Friday, 10 February 2012

Finding Capello's successor may be taxing...and evasive

Oh yeah, two Harry Redknapp puns in a title about Fabio Capello.

Note: The following blog will be 73% sarcasm.

At first glance, Harry Redknapp and England may be a match made in heaven. A team including love-rats, DJ-beaters, drug cheats and racists, (alleged racist, innocent until proven guilty, let the jury decide, other FA-produced cliche's) led by a man who has spent the last two weeks as a defendant. It's a bit like a modern day Peasant's Revolt for millionaires, with Redknapp as Wat Tyler (look up the Peasant's Revolt, it is definitely in the country's top 500 most important events). But why is he there? Who are his rivals for the position? The list reads like a who's-who in OK football managers.

As an Anglo-Scottish writer with a certain antipathy towards the England football team, perhaps I am badly qualified to discuss this matter, but then this is Irrelevant irreverence, the seventh-best zany, alliterative sports blog in all of south-east Surrey.

So, here is a brief timeline of what has happened so far, from the top.

2008 - The FA spend half the GDP of New Zealand on finding a new coach after the glorious failure of the plucky, charismatic, charming (and possibly Dutch if you look at Youtube) Steve Mclaren.
2009ish - New coach Fabio Capello guides England through the Group of man-flu (death would be pushing it) to reach the World Cup in South Africa, or Germany or South Korea, they all end the same, but I think it was South Africa.
1967-2010 - The media proclaim the England manager as the messiah and the man to take England back to their "rightful" place at the head of world football and World Cup glory.
Summer 2010 - That is, once again, shown to be bollocks.
2011ish - Capello does quite well again as England reach Euro 2012, overpowering global footballing titans Switzerland (THEY BEAT SPAIN!), Bulgaria, Montenegro and of course, Wales. Qualification leads to mass hysteria, a feeling heightened when England demolish and outpass a full-strength Spain side at Wembley.
2012 - The FA strip John Terry of the captaincy for being racist (alleged racist, innocent until proven guilty, let the jury decide, other FA-produced cliche's)
2012 - Capello quits job after realising he can't be arsed anymore.

So there you have it, a factually accurate account of Fabio's reign as England manager. Now for the possible candidates.


1) Harry Redknapp
2) Harry Redknapp
3) Harry Redknapp
4) Neil Warnock
5) Kenny Dalglish
6) Harry Redknapp

Wow. A constellation of football management stars is at the FA' disposal.

I like Harry Redknapp. Not just because Man United play Tottenham in a few weeks and I want him gone. No, it's more because he has something criminal mastermind/hapless street corner trader about him. It should work perfectly with Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Andy Carroll (haha, not Andy Carroll, I can't continue that joke). He has managed Tottenham really well this season and, as many of his players are English, he has a good understanding of what makes them tick (wasting money, alcohol, swearing etc). He is also a tactical genius (get the ball to Modric or Van der Vaart, spread it to Bale, cross it to whoever happens to be in the box. How innovative, how very Un-English!).

As most of the other candidates are also Harry Redknapp, let's review the other two I have plucked from obscurity with all the grace of Peter Crouch attempting the limbo, whilst explaining to his missus why he always pays for hotels with cash.

First, Neil Warnock. Watch out ladies! This man is just pure sexual tension, umm-hmm. He is also a very shrewd, very subtle tactician. His management of QPR was a great success before he quit/was begged to leave, in search of greater things...perhaps he knew what was to come. Perhaps he planted Anton Ferdinand in front of John Terry, knowing the whole incident would escalate. That's a man I would want to play for, what a thinker! His calm, phlegmatic manner in press-conferences would also rub off on the team. His refusal to blame everyone but himself and his players would also give the ego's in the dressing room the kick up the backside they so desperately need.

The other candidate is Kenny Dalglish. Yes, I know the Sun and other xenophobic papers would have you believe we need an England manager, but there are only three in the Premier League but there are about 42 Scottish managers! So why Dalglish? Why is he the man I have singled out from the Scottish fraternity of mediocre football management over stars like Steve Kean or Alex Mcleish? Because he is having such a good season, or at least the BBC say so. This is a man who dragged Liverpool from mid-table obscurity to sixth in the table last season after spending a mere £55 million. He has since taken Liverpool, kicking and screaming, to seventh in the table, holding giants Sunderland and Stoke at bay as Liverpool greedily eye a return to Europa League football (don't knock the Europa League, it's amazing). His relationship with top England stars Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing may also prove crucial.

So that's my take on it. Let's not discuss why Capello left, that's not as funny as who could replace him. Let's hope England can move on and seize their obligatory quarter-final place, with the terrified players aiming to avoid being the scapegoat, such as Gareth Southgate, David Batty, Phil Neville, a 59 year-old David Seaman, Darius Vassell, Scott Carson and Gareth Barry. Yes, all those players were considered good enough for England. Is it already two years since the last major tournament? My cynicism missed it so much.

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