Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diego Maradona's departure as manager of the Argentine national team was starting to look almost inevitable and so it has sadly come to pass.

As soon as he came out and said that if there was no defensive coach Oscar Ruggeri in his backroom team, then he would be walk, you knew his coat was on a shoogly peg. Despite there being an initial four year contract on the table for the 49 year old, the Argentinian hero's contract has now officially not been renewed.

It's a shame he's gone. His spell in charge may have looked like it was going to end up as a bit of a trainwreck at times. Many of us will remember the horror show that was Argentina's 6-1 qualifying defeat in Bolivia. He pulled them through though and had my money riding on them to take home the spoils in South Africa until the pesky Germans ruined all that.

What Maradona had though, and what is missing with so many top flight managers, especially those in the English Premiership, was passion and enthusiasm. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He celebrated his team's goals with an explosion of joy, akin to him scoring it himself. He actually showed he had a personality.

Sure he was also as crazy as a loon and you didn't know what he would do or say next, but that unpredictability just added to his charm. When he said he was going to streak through Buenos Aires if Argentina won the World Cup, you believed him!

I'm sick of turning my television on every week and seeing and hearing the dour faced Arsene Wenger or the miserable floppy jowls of Carlo Ancelotti. You can never tell if they're bursting with joy or if their dog's just been run over.

As a West Ham fan, I hate the fact that we have Avram Grant in charge now, a man who regularly demonstrates the personality of a pallbearer. Still I guess if he can get us winning I can put up with that.

When did it become the norm that football managers are to be morose, sullen individuals that have the bleakness of a Dickens character? Some of them give the impression that a lobotomy was part of the interview process. They should all be made to watch Brian Clough's numerous studio appearances in the 70's for how it should be done.

Thankfully we have the likes of Ian Holloway and Jose Mourinho, that can add passion and humour into the job. They're few and far between these days it would seem. In fact, I invite readers to comment below as to who we should be actively watching out for around the world this season to cheer us up a little.

The game needs the likes of Diego Maradona in a managerial position. Hopefully we seem him back in such a role soon. Vancouver Whitecaps will be announcing their MLS manager soon. Maybe he can be tempted to annoy a whole new continent!

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