Will Osieck’s divide and conquer method work?
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Holger Osieck was selected as the head coach of the Socceroos with little fanfare. This is a look at the background of the man that has chosen to lead the team to the 2014 World Cup.
One of the greatest trump cards about the Holger Osieck selection was his role in developing players.
He was the coach of the German national youth team from 1979 to 1987, which demonstrate his pedigree as a youth manager. Although it’s hard to quantify who was responsible for the development of the World Cup winning German national team, as many factors are involved in developing players (such as youth coaches of individual clubs, academy, and so on).
It’s fair to say that Holger Osieck at least had some influence in developing the talent of the World Cup winning team, as well as assisting Beckanbauer in winning the World Cup.
However, despite his success in youth coaching and being assistant manager to Germany’s World Cup triumph in 1990, his senior coaching career at club level is rather modest. He only lasted for two seasons at a club once in his career.
He was sacked after one season after leading Bochum to 15th in the Bundesliga, narrowly avoiding relegation. He had a relatively successful stint at Fenerbahce Instanbul with the team finishing 2nd in 1993-94 season, but was replaced midway in the following season.
He then coached Urawa Red Diamonds for two years with modest success leading them to finish 4th and 6th. He won his first major trophy with Kocaelispor, winning the Turkish Cup in 1997 but finished with a modest 10th finish in the Super Lig.
His most successful period as a head coach was when he managed the Canadian national team to winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup, beating Mexico in the quarter finals and Columbia in the final. This is a stunning achievement, especially when this was the only time in history when the Gold Cup (as a separate Continental tournament to the World Cup qualifiers which started in 1991) was won by a team outside Mexico and the United States.
However, despite the success at the Gold Cup tournament, the Canadian national team didn’t qualify for the 2002 World Cup, and they failed to even reach the final group stages of the CONCACAF qualifiers, finishing third in their group behind Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.
The Canadian team was competitive in the 2001 Confederation Cup, where they managed to get a 0-0 draw with Brazil and they did well in the 2002 Gold Cup, finishing third. They were eliminated in the group stages of the 2003 Gold Cup and afterwards Holger Osieck resigned due to a player’s revolt in the team due to his autocratic leadership style.
His returned as a head coach of Urawa Red Diamonds in 2007 and led the team to a Champions League title. The side finished second in the J-League, before getting sacked next season due to another player’s revolt against his autocratic style of management.
Overall, I believe that Holger Osieck CV is superior to Pim Verbeek, but it is still a rather modest record. However, it is probably unrealistic to demand a higher credential manager considering that we want a manager to live in Australia.
It is arguable that his autocratic leadership style may well fit in with the Socceroos, as there were growing feelings that player power was allowed to grow under the Verbeek reign. However, considering there was signs of team disunity during the 2010 World Cup, there are question marks whether he has the ability to handle the egos of our national team and I have concerns that another player revolt could occur under his reign.
Disregarding the potential politics of this appointment, I could only be cautiously optimistic about this appointment from FFA.