Sam Allardyce has claimed that Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will ‘go anywhere’ to prove he has what it takes to be a manager.
With Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson heading to Saudi Arabia this summer, some may have missed Fowler’s own appointment in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the 48-year-old was hired by second division side Al Qadsiah. It’s Fowler’s fourth managerial job in four different countries.
Some will – fairly – be cynical about the Scouser taking on such a job. But according to Allardyce on his No Tippy Tappy Football podcast, Fowler still has serious managerial ambitions.
“I know Robbie really well now. He’ll pack his bags and go anywhere to try and prove that he can be a manager,” said the veteran coach. “He’s been India, he’s been Australia, now he’s in Saudi. All that’s to prove that he can come back here.
“His goal in taking the Saudi job – obviously the money is attractive but it’s not just that. It’s to prove that, hopefully he can get his team promoted and he wants to actually get back here and prove he can manage at the level in England, which I hope he does.”
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Fowler hoping for Saudi success
With Gerrard and Henderson stationed at Al Ettifaq, it’ll be good for them to have a familiar face not too far away.
Obviously, Stevie and Fowler are close having played together at Liverpool and England for many years. Meanwhile Henderson will be familiar with the man nicknamed ‘God’ through his extensive work as an ambassador for his former club.
Khobar – where Al Qadsiah are based – and Dammam, home of Al Ettifaq, are a mere 25 minute drive from each other. It’s fair to assume that Gerrard, Fowler and Henderson will be seeing a fair bit of each other.
For Fowler, he’ll be well used to managing in far-flung lands by now. As well as the jobs Allardyce mentioned, the former England striker also managed Thai based side Muangthong United over a decade ago.
In all of those four jobs though, Fowler has barely lasted a year. He’s going to have to change that to show that he can stick it out as a manager.
There will be an argument that even if he does that with Al Qadsiah, it won’t further his ambitions in England. And, to be honest, we have to subscribe to that view.
If Fowler wanted to show that he could cut his teeth in England, there’d surely be a lower league side willing to give him a chance. Show up and grind out here, and opportunities could arrive further up the ladder.
Some may admire the Reds legend for putting himself out of his comfort zone in less fashionable footballing countries. That’s fine, but ambition is one thing this pathway definitely lacks.