Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday October 18 2007
Right, here we go...!
England are looking unlikely to qualify for the Euro Championships next summer thanks to a poor campaign and some (most?) would say a poor manager. If we don't qualify I can't see the press or the public being very patient with Steve McClaren and the pressure on The FA would surely be too great to keep him in this golden chalice of a job?
If he goes, who would come in? Well, the two most likely names to be clamoured over once again would surely be Martin O'Neill and Big Sam Allardyce. Big Sam made no secret of the fact he wanted the job before and Martin O'Neill got as far as being interviewed.
Since then Big Sam has of-course moved to Newcastle and O'Neill has taken the helm at Villa and looks like he wants to continue to build a mostly English team using some of our home grown talent and bringing in others like Ashley Young and Nigel Reo-Coker.
He has also taken a great deal of credit for Gareth Barry's rise to the international stage recently, although to be fair part of that happy occurrence was down to injuries giving the Villa skipper the chance to show what he can do, one that he has accepted with both hands. Even in a lack-lustre England performance v Russia Barry was still in the mix, set up what should have been a sure goal for the overrated Steven Gerrard and also got back and defended well.
But surely the press won't start clamouring for a new England boss just yet?
Henry Winter, one of the more respected sports writers, had an article in The Telegraph today and I quote:
'With McClaren's days surely now numbered following this reverse and Soho Square accountants totting up the potential tens of millions lost by not qualifying, the FA must appoint a true No 1, a real leader, someone of the substance of O'Neill, currently reviving Aston Villa. O'Neill has already shown how he can improve England players with his work on Gareth Barry. He should be set to work on the 10 others'.
Would O'Neill move to the England job now he is in situ at Villa? Possibly not having been looked over before, he must also realise it is a thankless job with expectations possibly higher than the talent pool can deliver? On the other hand, all managers think they can be 'the one' to turn a teams (any teams) fortunes around otherwise they'd not be in the job. He would also not have the problem of transfer windows which appears to be a major annoyance to him and thus a possible chink in the armour?
What is certain, the FA will HAVE to take heed of public opinion this time and that might mean we once again have The FA knocking on our door to take our manager to the England fold.
Date:Thursday October 18 2007
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