Thursday, September 19, 2019

Peter Reid takes over as manager of Thailand. I agree, I don’t really understand either!

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 10 Jul 2008

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It appears that former England international and Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, is to be named as the new manager of Thailand. Just take a second to take in that sentence. This is a truly remarkable fact as I would imagine that Peter Reid is hardly a household name in Thailand and let’s be honest, Thai football is hardly a household name…well, anywhere really.

Reid became particularly famous, or more accurately, infamous, as a manager when he was filmed for a TV documentary whilst manager of the Sunderland football team. His colourful team talks at half time and at the end of games were magnificent television for the over eighteens! They didn’t contain any great insights to the science of football management and psychology, but they did contain an awful lot of swear words!

I wonder if the Thai football authorities or international players have watched that documentary. They would be well advised to do so in order to be fully aware of what is coming! I suppose they might not understand exactly what Reidy is saying, but if they learn the meaning of the ‘F’ word, then they’ll understand at least half of what he is saying.

There is no doubt that Reid is a great character and a real football man through and through. It is a great shame that he hasn’t been able to find work in England for such a long time because he is a loss to our game. He is from the old school of football managers and that might just be why he hasn’t been able to find a job.

As a player Peter Reid reached the highest of heights. He played for England in the 1986 World Cup finals and is perhaps best remembered for being the man that was left behind by Diego Maradona at the start of his mesmerising run for Argentina’s second and ultimately winning goal in the quarter final against England. I suppose it is a shame to be remembered mainly for being left in someone’s wake and it does a disservice to Reidy who was a fine and tenacious midfield player.

He won two premiere league titles, as well as an FA Cup and a European Cup Winners Cup as a player with a very fine Everton side. Let’s also not forget that in 1985 he was awarded the PFA Footballer of the Year title. He was a very good and well respected player.

After going into management Reid had some early successes with Manchester City in the Premier League, taking them to two successive fifth placed finishes. He was sacked after the board and fans became fed up with his brand of ‘long ball’ football. Many people thought his sacking after one poor season was very harsh.

His next management job was at Sunderland where the infamous documentary I have previously mentioned, was filmed. He stayed as manager at the Stadium of Light for almost eight years, saving them from relegation to the third tier of English football, getting them promoted to the top tier and almost achieving European qualification.

He had the song ‘day dream believer’ re-written about him as he became a ‘legend’ in the football world.

After leaving Sunderland he unfortunately had relatively unsuccessful spells as manager of Leeds United and Coventry City. Now, some three years after leaving Coventry, Reid has finally found a job back in football. It might not be the one that many people would have predicted for him, but it is a football management job none the less. He has been earning a living as a pundit on TV, but it was obvious that he has always wanted to get back in to management.

So what has Reidy taken on? Well, the Thailand national side do not have a particularly frightening history.

To be honest, the Thailand national football side actually has a less than impressive record. They have never qualified for the World Cup finals. They have reached the finals of the Asian Cup on a number of occasions but have only got past the first round once, when they finished third in 1972. The game in Thailand has been bedevilled by rumours and innuendo about corruption.

Quite how Peter Reid became a candidate for the role of Thailand national football manager will never be entirely clear to me. Quite how long it will last is also beyond my abilities as a pundit.

I wish him well with the Thailand national side but I can’t quite get my head around the marriage between the two. It should certainly be interesting while it lasts. Watch this space…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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martin

Good luck Reidy – great weather, great beaches. What else could you want?

PS Beware the lady boys!

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