Friday, 14 May 2010

Arsenal Adams to Azerbaijan but not Hong Kong

Former Arsenal and England captain (Anthony?) Tony Adams has surprised many people by his decision to be manager of a small football team in Azerbaijan. Why Azerbaijan?

Another surprising thing is his rather disheveled look, which isn’t what is expected of professional football managers.

[Captain Caption anyone? (Source: BBC News)]

The recent failure last month by the Hong Kong Football Association to recruit a worthy or notable coach to manage Hong Kong should put the association to shame in that it can bypass people like Tony Adams, despite his unkempt look. The initial job advertisement requested that:
... the new head coach, who will be in charge of the under-21, under-23 and the full international teams, should be "fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin" as well as having "knowledge in MS-Office application and Chinese input".

Following public criticism, the HKFA deleted the language criteria but still probably did not bother advertising widely for notable football coaches who may have considered coming to Hong Kong a challenge, compared with say Azerbaijan,* to help develop the game.

The Hong Kong football coach is now Tsang Wai-chung, who is contracted until March 2011 and has replaced South Korean Kim Pan-gon. Apparently, Tsang was the only suitable candidate after the HKFA decided against two overseas applicants, one from the Netherlands and one from Bulgaria.

Was this a case of already knowing the outcome before creating the job advertisement? This is what the SCMP said:
... Tsang would have been the only candidate had the FA stuck to its original requirements for the post, which included Cantonese, Mandarin and English proficiency as well as possessing Chinese character input skills.

But are these important criteria for selecting a suitably qualified and experienced football coach whose goals should be to help inspire the Hong Kong football team in addition to stimulating greater public interest in the local football scene?

*No offense meant to Azerbaijan

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