Laurie to bow out of NI job?

As George was very quick to note, Laurie Sanchez has been offered a job with Fulham. The Belfast Telegraph reports that if he can keep them in the Premiership, he will net more than £1 million a year in salary. A tall order, worth pulling off. But if he does, the Tele reckons the European campaign will certain signal the end of his incredibly productive time at Northern Ireland.

  • Yokel

    Will it signal the end of the teams productive period though. The answer at this stage is probably no.

  • The whole thing smacks of being very stage-managed. I suspect that Al Fayed and Sanchez have already agreed that he will take over as full time boss next season.

    Sanchez is also a realist. NI have played more games than their rivals. There are 2 sets of matches in June not involving them, (Spain play Latvia and Liechtenstein). NI will most likely be sitting in 3rd place in June and Sanchez privately knows the odds are still very much against them qualifying.

    He will leave, without any doubt. There are many more reasons to leave than to stay. Securing a managerial position with a well established Premiership club in London with a huge salary will be more than enough to make up his mind…

  • Cromwell

    The story doing the rounds at the moment is that Fulham old boy; John Collins, currently experiencing difficulties at Hibs, is being lined up for the job by Al Fayed.
    Lawrie Sanchez is in a win win situation anyway, as no matter what happens it’ll be the Duke Of Edinburgh’s fault!

  • Yokel

    Cromwell

    Are you serious? I like Collins but thats an interesting angle that I wouldnt have seen.

    That Sanchez has always wanted a league job is obvious. He has little to run on his NI contract and so can readily bow out after the Euros without too much hassle. It isnt really a contest issue between NI & a league job, there is no contest.

    Having said all that two things strike me.

    a) Sanchez may nto keep them up, if he dopes so it has more to do with Coleman having kept them above the relegation zone so far than any Sanchez effect.

    b) The board have snatched at someone who is pereceived as miracle worker and a high profile one that they reckon the fans would buy into. He’s not quite jesus lads, very good as he is.

    c) Coleman could very well have kept Fulham up anyway and hs kept them up before with bugger all spend.

  • Yokel

    So I can’t count. What of it?

  • Cromwell

    I cant count either Yokel.
    But I agree on all 2/3 points!
    I was a bit surprised Fulham went for Sanchez, as he has’nt managed anywhere near the top level. What I will say though is that when we (norn iron) have played any of the bigger sides he’s got the tactics perfectly right & it would seem to me that poor results when playing lesser outfits, complacancy within the side has let us down.
    It appears that the job will only be his for the 5 remaining games & as you pointed out, he can’t really lose & if they stay up he’ll have proved he can do it at the top.
    Apparently most Fulham fans can’t understand why Coleman was sacked, I think he was a great manager for them.

  • Mike

    macswiney –

    “Sanchez is also a realist. NI have played more games than their rivals. There are 2 sets of matches in June not involving them, (Spain play Latvia and Liechtenstein). NI will most likely be sitting in 3rd place in June and Sanchez privately knows the odds are still very much against them qualifying.”

    Please tell the full story. We ‘catch up’ with a match in August at home to Leichtenstein, when no other teams in the group play (they having played their equivalent matches in June). If we win, we’ll be top of the group, having played the same number of games as Spain and Sweden, and one more than Denmark.

    So yes, the odds will still be against us, but to take a June ‘snapshot’ is very misleading, since we’ve simply chosen to play our match in that ’round’ in August rather than June.

  • Ziznivy

    “Apparently most Fulham fans can’t understand why Coleman was sacked, I think he was a great manager for them. ”

    The Fulham fans I know have been complaining for years about his lack of tactical acumen and his aversion to 4-4-2.

  • Mike,

    You are actually wrong in your assertion that you will automatically be top if you beat Lichtenstein in August. If Sweden win their 2 games in June they will have 18 points and will still be 2 ahead even if NI defeat Lichtenstein in August (as they would expect to do).

    That aside, my general point was that Sanchez is a realist and will be aware that the stronger nations will still most likely ultimately prevail in his group. There is also the recognition, profile and financial incentives which will come with managing a Premiership club on a full time basis. Remember, its not that long ago that he applied for the Portsmouth position.

  • Cromwell

    Ziznivy,

    Your Fulham fans were possibly deluding themselves, they are a team with little support & Al-Fayed was’nt too fond of splashing the cash. I know a section of the fans were calling for Coleman’s head the other night but I would suggest that if they took a good look at themselves they’ve been living above their means for quite some time. Most of this was down to the manager using what he had to the best of his & their abilities.

  • Ziznivy

    I wouldn’t disagree with you that some of the fans were unrealistic. I’m just pointing out a lot of Fulham fans have had long-standing issues with Coleman and have disagreed with his manner of playing football. I don’t think it’s any accident that a manager who favours old fashioned wing-play and two centre-forwards is their choice of caretaker.

  • Cromwell

    Fair play Ziznivy, I know their away form was generally pants.
    What about Healy as one of those centre-forwards with a big lad like Brian McBride up front?

  • Ziznivy

    That could work well. Although again money could be an issue if other teams are interested in Healy. He certainly deserves a go at the Premiership. It seemed a bit fishy to me that the decision to make Healy Leeds’ captain and the announcement of Lawrie as Fulham manager came so close together. Perhaps a little reminder from Denis Wise that Healy is still a Leeds player for the moment?

  • Doctor Who

    MacSwinney

    “Sanchez is a realist”

    Really so what, NI are not expected to qualify, but are still in with a realistic shout at the half way stage. Sanchez does not accept defeat lightly and will be as disapointed as the players and the fans if NI don´t give everything in the next phase of qualifiers.

    I can assure you that Laurie will not walk away from his contract with NI. If Al Fayed wants him that bad, he will have to accomodate Laurie in two posts until the end of the campaign, which of course could be july 2008.

    Sanchez has been a revelation in the NI job, however when he decides to go, i´m sure others would be up for the challenge, knowing that they have a hard act to follow.

    It would be ridiculous to speculate at this stage who the next manager will be as we still have a good man in the post.

    Those who wish to see Laurie take a Club job, will hope that they will be the end of the NI revival. It´s very ironic that those who profess to follow the splitters in the South, take such an interest in OWC.

  • Mustapha Mond

    Its Lawrie, not Laurie, or lorry.

  • Doctor Who,

    How you personally can give an assurance that Sanchez “will not walk away from his contract” is quite staggering really.

    Regarding your last comment, I did not mention the team that you describe “as the splitters from the South” at any time in my comments. Clearly, you would like to pick a fight on issues unrelated to Sanchez.

    As for my right to comment on his position, surely i am not prohibited from doing so because I may or may not follow another team? Is this not a democratic forum?

    The word ‘hypocrisy’ also springs to mind, because I have seen you quite frequently post on threads related to Steve Staunton and the Republic of Ireland team where you were certainly not shy about giving your own opinions…

  • Cromwell

    Ziznivy,

    A story going around claimed Man. City are very interested in Healy at the £2 million mark.
    Actually didnt know he’d been made captain which is very strange in that Wise hadnt a good word to say about him not so long ago.

  • Ziznivy

    Even Wise can’t ignore the bare facts that he has Europe’s most in form striker Cromwell. IMO it’s too little too late and Healy shouldn’t forget the way he has been misused.

  • Cromwell

    Yeah, even if Leeds stay up he needs a move preferably to the league that ate itself; the premiership!

  • Doctor Who

    MacSwinney

    “The word ‘hypocrisy’ also springs to mind, because I have seen you quite frequently post on threads related to Steve Staunton and the Republic of Ireland team where you were certainly not shy about giving your own opinions…”

    LOL LOL, really can you provide links or posts. Frankly I don´t care about the ROI team, they are as alien to me as the Oood, but for what it´s worth I think Stan´s treatment by the fans of ROI has been a disgrace and I hope he stays in the job for many years.

    The Belfast Telegraph have had a problem with Sanchez from his apointment, others in media related circles have similar reservations. In the “tele” Stephen Beacom would like nothing more than for Sanchez to walk away, he could then get his crayons out and scribble “I told you so”. The fact is Laurie has never hid his ambition to manage in the premiership, if the NI job is a stepping stone to such a job well then so be it. I do expect he will however see out his contract.

    His problems with the media are baffling. They do not respect his wishes that they stay away from the players before games, other than press conferences. They think Laurie is above his station. It is because laurie has added an extra piece of professionalim to the NI job, that the players have responded well.

    I had a drink with a well known UTV sports presenter in Christiania in Copenhagen, he sat and bad mouthed Sanchez to high heaven. He actually said it would be in our interest to loose well as he might get sacked. The diatribe of abuse he got was OTT. Sanchez will not let these prats have the last word.

    BTW if L***** wants to sue I have two witnesses.

    I do not deny you the right to comment on things but why do you do it with a sense of satisfaction. Don´t forget the next man to come along could be even better.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I do not deny you the right to comment on things but why do you do it with a sense of satisfaction. Don´t forget the next man to come along could be even better.’

    My, we are paranoid.

  • Doctor Who,

    You are way off the beat if you earnestly believe that Sanchez’s alleged relationship with a few local hacks will have anything to do with his decision.

    My whole point was, and I will re-quote it;

    “There is also the recognition, profile and financial incentives which will come with managing a Premiership club on a full time basis”.

    Walter Smith was in a similar position with Scotland just 2 months ago. Top of his group and with a chance of qualification, but it didnt take him even one second to ditch the whole lot for the many attractions involved in managing a top flight club.

    The main point that you’re missing is that international football is nothing more a poor cousin these days in comparison to top-class club football. It is a clear second best among both players and managers.

    PS : Seeing as you were so outraged by the comments of the “well-known UTV sports presenter”, did you have the courage to tell him to his face, or did you just decide to slag him off anonymously on Slugger instead…???

  • DW and mac,

    Put the handbags down and try to discuss the thread and not each other. Apart from anything else, it’s deadly dull!!

  • Ziznivy

    The problem with the local hacks arises because things have previously been too cosy between them and the IFA. They expect to have an influence far outstripping their talent or importance. I’ve made that quite clear too some of Beacom’s colleagues and in correspondence with the newspapers.

    Beacom has a cheek producing sycophantic, insincere nonsense in the wake of the Sweden game and producing a story about Healy joining Fulham as if he has any knowledge provided by Lawrie Sanchez. Beacom has only mastered stringing a coherant sentence together in the last few years and yet expects to be listened to and respected by the fans.

  • Doctor Who

    MacSwinney I told him to his face, and have kept quiet about it up to now. Sorry if I upset your heroe. I was more amused by his comments as opposed to “ouraged”, in a similar way the likes of you amuse me.

    There are many differences between the Smith saga and the Sanchez one, not least the difference in managerial experience.

    Smith walked out simple as, Sanchez will be accomodated both by Fulham and NI, presuming that Fulham want him full time. If a deal had already been done with Sanchez he would not be employed as caretaker boss with only 5 games to prove his worth.

    Of course huge financial benefits are an incentive, but Sanchez has repeatedly said he will fullfill his contract if the IFA wish him to.

    Why do you hope he walks out now?

    I am not missing any point, International football might very well be a poor cousin these days. This might even explain why samller nations like OWC are competing aginst the likes of England, Spain etc or why teams like Cyprus are handing out right hammerings to suppossed better teams. How many people bet on Greece taking the European Championship last time out.

    There is however still loyalty within the game and as I can rightly point out Sanchez is still NI manager. Come back to me if he walks away before our last match in Spain or if qualification is not possible and then tell me I was wrong. In the meantime why don´t you preoccupy yourself with issues at FAI headquarters, have you seen the prices for Croke Park, but sure that won´t affect you.

  • Doctor,

    Again your assumptions and presumptions are many…

    1. My “hero”…?? Eh??? Who exactly then is MY hero then? Truly bizarre stuff…!

    2. “Why do you hope he walks out now…?”
    Answer: I dont. I never said any such thing. i simply speculated that he was more likely to accept a full-time post with Fulham if it were to be offerred to him…

    3. Re Ticket prices at Croker. I have been a block booking holder for Ireland matches since 1986 and I paid 50 euros each (APPROX £34) for my recent tickets for the Wales and Slovakia matches.

    £34 to sit in one of the most best stadiums in Europe is magnificent value in my book. But dont take my word for it. Just ask the 72,000 fans who packed the stadium for EACH of those matches!!!

    PS : Just wait till the IFA relocate to your new stadium out in the wilderness of The Maze. I reckon you will be paying at least £30 for a ticket. If you think otherwise, then you are very naive…

  • Mick,

    If you read my initial posts, I talked exclusively about the thread topic in question. It was our friend DW who widened the debate and also made some unwarrented assumptions.

    I am surprised that you are limiting my right to reply in this instance. I can quote at least 4 threads today which have gone way off at varying tangents without you issuing similar repremands. Maybe you’re boredom threshold is quite low this afternoon… Could be the hot weather out there perhaps… Anyway, I’ve had enough myself so i’m off out to enjoy the sun for a while…! Have a good one…!

  • Doctor Who

    MacSwinney glad to hear you are as opposed to the nonsense of the Maze as I am. I´m also glad you got your Croke Park tickets early, well done.

    I do though think you need to chill out, go and lie down there buddy.

  • Idiot@BelTelly

    At long last it looks as if my wish for Lawrie Sanchez to be out of the job has come true.

  • Dec

    Sanchez will be accomodated both by Fulham and NI, presuming that Fulham want him full time. If a deal had already been done with Sanchez he would not be employed as caretaker boss with only 5 games to prove his worth.

    Sanchez has 5 matches in charge of Fulham at this moment in time. His brief is straightforward – keep them up. Depending on whether or not he keeps them up, he may be offered a full-time position with the club. If that is the case, I do not believe Fulham will allow him to simultaneously manage the NI team. The Premiership is a multi-million pound business now and if I was handing out £1 million contracts, I’d been keen to ensure my manager had no other distractions.

    Now, the question is whether Sanchez is prepared to leave NI at this juncture (on the threshold of an appearance in the Euro Championships, which could invite similar offers from bigger clubs than Fulham) or whether he decides a bird in the hand is a better option.

    Of course, if he replicates his previous club management form, Fulham could well go down. Sometimes, International management is the better fit.

  • Better him than Staunton. Anyone who thinks that NI are better off w/o Sanchez needs their head read.

  • “Lawrie Sanchez is in a win win situation anyway, as no matter what happens it’ll be the Duke Of Edinburgh’s fault!”

    Cromwell, what does Stavros have to do with it?

  • BP1078

    The Al-Fayed factor is not being taken into account here.
    Putting it politely, the man is unpredictable and attempting to read his mind is impossible. The fact is over the last few years he hasn’t given Coleman an open cheque-book, there’s no reason to assume that Sanchez would have any more money to play with. So, even if Fulham stay up, Lawrie would have a helluva job keeping them up in the Premiership long-term with a pretty mediocre bunch of players and little cash to spend. There may also be a few vacancies at more promising clubs, one of the sleeping giants in the Championship, for example , over the summer months. Al-Fayed possibly has someone else lined up for next season (John Collins has been mentioned here), might even be thinking of flogging the club off to one of those foreign investors waiting to get into English football, in which case Sanchez is purely a stopgap emergency measure to keep the club in the Premiership; once that’s achieved he’ll be off.

    If, on the other hand, Fulham do go down, then it’s obviously in neither Al Fayed’s or Lawrie’s interest to make the appointment a permament one.

    Whatever happens, the man will be on his way, at the latest, after the Qualifiers, and despite what the likes of Beacom at the Tele may say, I’ll be one Norn Iron fan who’ll be very grateful for what he’s done for us

  • T.Ruth

    I enjoy listening to the whingeing on the radio by fans who are predicting out comes amd hoping Sanchez shows loyalty to the GAWA. This same GAWA wanted him deposed at half time in the Icelend match. Three schoolboy errors by professional players who should know better and Beacom and Co wanted the manager out.They don’t like having a manager who has received education beyond 16 . Dead heads like Beacom are a joke.It should be a requirement that sports journalist take some lessons in football before opening their mouth.He is the worst ever.
    T.Ruth

  • “This same GAWA wanted him deposed at half time in the Icelend match.”

    We did?

  • Doctor Who

    T.Ruth you are right about Beacom, but way off the mark with the GAWA.

    Sure we where not amused, after all we where three nil down to bloody Iceland, no one in the crowd where calling for Sanchez head, just the scribblers in the press box.

  • exile

    Mark Dowling
    If you listen to Al Fayad, Stavros is to blame for Diana’s crash, JFK’s assassination, and faking the moon landings. Making Fulham drop a few places would be child’s play.

  • It’ll never replace cricket.

  • exile

    forgot about the Phoney Pharaoh 🙂

  • Mr Wilson

    ” little cash to spend”

    Might fancy his abilities to get loan signings and free transfers that will be doing the rounds soon as he has a proven ability with limited players.

  • SuperSoupy

    I see the new FIFA rankings are out today the northern ireland football team is up to 33rd just two places behind Ireland in 31st.

  • Fantastic news for Steve Staunton who deserves great credit for weathering a storm of unbalanced and at times near-hysterical criticism from the likes of Dunphy etc… Mark Lawrenson was one of the few well known pundits who actually defended him. Onwards and upwards…!

  • tra g

    Its the seedings that really matters.

    The rankings are a bit of an arse.

    Ireland should make it back into the third seed pool for the world cup draw while the North are likely to be in the 5th.

    Well done to Stan on the 4 wins from 4, we should be confident of doing the Slovak’s away and maybe taking a point away the Czech’s.

    Qualification is still a possibilty for the Euro’s but with all the new lads joining the senior squad hopefully World cup qualification will be a good possibility.