LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - There are too many foreign coaches in the Premier League and British candidates should be given more opportunities, Chelsea’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho has said.
“In this moment in the Premier League - and I‘m speaking against myself - I disagree with so many foreign coaches in this country,” Mourinho told British media.
”I don’t see a reason for that because I don’t feel the English managers are in any point behind the foreign ones.
“But I think if there are no jobs in the country as a manager or a player then you have to go (abroad) because this is a short professional life. So go and enjoy. You always have the chance to come back as a manager and a player.”
There are now nine foreign managers from outside Britain and Ireland in the top flight after Cardiff City this week named Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace Scot Malky Mackay. There were none in 1992 when the Premier League was launched.
West Bromwich Albion have been considering appointing a Spaniard, ex-Osasuna manager Jose Luis Mendilibar, to succeed another sacked Scot Steve Clarke, British media have reported.
“I have to say, the ones that are coming, and I can analyse (them) one by one, all of them are good coaches and good people and they try to do good jobs for them and for their clubs,” Mourinho was quoted as saying in The Independent on Sunday.
”So I‘m not saying these people are not top people or people that don’t deserve to be here the same way I deserve to be here. I just feel sorry that in a football country like England, that is the country of so many managers, they (British managers) are not getting enough jobs in this country.
“At the end of the day, influence from abroad is good, you can learn the differences from other cultures, but I think the main culture has to be always the English, or in this case the British culture,” he added.
Mourinho believes more British coaches should go abroad to develop their skills and he praised Derby County’s former England coach Steve McClaren, whose in-form Championship (second division) side host Chelsea in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
“If you ask me, the first thing that comes to my memory about Steve is not being the England manager but being a champion in Holland. So I think he did well...,” he said, referring to McClaren’s 2010 league triumph with Twente FC.
“In this country people shouldn’t be afraid to be a bit adventurous, like other coaches from other nationalities are,” added Mourinho, who is in his second stint at Chelsea, having initially joined the club from Porto in 2004 before then managing Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
“In Portugal, people say there are lots of Portuguese coaches working abroad and I opened the door for them. People are not afraid to go and find a future in other countries.” (Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)