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Jose Pekerman takes Colombia back to the future

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Tim Vickery | 09:11 UK time, Monday, 16 January 2012

Pep Guardiola as coach of Argentina's national team? It was an idea floated recently by Argentine FA boss Julio Grondona, but as nothing more than a pipedream.

It is very, very hard to imagine Argentina having a foreign coach. Same with Brazil.

The idea was debated briefly in the Brazilian press just over a decade ago. But that was in exceptional times, when the national team were in danger of not qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.

Over recent decades there have been very few foreign coaches in Brazilian or Argentine club football - those that took the plunge were usually gone sooner rather than later.

Jose Pekerman as coach of the Argentine national team

62-year-old Argentine coach Jose Pekerman is set to lead the Colombia national team. Photo: Getty

The other member of South America's traditional big three is Uruguay.

It is an indication of how far they had slipped that after missing out on the World Cups of 1994 and 98 they swallowed their pride and appointed a high profile Argentine, Daniel Passarella, to take charge of their national team.

It did not last long, and Uruguay have since climbed back to the top table under the command of a local, Oscar Washington Tabarez.

Elsewhere on the continent, only two national teams have home grown coaches - and in both cases, they are building on foundations which foreigners helped to build.

Paraguay have enjoyed the most successful spell in their history, qualifying for four consecutive World Cups, never easily beaten and reaching the quarter finals for the first time in 2010, where they gave eventual champions Spain their toughest match of the tournament. The coaches behind this run were Brazilian (Paulo Cesar Carpegiani), Uruguayan (Sergio Markarian and Anibal Ruiz, with a bizarre interlude in between them from the Italian Cesare Maldini) and Argentine (Gerardo Martino).

Now they have gone local, appointing one of their best players in this process, the former right back Francisco Arce.

And Venezuela's extraordinary recent rise began just over a decade ago when an Argentine, Jose Omar Pastoriza, identified a promising group of young players.
He helped lay the groundwork, and then results improved when locals took over, first Richard Paez and now Cesar Farias.

Bolivia can claim their coach Gustavo Quinteros as one of their own.

He played international football for the country, including the 1994 World Cup. But he is from Argentina, where he was born, grew up and first developed as a footballer, only taking out Bolivian nationality after he had played in the country for a few years.
Chile are also coached by an Argentine, Claudio Borghi, while Peru have gone Uruguayan with Sergio Markarian.

These appointments clearly show the dynamic of South American football.

The British introduced the game to the continent, especially in the south cone.

It caught on with remarkable speed in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, all cities going through rapid booms of urbanisation and immigration.
The local re-interpretation of the British game soon made it an important part of national identities in these countries - who then helped popularise the game elsewhere in the continent.

Far bigger than Uruguay, and without Brazil's linguistic isolation, Argentina played the lead role in this process - perhaps more successfully in Colombia than anywhere else.
The launch of a professional league in Colombia in the late 1940s coincided with a big players' strike in Argentina.

Unable to make a living at home, some big name players moved north. Stars such as Adolfo Pedernera, Alfredo Di Stefano and Nestor Rossi left a refined Argentine imprint on Colombian football.

Carlos Valderrama playing for Colombia in 1993

Since the heyday of players like Carlos Valderrama, Colombia have lost their way as a footballing force. Photo: Getty

In 1993, when Colombia beat Argentina 5-0 in Buenos Aires (inflicting the first ever home defeat in a World Cup qualifier) the debt was obvious.

Colombia's Carlos Valderrama dominated the game like an old style Argentine number 10. It looked like the birth of a new global power.

Since then Colombia have lost their way. The Colombian school of coaches have had more success in Ecuador, where first Francisco Maturana, then Hernan Dario Gomez followed by Luis Fernando Suarez, and now Reinaldo Rueda have coached the national team.

It probably makes sense for Ecuador to have a foreign coach - it is easier for an outsider to stand aloof from tensions between the two major cities, the port of Guayaquil and the mountain capital of Quito. But it is striking that these Colombian coaches have done better with Ecuador (much smaller and with less football tradition) than at home.

Perhaps some of the explanation lies in the trauma of 1994. In that year's World Cup, unable to cope with the expectations, Colombia imploded, with tragic consequences for centre back Andres Escobar, murdered in Medellin.

The national team were supposed to be ambassadors for the positive side of their country. Instead their World Cup failure ended up attracting global attention to the drug cartel-fuelled chaos that was mid 90s Colombia.

The national team - a splendid, attractive one, capable of beating anyone outside the pressures of a World Cup - suffered a kind of guilt by association.

The team and its playing style were seen as discredited. Never since has the Colombian national side had a sense of footballing identity, a clear idea of who it is and what it is trying to do.

It is in this light that the appointment of Argentina's Jose Pekerman to coach the national team looks so positive.

Of course, it would have been better had he taken charge eighteen months ago, rather than three games into the current set of World Cup qualifiers.

But even with limited preparation time it looks a perfect fit. Pekerman played in Colombia, he has a magnificent record in youth development and his 2006 Argentina side was one of the most attractive seen in recent World Cups.

Built around the playmaking talents of Juan Roman Riquelme, it was almost a retro side, the type of old fashioned Argentine football that was so influential in Colombia.

Pekerman, then, should be able to help Colombian football get in touch with its lost identity. He is the first foreigner to take charge of the national team in 30 years.

Some might see it as a backward step. But when you have lost your way, sometimes you have to go back to go forwards.

Please comment on the piece in the space provided below. You can send questions on South American football to vickerycolumn@hotmail.com, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.

From last week's postbag:

Q: What are your thoughts about Dorlan Pabón of Colombia? To me he is a technical player with a lot of potential and a good burst of speed. Is there any chance he might make the move to Europe?
Adam Slater

I'm surprised there hasn't been more fuss about him. He's ideal for a wide attacking position, on the right in a 4-2-3-1, for example.

He's stocky, strong, very quick and can shoot well off either foot, with two goals already in World Cup qualification.

I'm really looking forward to seeing him play for Atletico Nacional of Medellin in this year's Libertadores, especially now that playmaker Macnelly Torres has returned to the club.

Pabon has attracted interest from Argentina, but I certainly think he's worthy of wider recognition.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Great blog Tim, look forward to it every monday. What are the chances of mario fernandes and elkeson getting an international call up?

  • Comment number 2.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    Hearing about the murder of Andres Escobar is one of my earliest memories, sadly. I was 5 at the time. It seems insane to me that people can get so worked up about what is, ultimately, just a game. But I'm glad for Colombia that they might finally be laying to rest some of the nightmares of their last 30-odd years.

    By the way, I would just like to officially record my amusement at the name Macnelly Torres. Any chance of him moving to the Premiership so we can hear that name on a regular basis?

  • Comment number 4.

    Colombia were always a peculiar conundrum, a large country with a wealth of footballing culture and a large population, you would have thought they would have been far more developed along the football journey.

    I think an explanation for this is the political, narcotic and social tensions that have disrupted the development. Pekerman is an experienced pro, so it will be intersting to see how Colombia adapt.

    Interestingly, quick question for Tim. Any news on a young player that was highly touted on the Football Manager games by the name of Sherman Cardenas?

  • Comment number 5.

    Harry Redknapp recently dismissed even knowing who Ganso was. What is your opinion on his development. I've heard that it has slowed since his injury, and he has lost some movement due to the injury, and this has made him less effective. Do you still see him featuring heavily in the 2014 World Cup(As a year ago he was seen has the next Brasilian Playmaker)?

  • Comment number 6.

    Great blog! Can't you do all the football blogs...insightful, interesting etc...

    Really is a conundrum! re: 3. At 11:51 16th Jan 2012, Harry Hotspur wrote: Me too, could not quite believe it! Imagine that happening to Rooney or Gerrard?

  • Comment number 7.

    There is a documentary on the Colombian golden generation and the problems the country had during the 80's/90's. The Two Escobars is worth a watch! Shows some great footage of the colombian side including the famous 5-0 win Tim mentioned.

  • Comment number 8.

    Andrew Escobar's death has been linked not to merely losing a football match, but some gang member making a bet on the match. Blaming Escobar, he shot him. But it wasn't just because someone was upset at the match.

    Colombia have a wonderful group of players and a very strong youth team. President Santos has promised the people a World Cup berth for 2014, and they are desperate to be there.

    There problem is still with expectations. When no one is watching, they do wonderfully. But when people start saying they should be winning or that they are the best, they implode. Same as 1994 and to a lesser degree 98'.

    I hope to see them at the World Cup. But they have to rediscover a playing style and they must get the most out of Falcao who has not impressed so far in the gold shirt.

  • Comment number 9.

    There is a Colombian saying about the national team that goes ‘jugamos como nunca y perdimos como siempre’. This translates to 'we play amazing like never before but lose like always'. Sadly this has been embedded into our national way of thinking.

    I have tried to find reasons why we have such a pessimistic view and what events in the past built up to this. To give one example take America de Cali in the 1980s. They reached the Copa Lib final three years in a row and lost all. Imagine the difference to domestic football if they had won all three. Extremely confident Colombian teams could have really dominated the cup if you think about the great late 80s Athletico Nacional and Millonarios teams.

    Sometimes you just need a bit of luck.

  • Comment number 10.

    @8 "Andrew Escobar's death has been linked not to merely losing a football match, but some gang member making a bet on the match. Blaming Escobar, he shot him. But it wasn't just because someone was upset at the match."

    From my readings on the subject, I recall that he was apparently shot after insulting a couple of senior drug gang members who objected to seeing Escobar out drinking in a nightclub so soon after the WC exit.

  • Comment number 11.

    PS Everytime people bring up the Andres Escobar incident I remind them of David Beckham in 98 and what could have happened to him if he had popped into the local night club.
    And what about parcel bomb sent to Celtic’s Neil Lennon! Many 5 year olds in Colombia must be wondering what the hell is going on here haha

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    6.
    At 13:02 16th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:

    Great blog! Can't you do all the football blogs...insightful, interesting etc...
    ___________________________________

    I think there is more chance of Tim being made redundant after only 8 posts in 5 hours. One of McNulty´s blogs would be up to 300+ posts after that amount of time.
    I do enjoy Tim´s blogs and he should carry on covering South America.

    I would rather see Chick Young producing the general blogs and acting as the chief football writer instead of Phil McNulty. Chick has a great way with words and I really enjoy reading his articles.

    At the moment one of Phil´s blogs can be summarised with one sentence, for example :
    " Kompany tackle , red card or not ?....discuss"

    Not very informative, but that generates pages of posts in a matter of hours.

  • Comment number 14.

    13 - Whisper it but Phil McNulty's blogs are considered to be of quite poor quality, never mind the standard of discussion that follows.

  • Comment number 15.

    post 12 is an imposter - a false me, using some of my favourite lines - but i would never have mario fernandes down as a left footer!
    Who is this masked imposter?

  • Comment number 16.

    Ho ho ho

    Rumbled! I was hoping you wouldn't check in for a while! (and ive no idea who mario fernandes is!)

  • Comment number 17.

    The intention of this piece was not just to focus on Colombia, but to provoke a wider debate on the value of foreign coaches.

    England , for example. I never liked the Sven years - for my taste it was too cautious, counter attacking stuff, and not a good fit with traditional English identity.

    or Africa - do people feel that European coaches have been good for African national teams. not my area at all, but I have my doubts....

  • Comment number 18.

    16 - fair play to you, masked imposter. you've laid a glove and a half on some of my more bland pronouncements.

  • Comment number 19.

    Well done Tim! You show you have a sense of humour, unlike some of the other more precious english journalists who make Thierry Henry look like someone with the skin of a Rhino!

    I will unmask myself later (cue much anticipation... )


    I actually think Sven was much better than Cappello, though whether England has received value for money from either is hugely debatable.
    By the time Cappello has gone, it will be more than £50m in wages for a couple of quarter finals, never mind the embarrassment.
    You have to ask where the pride has gone at FA HQ?

  • Comment number 20.

    "The intention of this piece was not just to focus on Colombia, but to provoke a wider debate on the value of foreign coaches."

    Tim/All,

    Decent article on this subject here...
    http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2009/11/02/foreign-vs-local-the-great-coaching-debate/

  • Comment number 21.

    19 - oh mighty masked imposter,

    I always strive to remember the insignificance of my own opinions in the great scheme of things - now that you have reminded me how bland some of them are I will have to strive all the harder.

    I await your unmasking with interest....

  • Comment number 22.

    14.
    At 14:24 16th Jan 2012, Tim Vickery - BBC Sport wrote:

    13 - Whisper it but Phil McNulty's blogs are considered to be of quite poor quality, never mind the standard of discussion that follows.
    ________________________

    You are quite correct !
    But Phil´s blogs are worth reading just to see the posts from "Soul Patch" , complete fiction , but very entertaining, and very well written.

  • Comment number 23.

    re 13 - no problems at all with you having a laugh at me, oh mighty masked imposter. But in all fairness I would prefer it if you didn't use your disguise (my identity) to have a pop at Phil McNulty or anyone else. Agreed?

  • Comment number 24.

    Fair enough! I assumed people would immediately realise it wasn't you as it would be quite out of character, but to redress the balance, Phil McNulty you are one of the BBC's most esteemed bloggers as the number of responses shows all too well!

    Once I reveal myself, how about a brazilian shirt name?
    I was thinking "Javier Maskedimposterano"?

    (ok maybe its more argentine than brazilian)

  • Comment number 25.

    Always interesting comments Tim. Being married to una Colombiana de Medellin I always read and listen to your comments. Colombia really should be achieving more than they do; they discover one or two players but they are quickly exported. They do not seem to encourage players with skill who can take defenders on and run at players - perhaps they need a nip of aguadiente prior to the games!

  • Comment number 26.

    Regarding foreign coaches I think that there must be compatibility regarding the culture and language.

    Wenger could easily coach African French speaking nations with success, Ivory Coast for example.
    Guardiola could easily coach any country in Central or South America (maybe Brasil being the exception.
    Scolari was a big success managing Portugal, dont know why he left the job ?

    I do not think Capello is right for England because of his latin background and his poor command of the English language. He also has a different perspective to the English players on philosophy, tactics, man management , etc.
    A British coach is ideal for England , failing that a North European coach , Hiddink comes to mind.

  • Comment number 27.

    I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with having a foreign coach as either the club manager or as a national team manager. Surely a different culture and approach to football improves the footballers that are managed?

    Look at Rinus Michels at Barcelona for example. His ideals and culture ultimately set the culture and ethos for the team and the national team. Jimmy Hogan, the father of football, helped to shape and spread the world of football to the rest of europe. Helenio Heirrera is a further example of his achievements to Italian football and the catenaccio.

    In modern terms, one doesn't need to look no further than Arsene Wenger. Guss Hiddink has done significant work for many national teams, the list goes on.

    People talk badly of Sven, Tim - You have personally said you didn't agree of his tactics. But look at the record of previous "english" managers and how england were when Keegan was in charge. Maybe the semis and quarters of the major competitions was the best anyone could get out of the "golden generation"?

  • Comment number 28.

    #24

    Once I reveal myself...

    ***********************************************

    Not sure this is the correct forum for revealing oneself or indeed if photographs are allowed.

    Tim, I went to see Columbia a few years back play Ireland at Craven Cottage.

    I think the game ended 1-1 but in truth they gave us the runaround for most of the game with a guy in centre midfield (Freddy something or other I think) pulling the strings. Is he still around if you know who I'm referring to?

  • Comment number 29.

    27 - Club football and National teams are different. You don't have to be from Manchester, Milan or Manaus to play for their teams.

    International football should be about the best your country has to offer, from the players to the guy who puts the cones out.
    Its understandable that "minor" nations might look for outside expertise but for England to do it is just embarrassing.

    If you thnk England did better for having Sven, was it that much better to justify the £50m outlay on foreign coaches salaries?

    Clubs are going bust over a tiny fraction of that amount.
    And think how much could be acheived with £50m put into coaching courses.

  • Comment number 30.

    28.At 15:35 16th Jan 2012, cashforhonours wrote:
    ___________

    Freddy Guarin by any chance?

    He was one of the players that starred in FC Porto's Europa League triumph last season. Very much a box to box midfielder that can tackle, dribble, shoot etc. A top quality player. Given man utd's problems in central midfield I am surprised they have not made enquiries.

  • Comment number 31.

    27.
    At 15:34 16th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    People talk badly of Sven, Tim - You have personally said you didn't agree of his tactics. But look at the record of previous "english" managers and how england were when Keegan was in charge. Maybe the semis and quarters of the major competitions was the best anyone could get out of the "golden generation"?
    _______________________________

    I used to wonder what input Sven actually had ?

    He just used to sit there silently watching the games, it seemed that all Sven did was the "PR" part of the job. Tord Grip took charge of training, and it looked like the players decided the tactics amongst themselves while on the pitch.

    Sven has not changed in the other positions he has held since leaving the England job. I am amazed he has not been found out yet

  • Comment number 32.

    29.At 15:40 16th Jan 2012, Tim Vickery - BBC Sport wrote:
    _______________

    "27 - Club football and National teams are different. You don't have to be from Manchester, Milan or Manaus to play for their teams." - You don't have to be from England to manage England!!

    "International football should be about the best your country has to offer, from the players to the guy who puts the cones out.
    Its understandable that "minor" nations might look for outside expertise but for England to do it is just embarrassing." - There's no shame in having a foreign coach. Portugal had Scolari who did an excellent job. Greece has Rehangell who won them the Euros.

    "If you thnk England did better for having Sven, was it that much better to justify the £50m outlay on foreign coaches salaries?" - I'm not sure where this figure has been plucked out from? Outlay for which foreign coaches? Name me the last English coach that has won the premier league or a european trophy?

    "Clubs are going bust over a tiny fraction of that amount.
    And think how much could be acheived with £50m put into coaching courses." - I don't think this has anything to do with foreign coaches!!

  • Comment number 33.

    26.

    @15:34 16th Jan 2012, repo wrote:

    Regarding foreign coaches I think that there must be compatibility regarding the culture and language.

    ----

    Spot on.

    It's a nonsense to suggest - as some do - that only Englishmen can manage England, only Frenchmen can manage France and so on. A team should pick the best available gaffer.

    But there probably does need to be a cultural (if only in football terms) similarity.

    So black african coaches could probably gaffer any black african team. North european coaches could probably run any north european team. And the same goes for latin countries and so forth...

  • Comment number 34.

    31.At 15:44 16th Jan 2012, repo wrote:
    ___________________

    Everyone seems to rather judge the foreign managers of Sven and Capello rather harshly. How many trophies have those guys won between themselves? Yet people speak as if they're completely incompetent!!

    I've read a few Ex England autobiographies and they're praiseworthy of Sven for the organisation, the approach he took. Their only critiscism was that he was more diplomatic. Gary Neville often compares Sven to Fergie and cites that whilst tactically, they were on par, Fergie was more stubborn and was happy to be "disliked" by players or could deal with confrontation where as Sven was looking to appease all parties.

    As I've said, compare Sven and Capello with their english counterparts and predecessors. Keegan and Maclaren. Would english fans honestly say they'd prefer to have these plodders in charge?

  • Comment number 35.

    30.
    At 15:41 16th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    28.At 15:35 16th Jan 2012, cashforhonours wrote:
    ___________

    Freddy Guarin by any chance?

    Given man utd's problems in central midfield I am surprised they have not made enquiries.
    ____________________________

    He has been out injured for the last few months.
    I believe Juventus are looking at buying him, so Man Utd better hurry up.

  • Comment number 36.

    Good stuff as always Tim.

    Pekerman looks a good appointment, his Argentina team played superb football. Columbia have looked a bit sterile in recent times, and he looks like the sort of coach they need right now. If they can't qualify from the 9 team league this time around though, you wonder what else it will take..

    In theory, foreign coaches should be able to bring success in some instances. Surely some African sides have benefited from European tactical nous over the past few decades? (eg Ghana in recent years have improved greatly and had a few Serbs in charge). Where most of the players already play in European club football, there is surely an argument that new ideas could be introduced to the national set-up that the players are already used to and happy to buy into.

    However, the likes of Henri Michel are not exactly a ringing endorsement - I think he's been run out of a few jobs to date! Nowadays I think the game is well developed across the world and there is less of a case for needing a foreign coach. It would be more sensible to have some sort of foreign influence at a higher, more strategic level IMO to direct funding, for guidance etc. Obviously it depends on the context!

    Some coaches are so good that they can do a job anywhere though IMO, with Trapattoni coming to mind (not only internationally, but more obviously with his club record).

  • Comment number 37.

    34: Personally I would like FIFA to bring in the same qualification rules for players and staff.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    34.
    At 15:50 16th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    Everyone seems to rather judge the foreign managers of Sven and Capello rather harshly. How many trophies have those guys won between themselves? Yet people speak as if they're completely incompetent!!
    _______________________________

    In general , not incompetent, just square pegs in round holes.
    I am sure Capello would be far more effective managing Italy than England. The same way I am sure that SAF could manage England more effectively than Capello ( hypothetically speaking as SAF is a Scot he hates England with a vengeance)

  • Comment number 40.

    Without offering too many presumptions / assumptions about African teams, I have always noticed that whilst they are abundant with physically fit and skilful players, their teams have generally lacked discipline, organisation and tactical adeptness. Of course this won't be true for all examples, but I think it is clear for many sides.

    With this in mind, you would assume that African Coaches would be set up in the same way, and could maybe give an example or reason as to why there are so few. I think a lot have benefited from european managers and as such I imagine there will be far more in the future.

    Beveren of Belgium were a good example. The team had a majority of players from Africa in the team, and would either win spectacularly or lose spectacularly. That was how they played and dare I say the "African Way". Play all out football, freeflowing not looking to be cautious or conservative.

  • Comment number 41.

    #30 repo

    Yeah, that the guy thanks.

    He was very impressive that evening, I have a feeling he might be getting on a bit though but probably not as old as Scholes...

  • Comment number 42.

    39.At 15:59 16th Jan 2012, repo wrote:
    ____________

    I agree with that, but surely Sven or scandanavian managers in general and the culture share a lot of similarities with England?

    I do think that Capello culturally has been a bad fit, but in terms of tactics, what's wrong with playing differently? Surely there's no harm in developing your outlook or mindset??

  • Comment number 43.

    41.At 16:01 16th Jan 2012, cashforhonours wrote:
    #30 repo

    Yeah, that the guy thanks.

    He was very impressive that evening, I have a feeling he might be getting on a bit though but probably not as old as Scholes...
    ___________________

    I'm sure he's only 25-26? Given scholes' career, that means he's still got another decade in football!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Awful blog.
    All that masked imposter stuff is nauseating.

  • Comment number 45.

    Pekerman was d best coach argentina had in last decade.it was really sad when he was made d scapegoat for their QF demise at 2006 WC basically on just one mistake (substituting riquelme & bringing in cambiasso.i don't think not using messi was a mistake because maxi was brilliant throughout d tournament.crespo's substitution didn't mattered much because his replacement played relatively well n even scored d penalty).Otherwise Argentina were performing better than germans.It was d pure unluck & some poor refeering which cost us d match.If pekerman was in charge till now then argentina would have been in d same level today as spain & germany.likewise surely they would have won at least one international title during that period(most probably copa).His style of play was really great which would have definitely bring best from messi n co.he was d master in youth management.best of luck Jose.

  • Comment number 46.

    2.
    At 16:02 16th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    39.At 15:59 16th Jan 2012, repo wrote:
    ____________

    I agree with that, but surely Sven or scandanavian managers in general and the culture share a lot of similarities with England?

    I do think that Capello culturally has been a bad fit, but in terms of tactics, what's wrong with playing differently? Surely there's no harm in developing your outlook or mindset??

    ______________________________

    I did say in my original post that England needs a British coach , failing that a Northern European coach.

    I disagree about Capello , in my opinion the team never looks comfortable in the way it is set up to play.
    Slow build up play from the back is not the English way, we do not have the clever interacting players in midfield that other countries have.
    We have speed and strength to attack in abundance but we seem to have stiffled that attribute.

  • Comment number 47.

    #44

    clippo, where is your fellow spammer Average BBC journalist?

  • Comment number 48.

    #47

    haha cashforhonours, you mean Tim Vickery?

    He's pretending to be in South America when we all know he's in Manchester somewhere. I'm expecting a comment from Tim around 2am our time...to make us think he's posting just before teatime in Brazil.

  • Comment number 49.

    @Special 1 #44

    I imagine there's a good chance that when you use 'd' instead of 'the' most people just skip past your post, as valid as it may or may not be.

    Great blog by the way.

  • Comment number 50.

    Ask anyone from Scotland about a foreign International Manager/Coach and you will get a resounding thumbs down. The Berti Vogts period will always be remembered as a disaster and the mere mention of his name gets less applause than a Krankies Christmas special.

    Anyone replacing Craig Brown was going to have a difficult job - expectations for the Scottish national team were, at the time, to reach the group stages of a major tournament and with a bit of luck and hope, reach the knockout stages. Since then however, just qualifying would be an achievement.

    The appointment of Vogts, who had a decent record - assisting 'Der Kaizer' in 1990 WC victory, runner up Euro 92, QF WC 94, Euro winner 96, QF WC 98 - was met with optimism at first, but the size of the task I still feel to this day was extremely huge.

    With most regular players ageing and a need to replace them, it was always going to be difficult. Ultimately Berti Vogts came and went, and he went with the blessing of Scotland - but the thing he did give to Scotland was giving players a chance at national level. Whether he wanted to or needed to is debatable. Did the players he picked have the ability to play at that level? Was he tactically out of his depth? Was the fact that he was a foreign manager lead to a lack of passion?

    Either way he reached a qualifying playoff - the first leg a 1-0 victory over Holland gave the nation hope....until the 6-0 thrashing return leg. Since Berti Vogts though, no Scotland manager has been any more successful, and this despite his legacy as ruining the national team and his name being met with ridicule.

    Personally at this moment I neither like or dislike him (ask me 10 years ago youd get a very big dislike), he had an unenviable task at a key time in Scottish football - but his legacy as a scapegoat means that it will be highly unlikely there will ever be a foreign Scotland manager again.

  • Comment number 51.

    Eduard strltsov
    @34


    Everyone seems to rather judge the foreign managers of Sven and Capello rather harshly. How many trophies have those guys won between themselves? Yet people speak as if they're completely incompetent!!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I do believe that when it comes to managing England, these two coaches are incompetent. Have England improved as a team with foreign coaching? I would have to say no and in some respects they have gone backwards, they are predictable.

    Certainly qualification for a tournament is not a success, when you examine the process, everything is set up for the nations like England to qualify and it should be automatic, every time. Yes Capello and Erickson won trophies at league level but you canot win tournaments adopting the same approach. At tournament level it's one defeat and your out.

    Englands most successful managers have in fact only won one league title between them. What all of the successful England managers showed in their reign, was the ability to find a team to win a match. Capello and Erickson appear to look at not losing a match, as the priority, instead of looking to win it first.

    If we cannot win a tournament, then at least we should be able to say, that we play a brand of football that is played without fear and is entertaining. We will not get that with a Capello or an Erickson type, as we have witnessed.

  • Comment number 52.

    # 50 stevio10

    Conversely, Trapattoni has managed to get Ireland to the Euros with what I believe to be the worst crop of players I can remember us having to choose from.

    The football is abysmal and we have had some luck along the way, notably against Russia & Slovakia, but he must be doing something right.

    I don't believe an Irish or British coach would have achieved it.

  • Comment number 53.

    46.At 16:16 16th Jan 2012, repo wrote:
    ___________

    Lol you're right about that!! Think they need Holt and Morrison up front, maybe delap or shotton in the team for the throwings! Make them a bit more a direct outfit like they used to be!!

    But in seriousness, I don't think England will win anything unless they drastically shift their tactics and the way they play, and play to that style. Ie pointless saying they can't play from the back because they don't have "technical" players. Last time they had a tactical innovation was alf ramsey playing 4-2-4 instead of the orthodox W-M formation. Nothing's changed since then!

  • Comment number 54.

    51.At 16:42 16th Jan 2012, Londoner in exile returns wrote:
    __________________

    I have to politely disagree with the notion that they have been incompetent. What are the "expectations" for a team like England? Ahem, sorry "realistic" expectations for England? Bearing mind they're a decent side, but I think that WC / EC winners is always awfully optimistic.

    Look at the records under the 3 england managers before Sven.
    Keegan - better or worse than Sven? Didn't get out of the groups in the euros.
    Hoddle - awful at man management. Reached last 16 of WC. So still worse record than sven and capello.
    Venables - Reached semis in euros (home nation). Well sven reached semis also. Capello we will wait and see.
    Even before then.....
    Taylor - Joke.
    Robson - before my time, but probably best performance in WC after ramsey.

    How have the England team become worse?? I just think they've failed to develop since 1966, living off their past glories. Their record in euros and WC's has been poor. If anything Sven and Capello have brought far more stability to the england side.

  • Comment number 55.

    Really don't see any problem with foreign national coaches (as long as they actually bother to learn the language!). I mean, what real difference is it to having an English manager?

    People talk about national football identities, but I think this is a bit outdated. How many national sides actually have this "national identity" nowadays. Can anybody think of any?

  • Comment number 56.

    I love the idea of a foreign coach. As a Colombian and football fan I'm glad Pekerman is now the coach for Colombia. He is a very accomplished coach. As much as I liked Leonel Alvarez, I think he will be able to accomplish more than him.

    In my humble opinion, Colombia's best move would have been to snatch Marcelo Bielsa as soon as he was done with Chile. The man is an attacking genius! Look what he is doing with Athletico Bilbao. Colombia's goal scoring drought of last World Cup would have been a think of the past. Hopefully Pekerman will do with Colombia what he did with Argentina in the past (including improving the youth system).

  • Comment number 57.

    Its easy to criticise eriksen and capello, but they done alot better than keegan and maclaren. The last good english coach was terry venables, who benifitted from having the experience of managing abroad, hence improved tactically. Only now can we claim to have an english manager who is good eneough to actually manage england, harry redknapp.

    I think the english managers arent tactically good eneogh for international football but they are improving as a consequence of the many top foreign managers in the premier league. They have raised the standards by introducing more emphasis on
    tactics and Physical conditioning (eg rotation). You can see the difference it has made as there are alot more promising young english managers but they still lag way behind compared to scottish managers.

  • Comment number 58.

    You have to pick the best manager for the job, whatever nationality they may be. Unfortunately there just haven't been any top english managers around recently, Harry is the best candidate we've had in a while but he hasnt got any experience outside English club football.

    Personally, I think we should get Hiddink.

  • Comment number 59.

    53. At 16:55 16th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    Lol you're right about that!! Think they need Holt and Morrison up front, maybe delap or shotton in the team for the throwings! Make them a bit more a direct outfit like they used to be!!
    ------------------------------------

    I live in mainland Europe and the locals watch the EPL over here and we discuss it every Monday morning. .
    Benfica , Sporting , or Porto can cope with Man City, Arsenal or Man Utd match in Europe with a disciplined display, but the idea of a potential game against Stoke actually frightens them to death.

  • Comment number 60.

    I agree Pekerman is the right move for Colombia. If you take a look at the colombian squad, they have every chance to get into the next World Cup. The only issue I see is the central defenders; over the last decade Ivan Cordoba (Inter), Mario Yepes (AC Milan) and Amaranto Perea (Atletico Madrid) were the owners of that position. Now they all are in the last years of their careers and they aren't at the top level that they once were. Pekerman needs to find a couple of quality centre backs for the qualifiers and a more offensive mentality than Bolillo Gomez's side in last year's Copa America.

    Hopefully we will see Colombia at 2014 WC.

  • Comment number 61.

    Bcfctim
    @55
    People talk about national football identities, but I think this is a bit outdated. How many national sides actually have this "national identity" nowadays. Can anybody think of any?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Germany, Italy, Holland and thats in Europe.

    You could show me a match and blackout the faces and team colours and, instantly I'd know if you showed me a game involving the German national team. They do have an identity.

    National identity has to include a nations style of play, their approach to internationals. It helps if a nations league football is in unison with the national side. England and the EPL do not appear to be a happy fit.

  • Comment number 62.

    54.
    At 17:03 16th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    __________________

    I have to politely disagree with the notion that they have been incompetent. What are the "expectations" for a team like England? Ahem, sorry "realistic" expectations for England? Bearing mind they're a decent side, but I think that WC / EC winners is always awfully optimistic.

    Look at the records under the 3 england managers before Sven.
    Keegan - better or worse than Sven? Didn't get out of the groups in the euros.
    Hoddle - awful at man management. Reached last 16 of WC. So still worse record than sven and capello.
    Venables - Reached semis in euros (home nation). Well sven reached semis also. Capello we will wait and see.
    Even before then.....
    Taylor - Joke.
    Robson - before my time, but probably best performance in WC after ramsey.

    How have the England team become worse?? I just think they've failed to develop since 1966, living off their past glories. Their record in euros and WC's has been poor. If anything Sven and Capello have brought far more stability to the england side.

    Sven never made the finals of the Euro's.

    WC 2002: QF defeat to Brazil
    EC 2004: QF defeat to Portugal
    WC 2006: QF defeat to Portugal

  • Comment number 63.

    The 'value' of a foreign manager depends only on the results achieved during his tenure. Jack Charlton was the right man for Ireland, Hiddink was the right man for South Korea and Russia but Turkish fans may not agree.

    The obvious point to raise here is that these appointments tend to be for countries not necessarily tipped as tournament winners; success is typically linked to qualifying for major tournaments and then progressing as far as possible.

    Whether England should be classed as one of these countries is for another debate but the major difference between the FA and their counterparts in the likes of Germany, Italy, Argentina, Brazil and so on is that the latter would never appoint a foreign manager as it would be seen as a national embarassment.

    However, I do think the FA deserves some credit. They were brave enough to look past this and decide to appoint a foreign manager. Now, I don't believe either of the have covered themselves in glory but the very fact that the FA looked at what was on offer from English managers and decided it was not good enough should be applauded.

    PS - Sven never made a Semi Final in any tournament.

  • Comment number 64.

    Apologies for the school boy error - I had thought England did make the semis. Either way the matter is irrelevant given Sven outperformed Hoddle, Keegan and Maclaren.

    @ Repo - Yeah that's an odd one that teams like Stoke frighten defenders, and I suppose this is down to the style of play in Portugal (ball to feet etc). Surely then it would suggest England should adopt the "stoke" model for its games?

    Again England is being compared to the likes of Germany, Brazil, Italy etc but these are all pedigree nations. They all have consistent success over the last 40 years. The other difference is that all of the countries mentioned, have produced excellent coaches throughout the years. Compare the likes of Hitzfelld, Rehangel, Scolari, Ancelotti, Lippi, etc with their english counterparts of Keegan, Redknapp, Maclaren and the difference is striking.

  • Comment number 65.

    Footbal...The only industry in the world where a black man from a shanty town in Cameroon can become the highest paid. If only the rest of the world was as meritocratic as football, we can only dream..ecommerce terms and conditions

  • Comment number 66.

    64. et all. Some fair points made. England are not Brazil or Italy in terms of success. Even Uruguay have more World Cups than we do, so anybody who compares us to the giants of world football is living in the past.
    To widen the debate a bit, I'd say that there is nothing worng with a foreign manager, after all, many an Englishman, Scot or Irishman has managed both foreign clubs and countries, especially in the early days.
    However, regardless of success, I'd say the size of a nation and the importance of football within that country is the most important factor when selecting a national manager. As Tim as said before, football is often used to express a national culture or mentality, so a foreign coach might not be a great choice, regardless of how successful he has been in the past.
    I always should that Erikson's England played in the right style, but the problem was this decision making during the match. Basically, he wasn't really a knock-out competition specialist. You could argue that neither is Capello as most of his club succes has been league titles, not cups. For me, Sven's style of play wasn't the problem, but his perceived greed was. Capello has slowed the England team done too much, yet we still don't defend like Italians, probably because we are not Italians.
    The argument about needing to be successful in club competitions is also flawed. Winning a league title will not mean you can win a world cup as the two are completely different disciplines. I'd like to see an Englishman in charge after Capello, but if Redknapp doesn't want it, let it go to the best man, wherever he's from.

  • Comment number 67.

    Yes Argentina left a huge imprint in Colombia, but so did the Uruguayan Jose Ricardo De Leon... his pioneering usage of the 4-2-3-1 occurred years before the Spanish "claimed" credit for it... Colombia was one of the first sides --- @ the international level ---to exploit the double-pivot midfield pair (way back in 1990) and that was due to De Leon's influence. Maturana's assistant during those years, Hugo Gallegos, also has gone on record saying that De Leon's influence can be seen in that 1990 World Cup Squad.

  • Comment number 68.

    In terms of CV no English manager (including Redknapp) can compare to Capello

    However, does club management allow Capello to buy players that fit in with his ideas and beliefs, while managing a country leaves you at the mercy of their footballing culture?

    Therefore since Capello cannot buy players, he has to work with very English players, as he is not compatible with our lads, maybe its better we got old Redknapp in. He would at least understand what he is dealing with.

  • Comment number 69.

    I find the whole 'nationality debate' for who should manage England somewhat depressing.

    If you believe that having a foreign coach is somehow an infringement of the rules of international football, then I can't work out which law you're interpreting to come to this conclusion but I do respect the rules and would bow to the judgement of my peers on this.

    However if you just don't like the idea of someone for a job simply because they're foreign then you're on both rather questionable and, in my opinion, rather tasteless ground.

    If you believe hiring (for example) a foreign manager is perfectly within the rules and someone applies. Excluding him on the grounds of his nationality seems frankly, something bordering on illegal!

    I don't want to trample on anyone's sense of national pride. But history teaches us only too well that nationalism is a dangerous thing to introduce to everyday life. Let the players do the talking on the pitch in a final. The manager can settle for taking the credit for getting them there.

  • Comment number 70.

    I believe that Pep Guardiola can do a great good job as coach of Argentina's national team. He his a very smart manager and Argentina's national has a lot of talents playing in different countries. Additionally there are a lot of countries that have engaged foreign coaches with good results, including England ...

  • Comment number 71.

    @61

    Germany I'll give you. But as for holland, what exactly happened to that in the world cup final? Their national identity seems to be fading fast.

    Surely a successful team should revolve around the style that best suits the current players at it's disposal, regardless of previous styles decades ago. Furthermore, styles switch depending on who your opponent is. Holland thought they wouldn't beat Spain playing their normal game, so they changed to a more aggressive, long ball style. This is called tactics.

    For another example, look at brazil. If any team had a national identity it was them. But recently this has changed. Under dunga they played a much more defensive, counter-attacking game. Now, they have a big, strong, imposing forward in hulk, they have changed style to best suit his attributes. This approach seems common sense to me.

  • Comment number 72.

    @64

    Please god don't let England play like Stoke!!!

  • Comment number 73.

    72.
    At 15:47 17th Jan 2012, Bcfctim wrote:

    Please god don't let England play like Stoke!!!
    ___________________________

    They do play like Stoke if they are losing after the 70th minute :)

  • Comment number 74.

    Well, we play like Stoke whenever crouch is on he pitch to be honest :)

  • Comment number 75.

    Well, they play like Stoke whenever crouch plays to be honest :)

  • Comment number 76.

    66.At 13:31 17th Jan 2012, SlovakIron wrote:
    _____________

    Some interested points and I take your point about a the need to have a "cup" manager. I think it goes further than that, ideally you need somebody who is a good man manager, someone that can inspire the team but also see the nuances in players that takes years of experience to spot (this is what you need the league experience for). The cup experience is needed for progression in the euros / WC, knowing how to play, rest your players etc, but i think it's important to have the european cup experience to become acquianted with the continental (patient build up, less physical) style of football. I mooted Rafa Benitez as a perfect choice for England coach, or someone that was on the verge of prior to Sven, Roy Hodgson.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Harry will reject England because he'll want to push Spurs for hte title after they finish 3rd, and Engalnd will look to Pearce.

  • Comment number 77.

    72.At 15:47 17th Jan 2012, Bcfctim wrote:
    @64

    Please god don't let England play like Stoke!!!
    _____________

    But that's more akin to the english style of play!! Direct football or "kick and rush" depending on your opinion of it. Quick strikers and wingers, with talented accurate midfielders and a big lad up front to head it on, shearer & owen, heskey & owen. gerrard and becks in midfield.....etc

  • Comment number 78.

    @78

    We've already tried that with crouch but it didnt work.

    If you look at our best players: Rooney, Wilshere, sturridge, Gerrard, Parker, young I don't see how these would fit into that style of play.

  • Comment number 79.

    ** @77

    I haven't quite sank as low as to argue with myself! ;)

  • Comment number 80.

    Hang on, just re-reading your post makes mine look pretty silly ;)

    Yes, I suppose that sort of kick and rush football is best suited to England, but there are different varieties of this and we certainly don't have to play like Stoke to achieve that.

  • Comment number 81.

    I think that it really depends on the quality of the manager first and then certain other important factors, a select few being can he communicate with the players? Is he willing to take the job? I think these are much more important than the age old question, which at sometimes may seem outdated, should we get a foreign manager or a national one?

    Scolari is a capable manager and he speaks Portuguese, this makes him more suitable to the Portugal job, of which he won nothing but lost out in one Euro to the eventual winners. I personally prefer the England of Sven, his England was winning but eventually lost in one hell of a game to the eventual winners of the World Cup in 2002, to the England of Capello. Capello being the more capable of the two, on paper at least, but not speaking the language. When he first became the England manager I thought how the hell do they expect him to communicate with the players? Of course, this is not a critical factor that prevents people from being hired. I cannot honestly believe Zico spoke Turkish before managing Fenerbahce, and he did a hell of a job with them.

    Of course, this article forgets a very important factor, a very very important factor indeed. The players. I would like to see Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho or even Sir Alex Ferguson manage the likes of a New Zealand or a Jamaica and get far in any major competition, being foreign or not, speaking the same language or not.

  • Comment number 82.

    Someone has mentioned it here already and I'll repeat his sentiments especially as one or two (Nos. 8 & 10) of you are getting it all wrong about Andres (not Andrew)!! Escobar. The documentary "The Two Escobars" was shown on ESPN classics and was an amazing piece of television explaining how the country, the drugs and the football were all so closely related. I dont think people realise how special Andres Escobar was to the people of Colombia. he was on the verge of being the first Colombian to play in Serie A with Inter. It is a real must-watch for any football fans. Have you seen it Tim?

  • Comment number 83.

    80.At 17:42 17th Jan 2012, Bcfctim wrote:
    ________________

    Lol - it almost looks like you were debating with yourself!!

    Yeah I take your point that england have got good players, but do they collectively form a good team?

    There's nothing wrong with playing long ball or direct football. There's as much skill in that as there is playing tiki taka football. You still have to be accurate with passes, forward players have to be tactically aware and move into channels, look for space etc.

    When england are set up to play that way, and have the right players, they are very adept. The problem is that they try and fit a system on the players, rather than players into a system. Eg the direct style works better with quick wingers able to run into channels, Sven failed because he had gerrard, lampard and scholes in the same team and virtually no width.

    Look at man utd, though they can play a more continental brand, they are essentially exponents of the direct style. Wellbeck, hernandez and rooney up front, carrick, anderson, scholes, cleverley in the middle providing the probing balls, and the likes of nani, young & valencia on the wings to run into the channels.

  • Comment number 84.

    81.At 02:39 18th Jan 2012, M0r0nit0 wrote:
    __________________

    Of course, this article forgets a very important factor, a very very important factor indeed. The players. I would like to see Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho or even Sir Alex Ferguson manage the likes of a New Zealand or a Jamaica and get far in any major competition, being foreign or not, speaking the same language or not.
    ________________

    Don't know about Pep, he's only managed one club, so it's fair to question whether he could repeat the success at barca at any other club be it Man Utd, Milan or Charlton, Foggia etc.

    Fergie had success at the start of his career when he was in the lower leagues with the likes of East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. This was followed by breaking the old firm domination of the league bywinning it with Aberdeen, and he took them to win the cup winners cup against Madrid.

    Mourinho has also had success with multiple clubs, so I'd argue that even if you put them in charge of the "Dog and Whistle" they'd still be a success.

  • Comment number 85.

    The England squad is hardly a good place to start when it comes to comparing any manager, nevermind just the foreign ones! Not a man on the land could get that mob of egotistical individuals to play well together, the team needs a total revamp!

    But with regards to the matter at hand, I think bringing in a foreign manage CAN be a good move provided they're able to find the balance between the cultural style of play, and what they'd like to incorporate into the squad. A manager that found this balance and utilised it perfectly was Bertie Vogts during his time as Scotland manager.

  • Comment number 86.

    77.At 16:53 17th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    _______________

    To add to your shortlist, I'd like to suggest the partnerships of Andy Carrol and Darren Bent up front, With Darron Gibson and Jack Wiltshere pulling the strings in midfield.

  • Comment number 87.

    86.At 10:54 18th Jan 2012, Ryan_Giggs_Wrinkley_Forehead wrote:
    ____________

    As much as I'd love gibson to pull the strings for England, he's an Irish international so wouldn't be able to. Why not stick Ravel Morrison in there, he obviously thinks he's good enough already.

  • Comment number 88.

    84 - eduard_streltsov_ghost

    Yes, Sir Alex and Jose Mourinho have been successful with several CLUB teams, but what would they do with NATIONAL teams of a questionable ability? Afterall, St. Mirren and Aberdeen can play players without Scottish nationality, this certainly helps. You could be right, they could do extremely well and make a national team, lets say New Zealand for argument's sake, go the furthest they have ever been in any competition but I doubt they would win, which is most important. This is not to say they were not good managers for, our example, New Zealand. If this hypothetical example also came true, I doubt New Zealand asked themselves, before hiring a manager, should we hire Sir Alex/Mourinho? He is foreign you know? Shouldn't we got a kiwi one?

  • Comment number 89.

    87.At 11:57 18th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    _____________

    Was hoping it would be ANYONE but you that replied... Just for the priceless reaction they'd have given haha. I'm very much aware of his nationality, but his prestige allows him to play where he wants, when he wants! He's football's Chuck Norris.

    But on a more serious note I do think that bringing the youngsters into the team and discarding some of the more experienced chaps would be a massive step forward for England. Not with immediate effect of course, but come 2014 in Brazil (IF England qualify) it would be a more complete TEAM as opposed to the 11 individuals that have been strung together.

  • Comment number 90.

    88.At 12:28 18th Jan 2012, M0r0nit0 wrote:
    _________________

    It's an interesting point to make, an I alluded to the qualities that would be best to manage a national team. I like the comparison but I would say that Fergie's success in the early 80s with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren was akin to managing New Zealand. He didn't win anything (with East Stirling. anyway) but he drastically improved the team, and didn't have an extravagent budget to buy in foreign players. Reading from his autobiography I remember he brought in a couple players but they were scottish. AVB did a good job with Academia, and he was manager of a national team (can't remember off the top of my head, a Carribbean one like Monserrat or something) before and had positive results, but given the skill (or lack) of the players he couldn't get them to win the league etc. It's like the moneyball theory. The guy was lauded for what he achieved with the baseball team as he had them competing with the big boys, but ultimately he never won anything. So it's a bit unrealistic to expect anyone to win the world cup with NZ!!

    I think a lasting impression would be made more if a manager had changed how the national side plays football, or developed an identity that filtered down to the league. Or had a profound effect on youth development etc that improved the skill and level of players going forward. So greats in that respect were Jimmy Hogan "the godfather of football", viktor maslov and valery lobanovski, and bela guttman.

  • Comment number 91.

    @83

    Exactly, we need to play the way that best suits the players we have. We haven't done that for a long while and that's the reason we keep underachieving at tournaments. I don't think we have the best players in the world, but if we put what we've got into an effective team unit then we could definitely reach the latter stages of tournaments.

    The best way for England to play is 4-3-3, counter-attacking using the pace down the wings. Pick any two from Welbeck sturridge Walcott young Johnson out wide, have Rooney in the centre with Gerrard and Wilshere supplying him from midfield. Have scotty Parker in a deeper role giving Gerrard and Wilshere license to get forward and then a back line of
    Cole Terry Cahill Richards

  • Comment number 92.

    89.At 12:32 18th Jan 2012, Ryan_Giggs_Wrinkley_Forehead wrote:
    __________________

    LOL - I think it was on the wrong blog for that!! Wonder if Tim read it and thought it was serious?

    Yeah I think Capello should be less catious, but history will tell you that Capello rarely strays from the safety blanket. Ironically the times that he has, he's got excellent results, Real's winning season when Beckham starred, and the destruction of Barca by Milan in the CL final are two I can think of.

    I personally think that they need to remove a lot of the exp players for 2012. Cole can be on the bench, and terry and rio there because I can't think of any good CBs. maybe jagielka but he's hardly a long term solution either. But I think in the attacking sector they need to go with youth. Good defence boils down a lot to exp, but good attack could be down to youthful exuberance and a no fear / no expectations attitude.

  • Comment number 93.

    91.At 16:08 18th Jan 2012, Bcfctim wrote:
    ______________

    It's funny you mention that because I read Gary Neville's autobiog and he said many times of his england days that he was surprised nobody had adopted a 4-3-3 formation when the type of players they had called for that approach.

    I completely agree with you, majority of the english players are in a 4-3-3 formation, or know how to play in it, and it surprises me that nobody has had the epiphany to employ it!

  • Comment number 94.

    91.At 16:08 18th Jan 2012, Bcfctim wrote:
    _________________

    It's something myself and a friend have spoken about on a number of occasions. With the players England have it amazes me that a counter-attacking 4-3-3 hasn't become standard for the squad. I mean, you could take out and put in who you like, regardless of the players on the pitch, they still suit this style of play!

    The team I would play would be:

    ...............................Hart

    .......................Cahill.......Terry
    Richards............................................Cole/Baines

    .......................Parker/Barry/Rodwell
    ................Wiltshere.................Gerrard

    Walcott...............................................Young
    ...................Rooney/Crouch/Welbeck

  • Comment number 95.

    An idea would be to remove walcott from the first 11, stick Young on the right, move Rooney to the left to play in a David Villa type role, and that would open up more opportunity for young strikers to come in.

  • Comment number 96.

    @Ryan giggs

    The only thing I'd change is have sturridge on the right instead of Walcott, he's been inspired there for Chelsea this season and I think he deserves his chance.

    We have a lot of good CBs at the moment jones, smalling, jagielka, Cahill but now were moving on from the Terry-Ferdinand phase we need a strong partnership in defence. The players listed above so far have had a few odd games each, I think Capello sooner or later needs to decide on a pair he's going to stick with that will take us forward to the euros and the WC.

  • Comment number 97.

    95.At 16:37 18th Jan 2012, Ryan_Giggs_Wrinkley_Forehead wrote:
    _______________

    Except rooney is awful on the left!! Plus there's the argument of whether he should even play, given IMO england are a better side (collectively) without him. What I mean is that they seem to solely rely on rooney to provide, rather than playing more as a team. They did the same with Beckham, Shearer, Gazza etc

    I'd be more inclined to stick sturridge on the right, he does a good job of that at chelsea, and then put wellbeck / bent / rooney up front and young on the left. Then stick with parker (eventually replaced by rodwell) lamps (replaced by wilshire) and gerrard (replaced by cleverley) or add in henderson, spearing, morrison etc if they develop.

  • Comment number 98.

    @93

    It's been clear to everyone for a while, but only now is Capello starting to employ it!

    Regardless of his previous record, that has to come down to poor tactics and management.

  • Comment number 99.

    96.At 16:54 18th Jan 2012, Bcfctim wrote:
    __________

    Snap! was writing same thing about sturridge.

    Maybe suggestion to start to bring in smalling into the CB position? I can't think of any other decent young CBs?

  • Comment number 100.

    @99

    So you wouldn't currently put Wilshere in? He's consistently been England's best player when he's played and was the only arsenal midfielder who didn't look out of his depth playing against barca. What more does the lad have to do?

 

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