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Why should next England coach be English?

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Phil McNulty | 12:35 UK time, Friday, 10 September 2010

Fabio Capello has fired the starting gun on the race to be England's next coach by revealing he will step down when his contract expires after Euro 2012.

Capello is in a position of renewed strength after qualifying wins against Bulgaria and Switzerland started the recovery process after the trauma of England's World Cup failure - but he insists he will call it a day in two years and "live life as a pensioner".

And so the debate begins. Who should Capello's successor be and, apparently even more importantly, what nationality should the chosen one be?

The Football Association has been peddling the message that the next coach will be English. Of course this is preferable but it will also surely be a colossal error to make a nationalistic gesture at the expense of finding the best man.

If England's mission is to be successful after 44 years without a trophy, then the FA has a duty to scour the world for the finest candidate to succeed Capello until the day the rulebook is rewritten and their search is limited by the game's statutes.

If the best available candidate is English, then so be it. There would be widespread rejoicing if he was and it would be the perfect end to a debate that occupies the minds of many if an Englishman was appointed. But if the best option is not English, then the FA should chose him regardless.

There are English managers doing serviceable jobs in the Premier League but there are not many who will be able to place a record of actually winning trophies on the table at any FA interview.

When the FA settled on Capello as successor to Englishman Steve McClaren, they were persuaded by a stellar track record of winning club football's biggest prizes. It was of no account whether he was born in San Canzian d'Isonzo or St Albans.

fc595.jpgCapello's CV boasts numerous successes in various countries. Photo: AFP

Imagine a scene, which takes a little bit of imagining admittedly, at the end of Euro 2012 whereby Jose Mourinho suddenly declares an interest in coaching England. Would the FA thank him for his interest before showing him the door because he is Portuguese?

Would the FA seriously ignore Arsene Wenger if he ever hinted at just the slightest interest in coaching England? Not a chance.

Former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill would no doubt be the subject of some passionate lobbying, but the last time I looked he was definitely from Northern Ireland so a non-starter under any English-only guidelines.

Mourinho and Wenger are extreme examples, but you get the idea.

The usual English candidates are already jostling for position, inevitably led by Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce with Tottenham's Harry Redknapp in close attendance. Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is getting a mention, as is Sunderland manager Steve Bruce.

Allardyce has never been burdened by any modesty about his ability to manage England - remember his remark that if his name was "Allardici" he would be viewed as a great boss.

Bolton Wanderers was a monument to Allardyce's robust style of management and football, but it is a taste many struggle to acquire and he is unlikely to be the FA's first port of call. And, of course, he was sacked in short order, prematurely it should be said, at Newcastle, the biggest job he has ever had.

Redknapp's claims are stronger, based on a reputation for attractive football and a personality that gets big players to play for him. He has also enjoyed success in recent memory by winning the FA Cup at Portsmouth and completing an outstanding transformation of Tottenham by reaching the Champions League.

Based on recent records alone, if the FA wants an experienced Englishman to coach England, then Redknapp is their man. Time, in this case two years, will tell if they agree with that assessment.

Hodgson, cosmopolitan and experienced, would have been the prime candidate to succeed Capello had he left after the World Cup but he is now locked into a rebuilding programme at Liverpool, so this ship may well have sailed.

Redknapp champions the claims of Bruce, a highly-popular and respected figure, but he still has much to prove at Sunderland and his record at a succession of clubs is varied.

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce will undoubtedly be considered as a matter of protocol but he has done nothing in management to suggest he would be a serious contender. He is continuing what he calls his "education" under Capello - even occasionally watching him in action at media conferences - but the idea of Pearce as England coach is unrealistic at this stage.

And then there is the other option the FA could take if we are heading off down this particularly narrow road. Namely, appointing an untried "name" candidate such as Alan Shearer or David Beckham.

This might satisfy the English patriotic, some might even say jingoistic, lobby but would represent a gamble of epic proportions. It is one the FA must avoid taking unless either man can suddenly present sound credentials in two years.

It may well be that an English coach or manager will do so much fine work in the next two years that he presents an irresistible case to be Capello's successor. If this is the case, then everyone with the national team's best interests at heart would be delighted, including myself.

But the clamour from those, including the FA, who insist England's next coach must be English should be placed in context and treated with caution.

No business of renown, presumably unless they were obliged by law to do so, would hamper the appointment of the most important person in the organisation on some invented premise of nationality. The FA must apply the same rules.

When it comes to coaching the national football team, English is preferable but it should never be a pre-requisite. Getting the best man for the job, wherever he was born, must be the FA's only goal.

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  • Comment number 1.

    I'd always go for the best available regardless of nationality,but imagine Stuart Pierce winning next years U21 and then in a couple of years doing the job jointly with Beckham

  • Comment number 2.

    I dont mind what nationality the next England manager is as long as its not Bruce Redknapp Allardyce (who thought that one up) or O'Neil.

    Hodgson would be OK. He's managed a national side before and he'll be looking for a new job once Liverpool get their new owners in place.

  • Comment number 3.

    Phil do you think the Job could be done along side a club job? for example a Redknapp or Hodgson doing there trade for club and country?

  • Comment number 4.

    Phil Brown!

    Failing that Southgate and Megson are viable options.

  • Comment number 5.

    completely agree with everything. there is no reason why we should have an english manager. it doesn't give you any advantages and it is not breaking any rules having a foreign man in charge.

    i'm quite upset that fabio won't at least stay until the next world cup. hopefully though in two years time the FA could convince him that he may not want his final quest to be a failure.

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree largely with what's been said here. However I do feel that the FA should definitely put a prerequisite of 'knowledge of the English game' on the appointment of the next England manager. All three of the afore mentioned 'foreign coaches' have that experience and I believe all three would be a very easy sell to the English public.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think the next England manager should be English. However, I have one exception; Jose Mourinho. He is one of, if not the, best football manager in the world right now and the FA would be mental not to even ask Mourinho if he wants the England job. If I remember rightly, he did actually state his interest of managing England in the future. How far into the future he meant only he knows; is only two years at Real Madrid too little for him? He spent two years at Inter, maybe it's fate that he'll only spend two years at Real Madrid? Who knows.

    My second choice would undoubtedly be Harry Redknapp. He has done a great job with the clubs he's managed, but will he be too old to manage England then? He'll be of retirement age when Capello leaves, will he feel up to the job?

    I don't think untried managers should be given the chance for England. Look at Diego Maradona for Argentina. That was his first job, am I right? Their qualifying campaign for the 2010 world cup was disastrous, they only just qualified! Then he quit after the world cup. Steve Staunton for ROI is another example; that was his first job as a manager and he didn't do too well.

    In my opinion, we need an experienced manager who does not necessarily have to be English, but needs to have experience of the English game. And of course, he's gotta be able to speak English before he comes in!

  • Comment number 8.

    it should be an Englishman, win or lose, there's no pride in winning it with a foreigner, it's not in the true spirit of nations competeing against each other.

  • Comment number 9.

    Futil debate, who knows who will be available in two years time. The media have finally hounded Capello out, even if he does win the next European Championships. So all this media attention about the next manager is just going to unsettle and undermine England further. An unneccessary debate synthetically generated by the media.

  • Comment number 10.


    The only English ones to consider are Hodgson and Pierce. The FA need to go with the best available, and availability is the key word here. As the FA does pay big Bucks a lot of good managers may now be signed up on long term contracts which would make the appointment more difficult.

  • Comment number 11.

    Big Sam, or Steve Bruce. I'd rather change my name to Pierre.

  • Comment number 12.

    The Indian cricket side had a few blunders with the home grown coach demand, better sense soon prevailed and they chose a coach who was able to help them with areas they lacked, john wright helped improve fitness and fielding we did decently well soon after
    i think England FA do the same pick the best candidate not try a PR program by appointing any english manager. tough choices need to be made with the team soon like dropping ancients like ferdinand and choosing the right younger lot.
    i think hodgson will do well but he probably wont get picked after what i predict will be another average season for liverpool

  • Comment number 13.

    What bothers me most about this is Capello's talk of retirement. He comes across as someone who took on a job for a specific purpose (world cup), failed, and is now gently seeing out his last couple of years before the gold watch moment.

    Personally I couldn't give a monkeys who the next manager is - I want the man in charge now to be striving with all his energy to win the European crown.
    Maybe Capello will do just that, but I find this talk, both by the media and Capello himself, to be worringly forgetful of the job in hand.

  • Comment number 14.

    National teams should have teams that have players and managers from that country.

  • Comment number 15.

    Your final paragraph summed it up perfectly:
    'When it comes to coaching the national football team, English is preferable but it should never be a pre-requisite. Getting the best man for the job, wherever he was born, must be the FA's only goal.'

    No disrespect to Steve Bruce, who I think is a reasonable manager but the names he has in the hat (himself, Redknapp, Allerdyce and Hodgson) as potential England manager is hardly going to worry the international world of football; with the exception of Hodgson, none of these managers have the experience or skill to manage the national team.

    Best man for the job no matter what his nationality.

  • Comment number 16.

    Communication is essential so therefore speaking good english is essential. The Three Lions on the England shirt derive from a Frenchman, Richard the Lionheart, King Of England he spoke French was raised in France. The first Lion is from the house of Aquitaine, the second Lion he added when he inherited Normandy and the third Lion he added when he inherited the Kingdom of England. King George the first was German !
    England is a nation of Immigration, so all the clamour for a true brit is absolute nonsense and just a nationalist backlash against non english speaking managers.

  • Comment number 17.

    Phil, how about offering it to Sir Alex Ferguson, he should be half english by now ;)

  • Comment number 18.

    What a surprise Phil! Another article about Liverpool...!

    Oh, hang on?

  • Comment number 19.

    I can imagine Mourinho being available in time. Barca still look much stronger than Real at the moment, so I don't expect Real to better them this season. Then Mourinho will be under pressure from the board to deliver next season. If he succeeds, then he will look for a new challenge and if he fails, he will be sacked. Either way, he will be available.

    I really hope we can land Mourinho for the role after Fabio. He is great at deflecting the attention on his players to himself, hence there is less pressure on his players. Couple that with his astute tactics and confidence in is ability yields the best man for the job.

  • Comment number 20.

    Chris (no 1.). I'm imagining the Pearce/Beckham scenario now. In my imagination it's a disaster. Even if Pearce wins the Euro under-21s it won't change the fact he's largely got an unremarkable record in management - he'd need to win things far more often than once to convince me otherwise - and I'm absolutely baffled as to what Beckham's doing in this discussion as he has no managerial record whatsoever. Throw in the failure and/or eventual dissolution of most joint-managerial enterprises and it seems like a nightmare scenario.

    Any discussion about the best available cannot possibly include these two until both men prove themselves as managers.

  • Comment number 21.

    So, Bruce is chasing after the England manager's job and touting among others, Old 'Arry, fat Sam ' big mouth Allardyce et al as possible contenders.
    Brucie must be high on some weeds, methinks.

    I will wagger this time that whichever English coach get's the post after Fabio will not last the length of his contract before everyone clamours for a foreign Coach AGAIN!

    England is so backward as far as the national team is concerned it is beyond a joke.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm a bit gutted that Fabio will step down. Yes he got some things wrong at the WC but he's experienced enough to learn from this. His club record speaks for itself and the manner in which we qualified for the WC was one of the easiest ive known. This looks to have continued into the qualifiers for the Euros's so he's obviously doing something right.
    If we finally end our tournement failure and win the Euro's then do we really want him to leave?
    A clever ploy by the Italian maybe to anouce now he will retire and then if he delivers maybe the british press, who he and I detest with there knee jerk over Opinionated views they come up with, will be in a position to beg him to stay and then he can have his last laugh.

  • Comment number 23.

    It is absolutely essential that Fabio goes now, he resigns or is asked to leave. He will not be thinking ahead for the World Cup finals, he will think in the short term and his own personal approval rating. If England are nearly qualified for the Euros it is essential to blood youngsters soon and give them the experience of the Euros, even if they lose ! If we do not blood youngsters for the Euros we go to Brazil in four years without an experienced squad, not experienced enough. We will also have a manager in place that has no experience of international final competitions at a National level. It is essential that the new manager is installed now, absolutely essential !

  • Comment number 24.

    I kind of contradicted myself in my earlier post. Ignore the first bit that says 'I think the next England manager should be English.' The last bit is what I meant :D

  • Comment number 25.

    Allardyce will take England back 15 years and does anyone actually rate Bruce, his management record is appauling.
    The FA rarely get things right (Robson & El Tel apart)Redknapp is the only real English choice but I fear he will be another Clough!!

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • Comment number 27.

    What about one of Hansen, Lawrenson et al - they always seem to know what is wrong with every team =)

  • Comment number 28.

    Personally I'd prefer it if the FIFA rules meant that the national team manager had to fulfil the same qualifications as the team on the pitch.

    However as they don't I think we should get the best guy possible.

    After seeing a man with Cappellos rep and success get busted by the media, mostly for not being good at speaking English or being good at witty one liners I think we should simply go for someone who's spent at least 5 years managing in the PL.

    At least that way he already has a relationship with the vultures, and knows the players. Someone with plenty of experiance with younger players would be Ideal to bring the next generation through.

  • Comment number 29.

    Ashley Cole is 29 and will be possibly ok for the Euros but not for the world cup in four years, so do you give a new recruit left back the experience and take the risk and chance for the Euros ? or do you stick with Cole denying the new recruit a severe lack of match time international experience for the World cup finals in four years time ?

  • Comment number 30.

    Allerdyce managing england??

    Hart punts it 45 yards into the spanish box...Rooney and Wilshere run towards the goal for a possible tap in, but Crouch Heads down for Owen to tuck it in???

    Beckenbauer will have a field day!

  • Comment number 31.

    A SHORT TERM international football policy will be a national disaster, a major hinderence and handicapp for the next manager and the players he selects !

  • Comment number 32.

    One of the fundamental problems with the international team is Englishness.

    This nonsense about playing to our strengths & 442 has been a huge problem since 1966.

    The international game has moved on but England haven't. When we look at relatively successful tournaments they have not been based on a standard English 442 system.

    I was astounded that Fabio decided to go standard 442 at the World Cup and we got what that tactical masterstroke deserved.

    The last thing the international team needs is 'English' Our English strengths haven't worked for 50 yrs....why don't we get the message!

    Employ the best possible coach you can who is tactically strong and has enough experience at the highest level. Picking a manager because he is 'English' when in reality we have no candidates with that kind of experience is foolhardy in the extreme and setting us up for more failure.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think it should be a pre-requisite that the manager has Premier League experience. The manager will then already have an understanding of the English game, English tactics and the strengths and weaknesses of our players.

  • Comment number 34.


    Not like you not to mention the white elephant in the room-namely the FA. We won't get anything right until the issues between the FA and the premier league are sorted out and we have 2 properly run associations that are forward looking and not just political quangos (at least Barwick has gone which was a start).

    Doesn't matter who manages if we don't have a squad of players pushing each other to get their first team place. The fact we now have Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott and James Milner keeping players like Ashley Young, David Beckham, Stuart Downing and Aarron Lennon(and to a lesser extent Etherington and Pennant (you may laugh at this one)) competing for the wide positions suggest a very good strength in depth.

    We need to have this all over the field though particularly in the middle of the park, up front and the 2 full back positions.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    Yeah, it's had me wondering too. One gets the impression that the FA doesn't really know what it's doing. Self imposed limits in the quest for excellence seem foolish and contrived. Perhaps the problem is that England is an insular country that learns little about other cultures and ways of life. Europe is anything but that. English managers, like their brethren, are one dimensional and unable to evolve. It's another mind boggling committee decision from the out of touch FA.

  • Comment number 37.

    No brainer: Jose Mourinho.

  • Comment number 38.

    Nationality should never be issue and if the FA approach the selection of the next England Manager in the same manner that a successful business would then it would be whoever is the best qualified for the job out of everyone available

    However, history shows that this isn't always the case, the FA have their favorites and always have and it is this bias that stopped the likes of Brian Clough from ever managing England

    If the FA do select the best candiate, it won't necessaily make a different anyway, Fabio Capello has an outstanding record, Sven had an extremely impressive CV and did admirably at Man City after England and Steve McClaren despite his promotion at too early a stage in his career has gone on to great success since being sacked by England.
    The problem has to lie with the players, they are massively successful in the Premier League and Champions League but cannot perform on the highest stage, you can blame the number of games, you can blame the number of foreign players, you can even blame the attitiude of the players but until the FA discovers why we fail to perform at major tournaments with a number of quality managers England will never reach their potential

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    OddRiver - completely agree.

  • Comment number 41.

    Got a feeling that will be modded as well so all i want to say is pleeeaaassseee do not let Sam Allardyce anywhere near the England Job.

  • Comment number 42.

    You may be right about Wenger and Mourinho, (Fergie will NEVER happen) but apart from those two, I wouldn't consider any other foriegn manager. My vote would be for Harry Redknapp or, depending on how he does at Liverpool, Roy Hodgson.

    Sam Allardyce... Just no.

    Bottom line is though, it doesn't matter if you have the best manager in the world, if you don't have the players, you don't have much chance. Though a good manager can bring you up a notch or two.

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm sorry Phil, but where was this attitude when discussing Mikel Arteta's English credentials a few weeks ago on Twitter? Your case against Arteta not playing for England was that it "would have been desperate message for younger generation had he been picked", but isn't an equally desperate message for the up-and-coming English managers to pick foreign over native? I agree with the article as England needs all the help it can get, but I feel you're picking and choosing your moments to say talent over Englishness.

  • Comment number 44.

    Im personally becoming disillusioned with international football, with players playing for countries they have no affinity to, but are playing for simply to play international football. Steve Morison who has just become Welsh is a prime example. He didnt even know his grandmother (the reason he qualifies for Wales) was Welsh. My point is that as far as Im concerned international football should be about the best coach that country can offer, working with the best players that country can offer, and taking on the best from other countries. If we dont have some kind of national pride and faith in the coaches we can produce there seems little point in playing international matches. It should be the English style of football against the Spanish style against the Brazilian etc. Not England trying to play like Italians, or Wales trying to play continental football. We should have more faith in what we can produce and have more national pride.

  • Comment number 45.

    While I agree with you there is no way on Earth Nationalistic gestures should be made at the expense of the best man getting the job, how in gods name are those whom you listed even possible candidates. Between Harry, Bruce, and big Sam, there is one FA Cup. The only ones who talk them up as possible managers are themselves. I don't care what Sam Allerdyci is called, better men with more ability have managed better international teams than England and failed miserably. The reality is there is not an English man alive apart from Hodgson who has won anything in mangement and is a viable candidate for management today. Yes you may love them, yes you are right to be Patriotic, yes even proud that footie was at one time an essentially English game. But half a century has passed since you lot won the world cup and you haven't even come close to winning anything since. I would take Pearse over any of the other candidates when the time comes because he is not an idiot, and I bet he has a notebook full of notes from Mr Hat, and a few other bosses besides. ....Harry Sam or Steve? Why Not any old Tom Dick or Harry?

  • Comment number 46.

    Pick English and do the best with what we have.

    Failing that, we can save the money on coaches and use it by paying Brazilians to avoid national team duties until they have citizenship.

  • Comment number 47.

    England need a manager who commands respect & who has played at the highest level. My choices would be either Alan Shearer or David Beckham, the job involves picking the best players & motivating them to play to their ability. There is no need to pay £6m either as it is an obscene amount for what is basically a part time job, £1m would be sufficient in my opinion.

  • Comment number 48.

    Re: Post #10

    The only English ones to consider are Hodgson and Pierce. The FA need to go with the best available, and availability is the key word here.


    If availability is the key, why is Hodgson on there?

    Right now, he is no more available than Redknapp is, and nobody knows where any of these guys will be in 2 years time.

  • Comment number 49.

    Why does the candidate HAVE to have won stuff at club level??

    International football management is a completely different beast to club management as I think Fabio has found out over the last couple of years.

    Yes, it should be the best man for the job, no he doesn't have to be English but we shouldn't limit our options by thinking the candidate has to have won trophies at club level.

    I'm not championing Pearce or anything but if he's successful with the U21's & has had 4 years or so being in that environment & managing in that way then why should we not give him the job based on what he did at Man City??

  • Comment number 50.

    The one thing which is good about this announcement is that it allows the current employers of all potential candidates a good 2 year lead-time to manage the potential scenario of losing their current manager in 2012.

    I think that's far sighted and I hope that the England players see it that way and really respect Mr Capello for the rest of his tenure, rather than thinking 'he'll be gone'. For if they do, I hope Mr Capello and his successor says of them: 'they ARE gone........'

  • Comment number 51.

    Shcottayyyy wrote:
    I think the next England manager should be English. However, I have one exception; Jose Mourinho. He is one of, if not the, best football manager in the world right now and the FA would be mental not to even ask Mourinho if he wants the England job. If I remember rightly, he did actually state his interest of managing England in the future. How far into the future he meant only he knows; is only two years at Real Madrid too little for him? He spent two years at Inter, maybe it's fate that he'll only spend two years at Real Madrid? Who knows.

    -To be fair mate, i think everyone knows he's angling for the Man U job after Fergie retires. Real is his stop gap til then.

    I don't think untried managers should be given the chance for England. Look at Diego Maradona for Argentina. That was his first job, am I right? Their qualifying campaign for the 2010 world cup was disastrous, they only just qualified! Then he quit after the world cup. Steve Staunton for ROI is another example; that was his first job as a manager and he didn't do too well.

    -As for the above, either you have no idea about what happened in the south american qualifiers, or you just like to spout a load of non-sense. Maradona took on the job when Argentina were doing abysmally in the qualifiers, and turned them around and qualified for the WC when it appeared to be an almost impossible task.
    Ok Argentina were pretty poor at the WC, and their subsequent demolition of Spain does show he may have under achieved in SA, but to try and say their poor qualifying record was his fault is either very naive or just plain stupid.

  • Comment number 52.

    vik_bbc wrote:
    Phil, how about offering it to Sir Alex Ferguson, he should be half english by now ;)

    He's already been approached before.

    His response, "Are ye havin a ****ing laugh!" (my words, but his sentiments)

  • Comment number 53.

    Mourinho - Never Happen

    Wenger- Same

    Allardyce - Long live boring football. If the FA want to gain money by people watching matches, then avoid Allardyce at all costs!

    Beckham - Possible management material. Certainly not for england. I'd prefer he actually get some management experience first before even considering it.

    Hodgson and Bruce - Good managers, but I do not think are great managers. I'd like to see how Hodgson does with a team like Liverpool before he should be considered for England. He's done well with Fulham, but how does he cope with a team that expects to win

    Shearer - His management record speaks volumes for an option for England. Don't go there!

    O'Neill - Quality manager, who has a good record. I was singing his praises before and I will continue to do now. Northern Irish or not, definitely one of the best managers in Britian.

    Pearce - I think should be considered. Did well with MC before their ridiculous millions, and also is familier with the England setup. Would be stupid to ignore his credentials.

  • Comment number 54.

    Perhaps the FA, and English football should stop chasing short term success and instant trophies and consider building for the future, building a legacy.

    Any high profile manager bought in after Capello is going to expect the same ridiculous wages he is on.

    Bring in an unknown, tell them they have 6 years to build a team and leave them to it.

    This constant chasing of success and the resulting failure hasn't got us anywhere, perhaps now is the time to scrap that idea and take a group of 23 talented youngsters and mould them into a team, rather than playing 11 individuals who just happen to be in the same shirt!

  • Comment number 55.

    Phil, we have today heard what john Toshack has said about ex players not being experienced enough to jump straight into National management, but I disagree 100% with this. In the same vane I also disagree with much of what you say in your blog.

    Being head coach of the national team is completley different from club management. there are hardly any games to plan for and much of the time it's just a case of visiting every premiership ground and watching as much football as possible, with the odd FA corporate gig to attend for sponsors etc. Many top managers would shy away from this and in some respects it was this lack of involvement that killed Maclaren, because let's face it he was and is a great coach as he's proved over the last couple of seasons in Holland. he just lost the plot around the FA media circus, similar to Hoddle who again I had a lot of time for. One man who did a brilliant job was the late great Bobby Robson, but was pushed out by the FA, and again Terry Venables also put some pride back into our national team by making the great Dutch, Spanish and german sides look average, but again pushed out.

    Our problems start at the toip of the FA and always have. they're out of touch, have no idea about football development, tactics etc, they only understand how to make money. The level of salary they have paid to the likes of the Swede and now the Italian are ridiculous and not of this world. The FA should have a football person on the board, and he should have enough power to veto some of the strange blunderings. Trevor Brooking could be that person if he was given the chance, and yes I know TB is there, but in name only and has had many a fall-out with the FA over development etc. Howard Wilkinson, love him or hate him had a dream, which was to create a conveyor belt of quality from his academy at leeds Utd. massive success and he went on to become head of development and coaching for the FA. He put plans for Burton on the table only to see them squashed. he finaly had no alternative but to leave. TB is in exactly the same situation and the FA should be ashamed. Indeed it's the Germans who have benefited from the original Wilkinson blueprint as they have taken on board what he wanted to do. We all know the results from South Africa don't we. And then people ask why we were so bad and probably will carry on not performing in major championships, because football peoplew were not listened to.

    Yes this is a long rambling piece, but when it comes to national management, ex players can and do fit the criteria and with much success. lets look at Klinsman, Rykart, van Baston, Maradona, Dunga, Zico, and many many more top ex internationals who have gone straight into managing their national side. After all our best players are experienced and don't need much more than being given instructions for each match, and then following those instructions. National managers or coaches cannot improve a player as they have no time, they are there to give knowledge and inspiration as they have been there and done it many times through there career. David Beckham never gave less than 110% for his country and is respected throughout the world as being one of the best ever of his type of player. What harm can it do by giving some ex player with Beckhams stature in the game, to have a shot at it.

  • Comment number 56.


    Bottom line is though, it doesn't matter if you have the best manager in the world, if you don't have the players, you don't have much chance. Though a good manager can bring you up a notch or two.


    Presumably your all time XI contains some members of the 2004 Greek team then?

  • Comment number 57.

    Why not give give the job to John Terry seeing as he spent the majority of the last world cup trying to prove his own management credentials.
    In all seriousness though maybe it's worth looking into the idea of a recently retired player who commands respect in the dressing room combined with the seasoned older manager in an attempt to restore parity in the dressing room and prevent the lunatics from running the asylum.

  • Comment number 58.

    I don't think Wenger would be right anyway, Phil, and I'm an Arsenal fan! His strength comes from developing youngsters and spotting them at a young age. Also unfortunately he hasn't won anything recently (it'll all change this year though!!!). Allardyce - God forbid. 'Arry - Yeh potentially, doesn't fill me with joy though. Bruce - Hasn't done enough for me at Sunderland, but was impressive at Birmingham.

    Despite the above concerns, I really do want the manager to be English though. I would like Hodgson to take the side for the Olympics and see how he fares. There is no doubt that Capello's grasp of English is causing problems.

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    I think, unless FIFA bring in a rule saying the manager has to be English (which I wouldn't be against - although where do you stop, would all the coaches, physios etc have to be English too???), the best man for the job should get it. However, just a few points:

    - Fabio is getting paid c£6m a year for a part-time job. After the Ericsson scandel, you'd think they'd have learnt. You have to realise that of course Fab isn't going to want to quit that post after a disasterous WC - one that after 3 games he seems to have shaken off (remember his recent press conference where he blamed the linesman for not giving the 2nd goal against Germany? Has he forgotten that his "tactical genius" to get us back in the game at 4-1 down was to bring on Heskey?...). There are not many managers in the world on that figure - maybe 3 in the Prem, and handful in Europe in general. We could've got that manager for half the price.

    - The FA need to hold the interview in English with no interpreters. I think that was a part of Fab's failing. Again, you can't pay someone that figure and then get them to relay their thoughts to someone else etc etc

    - I think Redknapp is right when he says it's easy. You need someone strong willed, like him, but essentially the job is one of man management - the reason Mourinho is so succesfull. Players have been told what to do all their lives - they need steering from someone they can believe in, that's all. They're pretty robotic otherwise.

    For me, I don't know if the FA are the right people for the job tbh. We had a debacle with Sven and with McClaren yet they walk away scot free every time. It's an old boys club and they're getting very rich off it!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I agree entirely with the sentiment that the nationality of the next man to manage England should not matter one jot. All other things being equal, I'd certainly prefer an Englishman, but since we live in the real world, and all other things will never be equal, the most skilled man for the job should be appointed.

    Should anyone seriously think otherwise, consider this: we have two main contenders for the job. One is English but has little experience winning trophies and competing at the highest levels of play. The other is Spanish but has a list of trophies as long as his arm and twenty years of experience in the Champions League. Are you really suggesting we should opt for the former man?

  • Comment number 62.

    Phil, I'm happy. I've read a blog you've written and agreed with it. Had to happen one day.

    My only requisite for the next manager would be that they must speak English. Otherwise it makes passing on your ideas, tactics and motivation that much harder.

    I would love to see Mourinho or Wenger in charge, but I don’t expect that to happen. Hodgson is probably the best option out of the English contingent but would he be available? I’d hate to see ‘arry or Big Sam in charge and I think Bruce needs a bigger job first, which I don’t see him getting. Hopefully he’ll do well at Sunderland and get his chance for a better team (Villa would have been perfect!) Martin O’Neil would be my preference as he is used to getting a lot out of average players.

  • Comment number 63.

    It is absolutely immaterial what nationality the England coach is.

    The media, and the blogger in particular, will spend the run-up to the new manager's first major tournament ramping up impossible expectation before damning the lot of them.

    He really isn't very good.

  • Comment number 64.

    Interesting but disturbing statement you made regarding Stuart Pearce, Phil:
    "Stuart Pearce...has done nothing in management to suggest he would be a serious contender". Who says league honours - to which I'm sure your referring - is relevant to int.tournament coaching of which Psycho has plenty of experience!?
    Redknapp, Allardyce or Bruce are hardly overburdened with medals are they?

    Did Pearce not take his U21 squad to the Euro-Final last Summer and Semi's the time before..working closely with exactly the same group of talented young individuals currently breaking through into Capello's first team now - and is currently in mid-process of developing many more like Jack Wilshere? Add to that several years closely observing the inner most workings of our National coaching set-up and clueing up on int. tactics - far removed from our fast paced Premier League?..I could go on...

    Harry Redknapp rightly goes on about giving young England coaches a chance, what message would it send out that even a guy who spends an 'apprenticeship' going through the F.A.'s own 'system' be so easily dismissed and disgarded? He MUST be no.1 candidate or what's the point of training him up?

  • Comment number 65.

    When England beat the Aussies in 2005 there was no problem with the fact Duncan Fletcher was the coach. Any manager who wmanaged to deliver the World Cup to england would be lauded as a hero.

  • Comment number 66.

    Can't see why Redknapp would be your best option. He's won very little and has no international experience. Surely if it has to be an English manager it is Hodgsen, who knows what international management is about (Sweeden to the semi-finals!!).

    Phil, you seem to write him off because he has a current job, but doesn't Redknapp also have one?

    In the end, best person regardless of nationality should be the mantra.

    To those of you thinking Jose would want the job in 2 years, he has already said that coaching a national team is an old man's job - and that when he is an old man, he will manage Portugal.

  • Comment number 67.

    To all non-English people reading this, it is quite fascinating to read. The barely disguised jingoism from some. The overt jingoism from most. The common sense from the few.
    The very fact that you are even considering Steve Bruce and Harry Redknapp with their track records in actually winning anything speaks volumes over actually selecting someone with a track record of real success.
    The mention of Allardyce's name is the cherry on top of the ridiculous cake!
    This is a guy, who after Blackburn, will have nowhere to go except the next club who are either happy with long ball, attrition-like tactics, or a club in real trouble who have no choice.
    He does have a talent for making do, for making a club grateful for the stability he can bring by bringing in effective players to act out his banal tactics. Thats as far as it goes.
    Appoint Allardyce and listen to the world's footballing elite snigger and guffaw behind your back. You can't currently beat the world's best with one of it's greatest coaches in the Italian Fabio what makes you think that by replacing him for the journeyman Englishman Sam Allardyce or the other Englishmen still in the frame, will make any difference?
    It's naive or even possibly reckless bordering on irresponsiblity to do so.
    Roy Hodgson is the only current English coach capable of pushing England upwards, who has international experience. Would he be capable of completing the job? Probably not.
    Someone mentioned Stuart Pearce..why? Because he was a very good full back? Had a typically British attitude whilst playing the game? Welcome to the trap you keep falling into..."British Grit will win the day over the fancy foreigners"...except it doesn't, does it? Pearce was an abject failure at club football and retreated to a relatively safe position in the FA like alot of failed ex pro's who failed in club management.
    There are probably four or five people who could do this job. With enough of the combination of attributes required to successfully do the job. They would be people who would command world class levels of player respect, tactical nous, experience of handling world class players and, more importantly in some respects - playing against world class players. Being able to spot players with excellent technique which could be honed, inspiring players to improve when most players believe they have already "made it".
    The four or five managers who could, with the right backing, pull it off, in no particular order.. 1. Alex Ferguson. 2. Arsene Wenger. 3. Ottmar Hitzfeld. 4. Jose Mourinho. 5. Vicente Del Bosque.
    These guys could deliver what you want. Whether they would, would depend most crucially on the FA revising their coaching structure, the English media getting off the managers back at the slightest little thing and probably most importantly of all the English football fans and public embracing a whole new footballing culture. Where technique is valued higher than how far one player can kick another up in the air. Good luck with that.

  • Comment number 68.

    Mourinho. What a great idea. That get's my pulse racing. He ticks every box, and is worth the 6 million quid (which will be 10 million by then) in entertainment value alone. Time to get a Facebook campaign going!

  • Comment number 69.

    I think the next manager should be a former player the recent past. Not one of the "old guard"

    Pearce, Shearer, Bruce... maybe Paul Scholes?

  • Comment number 70.

    What a stupid time to be talking about this! How would you feel if people were talking about who was going to replace you in your job. Just another distraction for Fabio that he will no doubt be asked about at the next 10 press conferences. Just let him get on with his job. I dont care who the next England coach is going to be until we actually have to pick one! he has 2 years left, and im sure that if he does well we will probably want to keep him.

  • Comment number 71.

    A good general point, however, any foreign manager must be well acquainted with the English game. The thing that struck me most about Capello this summer was that he seemed genuinely shocked that England performed worse at the WC than in training and qualifying. This calls into question his understanding of the player's mentality and his dubious motivational skills. He may be a world-class tactician, but he doesn't seem to be able to give the old 'arm around the shoulder' when needed (especially with those players with the mental strength and durability of teenagers). Anyway, to cut a long story short, foreigners OK, but must have experience...

  • Comment number 72.

    National managers should come under the same rules as national players, they are representing the people of that country, or should be.

    Personally I wont follow England until they ALL represent me, I feel offended that we have had a Swede and an Italian ignoring our national anthem before kick off and even more disgusted with the money paid to them.

    I would rather lose under an English manager than Win, lose or draw under a foreigner.....

    Our badge bears the THREE LIONS, not a lion, a vegetable and an oil slick....

  • Comment number 73.

    "But the clamour from those, including the FA, who insist England's next coach must be English should be placed in context and treated with caution.

    No business of renown, presumably unless they were obliged by law to do so, would hamper the appointment of the most important person in the organisation on some invented premise of nationality. The FA must apply the same rules."

    Well said Phil and end of discussion. It's nice to be patriotic but you also have to be realistic in Football. i think most people learn't that this World Cup. Results is all that matter. I'll take my worst enemy and a trophy over a brother and nothing!

  • Comment number 74.

    I'm of the opinion that all people representing the national team should be from that nation, from players, coaches, managers, physios etc. The fact that the manager plays such an important role and can be from any nation is a contradiction in my book. I'd rather have an average English manager than the best foreign manager as it would be a true representation of this country.

  • Comment number 75.

    That must have been quite some dump the moderator had....

  • Comment number 76.

    Definitely should go for the best person for the job regardless of nationality. And while we're at it, let's get the best players in, wherever they're from too.

    Far too much talk of nationalism when it comes to the national football team. If by 2012, England doesn't have Mourinho in charge, Messi as the captain, and some of those Brazilian ladies the camera crews always track down in the stands as the fans, the FA is basically being unnecessarily jingoistic.

  • Comment number 77.

    Why are we having this debate? Copello has a contract until 2012 and he has announced that he will retire at the the end of his contract. So what! What I don't understand is why he would feel the need to make that statement now (although he has demonstrated, again and again, a real knack for coming out with stupid statements). I don't care what he is going to do after 2012! I only care what he does between now and the end of his contract (WIN euro 2012).

    Regarding whether or not the next England manager should be English, I must admit that I have always believed that the manager should be English. It's not an England team if the manager is not English. How many teams have won the WC with a manager who is not a native of that country? I might be wrong, but I can't think of one. No matter how committed the foreign manager might be, the passion is not going to be there. Don't get me wrong, if we were to win Euro 2012 with Copello in charge, I would be delighted. However, I'm afraid that all the credit would go to the ITALIAN and not to ENGLAND.

  • Comment number 78.

    Of course, the England national team should be coached by an English. Otherwise, it is not an English team. Technically, an English coach is more likely to communicate with the players better.

    It's all about trust.

  • Comment number 79.

    Not trying to be disrespectful but England has under-achieved since 1966 with the possible exception of Italy '90. No proper overhaul has been done and a lot of key players are getting old (Lampard, Barry, Gerrard, Terry, Ferdinand, the Coles). Why not give the job to a man who has already completed an incredible transformation in a similar situation, speaks the language perfectly and has premier league experience (as a player)?
    I think Klinsmann is the man for the job if he'd want it. Or is a German in charge just too much to take? Would like to hear your thoughts on this.
    Best of luck in the qualifiers, gentlemen

  • Comment number 80.

    I agree that rather than limit to English, it should be someone with experience of the English game, opening the opportunity to SAF, Mourinho, Arsene, O'Neil, should they be foolish enough to accept the offer.

    I don't think age should be a limit. Joe Mercer was supposedly too old when he was caretaker manager back in the 1970s. His England played as well and as attractively any I can remember. Harry Redknapp might just do the same job.

    I might be wrong, but for me, Sam Allardyce is definitely not the right man for several reasons, style, record, achievement.

    Some have mentioned Beckham, who has zero management experience. People used to suggest Bryan Robson in the same way, before he'd tried managing a few clubs...

    One thing for sure, it will easier for who ever, if they are either universally liked and respected and too decent to treat badly, like Joe Mercer, or have the sort of resilient personality that doesn't care what anyone says about them, like Terry Venables. Otherwise, they will have to be brilliant or suffer.

  • Comment number 81.

    Lets have Tony Adams
    The best english manager around imo

  • Comment number 82.

    RE Post #47

    There is no need to pay £6m either as it is an obscene amount for what is basically a part time job, £1m would be sufficient in my opinion.


    Because £1m isn't obscene in the slightest..........

  • Comment number 83.

    I don't care who it is. As far as I am concerned the next England manager MUST be able to do at least one thing. Be able to understand what his players are saying to him and likewise his players understand what he is saying to them.
    Basically he must be able to get his point across eloquantly!

  • Comment number 84.

    My main issue is... if we are going to get a foreign coach shouldn't we see some improved results from it? For all the form before the tournament, Mr Cappello's side were the worst at a World Cup for England in over half a century... I don't really see what we gained from a foreign coach there!
    Frankly, I think it is a balance between the obvious nationalistic desire to have an Englishman as manager and the benefits of a better qualified foreign candidate... and I just don't see the latter outweighing the former, because the coach we have at the moment, a foreigner with a huge reputation, has been very disappointing.
    For me it would have to be Hodgson as the next manager... he has international management experience, he is respected and liked throughout England and will be around the right age by 2012, i.e. when in his late 60s he might prefer a job without quite such a week-in week-out basis as club manageement...

  • Comment number 85.

    Post #60 is excellent.

  • Comment number 86.

    Logically speaking. I feel that Redknapp and Hodgeson would be too old (mid to late 60's) for the role by 2012 and would if anything be short term replacements for fabio

  • Comment number 87.

    I must have missed something somewhere, but i thought the whole point of Stuart Pearce being involved in the England set up and working with Capello - after all he is the only outfield coach working with the England team that is English, was for him to be groomed to be the next manager? In fact, was he the only one coach that Capello didn't personally select? So surely there isn't a debate unless the FA are totally going against their original plan?

  • Comment number 88.

    Not sure why there are so many comments about the need for managerial experience / success at club level. What did experience did Klinnsmann or Loew have before they took the Germany job? The press can't seem to praise them enough for their results even though Klinnsmann wasn't a success later with Germany's biggest club side.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think that the next England manager should be one who has a proven record of managing player egos and ruthlessly playing a team to its strengths. I personally believe the biggest issue with the England squad is the dressing room. If they went out on the pitch with the mentality and belief to cope with pressure and expectation they wouldnt be far away from silverware. The right attitude is key, regardless of how many past successes a coach may boast. Take Svens 'lax' attitude in comparison with Fabios 'authoritarian' approach. Sven was unlucky not to take England past a quarter final (sendings off / penalties). Fabio barely got out of the group stage.

  • Comment number 90.

    Well, Phil this is hot topic indeed. Fair enough when English manager proves to be one of the alite world class managers, then FA would have been more than happy to hire him as national manager. Redknapp is the best choice but let's wait the faith of Tottenham in the Champion! in my view, if he reaches the final, obviously he would be the right man for the job!

    Now does this brothering you that:

    1. Historically, a great nation, with fantastic and dedicated fans and football history had been unable to win a world cup in 40 years! it is almost half century with no break through! This is a serious concern, not for only Englishman but also worldwide footie historians. FA should do an idepedent reasearch of what and where things went wrong!

    2. Wenger and Mourinho are not English by birth, but they are English at heart. as Wenger - given that he was offered to manage top team like Real Madrid! he has chosen to remain at Arsenal, and as for the magic manager ( il maestro Mourinho) didnt settle til today! because he loves England...sad he didnt leave England by his choice but he's been hailing from Italy and Spain that his dreams is to coaching English Teams and even National Team! FA should call that hero back home! he's one of the gifted manager who can bridge the broken gaps and English drought for international trophies and the world cup!

  • Comment number 91.

    Allardyce wouldn't be seen as any different if he was foreign at all, his record would still be, at best, average. Good job at Bolton, not long enough at Newcastle, work in progress at Blackburn. However, Italy and Spain both boasted Champions League winning coaches before the World Cup, obviously resulting in two very different finishes, both from their respective nations. We have very little English options on the table. Hodgson or Redknapp, that's it really. I would prefer an Englishman as it would remove that excuse of the coach being from abroad as the problem from the press automatically, although everyone should remember the last time an Englishman with a okay record stepped into the job. In fact, the time before that too. Oh and the time before that as well.

  • Comment number 92.

    JoC.....couldn't agree more. If Psycho's not the man to get the best out of a group then how is he doing so well with the U21s. People will say that it's a big step up but it will be for anybody because it's arguably the biggest job in football. Give him a chance. At the moment I just feel sorry for him the way Capello beats him up on the sidelines!!

  • Comment number 93.

    I am actually laughing at the prospect of Allardyce being England manager. Imagine him shouting at Theo, telling him to go, outmuscle the centre backs and receive the long ball. It would be th last nail in the coffin of any claims that England have for playing attractive football.

  • Comment number 94.

    This debate just goes round in circles :

    A foreigner fails so we must get an Englishman.
    An Englishman fails so we must get a foreigner.
    And so on ad nauseum.

    I want the best man for the job but part of any assesmant would include the ability to communicate with the players and the wider public, a knowledge of the English game and English players, and proven man management skills.

    Ideally that would be an Englishman but if not so be it as long as the FA aren't blinded again by the dazzle of a stellar CV and ignore the communication and man management aspect required.

  • Comment number 95.

    What a shambolic and insipid offering the FA will present itself with if this nonsense prevails.One could argue that Alladyce and Redknapp are fairly unintelligible in their mother tongue for a start but what is so obvious is their complete lack of managerial acumen.They are both chancers who got lucky.As for the likes of Pearce,Curbishey,Bruce et al-what a dirth of miserable options.England has to open the doors to the best and if that excludes anyone English, then frankly where is the harm given that England produces such dross at that level of coaching.Being pragmatic is far more sensible than being nationalistic.

  • Comment number 96.

    We all know how much can change in two years of football. Chances are the top names for the job will be different now than in two years. It's not about nationality, although I do believe every national side should be coached by a manager of that very nationality, it just flies in the face of the players' stipulation.

    Anyway, Redknapp looks a good bet, although I do believe we'll see a few more faces in the coming years. As long as there is stability and we allow the manager to do his job future campaigns should go swimmingly.

  • Comment number 97.

    Brazil in four years time, England have a very inexperienced manager at international level and players that are not experienced enough because they were denied match time at the Euros because of short termism employed by an outgoing aggrieved manager who's motive was his own popular approval rating !

  • Comment number 98.

    I'd just like to mention that, if asked by the senior management, I'd find it impossible to turn down an opportunity to do my supervisor's job.
    I know he's due to retire in a couple of years, and while it might sound a little bit like I'm jumping in his grave, or that I'm somehow touting myself via the media, I think it's important to mention these things now - throw my hat into the ring, if you will - just in case I do get asked, though I haven't yet, and I wouldn't dream of presuming I would be asked, even though it would be an honour, and the job would be easy to do, given the staff I'd have to work with, should anyone ask me.

  • Comment number 99.

    Mike Bassett! About as good as any of the other English coaches.

  • Comment number 100.

    To...Joel Hayes. I don't there is any way a manager could split his time and effort between a club job and coaching England. They are both full-time assignments.

    Totally agree with those who say that if the next manager is not English then he should at least have a complete command of the language. I know Capello has been criticised in this regards, but what I should add is that the players insist he can make himself perfectly understood to them.

    To laughingdevil...if the manager had to have the same qualification credentials as the players then we are into a different debate. As I said in the blog, until that day comes then the FA must explore every option, not just restrict their search to an Englishman.

    To jamb23...yes I was totally against the idea of Mikel Arteta playing for England. He has no connection with England other than playing here for five years and it would have been an awful massaging of the system and would send out a bad signal to young English players.

    The manager can be chosen from anywhere, and if there is an outstanding young English manager coming through who is a serious candidate then by all means. If there is not, the FA can look anywhere and that is what they should do.

    As I said, if the best man for the job is English let him have the job. What should not happen is giving the job to an Englishman simply for the sake of it, which is what I fear might happen.

    To HudsonLA...we are debating this because Fabio Capello has made it a topical issue by announcing he will definitely step down in two years.

    And what about David Beckham or another former big name like Alan Shearer? Too much of a gamble? It would be unless they did outstanding work in management during the course of the next two years.


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