Gary White: new Nantong Zhiyun F.C Manager


Gary White has been announced as the new Nantong Zhiyun, the team currently play in China's League one, and are based in Nantong, Jiangsu. White has taken the job in China after being fired by Tokyo Very in Japan's J2 League.

White meets karma

Gary White has built up a good reputation and has shown he is a good coach at the international level and during his time with Shanghai Shenxin.

Having managed to get every international side, he coached to improve their rankings.

These have ranged from the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Guam, and Taiwan all improved their rankings under Gary White.

Then with Hong Kong, they qualified for the East Asian Championship final round for the first time in many moons.

There were theories that White had been manipulating the rankings, but I don't go along with this theory. He did a good job managing all these nations by implementing a winning attitude, and his SOUL philosophy. I've forgotten what SOUL stood for now, but it was some kind of footballing mental nonsense that players will either buy into, or they won't.

After leaving Taiwan because of issues with the Taiwanese FA, he ended up becoming the new boss of the Hong Kong national side. He only managed them for the second round of the East Asian Championship in Taipei, and two friendly matches.

During that competition, they defeated Taiwan, Mongolia, and drew with North Korea ending level on points in the group with the North Koreans.

By scoring one more goal, they qualified for the finals of the East Asian Championship ahead of the North Koreans. This is something which hadn't been done for years, and White was rightly lauded for it.

Right after this competition finished, the word was coming out of the ground that he would be leaving Hong Kong, this was hard to believe at the time but turned out to be true. It was confirmed he would be taking charge of Japanese club side Tokyo Verdy in the second tier of Japanese football.

It was no secret he wanted to manage a club side, instead of a national one but to only manage a team for five games and then jump ship is a bit of a boot to the bollocks. Therefore, Gary White getting a boot in the bollocks from Verdy seems like karma finally caught up with him.

Backwards to move forwards

The from Japan to Chinese League One (China's second tier) side is a big move back.

As the quality in the third tier of China will be much lower than that in the Japanese second tier. White struggled at Verdy, amidst rumours that he was primarily disliked by the players who clearly didn't buy into the methods that had worked so well for him in the past.

Maybe he does so well with smaller nations and lower clubs because they're more likely to tolerate someone who sometimes comes across as sounding arrogant.

People often say there is a fine line between extreme confidence and arrogance. When you add in the language barrier and having to communicate through translators or work in different cultures, then that confidence could easily be misconstrued as arrogance. (We have never met Gary White, but he is very confident in interviews). I believe White speaks Japanese to a reasonable level, but even if you communicate in a second language and are good at it, you'll still make mistakes.

Gary White as dropped down a few levels after being fired by Tokyo Verdy, but sometimes you need to take a backwards move before you can move forward again. And, I believe White will get another shot at a decent club side, especially in Asia where he has made quite a name for himself.


  1. From what I've heard there was a lot of politics behind the scenes in Hong Kong so its not that surprising that he took the Verdy job when it came up.

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