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Discussion Starter #1
In the wake of Keegangate and his resignation over night with him largely blaming the role of Dennis Wise as director football, where do you stand on this position in the game?

Do you think they're a complete waste of time and serve no real purpose, that matters of player transfers should always be up to the manager and not some bod that only answers to the chairman? Or do you support the role of a director football, there to relieve a manager from making mistakes in the market and/or over-spending the clubs money on shitty players (I'm looking at you, Rafa)?

Discuss.
 

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I think the purpose there is to check and balance what the Manager/coach needs and What the board/owner can afford to.

If x-coach wants y-player. He can overspend. when the owner stop him, it can create a PR problem for the owner.

A DoF (or transfer consultant, or Specialist or Guru) act as a buffer. He gets the stick when y-player is not transfered to the club. The owner can get the gratitude when it does within budget. The coach cannot complain or finds it difficult to, its all the DoF's fault. !! (seen in Wise and probably Arnesen)

Nothing new, Branca in Armani suit is never a good guy irregardless.
 

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Not XT as well. I've been tearing my hair out at 5-live/talksport/paper's this week with this carry on.

The fact that pretty much every club on the continent has a sporting director above training ground/pitch level means that it's a perfectly good way of running a football club. If you're a Martin O'Neil type and like to stay in the office all day instead of the training ground, then that's fine but the Sporting director method of doing things has huge advantages traditional english method.

1. the sporting director deals with contracts and the running of the club leaving time for the coach to train the team. Little distractions.

2. In English football, if a manager leaves - a huge gap has been lost since this guy was essentially involved in the day to day running of the club. If a coach leaves then the upper management is still in place with the same aspirations/targets of the club intact. It's just a case of getting a new coach in, like the West Ham situation.

3. There are some managers who are brilliant at coaching but terrible at signing players (Benitez being a high profile example). With the sporting director in place, he can discuss with the manager what needs improving in the squad/suggest players who would be usefull and then leave it at that. The coach doesn't have to worry about scouting etc, it's all dealt with above coach level.

To me, it's the perfect system, especially at bigger clubs where the pressure for sucess is greater. The Newcastle farce can't be used as an example of a system failing because they're absolute morons and havn't got the right people in place. I mean, Denis Wise as sporting director. Good god.
 

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Well said, Mutu. I also think the sporting director system is better, it allows the manager to concentrate on training and tactical preparation for the games. He should still be able to request specific players to be bought or have an important say as to whether a player is sold, but doesn't have to be involved in every detail of transfer negotiation, scouting, etc, which takes a lot of time.
 

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Personally, I think that the manager cannot build a team without being involved with the scouting process, and being responsible for the selection of targets. How can you ever build a team to play the way you want if you don't get to pick the players that come in? Mutu says that certain managers aren't very good at buying players. Well surely in that case, it's up to that manager to identify that as a weakness of himself, and ask the chairman for some assistance in that area, in exactly the same way that a tactically weak manager would hire an assistant who had that as one of his strong points. But the point is that in footballing terms, the best systems are the ones where managers are in charge imo.

I understand the need for a director of football if you're going to change your manager every year, but the most successful teams are the ones who give the manager the freedom and time to build their own team. Why are English clubs using European clubs as models, when the two most successful clubs in recent times have been the ones with long serving managers who are given the freedom and power to do their jobs? Hell, even in mid-table, you only have to compare the relatively low-spending Everton, Portsmouth and Blackburn to the likes of Newcastle and Spurs. In fact, as far as I remember, didn't Portsmouth start to go tits up precisely when they started to try and introduce this sort of structure, and so they changed back and put Redknapp in charge again?
 

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shite, what football man worth his salt would want someone else picking the players for him, it's a system for cowards?
 

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I hate the system if the director has reign to sign who he sees fit. If it's a case of the manager saying we need X, Y and Z - go and see what you can do... then that's fine. But that's a less illustrious position and doesn't require football sense.
 

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It really depends on the club and how it's run.

At Fenerbahçe for example, we're dying to have a director of football at the club. It's run by man savvy on the business side of things, but who couldn't tell the difference between an egg and a football. He has the brain capacity of a fart when it comes to running a football club, but is in such a position that anyone who disagrees with him (even over petty matters, see Zico), ultimately loses their place at the club, be it a footballer (Aurelio, Tuncay), manager (Zico) or someone on his board of directors (too many to list).
 

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The way that it's done in countries in mainland Europe works perfectly well as long as the director of football and the coach have a good working relationship. The whole argument against it seems very backwards and even ignorant. A lot of Newcastle fans are thinking with their hearts rather than their heads (which in a sense cannot be blamed, they're football fans). Mutu's post sums it up well. I think a lot of English clubs would benefit in the long term from having a director of football. It makes sense. English football culture is just too stubborn to change and not just on this example.
 

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I think it's ok to have someone to take care of scouting and business, but ultimatively the choice who to sign must be the manager's.
 

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It annoys me when the Director of football has never played the game before. I can understand the reasons for having them though.
For example Curblishley made some terrible signing and couldn't therefore be trusted..
 

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It annoys me when the Director of football has never played the game before. I can understand the reasons for having them though.
For example Curblishley made some terrible signing and couldn't therefore be trusted..
Whether they've played football or not has little if any bearing on what makes a good director of football. You can be a top class coach without ever being a professional footballer and that's a job that obviously requires a much greater insight and depth into the game than a director of football does.
 

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Something about it just doesn't seem to work in England, whereas in Italy for example it's pretty commonplace.

For Fiorentina our success from C2 up to Champions League can mostly be put down to the Della Valle Brothers (owners); Prandelli (coach) and Corvino (director of football/transfers).

Without Corvino we'd be at nothing and I'm pretty sure all viola fans would agree with that.


To my mind the biggest problem is that clubs keep hiring people like Dennis Wise to do this job, rather then business men like Corvino.
 

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True, hiring Wise to do the job was a stupid move. The reasoning behind it probably had something to do with the fact that he's an ex-professional footballer. As a coach he was nothing special and the guy isnt a transfer guru by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe the Newcastle board found him playing Champ Manager or something.
 

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For example Curblishley made some terrible signing and couldn't therefore be trusted..
Compared to all of the brilliant signings made by Spurs or Chelsea? Spurs would buy any midfielder going, and they've since sold most of them on. And Chelsea spent a fortune on Shevchenko even though he didn't fit in with Mourinho's style of play. And god knows who was responsible for getting rid of Robben and buying Malouda, but if that was a DofF's doing, then that was a stupid decision too. More often than not, players that turn out crap are simply players that don't fit a managers style of play, rather than poor choices. So surely having the manager pick players for his style of play minimizes the chances of this happening?
 

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The way that it's done in countries in mainland Europe works perfectly well as long as the director of football and the coach have a good working relationship. The whole argument against it seems very backwards and even ignorant. A lot of Newcastle fans are thinking with their hearts rather than their heads (which in a sense cannot be blamed, they're football fans). Mutu's post sums it up well. I think a lot of English clubs would benefit in the long term from having a director of football. It makes sense. English football culture is just too stubborn to change and not just on this example.
Surely the recent success of English clubs shows that there's very little wrong with the system that English clubs are "stubbornly" sticking to? Would you change the way Man Utd and Arsenal are run if you were in charge?
 

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I think it depends on how the club runs. I agree that sport (football) director is fit to the club with big turnover of manager.

A good sport director should know how to interact with manager and players in the same time without leaving his responsibility to keep the club budget on target. People like Moggi, for example, know how to get the best deal for the club in buying or selling player without weakening the club formation. Sport director should be benefit for the club as long as it's the right person who knows the club inside and out and what best for the team. But on the other hand, if the club pick wrong guy, it'll surely mess everything.
 

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Something about it just doesn't seem to work in England, whereas in Italy for example it's pretty commonplace.

For Fiorentina our success from C2 up to Champions League can mostly be put down to the Della Valle Brothers (owners); Prandelli (coach) and Corvino (director of football/transfers).

Without Corvino we'd be at nothing and I'm pretty sure all viola fans would agree with that.


To my mind the biggest problem is that clubs keep hiring people like Dennis Wise to do this job, rather then business men like Corvino.
Corvino is great, he's spotting talent and bringing in these players for a reasonable price.

One of the smartest guys around though is Sevillas chief of scouts, Monchi, who's brought up young players through out the years, spotted their talent and worked very hard to bring in great replacements for them while Sevilla has sold most of these players for big sums, credit has to go out to Del Nido too though.

The only misstake they did was to have such a low buy-out clause on Keita, but I guess they can take that considering Sevillas success over the past 5 years and how many players they've sold for big money, just to invest it into good players (except Arouna Koné who has failed big time at Sevilla so far)..
 
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