TFN editor James Dutton speaks to Dulwich Hamlet boss Gavin Rose about the club’s rise through non-league football, and his further ambitions in the game…
Hidden away in a leafy borough of South London, Dulwich Hamlet have been making waves in non-league football this season. Enjoyable, attractive, attacking football has put the club and its feverish supporters on the cusp of a second consecutive promotion, this time to the Conference South – almost unprecedented in the club’s proud history.
Gavin Rose is coming towards the conclusion of his fifth season at Champion Hill, and barring any last-minute changes he will end it as one of only seven black managers in the top eight divisions of English football. The other six are, like the 37-year-old from Peckham, managing in non-league football.
Ambition marks Rose out from many of his contemporaries at this level. Does he see himself as a manager in the Football League in the next five years? “Definitely,” is the immediate, assertive response. But it should not be mistaken for arrogance, he recognises that he has no divine right to make it that far. It’s a philosophy that underpins his personality, and shines through in his beliefs about the game he loves.
What would be holding him back from that, barring the A license coaching badge that still needs to be earned? Other than himself, he sees no stumbling block.
But with the sackings of Chris Powell and Chris Hughton in the last month, there are now no black managers in charge of the 92 clubs that comprise the Premier League and Football League. He is well versed on the subject, this stain on English football, but perhaps surprisingly unfazed.
In his first piece for TFN, Valentin Boulan selects a Ligue XI – minus the Big 2 of PSG and Monaco…
Following the recent emergence of PSG and Monaco as big players in European football, the French Ligue 1 has received a lot more attention from abroad, both from players and fans. With the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Radamel Falcao now playing in a league whose best striker until recently was the agonizingly average Moussa Saw, Ligue 1 has experienced a huge qualitative boost.
However, this has not prevented the mass migration of many talented players (Patrick Aubameyang, Eden Hazard, Loic Remy, Mathieu Debuchy and Lisandro Lopez to name a few). As a result, the divide between the “Big 2” and the rest is evident, and with Monaco only just promoted this season, this process is unlikely to reverse in the near future. Continue reading →
With the French top-flight set to dominate the headlines this summer, French Football Weekly‘s Chris Luxford-Noyes reviews the Ligue 1 season…
It’s the day after the night before. We now know the winners and losers in this season’s race for glory in Ligue 1.
As forecasted by many pundits, PSG came out top dogs with 83 points, 12 ahead of 2nd placed Olympique Marseille. PSG didn’t have it all their own way thankfully, as the occasional draw here and there, along with a handful of losses – most notably away to Sochaux and Reims – ensured that the title race was kept fairly interesting for those fighting it out at the top. Their slip ups over the course of the season offered up a few small but regular morsels of hope to the chasing pack behind them (and the more casual, neutral observers tuning in to watch).
In the end they achieved exactly what they had expected of themselves, securing a league title and another tilt at the Champions League next season, albeit possibly without Carlo Ancellotti at the helm and question marks over Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future in Paris.
OM finished runners-up, and although they hadn’t exactly been written off back in August they certainly weren’t expected to do as well as they have done. Early season wobbles had many questioning their resolve. Second behind PSG and a Champions League place? They would have snapped such an offer out of anyone’s hand at the beginning of the season, then again, so would’ve most teams. Since succeeding Didier Deschamps last summer, Elie Baup has done well with the team, guided them into the Champions League, and will likely be rewarded with a contract extension thought to already be in the offing. Rumour has is that Joey Barton has been offered the chance to become a permanent fixture in Marseille, with a 3-year deal on the table if he wants it. With a return to relegated QPR now even less appealing for the controversial Englishmen it makes sense for him to stay. Barton is enjoying his time at OM and recently told the press, ‘for the first time in my life, I’m very happy, really content’. Continue reading →
False Nine editor Hugo Greenhalgh pays tribute to Montpellier and their supporters…
Great achievements in football often become more incredible once the dust is allowed to settle. There were several feats around Europe last season that will no doubt be looked back on as a great year for the sport. Continue reading →