Wednesday, September 28, 2011

England to get an English Manager?

This whole idea of having an Englishman is common in England, as is common to blame the foreigners for everything, it was like that after the World Cup, too many foreign players in the league no good young talent etc. Now I know I'm biased being foreign myself, and I think this idea of blaming the foreigners it's an easy one and more of a cop out. To be fair I would probably agree that national team players and managers should be local nationals but modern football is not like that, and I have no problem with getting the best man for the job.

Which leads me to who I think SHOULD be the next England manager but won't. Unfortunately I think the FA is what's standing in the way of England's success. One has only to remember the issue with Ferdinand's drug test years ago. The FA does not want an opinionated manager that wants control over the whole of the development of English football. If they did, Mourinho would have got the job before he went to Inter after Sven left, allegedly he produced a dossier over what he wanted and needed to take England forward, it was simply too ambitious for the FA. Similarly, a man that has great knowledge of English football and players, is a good tactician and a great motivator, Martin O' Neill was also disregarded before the appointment of Capello, Martin simply takes no prisoners, that does not sit well with the powers installed at the FA. Both Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson would bed the next two outstanding choices but once again they would want to oversee and have much more control than the FA are prepared to concede.

So England will not get the best manager they should get for the role. They will get someone from outside, like Capello, attracted to the money and a chance to prove themselves internationally but that are not going to be too much of a hindrance. But obviously, because the powers that be at the FA are spineless, England will get their English manager because that's what the press and fans are calling for, regardless of their suitability for the role. Redknapp would do well to motivate and lift the spirits of the players and deal with national press, but I fear he would be found wanting against the good teams tactically. Pearce, who is being groomed right now for job is I think the most likely candidate, he's an unknown quantity but he does have a lot of passion and has worked with good managers.

The other English managers, or British even, I fear are not qualified, simply because in fairness to most of them, they have not the chance to prove themselves, Allardyce, Pulis, Coyle, Pardew, even Moyes, all of whom have done great jobs but never at a top team. The most qualified is of course Steve McLaren who did well with Twente, but has once again self-destructed his career with catastrophic appointments at Wolfsburg and Forest.

England do really need a Mourinho or a Wenger, someone to think long-term, who can take risks, can handle big egos, and reform the system. But before that can happen the FA must change first.

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