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Lothar "Matthäuski" perhaps?

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Lothar MatthäusLothar Matthäus In recent weeks, the circus that is the Macedonian Football Federation has been slowly but surely cutting down a list of candidates for the vacant NT Coaching position recently made vacant by Srečko Katanec's well documented resignation.

As per usual, there were many submissions made by in-adequately qualified Macedonian candidates. As well as this, there were foreign coaches, who have only a few seasons of coaching experience with mid to low tabled first division sides in less than spectacular national competitions. On top of this, the shortlist was topped up with the usual suspects, Nikola Ilievski, Cedomir Janevski, Dragan Kanatlarovski, Gjoko Hadzievski etc...

The media too, who wanted to suggest their own candidates, in order to fill back page newspapers decided to throw up some foreigners such as Dimitar Penev, Branko Ivanković and of late, media circles have decided to consider the great, yet ludicrous idea of Mircea Lucescu taking the helm, although I think his billionaire bosses at Shakhtar might have something to say about that? Also, with the Romanian NT position also available, one would think that maybe Lucescu might have a second shot at that position before Macedonia even beeped on his radar?

So the question is, where to, or who to now? The turnover rate of Macedonian coaches is unbelievable. The politics involved too, is also getting dirtier & dirtier by the day. No doubt, if a former coach like Ilievski or Hadzievski were to get the nod, before they had even scheduled a training camp, shadows in the backroom would be sharpening their knives and plotting their downfall...again. The FFM know this, and are now leaning towards a fresh face rather than re-appoint a candidate who has already attempted to squeeze results out of the NT before.

So with many names having a black-line ruled across them, the only local name who has the credentials with a question mark next to them would be Janevski? And it seems that this may well be the path that the FFM take.

However, 2 weeks ago at a dinner with László Csaba, (former assistant coach of Hungary alongside Lothar Matthäus & now coach of Scottish premier league outfit Hearts). He told how his friendship with Lothar is still very strong, & the two still speak often. With a great deal of certainty he told how Lothar's management made contact with the FFM regarding the vacant position at the helm of NT.

I can only assume that he is not enjoying his time in Israel, & that after his reasonably successful stint at Partizan, he does not mind the Balkan lifestyle with his homeland only a short 4 hour flight away.

With a name like Lothar Matthäus at the Helm, I'm certain that the players would not take him for granted, nor disrespect him as they have allegedly with Katanec and many before him. The man oozes respect, class & knowledge. He has had some solid managerial results at club level, and his choice of talent with Macedonia, one would suggest is a better selection than what was available to him during his time as Hungary coach? If the FFM baulk at Matthäus' price tag, or do not even explore the idea, they would be derelict in their duties as a federation and will unfortunately leave Macedonia's football lovers watching yet another local fail, whether it be via bad managing or bad politics in the backroom.

An opinion piece By Erik Bickford

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