Jaap Stam and his little horses

Jaap Stam and his little horses

Jaap Stam is one the big names who is interviewed in the first edition of Football Life magazine.  The coach of the promoted PEC Zwolle is nowadays busy with his managers license  and his desire to return to the Premier League is great.

Some quotes from FL:

“But in the summer of 2001, my English adventure was suddenly over. Months before my book Head to Head was published, we had been informed in a meeting with the Board and players that there was a hole in the budget. In short, one player would have to be sold.

“I didn’t think it was a problem. It’s professional football, after all, so that’s how it goes. At the same time, my biography Head to Head came out, and in it Ferguson said that his players never fell in the opponent’s penalty area. He thought that sometimes it was allowed, as it might result in a penalty kick.

“But, the Daily Mirror, which had bought the pre-publication, used the following heading for the article: ‘Ferguson teaches us to dive.’ Before that, he had said newspapers will write anything. He’d had the same experience with his own book. ‘That is all right then’, you would think, but when they needed money and a player had to be sold, he used the book and I was left to carry the can. That way, he didn’t have to say that United was short of cash.

A few days before the transfer market closed, Lazio offered 16 million. I heard it from my manager Henk van Ginkel in the car after a training session.  Immediately afterwards I got Alex Ferguson on the line. He asked where I was. ‘On my way’, I said. He asked if I wanted to wait for him at the nearest petrol station. A bit later he jumped into my car and told me that I could leave for Lazio Roma.

“Of course I was angry, but what could I do? There were two days left till the transfer deadline. After some thought, I decided to do it. David Beckham called me and tried to convince me to stay, but I felt that there was no trust anymore. Laurent Blanc was brought in transfer-free as my successor, so that United still made a profit of five million out of me after three seasons. From a business perspective, I understood later why, but emotionally it has given me pain for a long time


“What I am going to do after PEC Zwolle? I don’t know. I could have become a youth and individual coach for Ajax. Wim Jonk, the manager of Ajax youth football team wanted me to work full-time. Even though it was great to be there once a week and see former players like Frank and Ronald de Boer, Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars, I had an agreement with Zwolle, and I am a man of my word.

“When I get the top coaching qualification, I’d love to work in England again. I have had a great time there, and the English way of dealing with football is one I totally agree with – hard work and passion – and the fine football crowds. That atmosphere is one that I would love to re-live as a coach.”