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— PAULO SOUSA —
LEADERS
the
manager
AUTUMN 2011
Having experienced the English game’s notorious ‘hire and
fre’ culture at frst hand, Paulo Sousa is now testing his
mettle in a whole new environment
WORDS
CIARÁN BRENNAN
Brendan Rodgers, who’s taken a team
built largely on Sousa’s squad into the
Barclays Premier League.
But despite the setbacks he’s
sufered in his time working in the
Championship, Sousa has lost none
of his appetite for management. He
showed his passion for the game – and
confounded many pundits – in May
of this year when it was announced
that he had agreed to take the reins at
Videoton FC, an obscure Hungarian
team which had just won its domestic
league title for the frst time.
So how did Paulo Sousa fnd
himself managing at a club in a town
40 miles south west of Budapest?
“Te opportunity came along in the
same way that they all do,” he says.
“I met with the owner [Hungarian
businessman István Garancsi] and
he explained a little about the club’s
history and his plans for the future.
We discussed what needed to be done
to make the club progress and, after a
few more meetings, we developed an
agreement and I took the job.”
Sousa was thrown straight in at the
deep end, almost immediately taking
charge of the team for their frst ever
UEFA Champions League qualifying
games. Despite beating the vastly
more experienced Austrian side Sturm
Graz 3-2 in the home leg of their tie,
they went out 4-3 on aggregate. Tat
experience gave Sousa a taste for the
competition and he’s keen to get back
for another attempt at qualifcation
for the group stages next season.
“We were beaten by a team which
had mostly been together for three
or four years,” he says. “We will have
more experience next year and we are
already making plans which will give
us a better chance of qualifcation for
the main competition.”
First, though, Videoton will
IT’S NO SECRET THAT
the modern
football manager has about as much
job security as a department store
Santa. Figures for the 2009/10 season
state that, at that time, the average
manager’s tenure was one year and
four months – down from three and
a half years back in 1992.
Paulo Sousa has sufered as much,
if not more, from this knee-jerk ‘hire
and fre’ culture than most. In fact,
with spells of 26 and 12 games in
charge of the two English clubs he’s
managed (Queens Park Rangers and
Leicester City respectively) Sousa
must look at that average tenure with
a fair degree of envy.
Sousa can hardly be blamed for
this situation, though; he’s one
of 10 people to have occupied the
QPR manager’s ofce since Ian
Holloway vacated the post in 2006
and one of nine Leicester managers
in roughly the same period.
Between those two spells Sousa
enjoyed a full season with Swansea
City, falling just short of reaching
the Championship play-ofs. Te
foundations he laid with the swans
have been built upon by his successor,
HUNGARY
TO SUCCEED
“We work
every day
in training
to get to
the English
level of
intensity”