It’s been far from the ideal start for Angelo Alessio at Kilmarnock. In the Italian’s first two competitive matches as Killie boss, they’ve been knocked out of Europa League qualifying by Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads.
But he isn’t the only coach-turned-manager to get off to a shocking start in Scotland. Step forward, Ian Cathro.
European exit, what next?
Following Killie’s European embarrassment, big pressure is mounting on the new manager to prove he can handle the reigns. He hasn’t been a head coach for over a decade.
Prior to becoming Antonio Conte’s right hand man, he had only managed Serie C2 teams Idolise, Massesse and SPAL (now of Serie A).
Why do Scottish clubs feel it necessary to appoint coaches that aren’t certified managers?
Alessio the new Cathro?
When Hearts appointed Ian Cathro as ‘head coach’, the Scottish media threw superlatives towards Craig Levein, Ann Budge and everybody associated with the capital club for such an ‘outside-the-box’ appointment.
Like Alessio, Cathro boasted a phenomenal CV having worked alongside some top managers. But only as a youth coach or assistant manager.
First Cathro became assistant to current Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo at Rio Ave and Valencia. Then Cathro later joined Newcastle United as assistant to Steve McClaren.
Following McClaren’s dismissal and Rafa Benitez’s appointment, Cathro was retained by the Spaniard as part of his coaching staff.
Tyneside to Tynecastle
Less than a year later, he swapped Tyneside for Tynecastle. His poor record truly speaks for itself. Now reunited with Nuno at Wolves as a first team coach, why can the likes of Cathro not take the next step in becoming managers?
Killie legend Kris Boyd appeared to be spot on when he questioned whether Cathro could cut the mustard at Hearts. He must be left uninspired by his former club’s latest appointment if their European exploits, or lack of, are anything to go by.