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Simone signs as boss in trigger-happy Thailand

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Marco Simone. AFP

Simone signs as boss in trigger-happy Thailand

FORMER AC Milan star Marco Simone on Monday insisted he was unconcerned by the trigger-happy nature of Thai football as he became the latest footballing great to sign up as a club manager.

Simone, unveiled as head coach of league side Ratchaburi, said he was undeterred by the number of high-profile managers to have passed through the country in recent years without making much of an impression.

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s stint as technical director at BEC Tero Sasana lasted a matter of months back in 2012 and Avram Grant’s spell at the same club was similarly brief in 2014.

Former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler and ex-Spurs and Germany wing-back Christian Ziege are two more big names who have had a stab at managing Thai clubs without success.

Ziege lasted less than two months at Simone’s new club, which saw three head coaches come and go in 2018, while two have already departed since the beginning of 2019.

“I don’t like to talk about other people because every moment, every, match and every season is different,” said Simone.

“Now the club president wants to make a change but I don’t like to compare this situation with the past."

“Today, the club is not the same club as it was five years ago. The club has different ambitions and they want to be bigger. As time passes, we will see if I stay one week, two months, seven months, two years, I don’t know. It is a particular kind of job.

“I have a contract for this season but it’s possible that after two months, the club want me to sign for two seasons or they might decide that it’s not possible.”

The Italian was part of the great AC Milan side of the nineties, playing alongside the likes of Marco van Basten, George Weah and Ruud Gullit. The striker won two UEFA Champions League winners medals and four Serie A titles in Milan.

He would later have spells in France with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco and his coaching career has seen him take charge at Monaco, Laval and Tours in France, while his most recent post was at Club Africain in Tunisia.

But someone with Simone’s impressive playing profile but modest coaching career will find it tough to be a success in Thailand where the lifespan of coaches can be very short.

The challenge begins when Ratchaburi host Muang Thong United in Thai League action on Sunday, and Simone will be hoping for an auspicious start to indicate that he will not be just another high-profile disappointment.


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