DEBATE: Should John Herdman seriously consider English football interest?
We're talking John Herdman's EFL interest on OneSoccer Today (7PM ET/4PM PT). Catch this CanMNT segment premiering on YouTube.
Just months after leading the CanMNT back to the World Cup for the first time in 36 years, could head coach John Herdman soon be leaving Canada for a new challenge?
It seems far-fetched given his attachment to the country, but global interest is certainly growing in the Canadian bench boss, who according to the Mirror’s John Cross, is now attracting interest from some big clubs in England.
It looks like relegation-threatened Premier League side Burnley, who recently fired longtime manager Sean Dyche, is interested in the 46-year-old Herdman, as well as Championship sides Blackburn and QPR, among others.
So, could Herdman indeed be on the way to England, possibly as soon as this summer?
The good news, at least for CanMNT fans, is that is quite unlikely to happen. The interest will probably grab Herdman’s attention, no doubt, especially given some of the money involved in the top divisions of English soccer right now... but having put a lot of effort into helping Canada break their World Cup drought, it's unlikely that Herdman leaves before at least seeing that through later this year.
Plus, considering that during his time as Canadian coach, he's gone to lengths such as knocking on doors and pleading with sponsors just to get enough funds to put together camps, it’s also even more unlikely that Herdman leaves right before Canada is set to receive a big payday for making the World Cup. Especially given that Herdman told The Athletic last year that part of the reason he was so eager to stick around to coach the CanMNT after a nearly decade-long stint with the CanWNT was to make the World Cup and get access to those potentially program-altering funds, it’s clear that he wants to see this project through to a certain point.
John Herdman: “I had to knock on the door, two years ago, to find some money for a camp in January.”— Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW) March 29, 2022
Something tells me he won’t have that problem now… #CanMNT
At the same time, this is a good warning to Canada of Herdman's growing stock. As he admitted in the past, this isn’t the first time England, where Herdman is from, has come calling with some ambitious projects, so Canada is going to have to be increasingly wary of such proposals, from a growing number of nations, too.
Because of that, Canada is going to have to be careful to ensure that they’re able to keep Herdman around long-term. As they get set to also co-host the 2026 World Cup, which Herdman has also been doing a lot of long-term planning and plotting for, losing him ahead of then would be a blow, one that would leave a big hole to be filled.
For what it’s worth, however, should Herdman choose to leave for a new challenge, the CanMNT will have no shortage of suitors to be his replacement. Already, the very-decorated Carlo Ancelotti, currently of Real Madrid, recently noted that he'd "love to" helm Canada one day, and he is unlikely to be the only top manager watching on with a keen eye.
But while that interest will be flattering, as one famous person said, "You don’t know what you have until it’s gone," something that Canada will certainly ponder as they look to build off of what Herdman has built into 2022 and beyond, as they fend off the growing-interest in the CanMNT boss.
🐐— CPL News ⚽️🇨🇦 (@canplnews) March 28, 2022
John Herdman is the first ever coach to lead a men’s and women’s team to the FIFA World Cup! Oh, and both were with Canada 🇨🇦#CanMNT | #CanWNT | 📸: Canada Soccer by Martin Bazyl pic.twitter.com/ThwfjR3M35