Not enough character in the game anymore?
What sort of character should run a team in the second tier of English football?
This was the question debated by myself and Lanterne Rouge after yesterday’s match at the Hawthorns.
Albion’s 3-1 win over Reading meant they ended the day top of the championship with the Royals fourth bottom.
In the summer, both clubs changed manager, and both went for ‘continental-style’ appointments — men who seemed more valued for their technical coaching credentials than their background in management.
Roberto Di Matteo’s appointment — as head coach — seems to be working out at Albion, even if performances haven’t always matched the results.
Yet Rodgers is yet to shine at the Mad Stad. It is early in his reign, but as we discussed yesterday, he seems to be missing those hard-to-define qualities which quintessentially English managers like Harry Redknapp bring to their teams: a midfield hatchetman who breaks up opposition attacks; a journeyman forward who nicks goals when they seem to have dried up; a bit of general needle to upset the more fluid teams.
This is not a championing of that kind of approach, more a question: can a manager whose grounding is almost entirely in coaching manuals take that theory into the cut-and-thrust of Championship football?