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 geograph.org.uk

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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