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Foreign coaches struggle in Chinese soccer league

Updated: 2012-04-14 09:20
( Xinhua)

GUANGZHOU - It could become the darkest night for some foreign coaches in Chinese Super League (CSL).

The most famous three foreign coaches in CSL, Takeshi Okada, Jean Tigana and Henk ten Cate would spend an anxious weekend in fear of finding their seats already taken by someone after they come back to their offices on Monday as they all lost their vital matches here on Friday night.

Takeshi Okada, who had become world famous for leading Japanese first World Cup in 1998, found his team Hangzhou in the bottom three with six games played after losing 3-1 in their away match against defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande in CSL here on Friday night.

"I think it was too early to make a judgment now. We are adjusting ourselves to find the most appropriate forms and tactics; the most important thing is we are making improvement," he said after the match.

However, time is running out for the 55-year-old Japanese, who said a month ago he was always getting ready to be fired as a professional coach.

"I am always getting ready to be fired, because I should be responsible for my job," he said after his debut match against Qingdao in March.

After that, Hangzhou only managed to achieve four points from 5 matches as they only got one victory and a draw.

Okada is on the edge, while Frenchman Jean Tigana made a usual absence and many believed it was the final farewell to his home team on Friday night before Shanghai lost 1-0 to Tianjin at home and ranked 12th in CSL.

The 56-year-old Frenchman left his seat and took a taxi off the stadium just before the match kicked off, leaving the players headless chickens in the field.

Tigana's departure followed the sacking of his assistants and another Frenchman Nicolas Anelka took charge as the team's assistant coach.

"He was not sacked; he rushed home only to make a summery of his job in the first five matches," said Yan Xiang, deputy manage of Shanghai team after the match.

A radio channel in Shanghai even launched "paging program" for the "missing Frenchman," hoping to pick out Tigana's taxi driver and locate the Frenchman's destination.

"Tigana certainly will lose his job, the club even didn't arrange a car for him when he left the stadium, it was usual," a local reporter said.

Henk ten Cate, who has an even more brilliant CV with experience of Ajax manager and Barcelona assistant coach, could not escape the same fate.

"I do not talk much about referees usually, but tonight I have to say it was the referee to blame for our defeat, he offered a non-existent penalty to the home team," the Dutchman's words was interpreted by local media as he had to much pressure to transfer.

Losing 2-1 to Beijing and only managed five points in five mathces, the Dutchman's job became precarious in Shandong, a club which was believed as one of the most impatient at coaches as they fired league winning coach Branko Ivankovic in May and then Rai Matic in December.

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