Why The FA May Have To Go Foreign If They Can’t Get Harry:


With Fabio Capello set to vacate the England manager’s job after Euro 2012, Harry Redknapp is the favourite to replace him.  Having transformed Spurs from a team battling relegation to one capable of competing in the Champions League, Redknapp has established himself as the best English manager in the game. 

But his chance may now be under threat following the revelation that he faces a tax evasion trial alongside Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric.  The allegations stem from their time together at Portsmouth, with Redknapp alleged to have received two six-figure amounts in a bank account in Monaco to avoid paying tax.  The trial begins in January, and if found guilty, both men could be fined or even given a prison sentence.  A guilty verdict would seriously jeopardise Redknapp’s chances of succeeding Capello, especially as many people believe he was passed over as Steve McLaren’s replacement following corruption allegations in 2007. 

If that was the case, the FA would face a difficult task replacing Capello.  Despite Capello’s impressive record as a club manager, fans and the media have never fully taken to the Italian, and have pushed for him to be replaced by an Englishman.  But after Redknapp, there appears to be few English managers capable of taking on such a demanding position.

In the Premier League, there are only five other English managers.  Tony Pulis at Stoke, Steve Bruce at Sunderland, Roy Hodgson at West Brom, Alan Pardew at Newcastle and Neil Warnock at QPR.  With the exception of Hodgson, none of them have managed a club to a major trophy, although they have all managed at least one team to the Premier League.

Roy Hodgson has previously managed club sides in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Norway and Switzerland, winning 7 league titles in Sweden, and 1 in Denmark.  He has twice taken teams to European finals (Inter Milan in 1997, and Fulham in 2010), and managed Switzerland, UAE and Finland.  He had made himself into a candidate for the England manager’s job during his time at Fulham, but following his failure as Liverpool manager, he seems to have lost the chance to be considered by the FA.

A look at the Championship is similarly uninspiring.  Although there are more English managers in the Championship, only Sam Allardyce, Tony Mowbray, Ian Holloway and Paul Jewell have managed in the Premier League.  Allardyce enjoyed success as Bolton manager, and was linked with the England job before Steve McLaren got it in 2006.  His spells as Newcastle and Blackburn manager were less successful, but he’s currently at West Ham, who find themselves in 2nd place in the Championship as they seek to return to the Premier League.  Allardyce has a big ego, and has claimed in the past that he ‘would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid’ than the likes of Bolton and Blackburn.  Like Redknapp, Allardyce has also been accused of corruption in the past, without ever being charged.

Out of work Englishmen with managerial experience include Alan Curbishley, Kevin Keegan, Steve McLaren and Alan Shearer.  McLaren of course failed miserably as England manager, and Curbishley and Keegan have been out of football since 2008.  Alan Shearer had a brief, unsuccessful spell as Newcastle manager, failing to prevent the club being relegated at the end of the 2008/09 season.

Without Redknapp, the Englishmen that the FA could consider for the England job fail to spark the imagination.  Tony Pulis has done an excellent job establishing Stoke as a Premier League club, but has only managed in the Premier League for three seasons.  Steve Bruce has previously been touted as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor, but has yet to really achieve much as a Premier League manager.  Pardew is enjoying a strong start to the season as Newcastle manager, but has never had sustained success, and Neil Warnock is managing in the Premier League for just the second time.

This seems likely to push the FA in a direction they don’t want to go, towards another foreign coach.  Louis Van Gaal has recently claimed that Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson have ruined his chances of getting the England job, but he would be an excellent appointment, having won league titles in Holland, Spain and Germany.  Harry Redknapp is still the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello, but if he is found guilty in his tax case, the FA will face a tough decision in appointing the next England manager.

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  • wes says:

    Widely inaccurate there is another English manager in the Championship who has managed at Premier League level and has been praised widely on his performance and success under immense pressure. This season he has successfully juggled Europa League and Championship commitments whilst financial restrictions have seen many of the team he inherited at the start of the season being sold. Despite all this Birmingham City lie 13th in the Championship and are in a 3 way tie in their Europa League group. Also praised for his time at Newcastle in gaining promotion, handling the ego’s in the dressing room led many to feel he had been harshly handed the sack last year. Chris Hughton is a bright up and coming manager and I do think the players would respect him.

    • David Dougan says:

      I’m not sure why not mentioning Chris Hughton (who was born in England but played international football for ROI) makes my article ‘widely inaccurate’. He did indeed do a good job in getting Newcastle back into the Premier League and is arguably doing a better job with Birmingham. But there’s no way he’d be considered for the England job.

      • johno says:

        Why not?

        • David Dougan says:

          I don’t think he’s experienced enough, and the FA are unlikely to appoint a Championship manager to replace Capello.

          How would England fans react to an ROI international becoming England manager?

  • Timbo says:

    Tony Pullis is Welsh. Born and bred.

  • kayespurs says:

    “Battling relegation” after 8 games? Joker!

    • David Dougan says:

      I’m talking about from the time he was appointed until now. Weren’t Spurs in the bottom 3, or even bottom of the league when he was appointed?

  • Steve says:

    What about stuart Pierce? He’s currently working with the under 21’s right? Meaning he knows the youngsters better than capello. Also he was a proud English player in his day worked bloody hard so I think the youngsters will look up and respect him

    • wes says:

      Pearce has got the Olympic gig but he HAS to be involved in the England set up. Would also like to ask David Dougan if he feels Jack Charlton is Irish just because he managed the Irish team.

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