Even before the news broke that Fabio Capello had decided to step down as England manager, there were calls for Harry Redknapp to be installed as the new head coach of the national team. As he was cleared of tax evasion charges, several voices within the game were suggesting that Redknapp now had a clear run to become the next England boss and with the controversy surrounding Capello and John Terry, perhaps it would be best to get it done sooner rather than later. Since news of Capello’s departure was broken, the knee-jerk reaction has been that Harry Redknapp is the only candidate worth considering to succeed the Italian, accompanied by the usual choruses of “the next manager has to be English, or, failing that, British”. Now there’s no denying that Redknapp is definitely a good candidate for the role, but let’s consider all the other options before rejecting them completely.
With hindsight, it’s easy to conclude that the FA hiring committee has made a pig’s ear of at least the last four permanent appointments. Incidentally, two of those managers were foreign and two were English. There will be many out there, fans and players alike, who will be glad to see the back of Fabio Capello and will of course be clamouring for the appointment of an Englishman to inject a bit of passion etc. But just cast your minds back to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s departure as England coach, when popular opinion demanded an English manager take over. You don’t need to say anything about what followed other than the words ‘Steve McClaren’. Consider also how both Sven and Capello were hailed as the saviours of our national side in the immediate games after their respective appointments. By the time they both stepped down from the job, they could’ve walked on water only to be criticised for not being able to swim.
[quote]Gutted capello has quit. Good guy and top coach. Got to be english to replace him. Harry redknapp for me. – Tweet from Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney[/quote]
This is article is far from suggesting Harry Redknapp would do a worse job than Steve McClaren or Graham Taylor or that a foreign manager is a guaranteed better choice. But let’s look at what’s available before jumping blindly on the Harry Bandwagon. “Got to be English to replace him,” was the tweet from Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney earlier. Yeah, ok Wazza, but are we saying that Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho or Guus Hiddink would be unable to really take the England team forward? Take a little look at their managerial records before dismissing them because of their nationalities. The FA has to tread carefully after making such a spectacular balls up of so many appointments and subsequent decisions. Not only that, and this should really go without saying, but the new manager should be given licence to manage.