Friday, 10 September 2010

England & Mediocre Managers

So today 3 managers have said they would be interested in the England job with Harry Redknapp, Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce all declaring that they would be interested in taking the job – a job that, at the moment, is going to have a manager in place until 2012 anyway.

So why are these managers putting themselves forward now? Well this is, as usual, mainly the fault of the media and there not so secret campaign to oust Capello in favour of an English manager – you don’t hear managers in other countries asked if they’d be interested in a national team job that is becoming available in 2 years time so why do we do it? If a young, incredibly talented manager is around and asked ‘would you be interested in the England job at some point in your career?’ like the Portuguese media ask Mourinho who obviously has a long list of trophies so young is understandable but not boot the England job in 2012 around with these managers is just pointless.

Yes none of them have had a crack at a big title winning team but there’s a reason for that – because they aren’t on that level when it comes to management. The media, and it seems the F.A, have become so blindingly obsessed with having an English manager it seems that the whole question of whether they have the ability and skill to take England to the next level now doesn’t matter – and isn’t that how England ended up with a foreign manager in the first place?

If the job became available in 2012 and Jose Mourinho said he wouldn’t mind having a go at it does anyone think that the media would say thanks but no thanks, you’re not English? Of course they wouldn’t, they’d all fall over themselves to have him appointed because he’s a media darling and also happens to be a half decent manager. The FA couldn’t even decide on whether the next manager should be English or British, the only difference being Martin O’Neill would be eligible under the latter, with Club Wembley and F.A chiefs arguing over this technicality. Nationality should not matter, no one knows what the situation will be in 2 years and if Jose wants the job it would look very foolish if he couldn’t get it because of the F.A’s silly statement. It would be as foolish as trying to appoint Luiz Felipe Scolari the new manager only for him to turn it down because of the media pressure and watch the media squirm as they try to blame everything else but them.

When you look at the likely candidates none of them are likely to reveal themselves to be tactically astute motivational geniuses, Harry has got a chance at Spurs to test his hand in the Champions League however I think he will struggle to get his players to adapt to this level, he was incredibly naive with his formation and team selection for the first leg against Young Boys Bern. His record is not really one that justifies a manager of a national team that is still highly thought of in the footballing world, he also enjoyed his wheeler dealer reputation until recently, and it won’t go away no matter how much he swears at interviewers because he encouraged it in the past, but now his name is mentioned with England he wants to be taken seriously and not seen as a wheeler dealer character – enhancing this image with a well past the deadline day £8m deal for Van Der Vaart only hours after saying he wasn’t bringing anyone in. The incident with Robbie Keane and several of the Spurs players that went away for Christmas in 2009 also shows that maybe he doesn’t have the discipline and respect that he needs over the England players.

The only other English manager of note is Roy Hodgson who is facing a torrid time at Liverpool with recent stories about RBS taking a more aggressive stance with Liverpool’s debts and the owners, if Hodgson can perform some sort of miracle and get Liverpool in to the top 4 then that will seriously reinforce his claims to be given a chance and he does have experience in both European football and International football as well however in 2 years time he might not want the job because he feels a duty to Liverpool, or they get some mega rich investor that will give Hodgson a chance to be the man to take the league back to Liverpool, or it could also go downhill and see him not really take the club anywhere but just slide into mid table level but we shall see what happens, although this further proves the point that talking about a manager now for 2012 is a pointless as many things could change.

Until Sam Allardyce or Steve Bruce do something like win a cup or develop a good team then their names shouldn’t even be mentioned with the England job, have they really done anything between them to be considered? Fabio Capello has won 5 Serie A titles, 2 La Liga titles and of course the Champions League but Bruce or Allardyce are more qualified to do the job because they are English. Sounds a bit stupid really put like that, there is no way either of those 2 are more qualified for the job so why should it make a difference?

The fact of the matter is that for the next 2 years, finishing with Euro 2012, Fabio Capello will be the England manager and the whole country, media and fans alike, need to get behind what we currently have and stop being too extreme with reactions of ‘oh we could win the thing’ or ‘our national team is so rubbish’ and other responses that get trotted out because at the end of the day it makes it sound like were paying Capello £6m for 2 years to just baby sit the team until he goes and an English manager comes in, is that really what the England job as been reduced to? Any English manager that will be linked to this job wouldn’t be able to compare their club record to Capello’s and the only reason they’d be considered is because they are English.

These 3 managers have been pushed now, by both the media and themselves, because they understand that now an ‘English manager of England’ is the hot topic and if they can force the issue now then it they can keep it going, imagine if Capello masterminded a Euro 2012 victory (and I’m not saying for 2 seconds he will), would the press care then about the fact that he’s Italian? Would anyone care? Of course not, the FA would probably make a last ditch attempt to keep him on because when it comes down to it nationality doesn’t really matter.

Steve McClaren was English and look how that went......

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