palace]. Football is ingrained in the culture here. We'll always produce managers."

Five Asides

1. Bridge seems unable to fill even a small gap for Mancini

How many Manchester City full-backs have to be unavailable before Wayne Bridge gets a game? This weekend Alexsandar Kolarov and Gaël Clichy are out, but Bridge seems no nearer a start than Carlos Tevez. Close observers suggest Roberto Mancini would rather shift Joleon Lescott to left-back before selecting a man who earns £90,000 a week, but last played a Premier League match for City two weeks shy of a year ago. And that was 13 incidental minutes in a 4-0 rout of Aston Villa.

In the summer, Bridge rejected overtures from Newcastle United, Celtic and abroad. It appears that, at 31, with 18 months to run on his contract, he remains a footballer in name only. What a waste of ability and opportunity.

2. Levy says Harry will stay but has his options just in case

So Daniel Levy believes Harry Redknapp will resist England if the Football Association come calling before his Spurs contract ends in 18 months? No chance, but Levy is a combative negotiator who will ensure Tottenham receive decent compensation – and with Paris St-Germain lining up Frank Rijkaard, Carlo Ancelotti is still out of work.

3. O'Neill has it all to live up to as Northern Irish Wearsider

Research for the Scottish managers feature threw up an omen for Martin O'Neill and Sunderland fans. Only one manager from Northern Ireland has won the league title, Robert Kyle, who led Sunderland to the championship in 1913. Emulate him and O'Neill will achieve a status on Wearside to eclipse even Bob Stokoe, who managed the 1973 FA Cup-winning side.

4. Billionaire saviour will be at home in the Principality

Every struggling club is looking for a sugar daddy, most will not find one, but there was a certain inevitability about Monaco being rescued by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. It may not be a footballing hotbed, but given the Principality's residents and allure, if Prince Albert's team cannot find a saviour, none can.

5. Care proves no one can lay claim to the high ground

The arrest of Harlequins and England scrum-half Danny Care for being drunk and disorderly is further proof that once rugby players begin to experience the rewards and profile of footballers, a minority – unfortunately for the reputation of the majority – will behave the way some footballers have done. See that empty hill in the distance? That's the moral high ground all sports vacated some time ago.

Glenn Moore's verdict on all the weekend action

Blackburn v West Brom

Odds: Home 11-8; Draw 23-10, Away 2-1.

Kick-off: Today, 3pm (Highlights BBC1 10.30pm)

Team news: Martin Olsson is out for Blackburn with a hamstring injury but Michel Salgado (ribs), and Ruben Rochina (hamstring) should be fit enough to return to the starting line-up. Gael Givet (heart condition) and Junior Hoilett (hamstring) are both doubts. Steven Reid is expected to overcome a knee injury to start.

Everton v Norwich

Odds: Home 8-13; Draw 14-5, Away 5-1.

Kick-off: Today, 3pm (Highlights BBC1 10.30pm)

Team news: Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman (both hamstring) and Royston Drenthe (ankle) are David Moyes' main worries, meaning Phil Neville could continue alongside Marouane Fellaini in the middle of the park. For Norwich, the game comes too soon for Ritchie de Laet (back) and Elliott Ward (knee), who could return to training next week.

Fulham v Bolton

Odds: Home 8-13; Draw 11-4, Away 5-1.

Kick-off: Today, 3pm (Highlights BBC1 10.30pm)

Team news: Captain Danny Murphy (ankle) is the only major concern for Martin Jol, who has recalled goalkeeper David Stockdale from his loan with Ipswich Town as Mark Schwarzer could be out until February with a spine injury. Ivan Klasnic is fit for Bolton, while Nigel Reo-Coker (hamstring) could return.

Newcastle v Swansea

Odds: Home 4-5; Draw 13-5, Away 7-2.

Kick-off: Today, 3pm (Highlights BBC1 10.30pm)

Team news: Newcastle's defenders Fabio Coloccini (thigh) and Mike Williamson (ankle) have a chance of returning to the squad, while midfielder Cheik Tiote (knee), who has been out since October, faces a fitness test. Brendan Rogers will welcome midfielder Joe Allen back from a one- match ban for the Swans.

Wolves v Stoke

Odds: Home 6-4; Draw 9-4, Away 15-8.

Kick-off: Today, 3pm (Highlights BBC1 10.30pm)

Team news: Jody Craddock is at least one week away from returning from a hamstring injury for Wolves, while Matt Jarvis (thigh) and Dave Edwards (groin) face late fitness tests before the game. Andy Wilkinson (back) sustained an injury against Besiktas in midweek and is unlikely to feature for Stoke.

Wigan v Chelsea

Odds: Home 8-1; Draw 15-4, Away 4-11.

Kick-off: Today, 5.30pm (ESPN; Highlights BBC1 10.30pm)

Team news: Roberto Martinez may welcome Emerson Boyce back into the Wigan starting line-up as a replacement for Antolin Alcaraz, who is doubtful with a rib injury. David Luiz could return for Chelsea following a ban, which will see Branislav Ivanovic moving to right-back, and Jose Bosingwa out of the starting XI.

QPR v Manchester United

Odds: Home 13-2; Draw 10-3, Away 4-9.

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 12pm (Sky Sports 1; Highlights BBC2 10pm)

Team news: Anton Ferdinand faces a late fitness test on his hamstring injury, while Heidar Helguson is expected to return up front for QPR after recovering from a groin injury. Paul Pogba, 18, could be included in Sir Alex Ferguson's squad, and Dimitar Berbatov (ankle) is available.

Aston Villa v Liverpool

Odds: Aston Villa 16-5; Draw 12-5, Away 10-11.

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 2.05pm (Sky Sports 1; Highlights BBC2 10pm)

Team news: Emile Heskey is expected to replace the suspended Gabriel Agbonlahor for Aston Villa and Fabian Delph (knee) is fit again after missing the victory against Bolton. Kenny Dalglish has no fresh injury worries but Jay Spearing still has two games of his ban remaining.

Tottenham v Sunderland

Odds: Home 4-11; Draw 15-4, Away 8-1.

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm (Highlights BBC2 10pm)

Team news: Craig Gardner (hamstring) is back in full training, and available for selection by manager Martin O'Neill for his first away game for the club. Tottenham are hoping Ledley King (knee) will be fit to replace the banned Younes Kaboul, but Roman Pavlyuchenko (knee) is likely to be left out of the squad.

Man City v Arsenal

Odds: Home 8-11; Draw 11-4, Away 7-2.

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 4.10pm (Sky Sports 1; Highlights BBC2, 10pm)

Team news: Micah Richards (calf) is the only doubt for Roberto Mancini, who is expected to play Pablo Zabaleta in place of the suspended Gaël Clichy. With no fit full-backs, Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou are expected to continue to play at left and right-back for Arsenal.

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