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FA headhunters should look beyond Redknapp

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Steve Wilson | 18:52 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

With the final dog-eared months of Fabio Capello's unexceptional reign as England manager slowly grinding by, someone somewhere at the FA must be giving ever more serious attention to the task of replacing him.

The received wisdom is that the next appointment will be an Englishman, and Harry Redknapp has made it as clear as political expediency allows that he wants the job.

Redknapp would certainly bring a refreshing sense of humour and a common touch to the England bandwagon.

Too few recent England managers have looked like they actually enjoy the job. Capello occasionally looks like he can only just stomach it, as though English football and footballers are something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

I have no reason to think that Redknapp would not be popular with the players and I know he would be popular with the press - so long as England were doing well.

However, I hope the headhunters at the FA will give serious consideration to another outstanding candidate who has demonstrated an enduring and very real affection for English football.

Is Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp a shoe-in for the England job? Photo: Getty

A manager whose CV is almost second to none, who believes passionately in investing in the foundations for long-term success, and a man who has probably done more to modernise the attitudes of the average English footballer than anyone else.

And he is a manager who might just fancy a change of scene.

That man is Arsene Wenger.

Saturday marks the 15th anniversary of his appointment at Arsenal, and the club is unrecognisable from the one which he inherited.

Talk to any of the Arsenal players who were there when Wenger replaced Bruce Rioch and they will tell you about a revolution in the way they approached the job of being a professional footballer.

Over those 15 years he has had considerable personal input in the design of both the new training ground and stadium.

He has built teams that have played some of the best football seen in the Premier League, and been consistently in the running for honours - seven major trophies as well as being a runner-up 10 times.

Of course what he has not done is win anything since the FA Cup in 2005. Some of the Arsenal fans who used to trust Wenger implicitly have had enough of waiting for the next silverware.

I can understand their frustration as the financial muscle of Chelsea and Manchester City have turned Arsenal into title outsiders rather than prime contenders.

Whether the financial constraints under which Wenger works are self-imposed is still not really clear. What is certain, though, is that he will not pay more for a player than he thinks he is worth.

He is clearly stubborn when it comes to money and don't forget that he has a Master's degree in economics from the University of Strasbourg.

Arsenal's players are hardly paupers, but nor are they paid so handsomely that their heads can't be turned - just count the former Gunners at Manchester City.

At club level there is a temptation to judge players' abilities by how much they cost, not by how good their technique is. In the international game transfer fees are an irrelevance, wages mean nothing.

The international game is the level playing field which Wenger hopes UEFA's financial fair play rules will help to create in club football.

It's about development from the grassroots up and coaching and it may now be a more natural home for Wenger than the money merry-go-round of the Premier League.

Of course, Arsenal's indifferent start to this campaign might well make the Frenchman even more determined to stay and fight for what he believes is the right way to run a major football club.

It may be that the sporadic busy spells of the England job would not suit a man who spends so much time steeped in the day-to-day minutiae of nurturing his squad. It's possible he just wouldn't want the grief.

But I'd like to think that someone at the FA would find out.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    You are kidding me.....right?

  • Comment number 2.

    I'd like to think that for once England might try to attract a manager who has a proven record at International Football.

    Why do we never seem to get somebody who has experience in this very different football management? National managers and club managers are world's apart, it's about time somebody in power realized this and acted accordingly.

    I don't think the manager needs to be an Englishman. I think the manager needs to be someone who knows what he is doing within International Football.

  • Comment number 3.

    I agree they should look beyond Redknapp, but Wenger? That man has been found out to be tactically inept. Ian Holloway would be my choice.

  • Comment number 4.

    No way. The last thing we need is a manager who can't get the best out of his players when the pressure is on. We need a skilled motivator. Is that Harry? I don't know, but it sure isn't Wenger.

  • Comment number 5.

    good shout but just can not see it happening. NO. as a spurs fan, definitely look beyond redknapp, but i am quite happy to see wenger remain at the emirates!!! (and not in charge of our national team!)

  • Comment number 6.

    How about;

    Someone who is an effective communicator and also fluent in English
    that would be a good starting point.

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    Should be Harry I think..... top gaffa

  • Comment number 9.

    John Motson?? does anyone know players better than him?!

  • Comment number 10.

    Is Arsene Wenger English? I thought he was from Sweden! Enough of this politically correct 'one world' rubbish, we simply want an English manager to manage England, is that too much to ask. We have endured Sven and now this other idiot Capello, neither of whom ever really engaged the public, we tried but the experiment is over time to go back to being a nation instead of just a football team. To be perfectly honest McLaren was never as bad as was made out by the media, he was really unlucky, and it was a brave (and let's be honest, correct) thing to do to dump Beckham and one or two others when he did it just seemed like a mistake when a couple of results didn't go our way. If I am absolutely honest I would rather have Tony Pulis as England manager, what he has done at Stoke is amazing and he is the type of guy that would go down well with the players, fans and press alike. Ian Holloway should also be considered as at least he would cheer the fans up with his post match interviews after yet another agonising performance!

  • Comment number 11.


    I don't even know where to start with that...!

    Wenger would be a fine choice as would Redknaop.
    Martin o'neil would be great but I wonder if he, and Wenger, are a bit too smart to take a job that will degenerate into a myriad of unqualified people questioning their tactics, motivation and parenthood!

    If you want the best, an experienced international mgr, look no further than Hiddink in my opinion.

  • Comment number 12.

    Mike Basset gets my vote....

  • Comment number 13.

    What about The Special One? That would be a REAL poke in the eye for world football.

  • Comment number 14.

    Fascinating point. I would really like to see how he would handle a national team since its such a different animal than a club. But besides his own nationality, Wenger's tendency to play very very few or no English players would count massively against him in consideration. Plus Wenger's not going anywhere. We're going to win this eyar.

  • Comment number 15.

    This has to be one of the more ludricous blogs by a journalist that I have ever read! He has shown a consistent disdain for English football for years now, has no interest in managing players that have been developed through any other system than his through his own ideology, and most recently has shown a stubbornness for flexibility in playing style and methods despite it staring him in the face. Not to mention his overwhelming arrogance and blatant lies regarding his players behaviour which is a great worry given their shocking disciplinary record.

    What on earth has a masters degree in economics got to do with anything???

    A blog for the sake of controversy without any credence whatsoever, ridiculous!

  • Comment number 16.

    And as for comment number 10, I think you will find Tony Pulis is Welsh!

  • Comment number 17.

    Why is Roy Hodgson not even mentioned??!! Or is the number 1 criteria that the candidate has to be popular with the media!

  • Comment number 18.

    speak for yourself. Can only English people engage the public? Is it even important, surely engaging the players and winning is important? Does Mourinho only engage people in Portugal?

  • Comment number 19.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Sorry, Steve, but this HAS to be tongue in cheek. I can't believe anyone in their right mind would consider that a (truly great) manager who has spent his entire career shaping young players to be great and then losing them is the man to run a national side where all the players are already established as top class by virtue of being called up.

    International management is entirely at odds with everything he's ever done in football and I fear he would be chewed up and spat out by it in months. I am not an Arsenal fan but I admire what he's done and would be saddened to see his reputation so utterly destroyed by a failed few months with England - and I am in absolutely no doubt it would be.

    Not at all enamoured or inspired by any of the current candidates. To be honest it isn't that important who manages England because with the way our football is constituted it is a Canute-like task. England will never be able to seriously challenge for anything while the Premier League is shaped and empowered as it is.. although that's another story.

    But, Wenger?? As the cheeky chappie running Tottingham might say, "Now you're just 'avin a larf!"

  • Comment number 20.

    Agree with some of the above, but........ #11 yes go for someone like Hiddink etc, good tough fella, speaks good English, has respect and wouldn't be too worried about all the old fading stars' ego and get a younger side working together!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Pick someone who is used to working with overpaid under achievers;

    Roberto Mancinni with Lord Charles as his No 2

  • Comment number 22.

    Although I know many will dismiss Wenger, but he has one quality that I think no England manager since Keegan has and that is he always tries to win every game with attacking football. Too many managers in England play for draws against bigger and better teams and the press reward them by saying 0-0s are fantastic results. That's all well and good but if you have the players England have (and the appalling record we have in penalties) we should be trying to beat every other team, not flooding the midfielder and relying on one off bits of brilliance.

  • Comment number 23.


    Ha ha! Good point! To these xenophobes it doesn't matter- what he meant was if you look and sound English enough you can do a good job! Clearly Pulis is better qualified than Hiddink because he looks and sounds more English...!

  • Comment number 24.

    @TT_Swindlehurst (post 10) - loving the humour. "We simply want an English man to manage England"... then you pick out Tony Pulis, a Welshman. Brilliant.

  • Comment number 25.

    #16 Yes it appears you are right he is ..... Never mind at least he can speak English which at least is a step in the right direction 'Arry' it is then!

  • Comment number 26.

    #18 if winning is so important to you then why do you follow England at all, maybe Spain would be better for you!

  • Comment number 27.

    Who cares, it will make no difference who is the next England manager the players aren't good enough end of.

    It is however laughable that a supposed knowledgeable journalist should nominate a man who has spent years ridiculing international football to be our next international manager.

  • Comment number 28.

    Arsene Wenger shouldn't be England Manager, he should be made Tzar of English football. I can't think of anyone better to lay the foundations for long term success.

  • Comment number 29.

    As long as it's not Stuart Pearce I have an open mind about it. Wenger, I like. But would hate to see his dignity in tatters when the gutter press are get their teeth into him because of his nationality.

  • Comment number 30.

    Wenger was courted before and rightly told the F 'FA to get stuffed he would do the same again.

  • Comment number 31.

    Wenger - really? I can see the excuses already when we crash out. Redknapp is the only choice with Poyet going to Spurs.

  • Comment number 32.

    If the F.A. is looking for someone with a proven track record, Guus Hiddink is the man.

  • Comment number 33.

    Er, is it Apiril 1st?

  • Comment number 34.

    A controversial choice perhaps, but what about Rafa Benitez? I was never a fan of him or his style at Liverpool and his has glaring deficiencies as a club manager - namely buying and selling players. However, that is irrelevent at international level. He was also a master at cup competitions - effectively what international games are - and his pragmatic, defensive style would probably suit the English players...probably not the media though for whom a win is never enough.

  • Comment number 35.

    Neville Neville definitely.
    He will make a little bit of talent go a long way.

  • Comment number 36.

    As an arsenal fan I would say it would be great to see England trying to pass their way through an Italian defence.

    And of cause when plan A doesn't work.... we could try plan A again?

    Wenger has done great for english football but his inability to change tactics when it's required means a poor choice for England manager.

    Someone said 'the special one' I think would be a perfect choice dispite how much I hate him

  • Comment number 37.


    Because I'm English?

    But not so narrow minded to think that someone with native grasp of the English language is the most important thing! I'd like someone English too, but rather have the best man for the job.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    I am confused, you say speaking English is the key and then say 'Arry is the man, surely a contradiction with the emphasis on the diction! :-) Mind you better than his son

  • Comment number 40.

    I guess ultimately it depends on what the priorities for the England Team Manager are.

    1. Is it instigating a national youth coaching set up? And if so, using what model? Wenger would be good at that under one model (centralised), I wonder how good at it he would be if it were a co-ordinating role with club academies?
    2. Is part of that also engaging with schools and even pre-school organisations to get the nation moving about again? I suspect he might be rather good at that also.
    3. Is it about reaching a setllement with clubs to optimise the number of games played by players in club+international duties? That's pretty key in my book but I wonder how easy Wenger would find that. Sure, he's done the 'they all hate me, I don't care!' role a few times at Arsenal, but this would be more of it. Does he want that? Or are English clubs now mature enough to reach a pragmatic compromise??
    4. The manager of the senior team is mostly about picking sides and motivating players, along with ensuring that the environment during a biennial tournament is conducive to good performance. That's not the same as at a club, as the players are usually away from home and, maybe, their families. It's not that much about technical coaching, to be honest. That's only really possible in the lead up to a tournament when the manager might have the players for 4 - 6 weeks.

    There are a few other questions of course.

    1. Does he actually want the job?
    2. Is he really capable of putting England first, second and last and stick the knife into the French? It's pretty imperative to know that he would.......
    3. Is there something different about English players now which will make him comfortable managing them which was not the case in the past 5 years?

    Those are the sorts of issues which would arise.

    I do wonder, though, whether this is merely a bit of shadow boxing before Sunday's North London Derby, though.

    Whether it's come from Arsene Wenger as a dig at Harry Redknapp or Spurs suggesting that Arsene Wenger needs to be sent upstairs to manage England as he can't hack it no more in the EPL, who knows.

    It could just be the usual BBC mischief making, of course!!

    Of course, it could just be Greeks bearing gifts for a French bank, eh??!!

  • Comment number 41.

    The problem with Wenger is that he has very little experience of working with English players :-))

  • Comment number 42.

    This is all missing the point. The best thing to take the English national team forward will be decisions taken off the pitch, not deciding which unfortunate soul is given the poisoned chalice of picking the team and taking the flak from the media.

    In my opinion this is a pointless blog written for the sake of it.

  • Comment number 43.

    We miss the point yet again!

    Within the English Nationional Team we have the best individuals, coached by the best possible COACHES (Wenger included) in some of the best teams in the world. As a Spurs fan it pains me to say it but Redknapp is a fantastic MANAGER, a role there to get the best out of the team at any given time. The FA have obsessed with getting the best COACH in the managers job, the players don't need a fantastic tactician or new advanced training techniques, they need a MANAGER to give them the confidence and empowerment to play for our Country. With that in mind, Redknapp is the man for the job!

    Apologies for the use of capitals but this winds me up no end

  • Comment number 44.

    Does it matter? The problem is not the manager.

    We've won NOWT under all of the following...

    Revie, Greenwood, Mercer, Sir Bobby (tho close), Taylor, Wilkinson, El Tel (tho close), Keegan, Sven, that bloke with the brolly, Hoddle, Capello (so far)....

    The English problem is not the manager.

  • Comment number 45.

    I think Wenger could do an excellent job for England but the England manager should be English and I would look at Stuart Pearce who has done an outstanding job with the under-21s rather than Redknapp

  • Comment number 46.

    I would like to see players being replaced than the manager

  • Comment number 47.

    I have no idea why Capello is vilified, the guy is a decent manager but the public expects too much. Built up during WC qualies to be brought back down when we discovered what everyone else knew - England isn't the best team in the world. Top 10? Probably. Best? No.

  • Comment number 48.

    Shortlist of 5:
    Roy Hodgson
    Harry Redknapp
    Gus Hiddink
    Martin o' Neill
    Jose Mourhino

  • Comment number 49.

    Steve Wilson writes...

    "Too few recent England managers have looked like they actually enjoy the job. Capello occasionally looks like he can only just stomach it, as though English football and footballers are something to be endured rather than enjoyed."

    That might have something to do with the fact that you and your press pals savagely character assasinate every English manager I can remember since Greenwood. Your profession disgusts me at times Steve.

  • Comment number 50.

    It doesn't matter who manages England, the results will be the same. It's the whole philosophy of English football which will need to change for there to be success with the national team.

    And of course no one enjoys the England manager's job! Who would?

  • Comment number 51.

    No, no, no and no!

    We've gone down the foreign manager and it hasn't worked. That's not to suggest that appointing an English manager would suddenly make us World Champions, but it's been very clear that Fabio does the job because he was asked, because he gets paid, but beyond that, does he really care?

    Would Spain, Italy or Germany (recent championship winners) consider a manager of a different nationality.

    Redknapp for me, though the problems with English football run deeper than the manager.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nope, not wenger. Im a spurs fan and as much as I dont want him to go Harry is a custom made England manager. If anyone can get the bone idle english, lets put our clubs first, players to play and kick them up the .... Harry can.

  • Comment number 53.


    Errm, yeah - Wenger's long term football philosophy is really working well eh? Sheesh.

    Well if Wenger did become manager one thing is gauranteed - the players will sure no how to dive properly before long.

  • Comment number 54.

    I can't believe what short memories people have - after Sven it was "we need an Englishman" and look what happened. After McClaren it was "we need a foreigner" and look what's happened and will almost definitely happen again" . . . and it now it's back to "we need an Englishman"? Sure Redknapp is a lovable Delboy "wheeler-dealer", but seriously, how many other nations would want him as manager?

  • Comment number 55.

    It doesn't have to be Harry Redknapp but it has to be an Englishman, to suggest otherwise is missing the whole point of why we want England to do well, which is: National Pride. Where is the national pride if we have to get a foreigner to take charge before we feel we can win anything? You don't see Germany, or Italy, or France ever appointing anyone but one of their own. No doubt we could get a top foreign manager to take over, but what would be the point? Even if we won the World Cup it would be forever devalued because it wouldn't really be England who won it.

  • Comment number 56.

    He has to speak English, know English players and not be afraid of British press!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Why do English people love deceiving themselves so much?????

    Since 1966 no England manager - English or Foreign - has won anything or done enough to satisfy a deluded public.

    The problem is not the manager, it is you!!

    Perhaps if you changed your horrible attitude and PATIENTLY supported your team through the up and downs, highs and lows then there would be some continuity for the mangager to build and then you might have a chance of winning something

  • Comment number 58.

    Has SAF ruled out coaching a national team? I suggest it because if anyone can give the prima donnas/football stars the hair dryer treatment then its Fergie.Judging by what Scholes says you need someone of SAF's type and stature to make some tough calls.Arsene is not a bad call either but he will always have that foreigner tag.Moyes and MON are also good picks.Harry , not so much

  • Comment number 59.

    I have a feeling that Arsene will prefer a job at Paris Saint Germain down the line, perhaps the job of Football Director, currently held by Leonardo. He has stated before that Paris would be a dream destination after his years at Arsenal. As well as being in his native country, the Parisians have plenty else to offer and with their newfound Qatari wealth, massive fan-base and status as the capital's only club. The potential is there for a big project, the kind Arsene would relish I think. Or he could take up the England job, earn less money, be ridiculed in the tabloid press, who would certainly turn against the Frenchman as soon as he lost a few games and quit the game on a probably low. Let's face it, how have the careers of Sven, McLaren, Venables, Hoddle and the rest been after the end of their England careers?

  • Comment number 60.

    Whinger is a rubbish choice. What does he know about English players? He hardly ever plays any of them in his team. Also perhaps for the under 12 team he will be OK as always looking to steal 'future stars' from the creche. Pity they leave when they finish school though. On the positive side though, English players lack basic skills so that leaves him out as a football purist. Get George Graham if you need an Arsenal connection as he will understand the skill set on offer likely.

  • Comment number 61.

    WENGAR!!! He hates English football, for years he did not play a single English player in his team. Wilson left his coaching job with him because he refused to work with British goalkeepers! He is a disgrace to our game. if he had some British defenders in his team now as everybody who knows football keeps telling him arsenal would be a complete team.

  • Comment number 62.

    The only England managers in my lifetime who have given us anything to shout about have been Robson and Venables. Yes we fell slightly short with them but at least they instilled some passion into the players, and motivated them to perform without fear on the biggest stage.

    The players we have clearly have ability. We are playing in the bes league in the world and we see on a weekly basis how good they can be.

    Understandably they get nervous on the international stage and you need more than Cappello wittering on about a new formation, or Sven arranging his combover before a big game.

    Get Pearce in for me. Yes he is not a proven manager but does a decent job with the 21s, and knows first hand about the business end of international tournaments. Who knows he might even inject a bit of heart into our lads!

  • Comment number 63.

    I think that Harry would be a good choice as he seems to improve the level of performance of the players under him. He would need someone next to him with a bit of tactical nous though for me as he seems a bit too careless sometimes.

    JOHN, not sure what you're on about with mention of British goalkeepers and defenders. I'll apologise for spelling now but Vermalen, Mertesacker and Szczesny are all very good players.

  • Comment number 64.

    When Barca win La Liga again this year, and most likely the Champions League as well, Mourinho will be sacked by Real Madrid. He is the only possible opposition to Redknapp - and even then I am not sure he would take the job come the end of the European Championships. Maybe in a few years...
    There are no decent English managers left I am afraid. There are mainly Glaswegian managers in the Premier League. I'm not sure the FA are stupid enough to ask one of them.
    I have no idea why I just wrote that last sentence....

  • Comment number 65.

    For me Harry Redknapp is the automatic choice as he ticks so many boxes; he is English (which I think is quite important to a number of people; although what I think is more important is being able to communicate effectively and having a grasp on the English game), he has enjoyed reasonable success (particularly with the fact that he hasn't managed any of the 'big 4 (or is it 5 now?)' and he appears to be one of the few managers that most of the media/supporters have no objection to.

    I think the suggestion of Arsene Wenger is another good one and it will be interesting to see how the season pans out at the Emirates before we can make any claims that Wenger would possibly enjoy a 'change of scenery' (although I have a feeling that at some point Wenger has previously said he wouldn't be interested in the role).

    The thing that really frustrates me is the suggestion that we need someone with proven international credentials. I believe this to be the most ridiculous statement and a comment that has no support historically. Of the nations to either win the World Cup or the European Championships since 1996; only Berti Vogts (managed Kuwait for one year) and Roger Lemerre (assistant to Aime Jacquet) had any previous international management experience.

    The key criteria for me for the role is someone who can communicate effectively, has an understanding of the English game, has a medium and long-term strategy, is not afraid to omit 'star names', commands the respect of the squad and has a winning mentality. I have no problem with this being a non-English manager as long as the criteria is met and would be quite happy for a Wenger, Ferguson, Mourinho or O'Neill figure to take the reigns next.

    On a slightly different note, it would be nice for one of the more successful clubs to take a punt on an English manager. This would then hopefully 'put to bed' the 'there are no successful English managers' brigade.

  • Comment number 66.

    No way. Wenger is clearly not the right man, overrated too.

  • Comment number 67.

    as a welshman you english need to know its not the manager/coach who's at fault it a fact that british players are just not good enough!! us celts are lucky to have a few players in prem never mind the english players.
    think about the fact of how many 'top' enlish players play abroad or are even wanted abroad? hardly any, in fact the last players who were playing for a top team were beckham and mcmanamnan.
    look at other countries who have thier players playing all over europe(including african and asian players) gaining valuable experience of different tactics and cultures. look at spain, until the likes of alonso, torres went to liverpool spain never did anything even with thier home players.
    my prediction: england will never win another tournament!! us celts have no chance!!

  • Comment number 68.

    Actually, the next candidate will need to be someone who can accept that international football is dying on its backside (rightly or wrongly). Most managers in the EPL (particularly Arsene Wenger) dread not just friendlies but the qualifying for the 'major' tournaments and the tournaments themselves, and have frequently stated that they would prefer their 'player x' not to play, or indeed, pull said player/s out of the international squads, only for same player/s to make a miraculous recovery a few days later for the next round of EPL/CL games.

    The Champions League is, like it or lump it, the be-all and end-all, for those clubs participating. Next in line of importance is the league. I can't see Wenger even giving the England manager's job any consideration, even if he were to be approached. For those same reasons, I'm surprised Redknapp even wishes to be considered. If he does get the job, he'll soon find out how "co-operative" club managers can be.

  • Comment number 69.

    "I'd like to think that for once England might try to attract a manager who has a proven record at International Football.

    Why do we never seem to get somebody who has experience in this very different football management? National managers and club managers are world's apart, it's about time somebody in power realized this and acted accordingly.

    I don't think the manager needs to be an Englishman. I think the manager needs to be someone who knows what he is doing within International Football."

    Mark Hughes? LOL, this article is a load of shiiii

  • Comment number 70.

    the fa will never go or a manager like wenger because he has too much on an opinion. just like brian clough was never considered for the england managers role. when they come into a job the want full control over every aspect, the fa in their blindness arent prepared to let this happen and so are looking for another puppet who can move a few dots round a tactics board with out disrupting the cushyness of the job the fa have. for this reason, wenger could not possibly take over as england manager and young managers who are showing promise with their careers like owen coyle, chris hughton or paul lambert shouldnt be considered. a manager such as harry will enjoy his last big pay check and will do what the fa want. its sad but its what is likely

  • Comment number 71.

    Swindlehurst..Pullis is from Newport :) Although many in Wales consider that England :) Although I much respect Wenger, is gift "has" been nurturing talent. Martin O neil has the skills, but has blotted his copybook with walkouts, the pressure of a difficult press conference might push him over the edge. Mourinho would be an excellent call..although he has been out of English football for a while, he would certainly have the respect of the players. ( not sure if there are enough technically able players in England to play to Mourinho desired standard) but he showed at Porto and Inter that he is incredible when it comes to setting up teams for tournaments. It was a real surprise that Chelsea didn't win the Champions League. Mark Hughes has jumped position too many times.

    Harry Rednapp would be a loose cannon, I think he would pick and choose a different team every game and would lose continuity. He can't pick Bale and Modric for England :) he dropped his best English forwards, doesn't know how to play Dafoe.

    Mourinho on a 2 year deal would be top pick :) After that I would throw in a name..Dennis Berkamp !

  • Comment number 72.

    Rupert #68.

    I think that's very untrue. Believe it or not there are 100's of 1000's of fans who see the Champions League and the 'big four' glory hunter fans not as the holy grail, but for what it is.

    You rarely get 'followers' of the big four on England trips. They can't pick a team that wins all the time on the international stage. We don't need their kind anyway. :)

  • Comment number 73.

    Lee Clark would be my choice. Others to be considered:
    - Steve Clarke
    - Tony Pulis
    - Steve McLaren (yes.)

  • Comment number 74.

    Manager, manager, manager, Yes important BUT, our players have just not shown up! Until we start playing better football the manager can only do so much. Harry or Wenger would be great, but again I am afraid that the English footballer of old has long gone. We are seeing the results of a different lifestyle of the players today and the players of 20 years ago. Look at the play of the chaps from under developed countries and the answer is quite clear. It was not long ago that an English boy would play football just about every daylight hour, thats all he could afford to do! To-day the kids are driven to a field, they play computer games, and they are all texting on their Bleckberries. Until football becomes number one in their life we will continue to be a nation of average football.

  • Comment number 75.

    #72 From the fans' point of view, you're probably right and personally, I would prefer to see greater prominence given to the international calendar. However, my views were based on how I perceive it from clubs and managers' angle

  • Comment number 76.

    England fans need to get realistic. They are not world beaters, the premier league may be great to watch but sides are tactically inept. England players are constantly lauded as world class, but in reality do you really believe the Spanish, Brazilians, Germans etc would have anybody bar - Wayne Rooney.

    Fabio Capello may not be everyone’s favourite, but the man is a winner, will a cabinet full of trophies to prove it. Wake up and smell the coffee. The players are just not good enough. To be honest the best manager from a tactical point of view in recent years, you have had, is Glen Hoddle and you hounded him out for non-footballing reasons – England manager’s job poisoned chalice!

  • Comment number 77.

    They have cars, mobile phones and videogames in places like Spain, Italy, Germany and Holland too. The US are also very good at sports in general, if not specifically football, so a developed society is definitely not a hinderence to top level Sports performance. Come up with another excuse.

  • Comment number 78.

    Harry Redknapp seems to be a divisive figure. There are two camps, those who think that there is only one candidate for the England job, namely harry, and others who seem to think he is immensely over-rated as a manager and would be a second rate choice by the FA.

    People need to focus on the facts... So lets look at his managerial career.

    Bournemouth - A promising start peaked with a promotion, but was then followed by a long, long period of hopeless form and then relegation. Redknapp left the club right back where they'd started.

    West Ham United - Consolidated their position in the Premier League and overall did a reasonable job, including getting the team in to Europe. Brought some genuine quality through their youth ranks (Ferdinand, Carrick, Cole etc) but is debatable how much of their success was specifically down to Redknapp and was accompanied by some over-priced flops such as Marco Boogers. Essentially his time at West Ham can be summed up by saying he didn't move them forward especially, but certainly they didn't move backwards either.

    Portsmouth (1st Spell) - Got them promoted into Premiership, reasonable work, but was there too briefly to be judged significantly.

    Southampton - Displayed a curious attitude to respecting former fans by signing for arch rivals Southampton. Proceeded to get them relegated and then failed to get them back into the Premiership, disappointing as their squad was arguably strong enough for an immediate return.

    Portsmouth (2nd Spell) - Managed to avoid relegation (arguably hired with that brief) and did improve the team. But did so via an absurd financial policy that saw average players on outrageously inflated salaries (Sol Campbell 100k p/w, Lass Diarra 90k p/w, the list goes on). Despite Redknapp's bizarre suggestion he had no knowledge of these financial going's on, this policy that he was ultimately at the heart of led to Portsmouth's demise and near extinction. Redknapp bailed when Spurs came calling.

    Tottenham - Took over after Ramos's very poor brief reign. Is credited with 'turning their season around' but this is somewhat inflated praise as the Spurs squad he inherited was FAR too good to be relegated and frankly one would expect most managers to be able to avoid relegation at Spurs. Took Spurs forwards and ultimately into the Champions League, for which he should receive credit. But it should be noted that this success came at the cost of the second highest Premiership transfer budget (behind Man City) for the 08/09 and 09/10 season and he continues to spend considerable sums, with poor returns. Crouch, Palacios, Keane etc, all sold for considerable net losses after poor spells.

    So there you have it... His record speaks for itself. His career is a catalogue of spells where he either underperformed, or achieved his targets but never exceeded them. He has serious question marks about him regarding his financial sense, appears to have a very questionable sense of loyalty and will clearly go where the highest wage cheque is.

    Anyone still want to stand by him as the best manager England could get? Don't even start on him being a 'wheeler dealer'!! I'd rather have Peter Risdale in charge of my finances!

  • Comment number 79.

    "He has to speak English, know English players and not be afraid of British press!!! "

    thats Beckham ruled out then TFFT to.

  • Comment number 80.

    Are you serious!?!?! You think getting West Ham to a 5th place finish isn't beyond what is expected for West Ham or improving them?? Unbelievable. Let alone winning the FA Cup with Portsmouth and finishing in the top 4 with Spurs.

  • Comment number 81.

    Interesting article and agree that the FA should look beyond HR to someone with real international pedigree.

    That said there are some cracking posts on here.....#10 " we simply want an English manager to manage England, is that too much to ask" Then goes onto say that Tony Pulis is the man for the job....despite being Welsh!....Awesome views! Some people don't deserve internet access!

  • Comment number 82.

    Wenger as England manager is an interesting idea. In some ways the style of football he has instilled at Arsenal may be better suited to the international game than the Premiership.

    Just to play devils advocate, I'd love to see Alex Ferguson as England manager. Whatever you think of him, he is the most successful manager in the Premiership. Just to hear his reaction if the FA approach him would be priceless! Put his money where his mouth is so to speak. Of course it'll never happen though!

  • Comment number 83.

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

  • Comment number 84.

    @ Rocky_Rambo

    I think finishing 5th with West Ham with Ferdinand, Carrick, Joe Cole, Slavan Billic etc was quite good, yes. Was it amazing? No. He had a squad that was clearly good enough to aim for that. And he did this in the 98/99 season, before the real money madness started and clubs like West ham became priced out of the top 6.

    I would also note that he then, as he has always done, followed this success up with a fall out with the board over contracts. So he never took West Ham forward into the Champions League.

    As for what he's done at Spurs. If you read what I wrote I did say he deserves credit for taking Spurs to the Champions League. however I simply qualified that he spent over £100m to do this. So yes, he did well, but I would expect a very large number of managers to be challenging for fourth if you gave them that sort of money, so his 'success' is hardly that impressive.

  • Comment number 85.

    Give Fergie a choice...Manage England or get deported. Simple.

  • Comment number 86.

    if harry doesn't get the job, what will jamie do?

    he only got the Sky job because harry was in the frame for the england job back then, and now that he has proved he is as much use as a chocolate teapot, they are keeping him on because harry is once again in the frame for the england job.

    so harry needs the england job for jamie's sake.

  • Comment number 87.

    It shouldn't matter what nationality the manager is. If he's good at his job then motivating his team or squad shouldn't be a problem. How many times have you watched a major tournament and teams have had a 'foreign' manager?
    A manager that has led them through qualification.

    It should be quality not nationality.

    However, having said all that, England still won't do well at a major tournament until we scrap the league cup for prem teams, scrap FA cup replays and introduce a winter break.

  • Comment number 88.

    Roy Hodgson remains for me the best choice. Spell at Liverpool was, without doubt, not good. However if we put that down to simply being a 'poor fit' the rest of his CV points at him being an excellent candidate.

    Has managed internationally previously (Switzerland, Finland and U.A.E)

    Has managed top clubs, crucially including spells abroad (Inter, Udinese, Malmo [they were quite good when he managed them] and numerous Prem clubs.)

    Is English (Personally I don't care where Eng manager is from, but it seems to matter to some people.)

    Downsides... Is admittedly a bit of a restless sort. Has spent A LOT of very short spells in different jobs. Would be a minor concern that if England job didn't have a good first year he may jump ship for mega bucks managing someone like Qatar or in MLS etc. However I suspect, being English, he'd commit to the England job for four years if asked.

  • Comment number 89.

    Why not Tony Pulis? I know he is a rendition of Graeme Taylor, but currently the English players can't compete technically with the big boys, so let's get back to the up and at them game and be the most aggressive outfit in international football! Not easy on the eye and we won't win anything, but at least the players will know what to do.
    Come on FA, give Charles Hughes another shout, after all I'm sure their are some blazers still within the FA who would accomodate Tony and Charlies methods.

  • Comment number 90.

    #83 I'm not sure I understood who you were suggesting for the England job... Please simplify ;o)

  • Comment number 91.

    However, on a serious note: MO'N is a good shout. He's got all the credentials, and most importantly, the ability to make us remember that it's the players on the pitch that have the biggest impact. I don't think he'd be scared to drop Lampard and Gerrard and bring through some new faces.

    He's Norn Irish though, so whether it'd interest him is another matter...

  • Comment number 92.

    Seriously Stuart Pearce, he already knows the England Set up from the U21's through to the National Squad, does not affect any club (having to compensate them for poaching their manager), players already know him, if your going to look to the grass roots then, time for the U21 manager to come forward.....

  • Comment number 93.

    This is the worst blog I have ever read on the BBC.

    The England manager should be English. This is not Xenophobia. The point of International football is that it should be the best of your country versus the best of another - best players, manager, staff etc.

    Also, I keep hearing 'we need a manager with proven experience of the international game'. But how much international experience did Bert van Marwijk or Joachim Löw have when they took over as Dutch and German national managers? Now they seem to be doing ok.

    Maybe we just need an English manager who understands the English game, the English mindset, and can get the best out of what we have. If we still can't do well after that, at least we will have tried in an honest way and not by selling our soul and attempting to buy our way to success.

  • Comment number 94.


    I think you may be twisting the facts slightly to suit your argument! I'm not saying he is the best man for the England job but he deserves more credit than you give him. You say that he is responsible for some of the dodgy deals over the years, but he is never given any credit for the good ones - e.g. Van Der Vaart last year. Diarra's salary may have been inflated but his signing was a masterstroke - he was sold at a £12m profit after just a year or so! We may have spent big in 08/09 and 09/10 but our net outlay in the last 4 years is less than £20m. Not to mention the wage bill - hugely less than Manu, City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Crouch sold for a considerable net loss? He was sold for a profit!

    Anyway, not saying he should be England manager, but he has done a good job at Spurs, with far less money than is often made out.

  • Comment number 95.

    There's always a difference between sports journalism and sport/football.

    Clearly stating Wenger as a person for the England post is not sport but mere speculation. This one really has no idea.

    It could be the Spurs boss or it could be Mourinho or maybe the Everton boss Moyes. Truth be told, no-one knows for sure.

  • Comment number 96.

    Arsene Wenger does deserve an international job of some kind, being a manager with his cv at 61 most would have given it a try by now. Its just his continued success at Arsenal which has persuaded him to stay in club football. Due to current opinion of Wenger (Unjust in my view, and im no arsenal fan), it may be a good time to get him.

    Im not quite sure why Harry would want the job anyway- hes making a tough Tottenham job look easy and fans across england- not just spurs fans- love him. To then take an England job is a bit of a poisoned chalice.

    And besides, Senor Guardiola said he was looking for a new challenge next year...

  • Comment number 97.

    Lets throw a couple of names into the pot: Frank Rijkaard, Louis Van Gaal, and what about this guy - a player loved by all English clubs except Man City, who has managed both Barcelona and Real Madrid, managed his own country and would be an interesting fillet for the media:

    Raddy Antic!

  • Comment number 98.

    Big Sam is the man for the job. Like he said, if his name was "Sam Allardyci" he would be on every big team's shortlist.

    Big Sam for England.

  • Comment number 99.

    There's actually an article about Wenger and the England job? I'm sorry Steve, but you will be the only person in the country with that opinion, and this article will not persuade other to think the same way.

    England need a proven international manager, as many people here have been stating. Harry is the best choice if we want to have an Englishman in charge, and I for one wouldn't mind him taking the job, I'd also be happy with Stuart Pearce.
    But someone who knows the ropes at the top international level might have a slim chance (and by that I mean really slim) of actually doing something credible with our national team, and that's on the basis that could even attract such a person, Guus Hiddink perhaps?

  • Comment number 100.

    @ crazyrain...

    I'll hold my hands up and say you're probably right. You could probably take his career and using the same facts make him look a bit better. I don't like/rate HR and therefore it would be dishonest of me to rule out being biased in my assessment.

    However I find one point you make an interesting example. You mention how well he did to sign Rafael Van Der Vaart. I agree that signing him for £8m was outstanding business. So it is ironic that since then both HR and D Levvy have confirmed that he was a board signing and Redknapp neither requested him or was involved with the signing.

    As for Crouch, I meant that collectively him, Palacios and Keane were sold for a significant net loss.

    I think overall Redknapp frequently buys players at the price they are worth. However he also pays lots of money for players who flop. I can't recall many players he's sold at a considerable profit?

    You mention Lassana Diarra... My understanding is that nearly £7m of that £20m fee went to agents. And when you consider he pocketed £5m per season he has to be considered financial madness for a club the size of Pompey.

    Perhaps a more fair summary of Redknapp would be?... A bad manager, no, he has achieved some success. A good manager? At times he has been, but if you average his career out, it's one of mediocrity bordering on failure. A Great manager? (Which surely the England manager should aspire to be?) Definitely not.


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