Five things the FA must do in order to take England forward

The FA has made some fairly questionable decisions. To put it mildly, there have been some spectacular balls ups at Soho Square and Wembley Stadium during the past few years. Now, with Fabio Capello resigning as England manager, it’s seems a lot to ask that the hiring committee at the FA make the right appointment. Nonetheless, here are a few things for the governing body of English football to mull over ahead of their inevitable blunder…

  1. Don’t appoint an Englishman for the sake of it
    Not that the appointment of an Englishman would necessarily be the wrong decision – Harry Redknapp, Roy Hodgson or even Ian Holloway could very well do an excellent job – but consider all the options first. The end of Sven-Goran Eriksson or Fabio Capello’s reign as England boss does not mean foreign coaches are a bad thing. Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Guus Hiddink are just three managers from overseas who could do a fine job for England.
  2. Don’t be afraid to hire the best candidate
    In 1977, the FA turned it’s back on success when they rejected the chance to allow Sir Brian Clough to take over from Don Revie. It seems, they were frightened he would run the show. How dare a manager harbour any desires of managing? The FA also had the chance to hire Jose Mourinho in the wake of the Steve McClaren disaster, but chickened out and opted for Fabio Capello. Guus Hiddink has reportedly thrown his hat into the ring to succeed Capello, a man who has enjoyed success on an international level with Holland, South Korea and Russia. The Dutchman was considered for the role back in 2001 when Sven-Goran Eriksson was appointed. This time, the best candidate for the position should not be overlooked for any sort of non-reason that may be cooked up.
  3. Stop handing out four-year contracts
    Giving the national team head coach such a long contract is insane. The FA backed themselves into a corner with Fabio Capello. Having gone to such great lengths to appoint him, after the shambles that was the 2010 World Cup, they’d have loved to have sacked the Italian. Shame it would’ve cost ¬£12million. Come on guys, learn from this one. The England manager should be given the opportunity to coach his team to one major tournament. Failure to qualify should allow the FA bosses to consider his position. If he succeeds in qualifying, assess the team’s performance in the tournament before deciding if the manager can have a crack at the next one. Surely this shouldn’t have to be spelt out?
  4. Get behind the new boss and the team, whoever it is
    This goes for the supporters as well as the FA. Even if you think the wrong man is in charge, it’s often the case that there’s little you can do to change things so get¬†behind the team. Booing the team when it’s 0-0 at half time helps nobody. Fabio Capello has never really been made to feel welcome since he took over from Steve McClaren despite his obvious merits as a coach and tactician, much like Roy Hodgson at Anfield. It’s no surprise that successful teams have supporters supporting. England fans could take a leaf out of the Irish book – just look how they took to Jack Charlton.
  5. Allow the new manager to manage
    Fabio Capello obviously felt his authority had been undermined during the John Terry captaincy saga and has decided to step down. Whatever your thoughts on this issue, picking players and selecting the captain should be decisions left to the manager. Talk it over with him, sure, but to take the decision out of his hands completely is just not on. A manager should be exactly that. Len Shackleton had it pretty much spot on with his opinions on directors.

And finally…

Do not under any circumstances allow Steve McClaren anywhere near the England job again. Odds for the former Nottingham Forest boss to succeed Fabio Capello have been quoted as short as 50-1, which is frankly worrying.