Burley set to tread a well-worn path

GEORGE Burley treads a well-worn path out of Portman Road and into international management. Sir Alf Ramsey was the first, and undoubtedly the most successful, after leading England to World Cup success in 1966.

Derek Davis

GEORGE Burley treads a well-worn path out of Portman Road and into international management.

Sir Alf Ramsey was the first, and undoubtedly the most successful, after leading England to World Cup success in 1966.

He is also, arguably, Town's most successful manager as he captured the First Division title that has eluded all managers since, after successive promotions.


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His departure for the national job brought about the dark ages for Town in many respects and it was only when Sir Bobby Robson took over that the club remerged as a potent force.

By turning the Blues into a powerful force once more, going close to the league title a couple of times, and winning the FA Cup 30 years ago, followed by clinching the UEFA Cup, Robson is rightly afforded hero status at Portman Road.

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His exploits also brought him to the attention of the FA and he was appointed England manager in 1981 and many would argue by taking his country to a World Cup semi-final he has been England's best boss since Sir Alf.

Sir Bobby's international involvement has not been confined to England and he has only recently stepped down from a senior consultancy role in the Republic of Ireland set-up.

Burley's successor, Joe Royle has been linked to take over from Steve Staunton as the full-time manager of the Republic.

It is not just the managers who have become international bosses.

Bryan Hamilton left the Blues as a player and developed as a club manager before eventually taking over at Northern Ireland.

And then there is Frank Yallop, the popular Canadian who managed his country, with Jason De Vos as his skipper for a while.

Perhaps there is something in the water, but without doubt Portman Road has become a breeding ground for national managers.

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