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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Step forward Allardyce, Curbishley, McClaren, Pearce

Sam Allardyce, Alan Curbishley, Steve McClaren, Stuart Pearce : are you ready for the England manager's job?

After yesterday evening's statement that the FA and Eriksson had reached an agreement for the latter's immediate departure after the World Cup, I'm sure each one of these individuals will be asking themseleves this question right now. This is beacuse the race to replace Eriksson has no obvious favourite and each one has more or less an equal chance of gaining the poisoned chalice.

If you are an ambitious personality than the potential rewards that come with being an England manager are unbeatable: leading a proud footballing country to international football success.

This is the bait that lures candidates in. However, the reality of the position is that after an inital honeymoon period, the media will go on unremitting attack if you don't produce convincing excellent performances on a match-by-match basis.

Who is good, ambitious and mentally strong enough to take on this challenge?

At present, I make Allardyce the best English candidate (assuming the FA won't look overseas after the Eriksson debacle?). He has a lot of managerial experience, he is proven at being able to get the best out of his players, his team has consistely been on an upward curve, he is tactically astute, he is a progressive coach in terms of being open to the latest training techinques and technological aids, and finally he has the requisite passion that English fans are looking for after putting up with monotone Eriksson. In fact, he is a fearsome individual when it comes to match-time and I imagine any England player would immediately respond to his demands.

The next few days and weeks will all be about potential candidates ruling themselves in and ruling themselves out. Allardyce, Curbishley, McClaren, Pearce: are you ready and willing to step forward?


Blogger RedsMan said...

The names put forward so far are English ones. Is this to coincide with the mood of the public, or do the media actually view these possibilities as good candidates? The English public should ask itself whether it wants an English manager who achieves mediocre results or a foreign manager who can take the national squad further, in other words actually win the European championship and/or the World Cup? This is not to say I view the names above as being mediocre, but while the current cry is for an English manager, we should actually ask ourselves what we really want.

For me, there is no reason why any manager, English or otherwise, cannot take the team into higher heights. The players are very good, very athletic, skillful and strong. The majority of them play for a few of the top teams in the country, from a league arugably regarded as the toughest, most physical in Europe. But some of the recent reaction to Eriksson's announcement to the media today left me frustrated because the comments simply do not make for a sufficiently good case.

I heard on the radio a member of the England Supporters' Club ask for the public to view those English names above and look at their respective team's position. Is that a fair way to judge their potential?

Then he mentioned the other national sides and to look at their coaches, presumably to see how well their coaches have been doing. So I did. Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Holland and Argentina are part of the top ten according to the current FIFA World Rankings, and I looked at Italy and Portugal. All of these teams have national coaches of the same nationality except for Portugal's Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari. What also stands Portugal out from the teams mentioned is that their respective coaches are quite new additions from within 2004, Scolari's appointment was in 2003. The Portuguese are not complaining about the current World Cup winning man.

I don't see why we cannot have an English coach as we have a number of decent candidates to choose from, though the nationality of the coach bears little to the players as long as he can manage the side with great respectability. The foreign candidates are limited; the current public cry is for an English coach. That coach will be Steve McClaren.

As for Eriksson, it was said this afternoon prior to his statement today, that the newspaper in question had made an absolute shambles of this situation to sell their papers. Another question: Do we prefer to know about Eriksson's true feelings behind the preparations for the World Cup, which goes on to sell newspapers? Or do we prefer to find out afterwards that he had little to no heart behind the preparations, the team and the FA altogether because he had seeked to positioned himself in a wealthier stance at the expense of the English FA, the fans, the team, the World Cup, and a respected club manager?

Eriksson would have looked very spiteful if he had resigned now. Remember him saying: "The only way I will leave this job will be because of results. I'm too stubborn to quit because of criticism - too stubborn." Well, according to comments his results are very good, so he cannot be leaving because of that. He regards the intrusion into his private life too much to sustain as England coach.

"Since some time ago I felt there was too much circus around my private life. Maybe this was one too many....I think myself sometimes I get fed up reading about my private life, what I did and said, and I think people in general are getting fed up with Sven and what's going on. We should talk about football but unfortunately it is difficult in this country."

Faria Alam, Ulrika Jonsson, Manchester United, Chelsea, and a fake sheikh - it would be difficult to speak about football when you are engaged on the front pages rather than positively on the back. There was something to be in disapproval with at times with his strategy of football, there were times where we were admirable, other times we were counting ourselves fortunate - this time the Swede has brought the FA into disrepute, the national game, and his standing, by his casual conversations in the pursuit of further gain at the expense of that which he had taken to his heart and then ripped away.

I'm not ecstatic about it all, I'm not an anti-Eriksson fan, only that the man doesn't show the kind of passion and pride for the position he has taken, that I would like to see from him, win, lose or draw. His tactics have been questionable lately and now we know that was for a specific reason. This, I'm afraid, was the icing of the cake. What has happened in the past were mere ingredients in preparation.


1/24/2006 8:31 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....Perhaps Im strange but I for one do not relish the thought of Allardyce or McClaren aplying for 'the' JOB. I never liked Sams attitude on field or his language /manners off it.

McClaren Im afraid had shown his lack of tactical nouse when assisting Sven during our failures over the years. Especially, the lack of ideas when the team was one down in the world cup.

My own preference Steve Coppell, to be assisted by Curbishly, will be laughed at by the media and the supporters of the loud mouthed bully-boy type managers being touted, but I have been so impressed by them both, and what they have achieved with so little.

High profilers, like Sven are always going to be a target. He was just so lucky to take over when we already had the basis of a great side to add to. When I followed the Italian seria A on channel four, I was amazed how much credence was given to Sven by the media, compared with Capello etc. At the time I was hoping that the FA would look again at Venables.....blimey when you think what he was sacked for? Nothing to do with his work job, compared with what Sven has been like?...well I think TEL would be an asset to use with the new manager whoever.

Anyway back to the future. If and when Arsene the great moves upstairs, the only managers I would like as his replacement would be one of the following:-

Coppell, Jewell, and O'Neil

1/25/2006 3:46 pm

Blogger T said...

GunnerPete, I definitely see the merits of Curbishley- he goes about his job quietly but with efficiency and doesn't fork out the massive wages to attract big-name players like Allardyce does.... but still has had an equivalent success. Coppell has also done a great job building a young, talented and predominantly English team at Reading who are ripping up the Championship division... emulating what he did at Palace in the early 90's.

Redsman, you state McClaren but do you think he SHOULD be the number one English candidate?

(P.S. Quality comments GunnerPete, but it would be solid and I would personally appreciate it if you acknowledge Redsman's comments on the Diaby article a couple of weeks back...)

1/26/2006 9:50 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....High 'T'

What comments are you refering to? Can you tell me where to look and I will gladly answer them !

1/26/2006 4:27 pm

Blogger T said...

No probs GunnerPete... if you click on the 'Diaby is six foot two inches' article you will see the comments made by me and Redsman... made after your comments that we interpreted to be out of line with the good spirit that we try to encourage at EFT.

Thanx GunnerPete...

1/26/2006 7:03 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says...thanks 't' I have read both your comments and that of Redsman, and oplogise if you really thought my response was harsh. I must however stick to my principles, and do not like throw away mini attacks on my team when they are struggling to find form. Perhaps I missread the true meaning behind the words, but it seemed condecending to me, so I reacted. If I took it wrong It was a mistake on my part.

In reply to Redsman's very long ( non attack back) I would like to know his age, because it seemed that he is a mid 30's type who cannot remember the Shankly method of keeping control of the championship that I refered to.

First let me make it clear that as a true Gunner, I loved old Shanks because he was turning a modest working class team of triers into the most dominant force in Europe the UK had ever seen. And that, is hard to take from a North London point of view. I also loved his philosophy, of boring the pants of the opposition(away) for 75 minutes, then just as the crowd got on the home teams backs, he would attack, usually with great success. The Pool recorded more 0-1 wins, in the last ten minutes, over many years, than any other team in history..check it out. getting to the answer to my remark that touched a combined nerve with you two. Shanks, always outpurchased London sides in the number of players and the price of the players he brought in to sustain their dominance. UNLIKE ARSENE WENGER HE NEVER HAD TO SELL TO STRENGTHEN HIS TEAMS. IF YOU EXAMINE THE FACTS YOU WILL SEE THAT AW HAS CONSTANTLY AVERAGED £4 MILL PER SEASON, BUT ONLY AFTER SELLING FIRST. This year it was Viera. Before its been Petit & Overmars or Anelka that has funded his buying. Never has he had the luxury of the Pool / Manure & now Chelski to buy and buy, to add to winning squads. That is the truth of the difference between us.

If you followed Shanks successors, you will see his policy of always buying more than others,( even players he never really wanted but stopped the opposition from having) every year, has been followed religiously since, and it works. Benitas has gone even farther than most, and he is not finished yet. Good luck to him, it is the only way to sustain success for more than one year at a time. Something AW has yet to learn.

Getting back to my original complaint....I reacted to your remarks because AFC have had far more injuries to contend with than Boro, and our team was half full of kids too, but they still won 7-0, and deserved praise plus encouragement, not a downgrading of the performance.

Again I am sorry if this is not in keeping with the constitution of the site, but it is honest and well meant.

1/27/2006 11:35 am

Blogger T said...

Definitely respect you taking the time-out to clarify things in a good way GunnerPete.

I can tell you that although Redsman's original comment may have come across as condescending I can assure you from knowing him for many years that this was not his intention... and I guess this is easier for me to instictively know because of the fact I know him very well.

If he was being deliberately condescending than - as Redsman himself acknowledged - he would expect me to have words with him... and ditto would that be the case if I was provocatively and unfairly starting on his team.

I won't speak for Redsman, but from my point of view I'm happy with your clarification of things and personally hope to read your informed opinions for a good time to come...

1/27/2006 7:15 pm


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