NEVER IN the history of a World Cup tournament has there been so much speculation surrounding the men in charge, illustrating the mercenary nature of today’s game. The departure of England’s Sven-Göran Eriksson, was the first to be announced, a long way ahead of the finals. Australia’s Dutch coach, Guus Hiddink, was considered to be one of the favourites to succeed the Swede, but was reported to be heading for sunnier climes, in the form of Real Madrid, not so. The globetrotting manager has now signed a two-year, four million euro contract, with the Russian Federation.
Portugal’s Luiz Felipe Scolari, is another man in the news. Apparently also under consideration for the England job, the Brazilian is also being linked with 2010 World Cup hosts, South Africa, and the managerial vacancy at Paris Saint-Germain. Nigerian, Stephen Keshi, was sacked by Togo after achieving qualification with the small African country for the first time, and Mexico’s Argentine boss, Ricardo La Volpe, is threatening to resign if his team selection receives continued criticism. The climax of the world’s most popular sport is being turned into a revolving job market that has nothing whatsoever to do with national pride. How can teams strive for the ultimate goal, knowing that their manager is already thinking about a different country altogether?