• Leeds United Message Board

  • Peter F Peter F Feb 16, 2012 23:32 Flag

    Next Manager

    So we have seen a 'calm & patient' approach to appointing a new manager, as opposed to a knee-jerk decision... or so the spin would have us believe.

    I think we can all agree that KB's plan was for Redders to have 10 points from his first 4 games, against clubs we should be getting results against, and then use that as justification to keep him on the cheap until the end of the season, regardless of end of season position.

    Perhaps the poor results against Brighton and Coventry will change KB's mind, which could almost end up being a blessing in disguise. If we are to bring in a manager this season, a hard taskmaster who can put a bullet up the arse of the players and has proven success in the Championship is required; a Bruce, Warnock or McCarthy. There is nothing to be gained from bringing in a young, talented manager at this point of the season - if that is to happen, then it should be at the start of next season.

    Lee Clark, for me, is not the answer. Something must be up for Huddersfield to sack him despite a pretty exceptional record, and for the fans at HT to be happy he is gone.

    A left-field smokey, who many of you will not know anything much about, is John van't Schip.

    A former Dutch international, and Marco Van Basten's assistant for a long time at Ajax and for the Netherlands national team, van't Schip is leaving the A-League and Melbourne Heart at the conclusion of the season.

    He leaves with a brilliant reputation; the Heart were a new club into the league two years ago, and he has them on the verge of the top 4 this season (until a recent dip in form, they were top 2). He has said that he wants to go back to Europe, and is leaving with the blessings of all involved at the club.

    Never in my life have I heard a professional sporting organisation speak so glowingly in praise of a departing coach, and one who has not delivered trophys either.

    He came to the club with three key focuses; embedding a strong team culture within a new club, developing youth through into the first team and playing attractive football.

    The Dutch way of 'total football' has been all the range in Australia ever since Guus Hiddink took us into the 2006 World Cup, and van't Schip has his Heart FC playing a beautiful passing game.

    The club has a phenomenal rapport with its community and fans, and has managed to attract a strong supporter base despite the presence of arguably the A-League's biggest club, Melbourne Victory, within the same city - and bear in mind that the Victory had a four year head-start on the Heart, have won titles, and were the only team in the city.

    When I interview players for sports talkback here, they speak overwhelmingly of a strong team culture, a bond and a genuine desire to work with one another. They seem to understand the need for squad rotation, whilst not losing the desire to start in every game; I heard a striker, upon scoring two in a 2-0 win, credit the result to the back 4 and the GK for keeping a clean sheet.

    Conversations I have had with John show him as very tactically astute, very calm and reasonable, a genuine man and a real lover of football.

    The Heart are also known as the side in the competition who are the best at bringing young talent through into the first time; they have around half a dozen Australian U-23 internationals, all in the first team, and ranging through every different area of the squad.

    John is leaving having fulfilled his initial promise of 2 1/2 years developing the club, and leaves with a phenomenal reputation, but a fierce desire to succeed as a head coach in Europe.

    He speaks perfect English, is very marketable and has focused on youth throughout his career.

    I would snap him up in a second, and I recommend you look up a bit of information about him. Would also love a few of the older generation to fill me in on what he was like as a player if possible!

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