Argentina · Managers · Premier League · World Cup 2010

Take my manager, please

Diego Maradona’s lawyer (and if that isn’t a description that makes you instantly dubious, then I don’t know what will) has claimed that the Argentina manager is in talks with Portsmouth to take up a position as a “global ambassador”. Forgetting the Portsmouth point-of-view for the moment … I love this idea.

Thank you Sulaiman Al Fahim. Please, take him.

When Maradona first assumed the post as national team manager for Argentina, I did my very best to stay positive. He can certainly motivate the players, they all look up to him. And he will hopefully get fans supporting the team again.

All of the good will, however, was undone by Maradona’s complete tactical naïveté. He holds most of the blame for the 6-1 embarrasment to Bolivia, and in his time in charge, the team has lacked consistency and, while they’ve shown some flair, a strong attacking proposition.

Granted, it hasn’t been that many games that he’s in charge, but the results so far augur no good things for Argentina, and qualification is far from assured.

So, please, Portsmouth, helps us out here.

I can’t imagine what value, if any, Maradona will bring to Portsmouth. It strikes me as one of those nonsense “ambassador” appointments which is just a way to keep big names at the club after their careers are over, where managerial acumen may be lacking.

The problem here is that Maradona, while being a huge name in football, in unlikely to garner much support from any corner of England. Even in Argentina, he is more divisive in his public commentary than anything else. He has fallen out, made up and fallen out again with just about every major figure in Argentine football and his relationship with his bosses at the football association, Julio Grondona and Carlos Bilardo, is not healthy, to say the least.

He’s even attempted to drive public opinion against Sergio Batista, manager of Argentina’s gold-medal-winning Olympic team, because he was being pressured to add him as an assistant. Batista, of course, was Maradona’s teammate in the 1986 World Cup winning side.

Worst of all for Portsmouth, Al Fahim does not seem to be too clear himself on what Maradona would actually do, aside from attracting “world superstars” to Portsmouth.

“I do not know if Maradona is a good coach,” he conceded. “What I think is that he should be president of a club and have the right to buy and choose players.  “At Napoli he started from scratch and built a club. He has the power to transform football teams.”

If you’re a Portsmouth fan, that statement has got to scare you. And the last time I checked, Maradona did wonders for Napoli, but he did not “build a club” there.

So by all means, please take him. There are plenty of managers I would prefer to take the reins of Argentina and drive them to World Cup qualification.


2 thoughts on “Take my manager, please

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