Let the next boss be fans' choice

It is a situation vacant at Soho Square once again with England in the hunt for a new manager. Here football writer Derek Davis looks at those who will be in the runningOVER the coming months we will find out if anything has been learned by England's failure to qualify for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.

It is a situation vacant at Soho Square once again with England in the hunt for a new manager. Here football writer Derek Davis looks at those who will be in the running

OVER the coming months we will find out if anything has been learned by England's failure to qualify for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.

By that I don't mean whether Wayne Bridge has mastered the art of defending or it sinks in that we just don't have a goalkeeper who holds a candle to Gordon Banks or Peter Shilton.

What I sincerely hope is that the bigwigs at the FA have looked at the pig's ear they made of the last appointment, and even the one before Steve McClaren was handed the reins.


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The people in charge of our national team have plenty of time to decide what sort of man they want to take over the most difficult job in football and then go and get him.

They should already have a fair idea of who is out there and who they can appoint.

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Hopefully, they will by now also have a clear picture about how they want the new man to do the England job.

Should he just be looking after the senior team and that's it - or should his role be more wide-ranging to encompass football at all levels in this country?

When Jurgen Klinsmann was in charge at Germany - and he did a pretty good job by getting them to a World Cup semi-final - he insisted that national teams at all levels played the same way so they stepped up comfortably.

He also re-established a genuine team spirit, which was not easy given the splits that had been formed in their camp, but most of all he got Germany playing winning football as a team.

It is doubtful he would want to come to England, or that the FA would let a German manage our country when it has just about got the nation to come to terms with the fact that a foreigner would be acceptable.

With a bid for the 2018 World Cup being prepared, it makes sense that we appoint a man who can combine relative short term success - ie qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa - with having a strong base in place to ensure we play at our tournament.

Perhaps, that means someone like a Klinsmann and it could even mean taking a risk and going for Alan Shearer.

The clamour for him to get the job is based on his incredible success as a player at club and country and he would command the utmost respect from players, irrespective of experience.

The fact that he has had no managerial experience may hinder but his supporters point to Klinsmann's example.

One man who is an England hero and has managerial experience, albeit with League Two leaders MK Dons, is Paul Ince and he could be a long term candidate.

If the FA decides it just wants someone who will get us on the plane for South Africa, and want to win instant popularity at the same time, they may look to Jose Mourinho.

He is probably the nearest manager to Brian Clough and it is still regarded a massive mistake that 'Old Big 'Ead' was never made England boss.

Mourinho doesn't always play the most attractive of football but he knows how to win and, while he didn't do it at Chelsea, he has won the Champions League and everything else there is to win at club level.

Whether he would take the job is another matter because, as much as we in this country proclaim it to be an honour and a privilege to manage England, that is not the case for everyone, no matter how much they enjoyed working here before.

One of the problems the FA had before was their first choices simply didn't want the job; probably because England players are over-rated and far too pampered.

The problem is now all the top managers with experience at working at national level already have jobs and they will be going to the European Champions next summer.

So that rules out Luis Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink for a start.

There is always the Italians Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello who are constantly linked with Premiership jobs.

Lippi won the World Cup with Italy before calling it a day but how he would get England to play in his style is quite a conundrum.

It is the same with Capello, who has managed the top stars at Juventus, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Roma but is regarded as somewhat controversial and confrontational who also plays tight at the back looking for the quick counter.

The highly-successful Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have said they would not manage England but that won't stop them being mentioned.

If England were to look closer to home then chief executive Brian Barwick and Co would have to eat humble pie by speaking again with Martin O'Neill, many people's first choice last time around.

But he has a good job with Aston Villa, is known for his loyalty and may feel hurt and let down by the way he was treated last time around.

There is, of course, the tub-thumbing total patriot Stuart Pearce, who is doing a fine job at Under-21 level.

The blot of his CV remains Manchester City and it could be that he would be seen a fine assistant to a foreign manager - possibly a dream ticket with Mourinho.

Then we have the usual suspects. Sam Allardyce, who apparently has already ruled himself out, Alan Curbishley and Steve Coppell, who were all looked at before but disregarded.

They have no international experience and no first-hand knowledge of playing in the really big competitions.

One Premiership boss who may appeal is Mark Hughes, who has international experience as a player and manager and even the highly-respected John Toshack has not been able to galvanise Wales the way the current Blackburn boss managed to do.

At least we know Terry Venables, no matter how many old cronies call for him to step up, will not be considered, while old stagers like Joe Royle and Harry Redknapp will also have their backers but it is doubtful the old duffers at the FA, who are trying to get into the 21st century, would go down that road.

Perhaps it should not be left to the FA to choose anyway, given their track record.

Let's have a national referendum on the FA website and let the football supporters of England decide. And if it goes wrong again we can all boo each other.

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