April 24, 2006

Pearce questions move for Scolari.: All the smart money seems to be going on big Phil at the moment for the England managers job, with odds being slashed at the bookies and a number of papers running with the story that he's top of the running. My question is whther it's insular and short sighted to expect national team coaches to be of the country they are managing. Foreign managers are increasingly popular with other nations, and also in other sports such as Rugby or Cricket. Should the best candidate not get the job regardless of nationality?

posted by walrus to soccer at 05:27 AM - 16 comments

Sorry for the spelling mistake!

posted by walrus at 05:27 AM on April 24, 2006

Yes. If England win anything, the fans won't care if the man in charge is from Mars. The English choices appear to be Curbishley, Big Sam Allardyce and Steve McClaren. Of the three only Allardyce has his team in a decent position this season and I can't think of anyone "in the street" who'd want McClaren in place of Scolari. I notice the poll on the link shows O'Neill in the lead from Scolari - neither English. What street does Pearce live on?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:54 AM on April 24, 2006

I'd rant and rave about it myself, and expound with fury the views I hold (despite being the same nationality as Martin O'Neill), but Simon Barnes did it much better in the Times today. It seems that the race to replace Sven-Göran Eriksson as England coach has come down to two horses: Luiz Felipe Scolari, who has won a World Cup and is from Brazil, and McClaren, who is a Really Good Chap and, of course, English. I remember the last time a Really Good Chap who had done awfully well with a smallish club was given the job as England manager. He was appointed because everybody liked him. Well, Graham Taylor remains a thoroughly decent man to this day, but he wasn’t a good England manager. McClaren to follow him? Do I not have reservations about that.

posted by JJ at 08:03 AM on April 24, 2006

My objection to Scolari would be that his teams play predictable, negative football. The beautiful game? Don't make me laugh. England missed out on one of the best when Guus Hiddink chose Russia after the WC. England needs someone at the national level who knows tactics, and can develop flexible team structures. The time available in national squads means players arrive with no opportunity to further develop individual skills, and not much time to bind as a team. The effect that good coaches like McLaren can have is therefore limited.

posted by owlhouse at 08:24 AM on April 24, 2006

Interesting snippet on Hiddink: apparently Abramovich is paying "part of his salary" as Russian coach. I wonder how much that was a hurdle to the FA, as apparently they will offer Eriksson's replacement £1m less money per annum than the Swede is currently receiving ...

posted by walrus at 09:00 AM on April 24, 2006

Scolari is the man for me. I don't give a monkey's what nationality the coach is, as long as he's the best man for the job. Sure, if there's an Englishman and a foreigner with equal credentials for the job, give it to the Englishman. But that's not the case here. Scolari clearly has far better credentials than any of the (underwhelming) English candidates. How anybody could think managing Bolton, Middlesbrough or Charlton is good preparation for being the head coach of England is beyond me. If you're not coaching successfully in the Champions League, forget it.

posted by salmacis at 10:48 AM on April 24, 2006

hear hear

posted by JJ at 10:59 AM on April 24, 2006

Latest news is that apparently Scolari has denied having an interview (same link as above), so I may have been premature: I was going off the bookies and the pundits this morning. Like many of you I don't have any faith in the English candidates and Hiddink seemed the natural choice from the start, with Scolari second choice. Should have moved mountains to get Guus. I'm also a bit surprised they didn't leap on Capello and force him to sign a contract when he expressed interest in the post.

posted by walrus at 11:54 AM on April 24, 2006

Yeah, but Sam Allardyce gives the best post-match interview.

posted by Hugh Janus at 11:54 AM on April 24, 2006

From a 'Boro fan, there's this on McClaren. I think it will be O'Neill. Just a hunch.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:06 PM on April 24, 2006

Scolari has won two World Cups, no? He would be the obvious choice. But the bigger question is, why would Scolari take the job? What else does he have to prove?

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:14 PM on April 24, 2006

But the bigger question is, why would Scolari take the job? What else does he have to prove? Oh he's implied he's interested alright (link). If football's in your blood you would always want a new challenge, and winning anything with a squad of overrated prima donnas is definitely that ;-)

posted by walrus at 12:36 PM on April 24, 2006

Oh, and Texan, that article sums up many of my feelings on McClaren superbly! I would rather Curbishley or Fat Sam and that's saying an awful lot. O'Neill might be the best of a bad bunch, but he might also be an absolute flop at working with expensive players, and if we're not going English then why not appoint someone with top level experience?

posted by walrus at 12:41 PM on April 24, 2006

Yes, I don't think McClaren is the man for the job and Curbishley? Wow. Has there ever been a more milquetoast manager in the history of English football? He seems like a nice enough guy...to keep the books. This FA seem to be the ultimate fencesitters and the O'Neill selection would fit the bill. "He's British", they'll say. "None of the England managers are good enough so we're giving you the next best thing."

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:54 PM on April 24, 2006

Curbishley was actually the favourite at one point ... the rot goes very deep in the FA.

posted by walrus at 01:06 PM on April 24, 2006

Wouldn't it be really funny if Scolari signed for England and then won the tournament with Portugal?

posted by billsaysthis at 06:20 PM on April 24, 2006

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