The question above brings me to Ives’ news today that the Red Bulls’ coaching hunt includes two foreign names with no MLS connections – former Norway coach Age Hareide and former Portsmouth coach and Arsenal legend, Tony Adams.
Let’s start with Hareide because no one here, including me, has ever heard of him before. First of all, one thing that Ives fails to include is that Hareide appears to be under contract as coach of Orgryte FC in the Swedish top flight. Is he on the outs there? Why?
His resume actually looks pretty good at club level where he has won titles in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. But why is it that he hasn’t managed to stay longer than two years at a club since he left Molde in 1997?
Additionally, while on the surface his record as Norway manager (no qualifications for WC/EURO in three attempts) doesn’t look too great, a closer looks reveals something a bit different.
- Euro 2004, went 4-2-2 and lost in a playoff to Spain
- WC 2006, went 5-3-2 and lost in a playoff to the Czech Republic
- Euro 2008, went 7-2-3 and barely missed out by finishing third behind Greece and Turkey
For a country as small as Norway, roughly the size of Singapore and the UAE, that isn’t too bad.
I’d want to know a bit more why he has had so many short tenures with clubs, but beyond that question, he looks like an interesting and dare-I-say even creative choice by the Red Bulls.
Meanwhile, there is the other option – Tony Adams. This is the route I expect them to take because:
- He’ll say yes. He was such a debacle at Portsmouth that no one in England will take the risk with him.
- Adams’ presence and life story will get the Red Bulls a couple stories in the NY media.
- He played for England! That means he’ll make a great manager, just like John Barnes, Gareth Southgate, Paul Ince, Bryan Robson, Kevin Keegan, Peter Reid…. wait a minute.
In less than two seasons of managerial experience, he has led Wycombe to relegation and Portsmouth to a 16 game stretch that led to only 10 points.
Sounds like he’ll fit right in with the Red Bull/MetroStars culture of winning. Under no circumstances should NYRB go for Adams, and this is coming from both a DC United and Arsenal fan. I should want Adams to succeed and Red Bull to fail, right? Well, if Adams lands in New York, Red Bull will certainly fail and the club that has defined mismanagement throughout MLS’ history will have yet another disaster on their hands.
Needless to say, when given a choice between getting some buzz and a famous name and choosing a guy who actually has a record of success, the Red Bulls will choose the buzz everytime.
UPDATE – In the words of both Ives’ latest tweet and the immortal Rosanna Rosannadanna, “Never mind,” at least as it regards to Hareide. He has just signed to manage Viking in Norway.