If anything, England’s failure in South Africa has given the affable gents (and ladies) who earn a crust writing on the back pages of the tabloids plenty of Capello shaped flesh to chew on. With the press and the England ‘faithful’ wanting blood, and an unofficial FA statement that the next England manager ‘will be English’ who could succeed where Fabio has so far failed?
Harry Redknapp, though well-liked by the media, lambasted Capello for his tactical ineptitude but it only took the Young Boys of Berne to show that he is still a rookie in the rough and tumble world of grown up European football. Sam Allardyce’s name occurred worryingly frequently last time the position was open, a manager whose biggest recent achievement is turning away the Ewood Park faithful in their droves with dire, route one football.
Like Allardyce, Steve Bruce’s management CV is limited to a couple of promotions and he seems content to make up the numbers in the Premier League’s middle tier of clubs. Roy Hodgson would be a practical and sensible choice, having more international experience in his right bollock than either Fat Sam or ‘Arry.
Unfortunately for the FA, having just started to get his feet under the table at Liverpool, the England gig might just be a bit to soon for him. Martin O’Neill’s reputation is pretty much intact from his tenure at Villa. With the print still fresh on his P45, should the FA backtrack and make an exception for the Ulsterman there’s no guarantee he would want to be under the intense media scrutiny that comes with the job.
There is a manager out there, currently in the Bundesliga at Wolfsburg, one who got his limited team to the UEFA Cup final a couple of years ago and enjoyed a spectacular 2009/10 title winning season with FC Twente. Steve McClaren qualifies for the job because he is English (comedy Dutch accent aside) and has actually won something that is not the League Cup (yes I know, he did win that).
Against that, it would be career suicide for whoever appoints him with the ‘Wally with the Brolly’ since memories are still fresh in the public’s mind. McClaren will probably never get the chance for redemption because of his Euro 2008 qualification failure.
As usual in the press, there’s a lot of hand wringing, indignation and the need to pin the blame on one person. Should Capello have enough and walk or, unthinkably, England not qualify for Euro 2012 and he falls on his own sword, the task of finding a suitable replacement will not be an easy one.
None of the above candidates strike as being capable of turning England — a team that for all the hyperbole and superstardom is nervy and technically limited — in to a team to strike fear in to the international heavyweights like Spain and Brazil any time soon.