Steve Clarke was always going to be a tough act to follow at Kilmarnock.
That’s why from the outside looking in, I’ve got sympathy for Angelo Alessio over his sacking.
The Italian arrived at Rugby Park with a seriously-impressive coaching CV.
He was Antonio Conte’s assistant at Juventus, with the Italian national team and at Chelsea, for goodness’ sake!
You don’t get jobs like those without knowing your stuff. In that respect, I can see why Killie were tempted into appointing him.
But by ditching him after just six months, the Ayrshire club have hung him out to dry.
For me, questions now have to be asked of the Killie board.
Every managerial appointment is risky. There are no guarantees. But Kilmarnock took a bigger risk than normal in bringing Alessio in.
Yes, his pedigree as an assistant was, and is, unquestionable.
But the Italian had never been involved in Scottish football at any level. So who knew for sure that he had the ability and character to handle the switch to Scotland?
Wouldn’t it have been a safer for Killie to appoint someone who knew his way around the Scottish game?
Looking at it now, it seems a safe bet was actually what they were after, given the way Alessio has been dumped so quickly.
And by the way, it’s not like Killie are in a relegation battle. They’re mid-table!
Hearts’ situation is far more troubling.
And when I look at Daniel Stendel, I can’t help but think the Jam Tarts have taken the same risk as Killie did.
Stendel had one good season at Barnsley and has managed in the Bundesliga.
But where is the knowledge of Scottish football?
I’m sure Stendel is a good coach. But how much does the German know about the league he now finds himself in?
It’s a situation that makes me think of something my pal, former England boss Sam Allardyce, says.
He reckons if his name was Allardycio, he’d get more job opportunities. He’s probably right.
I’m genuinely not criticising either Angelo Alessio or Daniel Stendel.
I’m sure both are excellent coaches.
My concern is that clubs aren’t considering an important factor when appointing these guys.
Do they know the Scottish game? And do the clubs do enough due diligence into what the person behind the football CV is actually like?
If the answer to either question is no, I think that’s a major concern.
If Killie appoint Alex Dyer as Alessio’s successor, I reckon they’ll have made a sensible choice.
He knows the club and the players inside out, and having assisted Steve Clarke, he offers stability.
But if that’s the way they go, the question for me will be why they didn’t appoint him in the summer.
If stability and continuity were important, Angelo Alessio was not the right candidate, despite his CV.
Again, that’s not a criticism of the Italian.
I’m absolutely certain he’ll find himself back in work soon enough, either as his own man or as Antonio Conte’s No. 2.
Wherever he goes, I’m sure he’ll do a decent job. But Killie should ask themselves what they really want from a manager.
So should every Scottish club.
Insider knowledge of the domestic game is absolutely priceless, especially when every penny is a prisoner.
If I were appointing a manager, that would be the first thing I looked for.
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