Mixu is the man in Hong Kong

It is now official, Hong Kong has looked to Europe again for a new manager, this time in the form of former Finnish striker Mixu Paatelainen. It will be hoped the man will be in the job for more than two minutes and can help guide Hong Kong forward. 

Mixu impressive record 

If you don't know too much about the man from Finland here goes. Before we move to him as a manager let's first look at him as a player. The forward played almost his whole career in England and Scotland and became a cult hero everywhere he went.

This was never more the case than when he played for Bolton in England and Hibernian in Scotland. First looking at Bolton who in the 1994/95 season where promoted to the English top flight with him as the main striker.

The team was promoted to the Premier League in his first season with the club, which then meant that Paatelainen became the first Finnish footballer to play in the Premier League. Although he could not keep the club up he was a key player and his style of play was a big favourite among the fans.

The player was such a fan favourite that he was once used in a sketch for Peter Kay's show Pheonix Nights which was a popular TV show in the UK in the early 2000s.

Moving on from his time with Bolton he played for clubs like Aberdeen, Dundee United and Wolves. Although is the best time in the Scottish Leagues came when he played for the Edinburgh side Hibernian. In total, he played 135 games and scored 40 goals between 1998 and 2004.

His time in with the club as a player will be most remembered for helping the team back to the top flight of Scottish football. Well, this and scoring a hat trick in an Edinburgh Derby with Hearts in a match that ended 6-2 and is one of the most memorable games in Scottish football history.

Away from club football he played 70 matches for Finland and scored 18 goals for his country. He played his first international match on 9th September 1986, against East Germany. He then retired from international football in 2000.

Then as a coach 

I think it would be fair to say for Paatelainen to be good as a coach as a player would be very hard but in his time as manager, he's achieved some good things. Let's be honest a management career that's gone from Cowdenbeath in Scotland to Hong Kong with Finland, Latvia and Thailand in between is not a usual route.

In his time as manager around the world, he's had some very good times, while as all coaches do he's endured the bad times. The good times saw him win a league title in the lower leagues in Scotland with Cowdenbeath, while he won manager of the season in the 2010-11 season with Kilmarnock in the top flight of Scottish football.

Then his time with his country Finland was not too impressive as he was not able to turn the fortunes around of the country. It should be said he had a hard task with their best generation of players retiring.

He was then the coach of Dundee United as they were relegated from the Scottish top flight in 2016 but it should be said again the reasons for this was not his poor management. The club had previously lost key players and had no money to rebuild. Just for an example three of the players they lost are now with top clubs in the form of Sporting Lisbon, Southampton and Liverpool.

Then after his time in Latvia which was short lived he's found himself in Asia coaching Hong Kong, where I fully expect him to succeed. For fans wondering what to expect I would say you will get direct football and a well-organised team.

It won't always to be pretty but he will have the side set up well and will know how to get the best from players. Also if Hong Kong does qualify for the Asian Cup with Mixu at the helm maybe the man in his mid 50's will bring back his trademark flip.

Comments