Belfast Telegraph

Coleman's a class act and will be snapped up by one of leading clubs

Wales manager Chris Coleman
Wales manager Chris Coleman

By Stuart McKinley

It's not true in every walk of life that you get what you pay for. Wales manager Chris Coleman is a perfect example of that.

If Euro 2016 was decided on how well paid the managers were, then the Welsh boss would have taken his team home a long time ago.

As it stands, however, they are in the semi-finals - and who would be brave enough now to bet against them actually winning the thing? Or at least getting to the final?

And all this under the guidance of a man who is one of the lowest-paid coaches at the tournament.

Coleman is picking up just £200,000 a year - Wayne Rooney's weekly wage is higher than that - but he has delivered where many of his more handsomely rewarded counterparts have failed.

His £5,000-a-week is dwarfed by the £70,000 (£3.5m a year) that Roy Hodgson was picking up as England manager.

Not only have Wales gone further in the competition than their neighbours, Spain's Vincente del Bosque has, like Hodgson, quit after being knocked out too and he was on a £2m-a-year contract.

Is Del Bosque ten times the manager that Coleman is? Not on the basis of the last three weeks he isn't. Now, like Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, after seeing off Belgium in last night's quarter-final, Coleman will become a wanted man.

His name is sure to be linked with the next job that comes up in the Premier League or high up in the Championship.

And rightly so. The former defender is proving himself to be a very smart coach.

He has done it with class and dignity too. Coleman was honest enough to admit that Northern Ireland had been the better team in last Saturday's last 16 tie.

With his team struggling Coleman made two substitutions and Jonathan Williams gave them a spark that was missing, while Hal Robson-Kanu was the man who put enough pressure on Gareth McAuley to cause him to turn the ball into his own net.

Coleman is also quick to acknowledge his predecessor Gary Speed for the foundations he laid before tragically taking his own life in November 2011.

Portugal now stand between Wales and a place in the decider and they haven't won a match yet - even with Cristiano Ronaldo in their team - having got to the last four thanks to two penalty shoot-outs. I just hope for Coleman's sake that he has negotiated a whopping great bonus payment for himself.

Belfast Telegraph