Belfast Telegraph

English managers encouraged to learn second language to boost job prospects

Former Sao Paulo assistant Michael Beale believes the scarcity of English managers in the Premier League and a lack of a second language is halting the progress of young coaches.

Beale, who was Liverpool's Under-23s manager before a brief seven-month stint in Brazil, believes more talent should go abroad but they are being held back.

There are currently four Englishmen managing in the top flight: Bournemouth's Eddie Howe, Burnley's Sean Dyche, Leicester's Craig Shakespeare and Swansea's Paul Clement.

Of those only Clement, assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, has any major overseas experience.

"I think if English coaches are not in the biggest positions it is hard to showcase English coaching," Beale told Press Association Sport.

"There are a lot of good coaches in England doing good work but unfortunately there aren't many English coaches managing in the Premier League which probably damages our opportunities for all coaches to go out and get recognition.

"We need to qualify ourselves more and really look at language as a step forward to get more opportunities because if you look at foreign coaches in the Premier League they all speak a second or third language.

"English coaching is more and more respected now - our junior teams go into Europe and play in tournaments - and we are really at a good level at this time.

"We are not seeing it in the first teams because players are not having the opportunity to break through but we've seen it this summer with our junior teams doing very well (England Under-19s won the European Championship, the Under-20s the World Cup and Under-21s were semi-finalists at their European Championship).

"I think we are really respected in youth development coaching but still there are not enough coaches speaking a second language. That is the key to opening more doors.

"I also don't feel enough English players open themselves to opportunities.

"We have a lot of good young, British players in academies who can't break through but if they spoke a different language could break through somewhere else."

Beale praised the decision by former players Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker to go back to their former clubs Liverpool and Tottenham respectively to take up academy coaching roles.

He believes that is a path which is beneficial to ex-professionals looking to get started in management rather than starting at a league club.

"Both are impeccable professionals in their career and I think it is a breath of fresh air to see a player go in at under-18 level rather than jump straight in," he added.

"Clubs have to be careful of taking the short-term route of bringing in a higher-profile name and hoping it goes well.

"I applaud Scott and Steven for the decision they've made and I hope it goes well for them.

"A lot of ex-players are doing their badges early now and when they come out of the game they are willing to go back into academies and give something back and that is something we really do need to encourage in this country."

Beale, a former Chelsea academy coach, is weighing up his next move after his shock switch to Sao Paulo turned sour and he quit.

"The experience was fantastic but unfortunately the climate in Brazil is when you are doing well your players are bought by other clubs," he added.

"We sold a number of players and I felt the project had changed to when I went.

"For my development I am not at the end of the road. I am intrigued myself to spend more time outside of England as I feel it is important to learn the world game."

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