Scolari and Clarke


Bit of a slow news day this morning, with the fallout from Big Phil’s sacking propping up what would otherwise be an international week lull. I was just thinking a bit more about why Scolari didn’t succeed and I reckon one of the key reasons was the departure of Steve Clarke in September, who went to West Ham to become Zola’s number two.

Clarke spent twenty years at Chelsea both as player and youth coach before being appointed as Mourinho’s assistant manager when he joined in 2004. Jose saw that he needed a bridge between him and the players, someone who knew Chelsea through and through, whilst helping in implementing The Special One’s ideas on the training pitch.



Once Clarke left there was no bridge between the players and Big Phil. Of course it could be argued that a top manager like Scolari should be able to communicate his ideas without the need for anyone else. However I think given that it was his first major job where he had to speak something other than his native Portuguese, someone like Clarke should have been kept on. It’s useful to have someone around who can tell you what to expect from a club like Southend, or why Cashley Cole is so odious.

Since Clarke’s departure, we’ve heard various mutterings of training not being intensive enough, experiments with zonal and man-marking and no Plan B – all of this would come under Clarke’s jurisdiction. You look at West Ham since his arrival and you see a well organised, neat and tidy outfit who are also quite pleasing on the eye. 

Of course, he isn’t the sole reason for Big Phil’s failure. Other reasons like Essien and Cole being injured,  Drogba being moody and no transfer money played a part too. But the first rule of management is to have a good setup supporting you.




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