Friday afternoon question: Who’s next for England?

November 23, 2007

In the runningHere we go again. Eighteen months on from Steve McClaren’s controversial appointment the English FA are in the market for a new coach.

We’d like your views on who they should pick. Martin O’Neill is being talked up in the English media, but according to a Reuters poll the fans’ favourite would be Jose Mourinho. Then again, as my colleague Mark Meadows notes below, Fabio Capello is so far the only man to have expressed an interest.

A brief look at the expected candidates:

Martin O’Neill: The charismatic Northern Irishman won the League Cup twice with Leicester City in 1997 and 2000 before transferring to Celtic, where he won seven trophies in five years. He was interviewed by the FA last time around but has attempted to distance himself from the position this time around saying he has unfinished work with Aston Villa.

Jose Mourinho: The fans’ choice, if you believe the Reuters poll. Heavily linked with Valencia before Ronald Koeman took charge, the Portuguese coach has kept a surprisingly low profile since his Chelsea departure in September.

Alan Shearer: No experience? No problem. Former Newcastle United and England striker Shearer has been offering his words of wisdom from the television studios, but following the success of other novice coaches Klinsmann and Van Basten the FA may decide no experience is a template for success. Irish fans who witnessed Steve Staunton mastermind a last minute 2-1 victory over San Marino and a 5-2 defeat to Cyprus might disagree, of course.

Luiz Felipe Scolari: Big Phil was all set to take charge 18 months ago but a change of heart meant the Brazilian stayed on with Portugal and oversaw a third consecutive victory over England at a major tournament. Could the FA persuade Scolari that media intrusion, which the Brazilian cited as a reason for not accepting the role previously, is not that bad?

Mark Meadows adds:

“It would be a beautiful challenge. I am the right age,” the 61-year-old Fabio Capello said, hours before Steve McClaren was sacked for failing to guide England to Euro 2008. No one else in club football has credentials like Capello, who has won a title at all four teams he has worked for. He is also available after being dismissed by Real at the end of last season for being too defensive, despite winning the championship. Right now most England fans wouldn’t care about performances as long as they delivered results.
His compatriot and fellow deft tactician Marcello Lippi is also out of work and has the best international pedigree around after leading a modest Italy side to World Cup glory last year.

If the FA want to be truly daring, perhaps they should go for Juergen Klinsmann. Erik Kirschbaum argues the case for Klinsi in a separate blog below, but if you want to make comments on the German please come back here to do it.

PHOTO: A bookmaker offers odds on the next England football manager outside the FA headquarters in London. REUTERS/Stephen Hird


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Klinsmann’s not a bad call but I doubt he’d want the aggravation. If he thought dealing with the media was a pain in Germany…

Posted by kev | Report as abusive

O’Neill came up against Mourinho in the final of the UEFA Cup a few years back. Guess who came off best? The FA should do everything to persuade Jose to take the job. If anyone can turn England into winners it’s him.

Posted by London | Report as abusive

Or if not, Rafa Benitez.

Posted by London | Report as abusive

It has to be O’Neil – He would give all those pampered players just what they need – a good kick up the backside

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Reports here in Italy say Capello is doing a BBC interview today as part of a charm offensive to prove to the FA and English public that he can speak enough English and that he is not the dour, defensive personality he is sometimes made out to be.
Ive met him once and he seemed quite a fun guy. Even Jose cant match Capello’s CV although the fireworks that would come with a Mourinho appointment are clearly thrilling English fans. He doesnt want it though, he is waiting for a Serie A job and would only manage Portugal at international level.

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

England could do a lot worse than Klinsmann who did indeed work wonders for German football. But the thought of England having a German coach is hard to swallow. And the tabloids could make his life unbearable.

Posted by Madeline | Report as abusive

must be an englishman, i’d rather lose with an englishman than win with a foreigner. The whole squad should come from the country they are representing.

Posted by Jamie | Report as abusive

I would be amazed if either of the Italians, Lippi or Capello, are even considered.

1. In eight years of covering Italian soccer I have never heard Capello speaking English and I know that Lippi doesn’t speak a word. It is one thing to have a foreign coach with a different culture – another all together to have one who can’t actually communicate directly with his players. If you have ever seen a coach work with a translator you will know it rarely works.

2. Name an Italian coach who has been truly successful outside of Italy or Spain with a major team? OK, Trapattoni won with Bayern. Apart from that? Well, doesn’t that tell us something?

3. The Juventus factor – I know anything goes in terms of English football these days and one has to be careful here, but I would have thought that the ethical questions raised about Juventus over the past decade – when Lippi and Capello were in charge – might be a deterrent to giving them control of the English national team.

Posted by Simon | Report as abusive

Otto Rehagel won the Euros in 2004 with Greece without speaking Greek, so I don’t see why this should be a huge problem.

Posted by Jan | Report as abusive

Has Franz Beckenbauer been reading this blog? 23570458.php

Posted by Kev | Report as abusive

You’re probably right Madeline. England could never accept a German. But then again, Germany probably could never handle an English coach either.

Posted by An England fan | Report as abusive

I agree with jan that language needn’t be a barrier,but knowing England it will be. I see that o’neill has ruled himself out. Probably a good thing. I always thought he was a bit overrated. Leicester played some absolute rubbish, even if they were awkward opponents.

Posted by man ray. | Report as abusive

Jürgen Klinsmann is the favourite vote in polls on German websites. So the German (internet)-public would love to see him as a new England coach.:-)

Posted by Jan | Report as abusive

It’s just all so tempting: the most popular German in England coming to coach the national team. Everyone’s a winner. Can’t help thinking it would all end in tears, though.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Jan, Kevin why not push the boat out and employ a scottish assistant alongside Klinsmann?? i’m sure that would go down really well

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Maybe we should go the whole hog, Patrick: Klinsmann as manager and general cheerleader, Scolari as coach (three times in a row he accounted for England before Euro 2008, don’t forget) and, perhaps, Valdano as technical secretary? (I don’t suppose maradona would be interested…)

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Hey english football supporters,
you like to win or you like to talk about the history? Listen, Klinsmann is the best in the world and he brought us back on the top. May be you like the arrogant portugese man – good luck. The success will come back with Juergen. Believe it or not.


Posted by The German | Report as abusive

One thing is for sure: England’s national football side is in tatters and they need a manager who’s more than capable of resolving their crisis. But, it’s a decision that the FA need to think about seriously before rushing into it.

I think it’s flattering for English football that Fabio Capello’s gone ahead and added himself on the list of contenders; his CV speaks for himself and he’s definately up there with masterminds of the game such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. However, this is a long-term project and Capello will always attract and probably be attracted to offers from the big four (Milan, Inter, Juve, Rome) of his homeland Italy.

It’s too late to ask anyone who’s currently employed in the Premiership – O’Neil or Allardyce, for instance – as they’ll want to commit to their clubs, rather than disrupt them.

Like most of the English fans, I’d probably opt for the self-proclaimed “Special One”, Jose Morinho, mainly as it would be a safe option and would definately see improvements to English football. As with Chelsea, he could take England to the next level, further than former manager Sven Goran Eirksonn, not to mention he goes down better with the press and the English fans. It’s just a question of whether or not Jose wants the job and if the FA can satisfy his high wage demands.

Klinsmann did a fantastic job for his two years as German coach and created a new generation of young German footballers and combining it with experience of players such as Ballack, Schneider and Lehmann. As an Englishman living in Germany, and knowing how well “Klinsi” is respected and missed, I think he could the do same for the English national side, but he would be an easy target – even more than Sven – for the tabloids and the tabloid influenced English fans.

And there’s Alan Shearer; he gets along well with players and fans alike, and as a young coach he would definately be given time to develop a new English side and see himself progress as a coach.

It’s a tough choice for the FA, but they will have to pick the right man. As England don’t have any friendlies until spirng 2008, the FA have time to choose their man wisley.

Posted by Curtis Campbell | Report as abusive

I did think he might be put off by the media but apparently Klinsmann did hint on German TV today that he could consider it. The problem is that Klinsmann is more of a motivator, or team leader than a coach. He would need to hire a top class assistant.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

i think that the next manager should be good and have brought other clubs sucess because we did not qualifiy but england is for the future bring in mouriniho he brought chelsea sucess he could bring us

Posted by mel | Report as abusive

Man Ray I agree with you – I’ve too have always felt O’Neil is a little overrated. I don’t think he is a poor manager, but I wouldn’t be over the moon if he was appointed head coach of our national side.

I’m unsure about Klinsmann, obviously as has been said there is always the fact that a German would be controlling the England side (not that that should matter, obviously)!

I personally am hoping Mourinho will change his mind – hasn’t he said he won’t take it? I have said in another post, I feel the players would play for him. They need someone who they respect and fear – someone unlike Steve ‘Mr. Charisma’ McClaren.

Big Phil would also be a good appointment, but didn’t he refuse to take it last time because of the press? Hundreds of them turned up outside his house and he changed his mind. I wonder if this would still affect his decision, if there is any truth in it of course.

Posted by Football Betting Boy | Report as abusive

Klinsmann’s the obvious choice. His perfect mixture of rigorous and expert training, fun, joie de vivre, intelligence, and pure, unbridled love of the game would inspire the English to play the kind of entertaining football they were born to play – finally a style that corresponds to the national character. The chances of the selectors seeing this are zilch, as can be seen by their last appointment and their decision to sack Eriksson for the sins of the British media.

Posted by Anth | Report as abusive

Firstly… it cant be Klinsmann, the England fans would never accept a German manager, plus he found the German media hard to deal with, he couldn’t cope with it in England.
Im not really sure about Lippi or Capello either. They both had great CV’s but the language barrier would be the first problem plus how many Italian managers have ever really done well outside of Italy?
No, i think its a three horse race at the minute.
O’Neill, Mourinho and Shearer.
O’Neill is a good manager… i wouldn’t say he is a great manager, but he does have a knack of getting the best out of his players, and with all the talent we have, O’Neill could be just the man for the job.
Mourinho has been called the peoples choice, now im not sure thats true. Even after the McClaren fiasco there is still a big call for an English manager. I think mourinho would do a good job as the England boss but i also think he prefers to be in the thick of things, international management has large gaps in the season and perhaps Jose would get bored without the action. I also have an suspition that he is waiting for a big Serie A job.
AC Milan not haveing the best season……
To Mr Shearer then, inexperenced, young but also eager and hungry for his country to do well.
Obviously the inexperence is an issue but take a look at Klinsmann and Van Basten, they saved their countries. Shearer would be, i believe, a no-nonsence passionate manager. Perhaps he could remind our players what it means to put on those three loins as he did himself once upon a good time ago…

Posted by Plumbey | Report as abusive

I think O’Neill would be a good choice,he’s putting together a good team at Villa with the limited funds available to him.Maybe he is the right man to show the premadonnas like Lampard and company that its an honor to play for your country not your right.It seems that to many players dont have the passion to represent ENGLAND. Could this be because they are overpaid overated.We seem to have lost the Nobby Stiles and Alan Balls who would give everything every game,we need players with a pride and a heart to represent us and a manager who will drop anyone from the squad that does not have it.People keep saying O’Neill is not a great manager but think back what had Sir Alf Ramsey achieved before 1966.
He picked players who would die for thier country.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Mc Claren (2nd choice Steve) should never have been chosen in the 1st place only Venables has the knowledge and experience to mould a team why the FA ever sacked him heaven only knows!! the logical choice is Martin o Neil he is a great motivator very shrewd and can get the best of out his players who always seem to rise to the occasion for him he will bring the pride back to wearing the 3 lions they will emulate the class of 66 who had the never say die attitude and would have died for their country losing a game was unheard of and martin can and will make us great again his work at Celtic Leicester and now Villa shows the class and quality of the man and he is British!! Paul jewel would be my 2nd choice but he has had only limited experience needs another few years working in the premiership before he’s ready!! Now after Sven I believe that we don’t need another foreign coach as AW says correctly the English team should be coached and managed by an English or British guy

Posted by gooner4ever | Report as abusive

What offering the job to someone who essentially really wants it, that man is Harry Redknapp.
Experience of assembling very effecient teams from shrewd low key signings in the Premier League(no mean feat)-CHECK.
Respect throughout the English game-CHECK
Passionate and patriotic-CHECK.
Look no futher than this man with Stuart Pearce as his assistant to make England once again a true force in World football.The continity of McClaren after Sven was a great idea in theory but importantly the man taking the mantle has for the job.With Pearce being number two and younger than Redknapp he would be the ideal replacement when Redknapps time had run.
The ideal formula of England’s bright future for many years two come in my humble opinion.

Posted by Dean Morton | Report as abusive

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