Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Football: Taylor appointment doesn't yet make sense

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is looking forward to the addition of new backroom staff member Pete Taylor. Photo / Photosport
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is looking forward to the addition of new backroom staff member Pete Taylor. Photo / Photosport

Peter Taylor's appointment to the All Whites coaching staff may prove a good move - but there are some aspects of it that don't yet make sense.

The former Leicester City manager and one-game England coach was unveiled on Friday as the newest member of Anthony Hudson's support staff, a little over 12 hours after a brief statement announcing the resignation of assistant coach Alex Armstrong.

Curious stuff, especially as some of the playing group weren't told about the change ahead of time.

Armstrong won't be missed. Though he was close to Hudson, his main strength was fitness training and conditioning rather than the technical side of the game. He was an old school type and his sharp manner often betrayed his military background.

It's obviously been decided that Hudson needs more experience around him, and Taylor will certainly offer that, ahead of the challenges of the next 12 months.

He has managed 11 English league clubs (including Crystal Palace, Bradford, Brighton and Hull, as well as the Foxes), had two stints as England under-21 coach, took charge of the Three Lions for one match after Kevin Keegan's resignation and preceded Hudson at Bahrain.

The 63-year-old offers a 'been-there-done-that' appeal, handy for the upcoming campaigns.

But the release also stated that Taylor would monitor "the form and fitness" of our European-based professionals, such as Winston Reid, Chris Wood, Ryan Thomas, Henry Cameron and Bill Tuiloma. Again curious, as all those players are certainties for the squad, if available. Reid is one of the best defenders in the Premier League, Wood is a proven Championship scorer and Thomas is one of the hottest young talents in Holland.

Taylor might help manage the relationship with their respective clubs but his expertise might be better employed with New Zealand's mid-range players, those based in Australasia who are trying to push on to the next level.

But the planned arrangement might be the most cost effective for NZF, and means Taylor doesn't have to relocate from England. It's also similar to the situation in 2009, when Australian-based Raul Blanco was brought in.

The NZF hierarchy decided Ricki Herbert needed an extra sounding board, apart from his assistant coaches, which Hudson also alluded to on Friday.

"He [Taylor] will give me another viewpoint on things," said Hudson. "You don't want people the same as you, you want a different viewpoint, you need different experience and you need a different voice."

- NZ Herald

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