I started to think about England's dilemma today. Hire an Englishmen or a foreigner to your vacant post...whoops the Swedish-Savant is still the coach on paper but really the FA is already on the clock when it comes to hiring his replacement. The difficulty will be figuring out who is a viable candidate and who is simply using this position as leverage in their current position. Dangle it in front of your current employer that England wants you, you more then likely will see an increase in pay. But the problem persists in that all the likely candidates, of which we do not need to discuss again, are shall we say, not worthy candidates.
True many of them of have not slept with their staffers like the Swedish-Savant has but their overall football accomplishments are the equivalent of his accomplishments--Zip, Nada, Zilch, as empty and fleeting as watching David Seaman trying to recover on that free-kick from 2002. The "line-up" of potential candidates--and I use the term line-up because none of these guys should make it past their initial look to the right, look to the left, look straight ahead--they will get from the FA. Alan Curbishley, Steve McClaren, and Stuart Pierce have never won anything of note between them.
England have been given a cakewalk for their 2008 Euros qualification. So now is the time to take a chance and hire a young, energetic person that the younger generation of English players can all look-up to. We all know being a great player does not make you a great coach. Ask the likes of George Hagi. But you also have rich footballing countries that have taken a gamble. For instance Holland and Germany appointed Marco Van Basten and Jürgen Klinsmann respectively, neither with any prior coaching experiencee. While I doubt Germany's chance in this years World Cup, I do picture Van Basten's team being a legitimate contender if they get out of Group C.
I know somewhere my faithful contributor Feyenoord is wishing I had not put this hex on his team but Holland after the debacble of not qualifying for Japan & Korea in 2002, they needed to start fresh and they did not do it with the hiring of the little general aka Dick Advocaat(even though he took them to the semis of the 2004 Euros). They merely recycled. Just as the Italians, French and Spain have done and continue to do. Now they have a young team building and playing well and limitless possibilities with some tweaking of their mid-field have as serious chance at their first Star. Germany is in the same position with Klinsmann intent on combing any remote corner of the world to naturalize any player he can for Germany and has a young team, a team truly his own and he is willing to stand-up to his football federation. Both these young coaches are proving that sometimes even dominant footballing nations need change and need their associations to be bold enough to enact change from the ground-up and need to look at young(different, soccer personalities that have taken some time away from the game) coaches willing to sacrifice, try new patterns, younger players, and to stand-up to their domestic teams when dealing with call-ups and to be, well un-Dutch and German in their case. This is England's chance to do the same, to shake-it up, ensure the fans keeps showing up and revamp your image and while being bold. Your players will react if you do. With that said, the FA needs to look at two candidates. Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearer.
These two guys with a combined age of something like 98 could still show the young kids a trick or two. They understand the pride that goes along with wearing the jersey of one's country and both would instill a different work ethic in the England squad, just as Van Basten and Klinsmann have done. And like Van Basten and Klinsmann, they have not been jaded by previous coaching expereinces(unless, you consider having to constantly tell your teammates Grahame Souness will stop yelling at you like Alan Shearer does, coaching). The FA will search all over the world, will talk to just about everyone for the position. In fact I am being interviewed next week(As I have stated repeatedly on Azzurri Dreams and through my agent, I am not interested in the job but I want to see the amazing assorment of teas in the offices of the FA so I agreed to go in). But I digress.
The FA's list of potential candidates, if they decide to stay English should include the great Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearer. Now is your chance, take it and do something different for your country just as Holland and Germany have done. Not winning anything since 1966 means you might need to re-consider your approach. Seriously, barring any catastrophic aberration like England winning the World Cup this June, you can only go up, unlike the Swedish-Savant that is always up...for the wrong reasons.