With the influx of money in English football, even the Championship have benefitted from the rise in cost of TV rights, meaning they can attract better players and better managers.

You only need to look at the likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa, both boasting Champions League winning managers at the helm of their respective clubs in Rafael Benitez and Roberto Di Matteo.

England’s second division is also becoming far more reputable around Europe, with managers now starting their full-time careers in the Championship when they probably could have picked up a job in their home country’s top league.

This is exactly what Jaap Stam is doing.

Currently in charge of Reading, the former Manchester United defender was appointed manager on the 13th of June, and has so far led the team to a respectable eighth spot after eight games, all the while trying to instil a possession-based style of football within the squad.


One man who admires Stam’s decision to try his hand at management in the Championship is Yann Kermorgant, who has started all but two games under the Dutch manager this season.

Speaking to France Football, he said: “Coaching in the Championship isn’t shameful. Japan Stam has had an incredible career. He’s played with the biggest names in football at Ajax, Manchester United and Milan.

“However, he knew how to be humble enough to put himself at this league’s level, all the while trying to put in place his vision of how football should be played.”

The Sir Alex Ferguson pupil spent five seasons in the Netherlands as an assistant manager at FC Zwolle, Ajax and Ajax’s B team before taking the job at the Madejski stadium.

It’s a step up, certainly, but, as he did when he was a player, he seems to be coping with the pressure.