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Rock the Crossbar

Monday, December 10

No Chance in Hell

Bruce Arena has made no secret that he has thrown his name into the hat for the Scotland vacancy. If I were to publicly announce that I am now open to dating supermodels, the effect would be the same.

Arena is beyond delusional. Pigs will fly, les poules auront des dents, hell will freeze over, the US wil win the World Cup. All these things will happen before Arena gets the Scotland job.


  • Two ways to look at this.

    1. British press printing more nonsense. Knowing Arena and his attitude toward the press (on a good day merely jaded and on a bad downright vitriolic), I have a hard time thinking he would seek out a reporter and then say things this coherent. Granted, he may well be nuts to want the Scotland job, but these comments are pretty clearly structured if nothing else.
    2. He actually wants the job. Arena has made it known in the past that he wants to manage somewhere other than the United States. He's a villain to most of Central America, and his Spanish is non-existent so nix to South America. Europe, and England/Scotland in particular, is the logical place to look. To the extent that he gets ANY respect overseas, it's a function of his results managing the national team, not RBNY, DCU, or (gasp) the University of Virginia, so it would make sense that he would look to second-tier but respectable footballing nation.

    All of that being said, I really don't think it would be THAT crazy if he got this job. I'm not saying he'd set the world alight, but it's far more possible than Msr. Pantaleo would care to admit.

    By Blogger Glazer Schmazer, at 12:41 PM  

  • Tom, I must disagree with you about the Scotland job. Sky Sports interviewed the head of the Scottish FA or whatever they call themselves and he described the type of candidate they were looking for. Arena is nowhere near qualified. Also, I don't know if you could even label Scotland second tier anymore. They have improved considerably and almost got out of a group with both Italy and France.

    If Arena wants to break into Europe he needs to set his sights a little lower. I am not suggesting Faroe Islands, Malta or Andorra but Scotland is now too high profile. He really is not qualified and you said yourself that he did not know how to handle players in Europe; he was MLS centric. What is he going to do in Scotland. Pick all Scottish premiership players and not be bothered to travel south of the border.

    If nothing else, he will command no respect of his players.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 4:25 PM  

  • No question, Arena miles out of his depth. I wouldnt say Scotland is the top tier just based on how much money they can off - they lost their last 2 managers because they couldnt afford to keep them.
    However Arena would be a DISASTER in my opinion. I dont mind the guy personally but Scotland will want one of their own and if they go outside of that it will be for someone they see as valuable which I am sorry Arena isnt. He was good 5 years ago for America and i know he wants to broaden his horizons but its Holland or Belguim for him if anywhere in Europe. If he hates the media Scotland would destroy him. They are savage up there especially now that they have had success and i use that word as tongue in cheek.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 6:54 PM  

  • Fair enough, Simon and Chris. Given the Scots' likely desire to get one of their own, who's more delusional? The SFA for thinking they'll get someone capable of succeeding internationally...of the right caliber...right profile...proper visibility etc.? Or Arena, for having the nerve to think himself capable of the job in the first place? Again, I point to the debacle in Korea. Scotland will think of itself as a place justifiably proud of producing some of the great managers the game has known, and Korea will point to its success in 2002, but each is more than a little crazy in its own way.

    That said, Arena would have his a$$ handed to him by the tabloid press but, in his own special way, may not care. Could be good or bad but likely bad. Highly entertaining regardless.

    The other possibility, and I have *no* idea how this would look behind the scenes or in Arena's head, what if he's just getting his name out there to demonstrate publicly that he wants to manage in Europe? He won't appear appropriately ambitious by looking to, say, Luxembourg (although my gammy hip and I might still hobble our way into the Jeunesse d'Esch side), but might this be a way of signalling intent to club owners and not merely federations?

    Like the thought of Holland, Simon, and think he might just pop up there.

    By Blogger Glazer Schmazer, at 10:18 AM  

  • I don't think there's a realistic chance of him coaching out of the hemisphere. Taking the US to a world cup in a conference like CONCACAF is just not a credential that he can expect to open doors. Likewise, his MLS trophies are a 3rd-rate honor. And those two items on his CV are well dated at this point.

    Add to that he's completely devoid of flair. The sound of his voice wilts house plants. And he's an American in a realm where even a proven goalscorer like McBride has to win people over.

    Given that he's not currently lighting any fires in the MLS, despite the leagues desperate attempts to give the NY franchise a boost to win something, hiring him would be akin to that weird Christian Gros episode at Spurs. Come to think of it, I'd love to see him turn up at Spurs.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 6:54 PM  

  • Qualifying from CONCACAF may not mean much, but reaching the last 8 of a World Cup does, particularly when going out to Germany while at least playing them even. That said, I believe Chris pointed out earlier that his more recent results in 2006, to say nothing of his brief run at RBNY, don't help at all.

    I genuinely believe he'll coach out of the continent but would concede that he'll need lower sites to do so now.

    By Blogger Glazer Schmazer, at 1:59 PM  

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