John Herdman will have an exciting, but undoubtedly, difficult challenge on his hands over the next few weeks, as Canada prepare for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The tournament in Qatar this winter will be the first edition of the major sporting spectacle that the Maple Leafs will be a part of for 36 years, with the team having failed to qualify for the competition since it was held in Mexico back in 1986.
It was an event that saw the team come last of the 24 teams that took part, but with Herdman at the helm, and a greater level of quality in regard to the players available, there will be plenty of optimism and buzz around their chances of a successful FIFA World Cup.
Herdman: More Than A Coach
Indeed, the Canada Men’s National Team has been able to enjoy plenty of success in recent times, with the team having been able to turn things around and become a force within the CONCACAF region, and Herdman has to be considered a huge part of the reasoning why.
The English manager – who took the job after guiding the women’s Canadian team between 2011 and 2018 – has been able to put together an impressive win record with the men’s team. As of writing, he has a 68.89% win record, having won 31 of the 45 matches played, with four draws and just 10 defeats.
However, what might be considered more impressive is the fact that the 47-year-old is not just the manager of the men’s team. In fact, he has a huge influence on the future of Canadian soccer, which is perhaps why the nation is doing as well as they are and why they have been able to continue to improve year on year.
Indeed, Herdman was also appointed the men’s national director. This came with the responsibility for all age groups from under-14s upward, thus helping to shape the country’s game from grassroots and beyond. During his tenure in charge, he has seen the team go from 72nd in 2021 to 33rd in the FIFA World Rankings ahead of this year’s upcoming major spectacle.
Herdman Does Have FIFA World Cup Experience
With the tournament just a matter of a short few weeks away, Herdman and his backroom staff will have already been preparing as much as they possibly can ahead of the trip to Qatar, with the coaching staff wanting to ensure they have a successful competition and one that can put Canadian soccer on the global map.
Indeed, the Englishman could potentially be a great man to do this, as he does have experience of competing at the event, albeit the women’s edition. During his first role in management, he guided the New Zealand women’s team to the 2007 and 2011 competitions, thus giving him some experience of what will likely be faced.
However, while he has an impressive record as the coach of the men’s team, there will be many that will be questioning just how far the Maple Leafs can go when they take to the field in the Middle East this winter.
With sports betting on the rise across the Great White North, fans are now placing wagers on their national team and the appearance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already providing them with a number of options.
Indeed, the fascinating moment for Canadians to play your bets on the most reliable sports betting sites has since arrived, and with the biggest tournament in the entire sporting world set to commence shortly, it is no surprise that there are many looking at the markets and odds that involve their national side.
Many will be considering the team as a potential dark horse given that they have not been to the competition for almost four decades, meaning there could be potential value available, although with a tricky Group F ahead of them, there will be many that will be trying to make predictions regarding how far they can go…
Just How Far Can Herdman Lead Canada At The 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Considering the 68.89% win record that Herdman has managed to compile for himself as manager of the Canada Men’s National Team, it would not be a surprise if there were fans all across the Great White North that were excited about what could potentially happen in Qatar.
However, given the fact that the Maple Leafs are about to face a challenge unlike any other that they have faced in recent memory, the win record might take a hit this winter; especially when they will need to go up against Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco.
Indeed, their three Group F opponents are among some of the biggest in the global game and have plenty of experience competing at major sports tournaments, something that Canada does not necessarily have outside of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Furthermore, the European nations have performed well in recent editions of the tournament, with Belgium having reached the semifinals and Croatia being runners-up in the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup that took place in Russia. The African side are no slouches, either.
It is important not to underestimate what Herdman and his group of players – which will likely include Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David – can achieve when on the pitch, as football is all about being a game of 90 minutes and anything can happen. However, when looking at things on paper, it does make for grim reading as a Canadian fan.
With it being the first FIFA World Cup in 36 years and the fact that they will also co-host the 2026 edition alongside the USA and Mexico, there is no doubt that there will be excitement around the Canada Men’s National Team and Herdman is a key reason why there is so many looking ahead to the tournament.
It remains to be seen if Herdman can keep things going as well as he can, but there will be many that will be cheering him and his squad of players on as much as possible!