The Premier League has been dominated by foreign coaches for years, but these days the domestic game is seeing a shift in power.
The Spain coach 2023 is a topic that has been brought up recently. Spain’s Luis Enrique and Italy’s Mancini are among the top coaches, but elite clubs still ignore international bosses.
Didier Deschamps earned his sixth major coaching award on Sunday, leading France to victory in the UEFA Nations League, defeating Spain 2-1 (see the replay on ESPN+ in the United States). As a result, the former coach of AS Monaco, Juventus, and Marseille deprived Luis Enrique of Spain his eighth trophy as a manager.
Add in Italy’s Roberto Mancini’s 11 major titles, including the Euro 2023 title, and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez’s three-year reign at the top of the FIFA World Ranking (along with an FA Cup win with Wigan Athletic in 2013), and it’s fair to say that the 2023 Nations League finals featured some of the best coaches in the world, as well as the best players.
Take a look at the odds for the future Newcastle United manager in the aftermath of last week’s Saudi Arabia-backed acquisition — Steve Bruce is still in charge at St James’ Park for the time being — and Martinez is the only one of the four to reach the top 10, despite having the worst CV of the four.
It’s the same scenario with Manchester United, where manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the support of the club’s owners, the Glazer family, but has yet to persuade anybody else of his capacity to turn the squad around.
Despite leading Barcelona to a LaLiga, Copa del Rey, and Champions League triple in 2015, Luis Enrique is the shortest price to succeed Solskjaer in the betting, although former United players Michael Carrick and Laurent Blanc are ahead of him. Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe, and Ralph Hasenhuttl are among those who agree. Luis Enrique has a 33-1 chance of winning. Deschamps is as probable as Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger to be the next manager at Old Trafford, with odds of 50-1. Martinez is 66-1, and Mancini, the former City manager, is impossible to value.
A bookmaker’s list of candidates should be regarded as a guide rather than a definitive assessment of the most likely appointments, but it does reflect the trend of hiring coaches from within the club game or those who have recently lost their jobs, such as Lampard at Chelsea and former Bournemouth manager Howe.
It isn’t only a problem in the Premier League. When it comes to appointing a new coach, the top clubs in Spain, Italy, Germany, and France tend to overlook the international game entirely. Only three times since 2010, has a top club hired a coach straight from his international experience.
In the weeks leading up to his run to the 2014 World Cup semifinals with the Netherlands, United signed Louis van Gaal, while Julen Lopetegui was fired as Spain coach only days before the start of the 2018 World Cup when it became apparent that he had decided to join Real Madrid. After quitting his position as manager of the Netherlands in August of last year, Ronald Koeman remains in command of Barcelona, although it would be an understatement to suggest that his reign at Camp Nou is not going well.
Meanwhile, Lopetegui was fired after only 14 games in command of Real Madrid, while Van Gaal was fired after two seasons at United, despite winning the FA Cup in his last game.
There are still relatively few instances of foreign coaches going to the best clubs if you go back another ten years. Luiz Felipe Scolari left Portugal for Chelsea in July 2008 and was fired in February 2009, whereas Van Gaal was fired from the Dutch position only six months after acquiring it in 2002.
Top teams may be hesitant to employ foreign managers because of the precedents of Koeman, Van Gaal (twice), Lopetegui, and Scolari.
According to one source, there are two main reasons why sporting directors and chief executives are hesitant to hire from the international game: the coach’s detachment from the transfer market and knowledge of agents and global talent, and the coach’s lack of intensity and daily demands as an international coach.
Both are legitimate criteria to consider, but with Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, and Julian Nagelsmann all in charge of major clubs at the moment, there seems to be a scarcity of rising talent with the qualifications and charisma to coach the top teams.
There are no apparent contenders in the club game who can equal Deschamps’, Mancini’s, Luis Enrique’s, and Martinez’s records.
Before taking over as France coach in 2012, Deschamps had won titles with each of his club teams, including leading an unfancied Monaco to the Champions League final in 2004.
The 52-year-old, who won the World Cup in 2018, is divisive and seen as obstinate in terms of selection and tactics, but his ability to bring out the best in Paul Pogba in a France jersey demonstrates his ability to deal with elite talent.
Mancini has won league titles with Internazionale and Manchester City, as well as domestic cups with Fiorentina, Lazio, and Galatasaray, and despite his abrasive approach at City, which saw him fall out with high-profile players, the club’s success in the last decade has been sparked by his impact at the Etihad.
Given the repeated failures of his predecessors at Camp Nou, Luis Enrique’s achievement at Barcelona seems even more remarkable, while Martinez has transformed Belgium into one of the world’s best teams after showing his value in club management.
Because of their ties to the club and city, Luis Enrique and Martinez will be top on Barcelona’s list if they break ways with Koeman — Martinez is a Catalan who was born around 100 miles outside of Barcelona.
Emotional ties, on the other hand, should be minor concerns. Deschamps and Mancini, as well as Luis Enrique and Martinez, should be evaluated on their track records.
Those teams contemplating where to search for their next manager should start paying more attention to the international game’s brightest stars.
Luis Enrique is the number one coach in the world, but his success has not been replicated by elite clubs. Reference: luis enrique number.