After Capello, England wonders what’s next
February 10, 2012 2 Comments
By: Kiran Balan
With the sudden resignation of Fabio Capello, the English Football Association has been left scrambling for a replacement. According to press reports and rumors, the F.A. prefers a manager who is English, but is England ready to give another Englishman a chance after the failures of Steve McClaren?
Fabio Capello’s resignation came as a surprise, but the circumstances were not, given his strong beliefs against the F.A.’s decision to strip defender John Terry of the English captaincy. Terry is currently awaiting trial after being charged for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Capello, while not approving of Terry’s actions, still believes that the defender’s experience and leadership is second-to-none. Capello also said the decision to strip Terry of his captaincy was premature, as nothing has been proven.
So with just under four months until the 2012 Euros, the F.A. is quickly searching for the next manager. There are quality candidates ready to take over, but one wonders, what is the F.A. looking for in the next manager?
Stuart Pearce, acting as caretaker manager until a permanent replacement is found, knows the players very well. He is the U-21 national team manager, and has coached many of the current players, including Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge. Pearce would be a safe choice, but not one that would take England to international glory.
Another option could be hiring a short-term manager to oversee the Euro 2012 Championships. Both Sven-Göran Eriksson and Guus Hiddink are seen as potentials for the position. Eriksson was England manager from 2001 to 2006, but the media circus during his tenure made it felt like he over welcomed his stay. In recent years, Eriksson has had little success in managing various clubs and national teams, which counts as a strike against him. Hiddink has been magical with every team he’s managed, and the quick positive results he provides make him an attractive candidate for the job. Inconsistency would be a negative aspect of a short-term solution, affecting both the team and future player selection.
Two favored long-term options are José Mourinho and Harry Redknapp. Based on the F.A.’s criteria,Redknapp looks to have the edge on the Mourinho, due the fact that he is English and has been overwhelmingly successful at Tottenham this season. Spurs fans would be very unhappy to see Redknapp leave, and the club’s squad could be picked apart during the next transfer window. With Tottenham looking likely to be playing in the Champions League next season, Redknapp would have a very strong incentive to stay at the club.
Then there is the case for bringing in Mourinho. “The Special One” has certainly been special during his time in England and abroad, and it would take a brave soul to count him out of the running for England manager. Mourinho has made it no secret that he would like to return to England someday; now may be the time. His player management skills are top-notch, his tactics often unmatched, and with a Spanish media unhappy with his work at Real Madrid, the incentives to come back to England are immense
The English National Team is currently the hottest managerial job on the market; the F.A. should take its time and explore every option before making a decision, to ensure both short-term and long-term goals are met.