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The Latin Connection in the British North-East [VIDEO]
The Latin Connection in the British North-East [VIDEO]
Federico Farcomeni | 11/24/13 | 9:18 PM EST 0 Comments
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Despite Bayern Munich’s recent dominance in Europe, teams in the UK keep inspiring themselves to Latin models…

This is quite evident in the conservative North-East where the brisk wind blows through the corners of St James’ Park, the Stadium of Light and the Riverside. Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough have all started to embrace different philosophies borrowed from the countries they’d normally like to go on holiday to.

Newcastle started the silent revolution a couple of seasons ago, taking on board player after player from Ligue 1. Alan Pardew, who once heavily criticized Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger for digging deep into the French market, ended up with the 44% of his squad speaking French. This first resulted in the 2011-12 season when the Magpies finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League. Meanwhile, Pardew signed an uncommon 8-year extension to his contract. And no matter if they couldn’t keep the pace in Europe – they were already gathering rewards.

The noisy neighbors from Sunderland did the same, but started a revolution top-bottom. American president Ellis Short’s offices in London were next to the ones of football agent Roberto De Fanti who eventually persuaded the Mackems’ number one to take him on board as director of football and completely change the shape of his club a-la-Italian. Former Internazionale head of scouting Valentino Angeloni followed suit as technical director and the two combined for the summer transfer market, getting on board a few decent acquisitions despite not agreeing them with former manager Paolo Di Canio. Their power has grown so much into the club, that new manager Gus Poyet was led to an outburst claiming that he would resign if they bought players he would not welcome into the team. In this case, the cultural gap seems to be bigger as in Italy clubs give for granted that managers and head coaches will accept the roles of directors of football, while in England isn’t likewise. What’s more, Sunderland are the English team who have been more active in the transfer market in the last 48 months, dealing eighty players – more than anyone else.

All this takes us to Middlesbrough, separated from just 40 miles from the two cities abovementioned. November 13th was a historical date in the history of the club as they unveiled their first non-British manager. Former Real Madrid defender Aitor Karanka, who learned his trade working closely with Jose Mourinho in the Spanish Capital, embraced the challenge to change Boro’s tactics and style from the foundations. His first match was a 2-1 loss at Leeds, but the feeling is that he will be given time to shake things up in the cold North-East.


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