So Sven has finally fallen on his sword (ish). I think it's obvious to all that were we not so close to a major competition he would have been pictured in an armlock with a security guard helping him find a cab home from Soho Square. I feel sorry for Sven; well, as much as you can feel sorry for someone with that much money (plus a £3m pay-off).
I feel sorry for him for our press and for his bungling foolish bosses at the FA. Once again, the two have conspired to rid us of another coach, perhaps in the vain hope that they can get Terry Venables back in the job. Salt of the earf innee, just wot we need. Proper English innee. Rubbish, we've just lost the best man for the job. The (basically) racist people who think that England should only be managed by an Englishman have neglected to realise that all the names in the frame HAVEN'T WON ANYTHING. Sven has had an exemplary record as a coach, the Northerm Ireland result notwithstanding. John Sadler said in The Sun that Sven owes it to us to win the World Cup now. What a load of piss. If we do win the World Cup, it would show what a stupid decision it was to offload a guy for being a bit foolish. So the guy's head gets turned by money and birds. Sounds like most blokes i know.
Let's look at the options.
Oh dear, how he must be cursing his luck; just as his dream job comes up, Sven comes to see him lose 7-0 at Arsenal. (Though why was he there? Not too many England hopefuls there, unless he was keen to check Ray Parlour's rehabilitation. Surely Sven should have been at Liverpool v Spurs? Sack him!! oh....)
Anyway, back to McLaren; put simply, he buys decent players and turns them into crap ones. That trusted blend of youth and mercenary has seen his shoddy team slide inexorably towards the Championship. I'd like to see them go down, just in case any fools still think he's the man for the job. And watching Middlesbrough is painful. Still, it'd be good to see his coach Steve Harrison back in the England fold. I doubt the press have forgotten his plastic-cup stunt that went down so well (literally) in his previous tenure as England coach.
But McLaren has mates within the FA, so don't be surprised if it does happen...
Please, please not yet. Stuart Pearce has the potential to do a fantastic job as England manager one day. Let him learn his trade before we all go frothing off about Psycho this and Bulldog Spirit that. It's Manchester City he's managing. They have a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, as any Citeh fan will tell you. If 5 years of the City job doesn't kill him, he'll be alright as
England boss. In fact, i table a motion that all England managers must complete 5 years at Man City, just so they discover every high and low of management.
No thanks; if he was manager, we'd be fine for the first four of five games of a qualifying campaign, then slide into a dogfight for a play-off place (and there are no play-offs in the Euro 2008 qualifiers). I just don't think he's that good. Charlton are just ok. When your team play Charlton, are you genuinely worried? Would Italy, Brazil, Portugal and Spain be? Not a step forward.
Probably the best option of all English contenders. He's paid his dues, rattling tins on the streets of Limerick when he was boss there, just to keep the club going. He's got a good modern approach; and i don't think he'd be afraid to put in players like Kevin Nolan and Scott Parker, rather than kowtowing to the press over the team selection. But hasn't been in a situation yet where he's going for a trophy. If he was to get European Champions League experience and win the UEFA Cup maybe, then we'd have to look very seriously at him. Still don't like the bloke though.....
But why not another foreigner? There are plenty that are on offer; Ottmar Hitzfeld hasn't had a job since leaving Bayern Munich. He has the credentials, though the thought of a German in charge would be too much to stomach for the Billy Britain brigade, so let's discount him at this stage. Fabio Capello would be excellent. A born winner, superior knowledge of the World game, strong character, more than able to handle the inflated egos that pull on an England shirt these days. Guus Hiidink would be a good choice too, but he'd have to leave his club post as i don't think you can combine the two. I know he is doing so at present with Australia, but it's a ready made excuse if results start to falter; 'where do you're priorities lie?' Two other good young coaches are out there in Ralf Rangnick at Schalke (like Pearce, bit too soon for him too) and Paul Le Guen (though it seems he'll take up a big European post next). A good outside bet would be Luis Felipe Scolari. Big Phil would shake it up on the back pages, and has a cracking pedigree of playing good football.
The obvious and best choice is Arsene Wenger. They'd cut their throats to get him at the FA. But he won't go for the following reasons;
1. He would be incredibly bored at national level. He needs the daily fix that only club management can give.
2. He never leaves contracts. His Arsenal one runs out in 2008.
3. Why work for someone who has repeatedly stitched you up in the past for pathetic misdemeanours?
4. He sees first hand how the press in this country works. Who can forget his introduction to this country in 1996? He'd not been in the Arsenal job for 5 minutes and was forced to defend his name against bullshit rumours. That he did so so skilfully won't have been lost on the press and the FA, but i feel this man forgives but doesn't forget.
Fuck it, give em what they want. Get Venables back in. First headline 'Barmby and Anderton in line for England recall' .....We've got the basis of a squad that can challenge for the next three major tournaments. Let's sit back and watch the FA balls it up. Cheers.