Bruce fears for the future of British managers

26 December 2009 11:04
HAVING watched Roberto Mancini replace Mark Hughes last week, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has claimed it is getting harder to imagine a British boss taking over a side capable of challenging for the Premier League title.

Mancini's arrival at Manchester City means four of the Premier League's top eight sides are in the hands of overseas managers.

The exceptions are Manchester United (Sir Alex Ferguson), Aston Villa (Martin O'Neill), Tottenham (Harry Redknapp) and Birmingham (Alex McLeish).

The first is a special case, and it is hard to imagine any of the other three sustaining a viable title challenge this season, so the stranglehold exerted by the likes of Arsene Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez is set to continue for another year.

Mancini has now joined the list of overseas contenders, and as one of just seven English managers operating in the Premier League, Bruce feels Manchester City's decision to look abroad for Hughes' successor was the continuation of a worrying trend.

If we're not careful, all the top jobs will be in the hands of foreign coaches, said the Sunderland boss. It's heading that way, but I can't see many English or British coaches working in Italy, Germany or Spain in return.

If we're not careful, all these boys who are currently playing in the Premier League will have no interest in becoming a manager. They're not going to be doing it for the money, they'd be doing it for job satisfaction, but will that exist if they can't get to the top If we're not careful, we're going to ruin all of that.

Bruce progressed through the ranks before taking over on Wearside, and with Everton visiting the Stadium of Light this afternoon, the North-Easterner will come up against another top-flight manager with experience of life in the lower leagues.

David Moyes was manager of Preston before Everton offered him a Premier League role, and while Bruce has been hugely impressed by the Scotsman's performance at Goodison Park, he is sceptical whether other top-flight clubs would be willing to take a similar risk on a manager from a lower level.

Would the likes of Moysey getting the Everton job happen again, he said. A big club appointing someone from the Championship I'm not so sure.

But who could have done a better job than he has He's done fantastic things on a restricted budget. He's been fantastic for Everton over the years, and that's what we have to try and encourage.

Everton are an example of what we are trying to become.

Given time, I'm sure we'll have a team and squad that can go forward in the Premier League like they have.

For the time being Sunderland must focus on arresting a run of five games without a victory this afternoon.

They came within a minute of ending that sequence against Portsmouth, only to concede a stoppage-time strike, and if they are leading as they head into the final stages of today's game, Bruce is hoping they cut out the anxiety that plagued them against Pompey.

You could sense it (anxiety) at the end against Portsmouth, he said.

It wasn't there against Arsenal or Liverpool, but there's an expectation in certain games and that's what we have to get away from.

If we get ourselves established, then it won't happen any more. We'll get there, but we need to be strong.

Source: Northern_Echo