Herbert grabbing the limelight

14:38, Oct 22 2011

Welcome to The Ricki Herbert show!

Not content with the country's top two coaching jobs, Herbert is now destined for a third gig.

He is taking over New Zealand's Olympic football team should they qualify for the 2012 London Games. What a back-handed compliment for boss Neil Emblen.

On one hand, Waitakere's Emblen has been given a great opportunity to develop his skills with the Oly-Whites' qualification campaign.

But on the other, apparently he is only fit to guide them to London, at which time Herbert takes over.

Emblen has played in the English Premier League and as a coach he's taken Waitakere to two national championships in as many years.


I have no doubt he would have the respect of every player in the Oly-Whites squad, whether they are Premier League or domestic-level players.

He's also been an assistant coach for the last few All Whites campaigns, where you would think Herbert would have passed on his guiding principles around the structure, style of play and standards expected in a national team set-up.

Surely, a true leader would recognise and encourage the need to develop successors. That is, unless Herbert thinks he'll be around forever.

What does this say about his ambition?

The fact that he clearly isn't aspiring to rise to the next level as a coach and challenge himself by taking on a much bigger club or national team?

People who are content to protect their comfortable patch and ensure they're in a position of power for as long as they can – is that what football in this country is about?

If you boil it down, this set-up is the same as Graham Henry coaching the All Blacks, the Junior All Blacks and the Crusaders at the same time.

I struggle to imagine anyone prepared to swallow that pill.

Rather than put trust in new, passionate and talented coaches such as Emblen, Herbert is set to forever dine out on a Rory Fallon header and the exceptional leadership of Ryan Nelsen.

And what does the whole scenario say about Raul Blanco's role?

He is employed by New Zealand Football to be a technical adviser.

If a former Socceroos and Australian Olympic coach isn't trusted to help guide someone of Emblen's ability at the London Olympics, then why is he employed by NZF in the first place?

Danny Hay is a former All White

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