The technocrat, old hand or the famous novice?

As the FA begins its difficult search for the successor to Sven Goran Eriksson as the England coach, Glenn Moore analyses how other countries have made such choices
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The Football Association, it was once written, go "from bookies to bishops" when choosing the next England manager; i.e. they choose the obverse of the previous tenant. Thus the shady Don Revie was replaced by the pure Ron Greenwood, the passionate Kevin Keegan by the calm Sven Goran Eriksson.

It is not the most sensible way to hire the most important employee in an organisation and other countries have had more structured approaches. The Germans traditionally appointed from within, promoting a coach who had been groomed by the football federation. The French later followed suit, to spectacular initial effect.

The FA did consider this when Howard Wilkinson became technical director. David Platt was not, however, a conspicuous success as England Under-21 manager and the idea has been shelved. Peter Taylor, the current Under-21 coach, may yet get the top job, but it will by accident as much as design. That Taylor has continued working in the club game suggests he knows this as well as anyone.

Ironically, the Germans have since abandoned their seamless succession and are managed by a man who was a great player but had never previously coached at any level, Jürgen Klinsmann. As with several similar appointments elsewhere, he has been more successful than expected.

The third option is the former club manager, a veteran who has built a body of achievement. That would seem an obvious choice, but so was Revie. And then there is another category, the foreigner. Usually the province of developing football nations, it has become an option for more established ones, like England.

The technocrat

Three of the leading nations at the forthcoming World Cup are led by men who fall, to an extent, into this category; Raymond Domenech, of France, Jose Pekerman, of Argentina, and Karel Bruckner, of the Czech Republic. Domenech and Bruckner have both stepped up from coaching their Under-21 teams, while Pekerman coached Argentina's successful youth teams, winning three Under-20 World Youth Championships.

Domenech spent eight years in club management before moving into the French Federation's coaching set-up, created under the auspices of Gérard Houllier. This produced Aimé Jacquet, who coached the 1998 World Cup winners, but also Roger Lemerre whose team flopped in 2002 - albeit after winning Euro 2000. The French then changed tack, appointing Jacques Santini, a success at Lyon, to oversee the Euro 2004 campaign but their leaden displays prompted a return to type with Domenech, a federation employee since 1993.

Pekerman's only coaching experience before entering the national set-up was at youth level in Chile. Initially asked to become national coach in 1998, he declined, feeling he had too little experience, instead he combined coaching the young players with administrator for the Albiceleste. If his appointment suggests long-term planning, the possibility that he will be replaced by the revived Maradona, possibly even before the tournament, does not.

Bruckner is not really a technocrat. He coached at club level in Czechoslovakia for 24 years before becoming Under-21 coach in 1997, stepping up to the senior side four years later.

The famous novice

Klinsmann's appointment, in 2004, was born as much of desperation as inspiration after more experienced men, like Ottmar Hitzfeld, the former Bayern Munich coach, and Otto Rehhagel, the German-born coach of Greece, turned the post down. Germany's fourth coach in six years, Klinsmann won the World Cup in 1990 as a player but has absolutely no previous management experience. After a bright start his team has faltered and Klinsmann has been criticised for continuing to live with his family in California, commuting monthly to Germany.

Almost as unexpected was the choice of Marco van Basten to lead the Dutch national team. A great player with Ajax, Milan and the Netherlands, his only previous management experience was as a youth coach at Ajax. He has begun well, blooding many young players. But while the Dutch have produced some of the world's finest coaches, from the late Rinus Michels, Leo Beenhakker (who will manage Trinidad & Tobago at the World Cup), to Louis van Gaal and Dick Advocaat, all of whom managed the national team, they had previously chosen a rookie in Frank Rijkaard - prior to his joining Barcelona.

Among equivalent appointments, Wales initially did well under Mark Hughes but their form tailed off, while Hristo Stoichkov was a disaster in charge of Bulgaria. Gary Lineker anyone?

The old hand

The Italians and Spanish, whose footballing cultures combine strong clubs with widespread tactical acumen, have tended to choose successful club managers. Italy's Marcello Lippi, who managed Juventus with great success, numbers Arrigo Sacchi, who won the European Cup with Milan, and the legendary Giovanni Trapattoni among recent predecessors. Two partial exceptions were Dino Zoff and Cesare Maldini, but while both were better known for their illustrious playing careers, and Maldini had a decade with the Under-21s, each had solid club coaching experience.

Spain's coach, Luis Aragones, is a La Liga veteran with 30 years as a coach. His recent predecessors include Javier Clemente, Jose Antonio Camacho and Inaki Saez, all of whom made their name at club level. The federation tends to be more patient than the clubs. Elsewhere, Bruce Arena (United States) was a successful club coach, as was Scotland's Walter Smith.

The foreigner

Both finalists in Euro 2004 were led by foreigners, Portugal by the Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari, and Greece by Rehhagel. Each had impressive club careers, as does Eriksson, though Scolari also triumphed with his home country in the 2002 World Cup.

Foreign coaches are most prevalent outside the established football nations: Australia, Ghana, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Trinidad & Tobago and Tunisia will all be led by foreign coaches at the World Cup. Dutch, French, German, Brazilian, Serbs and Englishmen are the most common choices. The latter tend to coach small the football nations; e.g. Peter Withe (Thailand, Indonesia), Alan Gillett (Soloman Islands, Malawi) and Stephen Constantine (India).

And Brazil?

In the past Brazil have appointed former players (Emerson Leao) and club management veterans (Scolari) but they always go for experience, never more so than this summer. The current coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, is in his third spell in charge of the national team, his first ended in triumph in 1994. He has also been to World Cups with Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

His assistant, the 74-year-old Mario Zagallo, coached the great 1970 World Cup winning team, the 1998 runners-up, and assisted Parreira in 1994. He also won the competition as a player in 1958 and 1962.

Formula for success

Which coaches won the last six international tournaments:

2004 European Championship

Greece - Otto Rehhagel. Veteran club coach, German.

2002 World Cup

Brazil - Luiz Felipe Scolari. Experienced club coach, Brazilian.

2000 European Championship

France - Roger Lemerre. Progressed through internal coaching system, French.

1998 World Cup

France - Aimé Jacquet. Internal coaching system, French.

1996 European Championship

Germany - Berti Vogts. World Cup winning player, German.

1994 World Cup

Brazil - Carlos Alberto Parriera. Experienced international coach, Brazilian.

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