Why it’s great to see plenty of new faces on managerial merry-go-round - Sue Smith on football

It used to be that to get a chance as a professional football manager you had to have a decent career, go into the lower leagues if you were not a big name and work your way up or occasionally jump in at the top if you were.

Now more and more clubs seem to be taking a chance on “inexperienced” managers. Many are not inexperienced at all, they have just learned in different environments with less scrutiny.

It is good for the game. Familiar names still pop on and off the managerial merry-go-round but there are a lot more fresh faces, too, with fresh ideas.

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I definitely think finances have been a factor in some of the choices but clubs will have seen it work elsewhere and been encouraged.

Risen through the ranks: Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter.

It also shows how the role of a manager is changing.

Barnsley have done a brilliant job in recent years of picking up unheard of foreign managers who have spent a lot of time in youth coaching, particularly in the Red Bull network Markus Schopp, Thomas Tuchel, Marco Rose, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Julian Nagelsmann, Gerhard Struber and others have come through.

Daniel Stendel only managed 34 senior games before coming to Oakwell but took Barnsley into the Championship. Struber was poached midway through his first season at Wolsberger, having previously worked for youth and feeder teams, and Valerien Ismael was under the radar, too.

David Wagner transformed Huddersfield Town.

Stepped up in style: England chief Gareth Southgate. Picture: Getty Images

From a player’s perspective, “names” have a big advantage.

Had I been at Derby County when Wayne Rooney became manager, I would think if anyone could teach me what I needed to take my game to the next level, it was him. If a tried-and-trusted manager like Neil Warnock or Mick McCarthy came in you would be instantly engaged. It is a bit different when you do not know anything about the new manager apart from that they did well in Austrian youth football or Germany’s second division.

Those guys maybe have to prove themselves a bit more but if they have plenty of coaching experience, they instantly know how to connect with players and put on a good coaching session.

Being an elite player does not automatically make you a great coach and you wonder if some struggle to understand why lesser players cannot do the things that came so naturally to them. Then there is being able to get your ideas across, a skill you can learn in youth football.

Could easily make the grade in men's game: FA WSL manager of the year Chelsea's Emma Hayes.

Coaching is coaching and winning is winning. Working with seniors should be easier than academy youngsters because they ought to be a better class of player.

Brighton and Hove Albion’s Graham Potter coached at Hull and Leeds Met Universities and even with Ghana at the 2007 Women’s World Cup. He had success with Ostersunds before coming to Swansea City as a supposed novice.

Some coaches are trying to use women’s football as a springboard into the men’s game, with varying success. I agree with those who say Chelsea’s Emma Hayes could do well in men’s football because she knows how to win with players.

Sometimes EFL football is a bit different, with more physicality, speed and pressures than academy or women’s football, but a grounding in developing players is a good start. It is always good if clubs can bring players through or get the reputation Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday have as a good place to send youngsters on loan.

Better still if you can bring through a coach with a connection to your best young players, like Gareth Southgate stepping up from England Under-21 to senior team manager.

Some clubs still call them managers but where there are technical directors and recruitment teams, the job of the person picking the team is more about coaching than it used to be.

I suppose a lot depends on a club’s aims, how important playing good football is or is it all about instant results?

There will always be clubs who see a manager who has not been in charge of many or any senior games in charge as a risk, but it can work. By the same token, there will always be a place for old-school managers, and different styles of play.

I am just pleased there are more ways for coaches to get to the top and that we do not only see the same old faces.