The England Obituary, Part 1: Do England Need An English Manager?

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5 Responses

  1. David Howell says:

    In past World Cups, often England’s problem has been that this strategy doesn’t work in the stifling heat of a typical World Cup summer anywhere fewer than 50 degrees North. There was a case for a more patient approach in those conditions – certainly, it’s a coherent argument for why English players thrive at English teams that thrive in the Champions League with a broadly English high-tempo style. What works on a chilly spring night in London, Manchester or indeed Munich is different to what works on a balmy summer evening in Saint-Etienne, Stuttgart or Shizuoka.

    There was no excuse in 2010, a winter World Cup.

    English players do need a degree of organisation, but they certainly need a degree of liberation. Sven offered that, and was mocked for it. But in the last seven major tournaments, England have made the quarter-finals in three – the three of Sven’s reign. Furthermore, if you re-write history and correctly award the two incorrectly disallowed goals against host nations at Euro 96 and Euro 2004, he becomes only the third manager to take England to a major semi-final after Ramsey and Robson, and for all we know – with a vulnerable Dutch side waiting in the semi-final and the eminently beatable Greeks in the final – could even have won the tournament.

    In fact, I would go as far to say that imagining that England could have won the entire tournament in Portugal but for a wrongly disallowed goal is actually less of a stretch of imagination than England simply going on to win from 2-2 against Germany on Sunday.

    Just goes to show how a) tiny things make a huge difference in sport (which is more than enough reason to use technology to reduce the risk of this happening unfairly), b) England players tend to thrive on a bit of freedom. Of course, another fundamental element of tabloid ignorance is the idea that we must all be controlled to within an inch of our lives… hopefully the inquest into Capello leads to a few recognising that this very approach is fundamental to what went wrong in South Africa.

  2. Brenton says:

    Or it could just be that your players lack creativity, and when faced with a fast, nimble opposition they have no answer. Watching Gareth Barry try to chase down Mesut Ozil was painful.

  3. ejh says:

    I would have thought that was a matter of pace rather than creativity.

  4. algeria da best says:

    Just answering the question in the title: yes, England need an English manager. A manager who knows the English football. A manager who knows the places his players can play in and the tactics that suit them.

  5. algeria da best says:

    And with Capello still staying, I wont expect any further improvement from the players. Though, I badly want them to get better.

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