Thursday, April 13, 2006

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for Middlesbrough (v Charlton Athletic), 12 April 2006

Predictions are here.

Please make this England manager thing stop. Alan Curbishley thinks he has blown it as no-one has given him a call. Guus Hiddink has got the hump with how long the process has taken (haven't we all?) and buggered off to Russia. Big Sam is committed to the Bolton job, despite clearly desperately wanting the FA to appoint him. And apparently, the bookies favourite is now Steve McLaren. 'Big Phil' Scolari and Martin O'Neill remain in the mix.

Discounting the fact me and a couple of colleagues have £400 on Martin O'Neill to become the next Newcastle manager, I wish the FA would decide. If they are going for an Englishman (definition now includes Northern Ireland apparently), they should pick someone and get this farce over with. By the time Sam Allardyce has his fourth interview, even he might get a bit peed off with the process.

Steve McLaren seems to be the only man with the credentials in terms of experience at a high club level and at international level (England only play in cups, remember) but a less charismatic man it would be difficult to find. If the FA want a safe pair of hands, that's what they will certainly get with McLaren. (Although Stuart Downing might get an England cap).

So, who do we want, then? Seeing as the FA seem to have ruled out any decent choices (I'd have had Hiddink myself. Actually, no, I wouldn't have got rid of Sven...) with their remaining shortlist, it's got to be McLaren for me, I think. I must be getting old....


swisslet said...

give it to hoddle.

they should have called it quits with Sven, you know. He's a devious little git casting "come and get me" eyes at all and sundry. Besides. I don't think he's done that great a job. Workmanlike. He hasn't lost many games, but has he really turned England into a side that can really threaten the best in the world? I don't think he has. The reason we have a chance in the World Cup has got everthing to do with the raw material in the side (Rooney, Gerrard, Owen, Lampard, Terry...) and less to do with his fumbling and unispiring tactics.

Take Steven Gerrard. He's been an absolute revelation for Liverpool over the last couple of seasons, but he's a shadow of that player when he wears an England shirt. Partly this is because of the role he plays for England (more defensive as Lampard barrels forwards), but I think partly it's down to Sven's tactics. It happened to Paul Scholes too.

Curbishley, Allardyce or McClaren? Hmmm. I'm not at all convinced that any of them are the answer either. Can you see Curbs or Big Sam talking tactics with some of these players? I can't imagine it. To the Beckhams of this world, they're small time.


swisslet said...

you all know I'm joking about Glenn Hoddle, right?

Charby said...

Did you have to be so cruel with the post title?

El Tel said...

I think that McLaren has good credentials in terms of developing players, both in the contexts of Boro and Man Utd. Mix that with experience of handling big stars/egos and he's looking like a very serious contender. But in amongst all of this 'Who will it be' nonsense, the actions of one man stand out above all and sundry (to borrow a SwissToni phrase), and that man is... Sven. It really is.

We're fast approaching a World Cup and who and what are the press and assorted media concerned with... the post World Cup era, post-Sven, i.e. 'What the ****'s Sven got to do with anything?' Pressure off him equals time and space to get on with what - not who - he's meant to be doing... i.e. Winning a World Cup.

Back to the original question, 'Who do we want?', I'd be content with a McLaren, but I'd rather see a Wenger or a Brian Horton. Why has no one mentioned Horton. Did I miss something?