Capello has resigned after not being able to reconcile the differences he had with the FA over them going over his head with the John Terry fiasco and now leaves the speculation door wide open.
Many are already talking about Harry Redknapp as the next England manager, leaving Tottenham fans restless to say the least. There have been other names thrown around – Stuart Pearce, Jose Mourinho, Arsène Wenger and even Roy Hodgson, and if you go on some betting websites you can even have a punt on some ridiculous bets such as Steve Bould, Phil Brown, Paul Jewel and many more.
Who not to appoint
I can understand Stuart Pearce being announced manager until further notice but I do not think he has the qualities or abilities to lead the National side to victory in the European Championships and beyond. His record with the U21’s speaks for it’s self, especially last years U21 European championship, which was a shambles, you can read what I wrote about that here. With Capello gone, maybe it would be time for Pearce to move on as well and try getting involved in club management again and build his CV some more.
And then there is Roy Hodgson. He is still ranked highly in the bookies eyes, is that because he is the best manager around, or is it because he is British and because he comes across as he would be more of a lap dog to the FA than other might be, sorry Roy but you don’t come across as the most assertive man around. Hodgson had a good few seasons with Fulham, who he shouldn’t have left for Liverpool, and was looking like a candidate for the job, but since then and after a disastrous time at Liverpool and doing average at best with West Brom, he has how fallen by the wayside.
The Highly unlikely
Arsène Wenger has come out and said, on multiple occasions that he would not do the England job as he feels it should go to an Englishman, also he honours his contracts and I don’t think he would do the job part time either. I seriously doubt that he would take the job, but also don’t think he would be the right man for the job either. Now as U21 manager, now that makes more sense.
Martin O’Neill is another name that is quiet high on the bookies list, but I don’t think he would like to be treated the way Capello was, and in the same scenario would have done what Capello did also. He can be hot tempered, and sometimes seen as too volatile to work with the FA as I don’t think that the FA would want to work with someone that would challenge them as much as he would – much in the same way why England never had one of the best managers around as their manager, Brian Clough. He is a great manager, and he is showing that with how well Sunderland are doing under his management, and that is just it. He has only recently taken the job, and I don’t see him leaving so soon, not even for England. O’Neill is a smart man and he knows the trouble it would bring his life working with the FA and right now he is enjoying his time with Sunderland so I really don’t see it happening at all.
The credible candidates
Guus Hiddink is a very good manager, at both club and national level and could be a serious contender for the job, especially if the FA are not opposed to hiring another foreign manager. He has won six league titles with PSV as well as a UEFA Cup. He had an amazing time in charge with Chelsea winning the FA Cup only losing to Tottenham in the League and Barcelona, on away goals, in the Champions League. He was in charge of Holland for 3 and -a -half years where he reached the quarter finals in Euro 96 but then in the following World Cup reached the Semi-Finals. People always expected more from the Holland side of 96/98 and that will be looked back upon as somewhat of a failure, but that is what happens when you have high expectations – something all England fans know about – but with South Korea and Australia though he left behind a legacy. When he took over South Korea he didn’t do some with everyone’s approval, but in the end, Hiddink became the first-ever foreigner to be given honorary South Korean citizenship and even the World Cup stadium in Gwangju was renamed the Guus Hiddink Stadium after the tournament. Now if England won the European Championship and World Cup with Hiddink in charge I very much doubt that Wembley would be renamed, or another other English stadium. Those honours were not given to Hiddink for nothing but because he guided South Korea to the Semi-Final of the 2002 World Cup – losing to Germany due to a Michael Ballack goal. South Korea topped the group on 7 points, beat Italy in extra time and then beat Spain on penalties en route to the Semi’s. He guided Australia to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the first time they have ever reached it, and got them out of the group stage which had losing to Italy to a late penalty on the 95th minute converted by Francesco Totti. He spent four years with Russia with the highlight of that reaching the Semi-Final of Euro 2008. His time with Turkey was not as fruitful resigning when he was unable to reach the upcoming Euro’s with them. He is a great manager, and has achieved amazing things with Australia and South Korea and did well with Russia. His time with Chelsea is a bonus and he could do well, but there is something that has the same feel for me as it did with Capello, I can’t put my finger on what it is, but it just wouldn’t feel right.
Now I having nothing negative to say about Alan Pardew’s managerial abilities, but when he took over Newcastle – like many others – I was sceptical. He has gone on to do a miraculous job that has Newcastle Champions League contenders. They way he has Newcastle playing and the way he has motivated the players is more than commendable, but I cant help but feel that it may be a little too soon for him, but like stated with, I wasn’t sure of him at first for Newcastle, and I was wrong. There is also one other huge attribute he has that is in his favour, being able to work with seemingly difficult superiors. To compare the FA and Mike Ashley is a little hard as they both are hard to deal with for different reasons, but Pardew has shown that he can handle the pressure and work with Ashley and it not effect the team, so it is fait to say that he could do the same for England. I think I may have talked myself into him being England manager as during the process of writing this I have been picturing him in my head as England boss, and it doesn’t seem to foreign an idea, hmmm….undecided.
The bookies Favourite.
For a long time I have said that I think Harry Redknapp would be a great England manager, and I believe that he should have got it instead of Capello when he was appointed. England need a manager that is going to motivate the players. That will be able to get them to play as a team and win. Harry has shown that he can do that with the work he is doing at Tottenham. They are in a position where they could be challenging for the Premiership crown, which is something they have not been able to do as far back as I can remember. For me the FA Cup win with Portsmouth was enough for me to believe in him and that he could achieve things with England. He build that team of players that people had given up on or hadn’t given a chance, and it wasn’t the first time he had accomplished more than his means. What he did with West Ham all those years ago they have not been able to repeat with another manager. In the end what is his downfall is what happens off the pitch. He may have come out of all the recent trials and tribulations with nothing sticking to him, but the preconception is always been there and will always be there. ‘Arry the wheeler dealer has always been there – I hope he doesn’t read this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJBsI7RAuvk and that is the problem. Many have been sceptical whether the FA would offer the job to Redknapp because of that persona that he seems to have, whether he likes it or not. For me that is part of Redknapp’s appeal. I have always enjoyed his interactions with the media and everyone knows what to expect from him on deadline day as it is almost as if everyone is waiting for that car cameo to happen. Would he be the best man for the job? Maybe not. Would he be the best Englishman for the job? Yes.
The best man for the job
So there question is, who is the best man for the job? Well there are, in my opinion, two of the greatest managers of all time that are still in management and that is Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. Now I think it is obvious that Sir Alex Ferguson is 1. Never going to b offered the job and 2. Would never accept the job. So that leaves Jose Mourinho. Any football club – okay, except Barcelona – club or country would hire him if they could. If Chelsea don’t take him back Abramovich is mad, if the FA don’t sound out of he is interested, they are mad. The list of his accomplishments is truly amazing. The fact he has won a trophy every year he has been in management since 2002 is astonishing. The Primeira Liga twice, the Premiership twice, the Serie A twice and the only thing stopping him winning La Liga has been Barcelona but that curse looks like it is going to be broken this year. He has won the Champions League twice. Once with Porto and once with Inter. He won the Uefa cup with Porto along with the Taça de Portugal. He won the FA Cup once and the League Cup twice and the Coppa Italia and in Spain the Copa del Rey and personal accolades are just as impressive. Primeira Liga Manager of the Year, twice; Premier League Manager of the Year, twice; Serie A Manager of the Year, twice; UEFA Manager of the Year, twice; UEFA Team of the Year, four times; Onze d’Or Coach of the Year, twice; FIFA Ballon d’Or Best Coach and IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach of the Year.
Accolades and trophies aside, he is a man that commands respect every club he goes to. The only reason I see why the FA might not want to offer him the job is to save face, as honestly he might say no, and who would blame him. One day I can see Mourinho managing England, and as much as I would love to see him to it now, I don’t think it will happen.
So who do I think should be the next England manager?
Before I started writing this I would have said Redknapp with out a seconds doubt, but now I have think I have talked myself into Alan Pardew, so honestly I would be happy with either.