The wait for the appointment of the next England manager continues with the news that Glenn Hoddle has expressed an interest in managing England again for the European Championships this summer. But who is best suited to taking on ‘the impossible job’?
It is a subject on which every English football fan has an opinion and one involving essentially two main questions; should the manager be an Englishman? And is it better to win international tournaments regardless of how the team plays, or should the team also play attractive football? Answers to these questions seem to be part of deciding who is best suited to being England manager.
…solving the conundrum…
Harry Redknapp seems to have been crowned by the media and fans alike as being the most obvious choice. He is English, solving the first question, and his sides, particularly his current Tottenham team, play football that is both entertaining and results in victories. However, international football is different from club football (an obvious point you might think, but one not made strongly enough in this debate) and the best club managers do not necessarily make the best international managers – Sir Alex Ferguson’s time as Scotland manager being just one example. International football also tends to be more defensive, as a result of the lack of time a manager has to create a consistently potent attacking team. Thus sometimes it is necessary to kill a game and frustrate better opponents. Can Harry adjust to that necessity? I am not so sure.
Then there is Stuart Pearce. He has the advantage of working with a lot of players at international level before through his work with the under-21s and through being Fabio Capello’s assistant. However, his lack of top managerial experience counts against him and though he has passion in abundance, this alone does not win tournaments. But, if the FA chooses to appoint a caretaker manager just for Euro 2012 and then make a long term appointment after the tournament, they could do worse than pick Pearce.
…reputation may have suffered…
Roy Hodgson is also an option, but probably more as a long term appointment. His reputation may have suffered as a result of his disappointing time at Liverpool but he has the advantage of having managed at international level before and his style of football, while not necessarily entertaining, does win football matches. Hodgson would be a sound appointment, but I still think that his spell at Liverpool set in stone a view of him as a man unsuited to management at the very highest level. This might count against him overall.
Above all, I want to see the England team winning international tournaments. It does not matter to me whether or not the manager is English, as long as he can lead England to victory in major competitions. Foreign options therefore include Jose Mourinho (like him or loathe him, an enormously successful manager), or Luiz Felipe Scolari, a man probably more successful at international level than at club level.
…given a fair chance…
One thing is for sure, the FA are taking their time with this appointment, and let us hope that whoever they choose will be given a fair chance to prove their credentials and lead England to victory.