Dyche looking to strike a blow for English managers
Clarets boss Sean Dyche goes into the season as one of only three full time English managers in the Premier League, from a total of 17 25 years ago.
Dyche is in an ever-decreasing pool which includes Alan Pardew of Crystal Palace and Bournemouth's Eddie Howe, though former Claret Mike Phelan is currently at the helm at Hull City after the departure of Steve Bruce.
While the Premier League could once lay claim to being the home of the best players in the world, it is certainly now the home of the most vaunted coaching talent, with Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte in charge at the superpowers.
However, after England plumped for another English manager in Sam Allardyce after the departure of Roy Hodgson, Dyche feels the perception of British coaches is far from the truth: "The media view is always thirsty for foreign coaches who are always tactical geniuses.
"Antonio Conte came in at Chelsea and he got commended for bringing a hard, fast, new leadership to Chelsea, which involved doing 800m runs, 400m runs and 200m runs.
"Come to my training and see Sean Dyche doing that and you’d say ‘dinosaur, a young English dinosaur manager, hasn't got a clue’. So is it perception or is it fact?
"I have no problem with it. It’s the reality I say. Perception is radically different to what is going on with young English managers.
"There are foreign owners, there’s lots of foreign players, so it might be that a foreign manager is chosen to work with foreign players, so that’s a different kind of scenario."
Dyche has long been a disciple of pressing to counter possession-based teams, his team's running statistics through the roof.
But while that is perceived as very British, when continental managers follow suit, it is deemed tactical genius: "When you look at the perception of what manager does what, and Conte I thought was interesting because if you see us doing that you’d say we’re running them round in circles, at Chelsea under Conte everyone thinks it’s amazing, they’re working really hard, like it's incredible.
"I just saw Nasri talking about the diet that Pep has brought in. He’s stopped pizza. He’s a genius already in my view.
"The year before Ranieri was adding pizza. Two geniuses, one adding pizza one taking it away."
Dyche joked: "I give them pizza with the rolls that have cheese and pepperoni in. Good fuel I think! We’re going to brand ourselves pizza lovers.
"I’m being flippant but I’m being serious as well. It’s true, that is the misperception.
"Nasri was talking about how this new diet was amazing, saying we don’t to eat junk food. We’ve been doing that since I got here, I did it at Watford, so are other English managers. Here are the dieticians, this is what we do, we’ve sorted a chef out and he’s going to support you, we’ve got the supplements and we’re going to have a fluid consultant in.
"Because I’m Sean Dyche you wouldn’t be interested. It’s ‘go on Pep, tell us about your pizzas’."
Allardyce once said, tongue firmly in cheek:‘I won’t ever be going to a top-four club because I’m not called Allardici, just Allardyce.’
Maybe if Dyche was Dici he would follow suit! Dyche has had to win promotion to get a chance in the Premier League, and he smiled: "A job comes up, usually the microphone goes out the stadium, and it’s who do you want, a foreign name is mentioned, and they go ‘oh yeah I’ve heard he’s a great tactician’.
"That’s usually the line and we watch it sat on the bus wetting ourselves laughing. The fan outside has never heard of him.
"There’s a bit of that spin. There’s still a thirst from the populous for foreign managers and foreign players. They’re a bit more snazzy, let’s see what this Belgian manager or this Argentinean manager can do.
"It seems to me it’s still there, it has been for a number of years, and I don’t think it’s radically changing.
"Now we’re seeing more foreign managers going into the Championship, that might be due to foreign ownership.
"It doesn’t matter to me personally. Pochettino I think is fantastic, I really enjoy his company, Wenger, personally, was very good with me, very good company with me.
"There’s no problem with me and foreign managers, but this is my view on it. Generally there is still this edge towards foreign coaches and managers.
"Do a poll and see if fans want a foreign player or a local young lad. A lot lie over this, in their heart they want to go local young lad, but in the brain they think ‘we’ll go for the foreign signing’."
People are still seduced by the appeal of foreign glamour, and Dyche added: "I think that’s life a little bit. This is all kind of just life as well.
"Why do you buy a branded pair of jeans rather than the other pair? Because you think they’re better, but they might not be.
"I think there’s a bit of that, sometimes it’s just a bigger name is a bigger name. The board, often, will go on a CV and what depth there is.
"I wasn’t the first choice here, it was big Mick (McCarthy) and Ollie (Ian Holloway) I think, I was ninth choice, from the people’s view that is.
"The board interviewed and they made an informed decision on the interview"
Dyche was 25/1 for the England job in the summer, but he feels the FA made the right decision to go with experience: "Ridiculous. We’re nowhere near ready, us youngsters. We’re kids in the grand scheme of things.
"You're talking about people with a wealth of experience, like them loathe them, the wealth of knowledge of Sam Allardyce from within the game, years of making it work, sometimes with money sometimes not, we’re novice hurdlers, we’re still learning.
"There’s loads to learn, the growth of ourselves, our clubs, getting the job done, to have other challenges along the way, we need all of that. It’s preposterous for any of us young managers to be linked with the England job, I mean it sincerely.
"There was no discussion, there was never even a link apart from people putting silly bets on."