Featured Matches
Previous
Seattle Sounders FC
Los Angeles
ESPN2 2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Richmond Kickers
Crystal Palace
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Norwich City
Nice
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Richmond Kickers
Crystal Palace
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Brøndby
Silkeborg IF
2
0
FT
Game Details
AIK
Falkenbergs FF
3
0
FT
Game Details
BK Hacken
Djurgarden
2
1
FT
Game Details
Seattle Sounders FC
Los Angeles
ESPN2 2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tigre
All Boys
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Belgrano de Córdoba
Independiente
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 16, 2009

China bank on young coach Gao to arrest slide

Gao Hongbo was named as China's new coach on Thursday and the youngest man to take the helm in 30 years will need to show experience beyond his age to arrest a slump in form that has led to the sacking of his predecessors.

The popular 43-year-old former national striker guided Changchun to the Chinese Super League title in 2007 and his appointment was met with a 60 percent approval rating in an online survey, the Beijing Morning Post said.

Previous national coaches have come in for savage abuse from fans and the media over China's repeated poor performances, most recently the team's failure to reach the final round of World Cup qualifiers.

Gao was sent to a closed camp for a three-day grilling by senior officials in February with three other candidates; temporary caretaker Yin Tiesheng, 2004 Olympics boss Shen Xiangfu and former Shanghai coach Wu Jingui.

An announcement was expected in mid-March but the Chinese Football Association was split between Gao and veteran Shen, media said.

Serbian Vladimir Petrovic was the last full-time coach but his contract was not renewed after China was eliminated from the qualifiers for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

A formal confirmation of Gao's appointment is likely to come next week, with his first task to lead the squad through the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter criticised China last year for a policy of hiring foreign coaches and then sacking them after just a few poor results.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.