Completely insulting freelance pay rates

Yesterday I was searching LinkedIn for new potential freelance opportunities, when I stumbled upon a Gumtree ad for a “Sports Journalist (Freelance) for Innovative Sports Website”. After reading said advert and looking at the site, I decided that this was something that sounded appealing to a freelance journalist, with a particular interest in covering sport. 

As the advert suggested I should, I called the number of a man named Dean to find out more details. After talking with Dean about myself, where I write, what areas of sport I am interested and discussing his publication at length, I ended the conversation feeling optimistic about the possibility of writing for his website.

The feeling of optimism didn’t last long!

As discussed, Dean emailed me the pay rates of each article type and I was disgusted. Here is what he sent me:


I knew earning money as a freelance would be tough, but this was beyond belief.

I was completely insulted by the offer. Not only does he have the cheek to expect high quality journalistic work for terrible pay, but to source pictures and videos too. On top of that, he had the cheek to withhold 30% should the article be late. 30% off a fiver pay packet… is it even worth him keeping that? 

After calming down and mulling over my options, I devised the following response:



I think it is safe to say I will not be hearing from him again! 

Southampton 1-2 QPR

Queens Park Rangers picked up an important three points in the relegation battle, as they beat fellow strugglers Southampton 2-1.

Loic Remy opened the scoring on 14 minutes with Rangers’ first opportunity of the match, when he latched onto a Junior Hoillet through ball. Gaston Ramirez equalised for Southampton on the stroke of half time, when Cesar fumbled Rodriguez’s shot.

QPR secured the 2-1 victory in the 77th minute, when Jay Bothroyd tapped home easily from Park Ji-Sung’s low cross. QPR now lie four points from safety, whereas Southampton are now dragged  back into the relegation battle.

The R’s victory could not have come at a better time, after The Mirror quoted three “senior players” who described the West Londoners training camp as like a “stag party”. Manager Harry Redknapp rebuffed these claims in his post-match press conference, describing them as “total rubbish”.

Redknapp was met with a hostile reception from the Southampton faithful as he made his return to St Mary’s. The former Southampton and Portsmouth manager booed by the home fans as he emerged from the tunnel for the first time since leaving the club in 2005, when he returned to Saints’ bitter rivals Portsmouth.

With both Redknapp and Southampton manager Pochettino, both sides were eager to give their manager the perfect birthday present and help push to avoid relegation.

Redknapp’s QPR side had to withstand early pressure, as Southampton started strongly. They had the best early chance when Rickie Lambert headed across goal in the 10th minute, but neither Lallana or Puncheon could convert.

Despite the early pressure, Southampton failed to score and were caught out by a clinical counter-attack from QPR on 14 minutes. Junior Hoillet’s through ball caught the Southampton defence napping, allowing Rangers striker Loic Remy to slot the ball home in front of the 3,194 away fans.

With Southampton players and fans deflated, QPR took control of the match, with Remy causing Southampton left-back Danny Fox a constant problem.

Injury to Adam Lallana meant Jay Rodriguez was introduced. The 23-year-old striker’s shot in the first minute of first half injury time was fumbled by Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar, allowing Gaston Ramirez to chip the equaliser for Southampton. The sides went into the break with the score at 1-1.

As in the first half, Saints started the brighter of the two teams. Rodriguez and Jose Fonte had long range efforts early in the second half.

However, it was QPR who regained the lead again in the 77th minute. Park Ji-Sung beat two defenders down the Southampton left, before crossing low for Jay Bothroyd, giving the striker an easy finish.

After injury forced Cesar to withdraw, replacement goalkeeper Rob Green did well to keep Rangers ahead, saving excellently from a Fonte header in the 86th minute.

Six minutes of added time wasn’t enough for Southampton to secure an equaliser and QPR recorded an important away victory, giving their manager the best birthday present he could have wished for.

Despite post-apartheid gains, is South Africa in danger of declining once again? (International Journalism feature)

April 27 1994 marked the most historic day in the Republic of South Africa’s short history. After 48 years of oppression, the black majority of the country were allowed to partake in the general election, leading to the first fully democratic election the country had seen. Nearly 20 million South Africans took to the polls to register their symbolic vote. A staggering 62 per cent voted for the African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela, who became the country’s first black President. Not only did this mark democracy coming to the South African people, it marked the end of apartheid. This historic day, celebrated as “Freedom Day”, marks an upturn in South Africa’s socio-economic position.

Democracy was not the only gain coming in the post-apartheid era. According to the EISA (Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa), South Africa faced “a stagnant economy with high and rising unemployment, high inequality between and within the different race groups and widespread poverty; moreover South Africa remained a violent and polarised society.” To tackle the economic issues it faced, the government introduced a stringent new economic policy, the ‘Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP)’. This lifted the economic status of South Africa for a short period of time, before a drop in the value of the Rand saw a new approach taken. The ‘Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR)’ policy restructured the economy and trade, with great success as economic growth accelerated from 1.2 per cent in 1993 to 3.6 per cent in 1996.

The years that followed saw the rebirth of a new, more equal, South Africa. John Carlin’s book ‘Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation’, that later became Clint Eastwood’s 2009 film ‘Invictus’, tells the story of how Nelson Mandela united the black and white populations of the fragmented nation. In an article Carlin wrote for the Telegraph, he recalled how Mandela looked to utilise the Springboks, the national rugby team, to reunite the South African people. “Mandela said… Why not use the Springbok team to unite the most divided nation on earth around a common goal?” Prior to the 1995 World Cup, hosted by South Africa themselves, the black population saw the Springboks as a symbolism of apartheid. The predominantly white team were despised by the black population. However, Mandela united the country behind the Springboks for the tournament, and as they lifted the trophy, Carlin believes “the Rainbow Nation was born.”

However, despite making such gains in the few years after the apartheid, it could be suggested that the “rainbow nation” has not gained as much as many may have thought it would. Arguably, the key factor that has held back the development of South Africa, is the poor life expectancy of those living there. According to figures from the CIA World Factbook, South African people have the third lowest life expectancy in the world, with newborns now only expected to live to the age of 49. This means that South Africans have the third lowest life expectancy in the world, with only Guinea and Chad boasting worse life expectancies.

Undoubtedly, the decline in life expectancy is down to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that began in the mid-1990s. With the disease’s origin predicted to be Central Africa and with research suggesting that black Africans are more susceptible to contracting HIV, it isn’t hard to see why South Africans have been so devastatingly affected by it. According to the CIA World Factbook, as of 2009, there were more South Africans living with AIDS than any other nationality. A staggering 17.8 per cent of the population were infected, equating to 5.6 million people, and there were 310,000 reported deaths due to the disease.

But why have South Africans been worse affected than other African countries during this epidemic?

Where HIV/AIDS is such a long term issue, we have to look back at the Presidency of Thabo Mbeki to find a reason why. Mbeki succeeded Mandela as President in 1999, after Mandela stepped down as leader of the ANC party. Mbeki failed to act upon the rapidly spreading disease. According to the EISA, “President Mbeki questioned the scientific consensus that the HIV virus was the cause of AIDS, while the minister of Health asserted that the government could not afford to treat AIDS despite research that demonstrated that it was cheaper to treat the disease than the opportunistic infections arising from it”.

This government inaction forced the formation of the activist group TAC (Treatment Action Campaign), who campaign for the government to make anitretroviral drugs available for those infected with HIV. After much pressure, the Mbeki government reluctantly issued the drugs to the whole population by the end of 2003. Was this too late? During Mbeki’s nine-years as President, life expectancy in South Africa slipped from the high 50s in 1999 to just 50.4 in 2008. A dramatic decline that can largely be put down to the slow government response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. This has left South Africa now holding the highest death rate in the world, with 17.23 people per 1,000 dying each year.

High death rates are not the only problem in modern South Africa. Despite economic gains during both Mandela’s and Mbeki’s Presidencies, unemployment stands just short of 25% of the adult population. Although the 2011 figures show the unemployment rate falling, with nearly a quarter of adults out of work, it is a worrying time for the South African economy. The GDP fell by two per cent in 2009 due to the world financial crisis.

However, despite some bleak statistics, there are signs of gains in South Africa.

The most notable gain is in crime rates. South Africa has developed a reputation in recent years as being rife with crime. In 1999 The Guardian produced an article questioning: “Johannesburg, the most dangerous city on earth?”. Crime statistics released by the South African Police Service, show a serious decline in crime rates in recent years. In 2010/11, there were nearly 4,000 less murders than the same time period in 2006/7. The decline in murders in South Africa perfectly highlights the decline in most areas of crime. Police statistics also show declines in “Sexual Offences”, “Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm” and a huge drop in “Attempted Murder”. These positive figures highlight the positive changes in South Africa’s social standing and are very important in showing the progress that is being made.

The Presidency of Jacob Zuma has had a positive impact, despite controversies surrounding him. With corruption and rape charges on his record, prior to being elected in 2009, it was difficult to see too great an improvement coming from his Presidency. However, President Zuma has taken an almost revolutionary view (compared to his predecessor) on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In a speech in December 2009, President Zuma said: We need extraordinary measures to reverse the trends we are seeing in the health profile of our people. We know that the situation is serious. We have seen the statistics. We know that the average life expectancy of South Africans has been falling, and that South Africans are dying at a young age. These facts are undeniable. We should not be tempted to downplay the statistics and impact or to deny the reality that we face. We have to overcome HIV the same way that it spreads – one individual at a time. We have to really show that all of us are responsible.”

Despite the economy declining two per cent in 2009, it recovered in 2010, largely thanks to hosting the 2010 Fifa Football World Cup. Prior to the tournament, questions were asked as to whether South Africa would be capable of hosting such a huge event, whether the stadiums would be ready and if the country would be safe enough. The world’s media were proved wrong. South Africa were awarded nine out of ten by Fifa, with Fifa President Sepp Blatter describing the tournament in a press conference as “pretty close” to perfect. A massive compliment for the first World Cup in Africa. The tournament made thousands of jobs in the build up and significantly increased tourism.

Despite having some overwhelming issues, the future for South Africa is not as bleak as some may think. The CIA World Factbook describes South Africa as, a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and modern infrastructure.” This description shows the potential future that South Africa could (and should) have ahead of it. Being constantly placed alongside other emerging economies, such as Brazil and India, it seems that South Africa has the potential to be considered as a future leader on the world stage. You only have to look back to 1994 to see how far this country has progressed. South Africa is still evolving as a nation and needs time to overcome some of the issues that are currently being faced. Despite warnings of decline, it seems there may be a colourful future for “the Rainbow Nation”.


Petrol panic buying… Complete morons

Queue at the pumps as the nation goes mad. Courtesy of The Mirror

This week has seen Britain sparked into a frenzy. After members of the Unite union voted to strike, we have seen crazy scenes across the nation’s forecourts. A ‘panic buying‘ culture has ensued up and down the country, resulting in massive queues, petrol stations closing and injuries. The ridiculous panic buying resulted in a 172% increase in the demand for petrol in the UK and a 77% rise in demand for Diesel, according to independent retail group RMI Petrol.

As people rushed to the pumps, the increased demand had a huge effect on all motorists. With queues spilling onto main roads, carnage followed. The worst case taking place in Dorset, where crazed motorists waiting for fuel managed to obstruct the entrance to the Dorchester Road ambulance station. This resulted in police forcing the closure of petrol stations to stop the hazardous traffic. Craziness personified.

I have experienced the carnage first hand. Firstly, I narrowly avoided being hit by a car entering my local garage at 11pm on Wednesday. Luckily, the forecourt was so full, the driver had to slow down so I luckily escaped. However, this was nothing compared to the scenes at the same petrol station yesterday. The entrance to the station is one of the exits of a roundabout (you can probably guess where this is going).  Not only did the queue spill into the roundabout blocking one of the lanes, it resulted in tail backs right up the road. We were left trying to muscle ourselves into the other lane to get home (not the easiest task in a Fiat Seicento!). I was extremely pleased to see this particular station not selling fuel today!

The scariest story related to the panic buying, has to be that of the woman in York who got 40% burns after decanting petrol in her kitchen (full story here). After her daughter ran out of fuel, the woman in her 40’s attempted to move fuel from a container to a glass jug when the fumes caught light. Her burns are described as “severe”.

The worst thing about this panic buying is, there has actually been no strikes announced. People are queuing for miles on the back of over-hyped media coverage, over cautious political statements and threats from unions. I don’t understand it. It has been widely publicised that Unite drivers can’t strike without giving seven days notice, and further announced today that it won’t be before the Easter holiday, yet the panic continued. It would be understandable if a strike had actually been announced, seeing as cars play such a pivotal role in our society, but this senseless buying is ridiculous and dangerous.

Who is it that is panic buying then? Scrolling through various forms of social media and comments sections of articles, it seems the masses are generally against rushing to the pumps. We either have a nation of hypocrites, or those with an online presence are much more socially aware than the rest of the country.

There are a few groups I feel sorry for with this ridiculous situation. Firstly, the police. They have so many better things to be doing with their time, yet have been forced into dealing with petty traffic incidents that have occurred from the unnecessary panic. I feel most sorry for those who genuinely have to refuel before a journey and get caught up in the mayhem of the entire situation. Come on Britain, sort it out.


Finally, some decent TV…

Apphelp Logo

The Apprentice returns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week has seen some cracking TV hit the screens of the people of the UK. We have been treated to more than just the usual junk, such as “desperate scousewives” or the terrible Channel 4 documentary “my phone sex secrets”. The BBC has stepped up with some top quality programming.

Firstly, we were treated to an insightful documentary, hosted by Richard Bacon about the dangers of internet bullying. To give you a taste of what I wrote about this show, here is the introduction:

“‘Cyber-bullying’ is a phrase that has permeated the cultural zeitgeist in recent years. With social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, playing such a massive role in communication in our society, it is unsurprising that negative interaction between ‘friends’ has transferred into the virtual world. Whether it be ‘banter’ or serious abuse, you don’t have to search far into these social media platforms to find interactions.”

To read the full article, click here.

However, the biggest TV story this week is the return of BBC’s business reality show, The Apprentice. Yes, Lord Sugar is back and once again looking for a business partner to invest £250,000 in. Again, to give you a taste of what I wrote, here is the introduction:

“This week has seen the return of one of the best entertainment shows to grace Britain’s television screens in the 21st Century. Yes ladies and gentlemen, our Wednesday evenings can once again be filled with sarcastic taunts, calamitous decisions and, of course, Nick Hewer’s judgmental looks. No, not Countdown… It’s The Apprentice.

The show that captures the imagination of Britain’s (supposed) top business minds, as they battle it out to earn a £250,000 business investment from the straight-talking Lord Sugar, is back on BBC 1 for the next 12 weeks. This is the second series since the shift to this new format. Last year’s winner, Tom Pellereau, launched his range of curved nail files this week. With the success of last year’s winner and the troubling financial time, the stakes are higher than ever.”

To read the full story, click here.

New interests

You may have noticed in the last few weeks that there have been very few updates coming from me on this blog. This has been mainly due to University commitments. Fear not my friends, I will be back writing as much as I can, as soon as I can.

For now, I would just like to share some new links to work elsewhere with you. I have been asked to contribute to a student writing website called Kettle. I will be posting for them quite regularly (I hope), so keep and eye out on their website. I wrote my first piece for them about Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th international century last week. To read that, click here.

I am still contributing to my other blog with my friend Beth, that is called “The Pedants”, where we make social observations about the world. I sometimes end up ranting, but I hope I make my point clearly. Today I wrote a piece about people wasting their student loans. To read that, click here.

Hope you like what you read. As always, feedback is welcome on any post either on the comments section or on my twitter @naspearing. Look forward to hearing from you.

It’s Sun-Day

The Sun on Sunday's editorial- Taken by myself

Since Rupert Murdoch announced the closure of News International’s controversial Sunday paper, The News of the World, last summer, there has been a gap in the tabloid market. Yes, the ‘red-top’ market has been represented by The  Mirror and, of course, the Star, but today saw the launch of a new heavyweight Sunday red-top. Britain’s most-read and most-successful newspaper, the Sun, has launched a new edition.

Murdoch announced the decision to make the popular tabloid run seven days a week. Critics instantly questioned the need for another News International Sunday tabloid, after the controversies of The News of the World. The ‘paper closed after News of the World journalists were arrested as part of the 2011 phone hacking scandal. Considering the scandalous past of The Sun’s sister paper, fears of a Sunday edition are very understandable.

Critics feared that The Sun’s launch on a Sunday was merely a minor rebranding of The News of the World, with just the masthead changing. However, upon opening the first edition this morning, this wasn’t true. Rather than adopting the exact characteristics of the disgraced ‘paper, it clearly has adopted the style and structure of the weekday editions.

Content wise, there were huge questions regarding the ‘scoop’ the Sunday Sun were going to run with on the first edition. Rather than having a scandalous cover story, much associated with The News of the World, The Sun ran with an exclusive interview with Britain’s got Talent judge Amanda Holden. The headline, “My heart stopped for 40 seconds” adopted a more ‘human interest’ angle for the first edition. Despite being a horrible tabloid lead story, it makes a change from the sometimes defamatory headlines we would have seen splashed across the covers of The News of the World.

Surprisingly, I found myself actually genuinely engrossed in a Sun article (There’s clearly a first for everything). The centre spread featured an interview with Oscar nominated actor Gary Oldman, as he spoke of his role as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I don’t know whether I was only so interested as I watched the film last night but, it genuinely got my attention over the television, which is no mean feat.

However, despite some good content, there was some very poor content. I was pained reading the column of Katie Price and genuinely had to laugh at “The Sun says” editorial. I couldn’t bring myself to finish a single article written by Katie Price, even those that were about 200 words long. On the other hand, I read the editorial thoroughly. Quoting the original mission statement from the initial launch of The Sun, the paper outlined its hopes for the future of the paper and its continuing commitment to its readers. Opening with, “welcome to a bright new dawn” the ‘paper seems to realise the mistakes of the past and, here’s hoping, will not make the same mistakes as the past.

The sports coverage is still as high a quality as the weekday editions, bringing excellent football coverage. For me, the pullout Super Goals Plus was the highlight. Bringing 28 pages of match reports, analysis and build up, it must be the most comprehensive football coverage anywhere. Disappointingly, there was little coverage outside the world of football for the sports readership. With no more than a double spread of any other sport, and no analysis of England’s T20 win (that’s a cricket match, for those who didn’t know), the coverage was very targeted. But, The Sun clearly know their target audience, and they like football.

I’m still not convinced that The Sun on Sunday is going to be a success, but I’m sure a significant proportion of The Sun’s readership will stretch the extra 50p a week for the Sunday edition. Murdoch knows his audience and is targeting it well. This launch isn’t just The News of the World with a new masthead and didn’t seem to have the scandalous angle… I wonder how long that will last.

Clearly, complaining gets you everywhere

Working in retail, you are constantly reminded of the importance of customer service. Whether you be filling freezers, on the tills, or arranging clothes, you constantly have to put the customer first, or you risk losing customers. This is evident in the retail chain where I work. In the entrance to the shop floor from the warehouse, there is a big sign that clearly signifies the importance of customers: “Customers make pay day possible…” A very valid statement.

After this kind of message has been drummed into me for the past four years, you understand why I would get annoyed by people in similar positions as me offering poor service.

As you may recall from a previous post, I saw Snow Patrol at the 02 arena a couple of weeks ago. Before attending the gig, my friends and I went for a meal at Nando’s. During the meal, we received some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced. After waiting for nearly 20 minutes for dessert, my friend went to enquire as to where it was. Within five minutes the waitress arrived with the dessert. The waitress very rudely told us it was our fault that the dessert had taken so long to arrive. We apologised and explained that we just said the number we were told. She wouldn’t accept this. She went out of her way to go to another table to show us the number that we were told we were! I was infuriated.

After a quick chat with a manager about the waitress’ behaviour, we were once again served by the original waitress. What she said this time made my blood boil. Turning to my friends she said: “Your friend (pointing at me) has got me in trouble with my manager, saying that I was rude when I wasn’t. I was only joking!” How dare she!

My friends were treated to a side of me not all of them had seen. Turning to her, I said: “Excuse me, if I felt you were rude, you were. If you had just come over here and said ‘oh sorry, I heard you thought I was rude earlier. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to annoy you’, then we would have accepted your apology and moved on, but no. You came over here and complained about me complaining.” She swiftly left.

Riled, I returned to the manager. She then informed me that her staff member had told her that “I had accepted her apology”. Still angry a day later, I wrote on Nando’s website explaining the situation in an eloquent, yet forceful manner.

Today I received a personal letter from Nando’s explaining that they are taking my complaint seriously and profusely apologising. They attached a voucher for a free meal at any Nando’s chain. To be brutally honest, the only reason I wrote the online complaint was to potentially receive vouchers.

I grew up watching my dad master the art of getting what he wanted from phone companies. I would sit there as he spoke of his career in the service industry and how o2 would never provide good enough service. Over the years I witnessed him negotiate contract shortenings, getting phones on tariffs they are not meant to be on and getting money credited on his account. His success over the years showed me that complaining does work. It gets you what you want and gets you everywhere in this world.

I’m glad that complaining is worthwhile in this world because, lets face it, I am bloody good at it!

Snow Patrol at the o2

Gary Lightbody. Courtesy of Flikr

Last night, Northern Irish alternative rock outfit Snow Patrol took to the stage of London’s o2 arena for the final show of their UK tour. Supported by Rams on Stage and Everything Everything, Snow Patrol showed their UK fan base that they know how to put on a show.

After missing much of the set of Rams on Stage, Everything Everything played their 40 minute set. The British band played a genre I would like to dub as ‘Whiney Electronica’, mixing synthesiser sounds with whiney vocals to create a sound I found not too pleasant. They played songs from their debut album ‘man alive’ as well as previewing a couple of new tracks.

Despite my early disappointments, I knew I wouldn’t be hearing whiney vocals when Gary Lightbody and Snow Patrol entered the arena. Playing to yet another sold out venue, the crowd erupted as Snow Patrol entered the stage, playing ‘I’ll never let go’ from their new album Fallen Empires. Fallen Empires is Snow Patrol’s sixth studio alum of the band’s 17 year career together.

As Lightbody began singing I, and the rest of the crowd, could feel his voice cutting through the crowd. Often criticised for his vocals in his early career, nobody could fault Lightbody’s vocals now. His voice was powerful and emotive, especially during the beautiful song ‘Run’.

The band played their near-on two hour set, including songs like ‘Chasing Cars’, ‘Take Back the City’ and many, many more. Lightbody commanded the stage, dedicating songs to audience members, friends and family. His performance was unbelievable, despite seeming like he had drunk one too many drinks!

I didn’t feel let down by the show they put on either. The amazing lighting

The snowflake light display. Courtesy of Adele Jones

complemented the music to perfection. With a huge snowflake of lights above the band, the crowd were treated to a spectacular show.

Despite the mellow nature of Snow Patrol’s music, the crowd seemed engaged in the gig and were very responsive. Singing along and jumping around to the final song, ‘Just say yes’, the crowd were better than I could have imagined.

Overall it was a fantastic display from Snow Patrol and the team behind their tour. Despite not being the most upbeat or uplifting gig ever, I still left with a smile on my face…

Where to turn for England?

Fabio Capello with Ferrari F1 team. Courtesy of Flikr

This evening the FA announced that they have accepted the resignation of England manager Fabio Capello. The 65-year-old Italian manager has recently criticised the FA after they stripped John Terry of the England captaincy. The FA made the decision on the back of John Terry’s alleged racial abuse towards the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Capello was quoted by Italpress this evening on Terry’s dismissal: “they gravely offended me and damaged my authority at the head of the England side, effectively creating a problem for the squad. I have never tolerated certain crossing of lines, so it was easy for me to spot it and take my decision to leave.”

Despite having a win ratio of nearly 67% and only losing 6 games as England manager, there has been a lot of negative feeling from the fans towards Capello. Many criticising his negative style of play. However Capello has received praise from England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who tweeted, “Shocked about news on Fabio Capello… gutted to be honest, gave me my 1st cap and believed in me! Thank you Mr Capello! Great Manager.”

Where does this leave England now? Where do they turn? The manager who has led them since Steve McLaren was dismissed after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008. There has been a lot of speculation in the media as to who would replace Capello after he was due to retire from his position after this summer’s European championships in Poland and Ukraine. Despite time to consider their options, the FA now have to make a swift judgement on who to pick as the next England manager.

Wembley Stadium. Courtesy of

With the majority of Englishman calling for a British manager, there is immense pressure on the FA to pick a good British candidate. England striker Wayne Rooney backed this on Twitter “Got to be English to replace him”. He continued by saying, “Harry Redknapp for me”. Redknapp is the bookies favourite to take the job, priced at 2/1. The Tottenham Hotspur manager began the day by receiving a “not guilty” verdict on his tax evasion trial, that would have almost definitely taken him out of contention if he were found guilty.

Redknapp will face a tough decision on whether or not to accept the job (if offered of course), as high-flying Spurs are currently third in the Premier League, five points behind Manchester United and seven points clear of Chelsea. Spurs fans nationwide will be hoping their manager doesn’t take the top job, as they battle for an automatic Champions League place.

The other candidates include Roy Hodgson, Jose Mourinho, Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill. All of the top priced candidates would be acceptable choices as England manager for me. Despite Mourinho’s reputation as one of the best manager’s in the world, I would back Wayne Rooney’s sentiment and pick a British manager. If the FA are looking to appoint an Englishman (which they should be), Harry Redknapp is clearly the best candidate for the job. He has lifted Spurs from a mid-table side, when he took over in 2008, to a team that reached the Champions League quarter finals and is now challenging for the Premier League against the giant Manchester sides.

Despite a questionable managerial period at my club Southampton, Harry Redknapp has had an illustrious managerial career. He lifted Portsmouth to the Premier League and earned them an FA cup in 2008. By no means am I saying the other managers are not good enough to manage England, I believe that they are just not as good for the job as Capello. Redknapp would install a sense of belief into the team that Capello never could. His passion as an Englishman would show and hopefully motivate the players to be successful.

Whoever is appointed will face a tough task this summer at the European championships, having to mould a squad of individuals into a team before England kick off their competition on June 11th against France. Here’s hoping the FA make a decision ASAP to give whoever gets the job as much time as possible to prepare England effectively.

Who is the next England manager for you and why? Comment below or on Twitter @naspearing.



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