Friday afternoon question: Who’s next for England?
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