Thursday, 9 February 2012

Redknapp's No Nap...

So Capello has gone - arguably the most successful England Manager of the post-war period in terms of games won (28 out of 42) but ultimately branded a failure following the disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign.

In England terms, everything is measured by winning tournaments and since that golden afternoon in 1966, the cupboard has been bare. The fact is that at the very highest level, we've come up short. Yes, we can beat the likes of Germany, Argentina and Spain in friendlies but when it comes to the crunch, we aren't successful. Our temperament lets us down either through indiscipline or through cracking in the pressure cooker of the penalty shootout. The defeat in the second round to Germany in 2010 was accentuated by the fact we lost to our traditional "foe" with all the nationalistic hysteria involved but it was also an abject surrender, four goals to one.

Set against the weekly feast that is the Premier League and the cash-bloated clubs in that division and the national side looks a pale imitation well short of the best.

Four years of Capello had brought the occasional high but not the real success promised. Inevitably, the clamour has started for an "English" Manager as if that makes any difference and that leads to the newly-acquitted Harry Redknapp.

Redknapp's managerial CV is patchy at best - he's won the FA Cup and done ok with lower-league teams but all of that is ignored because he's "English". He's won his battle with the taxman and is a down-to-earth populist man of the people. The cretinous transport Minister, Mike Penning, is quoted as saying "He is a patriot. We are all patriots and England is calling.". Unbelievable.

Of course, none of this will or should bother the FA who have to have someone in place for the upcoming 2012 European Championships. The "best" manager in the country is Sir Alex Ferguson but he obviously won't do it. There are a number of young and capable Managers out there but will any of them want this poisoned chalice?

I think that a Guus Hiddink or someone like him is the answer if only because if we're going to labour someone with the thankless job of managing our limitless expectation and inevitable failure, it might as well not wreck that person's career or life.

Sometimes, life involves the management of failure. The England Football Manager's job epitomises that like few others.

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