November 22, 2007

McClaren sacked for big loss: After only 18 matches as England's coach, Steve McClaren and assistant coach Terry Venables have lost their positions after their side's failure to qualify for Euro 2008. The Football Association said was a unanimous decision by the board. So who's next? The speculation begins.

posted by scully to soccer at 11:24 AM - 17 comments

Well, hopefully it's not 'Arry.

posted by igottheblues at 01:23 PM on November 22

Man - nobody can get fired like European football coaches can get fired. Strikes me as very little room for error, there.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:06 PM on November 22

Apparently McLaren is going to use his new-found leisure time to pursue a career in pantomime playing a pumpkin - he's heard it may mean he eventually turns into a coach.

posted by Abiezer at 02:13 PM on November 22

Strikes me as very little room for error, there. Twelve matches to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals. Win eight of them, you're almost certainly through. Four of the teams you play are Israel, Estonia, the FYR Macedonia and Andorra, twice each. Still, the FA can FO. Where's their en masse resignation? Ah, I forgot: the old farts responsible for retarding the national game never face accountability.

posted by etagloh at 02:51 PM on November 22

Sammy Lee's available. Seriously, there is a dearth of top quality English coaching as well as playing talent at the moment. It's a bit hard to even think of one who might be acceptable to a large portion of the community, media or the FA. And who would be any good. Someone should tell Harry that national managers aren't allowed to wheel and deal on the transfer market. And the use of cheap players from other countries is somewhat restricted.

posted by owlhouse at 03:34 PM on November 22

One the Crewe forums the consensus seemed to be Mourinho, with any objections raised being more against the style of football that would imply than him not being English, but now he's ruling himself out, isn't he? So I don't think there'd be much of a popular backlash against a foreign coach any more. Very much agree that the FA needs a root-and-branch sorting.

posted by Abiezer at 07:32 PM on November 22

The FA needs a "root-and-branch" sorting without question, but not one conducted by the trunk of the tree. Why's Barwick the man to be conducting the review? He should be in, and not holding, the spotlight. The most amusing suggestion I've heard for a new coach is Klinsman. A German manage the England team? It's perhaps an indication of how bad things are that I'm not sure too many people would mind if he got the team winning (as I suspect he would). The FA missed the boat when they let Martin O'Neill get away. He took one look at their organisation, told them half of it was dire and he'd need to change it, so they shat themselves and showed him the door. Scolari didn't even bother pointing that out, he just took one look at the set-up and said "Not on your life." So they were left with the yes man. I realised, watching his press conference, what it is about his manner that has been so irritating throughout his tennure. No matter how he is feeling (he seemed close to tears a couple of times in the press conference), his mouth adopts an unfortunate pose that looks like a smug grin. He's afflicted with a tone that implies irony and condescension, even where none is actually present. Oh yeah, and he's a shit manager. That was the other thing. I don't know why I'm complaining. For one thing, I'm Northern Irish. For another, I spotted Croatia were 7-1 at lunchtime two days ago, which seemed rather over-priced given the occasion and weather. I put a tenner on them - more to annoy my work colleagues than because I really thought they'd win.

posted by JJ at 04:08 AM on November 23

Mourinho is everything McClaren is not. Unfortunately, that also includes the concept of "wanting to be England manager". My guess is Capello or Scolari.

posted by salmacis at 04:10 AM on November 23

Looks like the Croats had a little help in winning!

posted by scully at 06:49 AM on November 23

Looks like the Croats had a little help in winning! So was Mr. Henry bragging or complaining? (Beautiful link, Terp)

posted by Howard_T at 10:42 AM on November 23

Martin O'Neill, current Aston Villa boss, says no. Benitez, currently pissed-off manager at Liverpool, half-jokes, "Maybe I could." Marcello Lippi, who quit after winning the World Cup with Italy last year, is not saying yes or no.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:22 PM on November 23

I don't think there'd be much of a popular backlash against a foreign coach any more. And there wouldn't have been last time, were it not for the redtops, who frankly don't care, but know it taps into a middle-aged xenophobe readership. They can get a few old farts from the 60s to give daft quotes about national pride, whatever that means, and sell papers. Seriously, there is a dearth of top quality English coaching as well as playing talent at the moment. It makes me think about what has changed most in the past 20 years, and that's the influx of ex-players on television. Easier and more lucrative than getting your coaching badges. I'm not saying that every MotD and Sky gasbag is a great loss to coaching, but it's fascinating to look at Mourinho's career trajectory, particularly the time he spent with Bobby Robson. Capello, I think, is the most interesting choice, though any manager without international experience is going to need to have brass balls to deal with the old club-vs-country problem. Interesting, too, that ESPN picked up on this, not just for the Beckham thing. Their analogy to the US basketball team wasn't quite right -- but, y'know, the Bristol jock posse is still finding its sea-legs w/r/t international competition.

posted by etagloh at 02:59 PM on November 23

Any man or committee that uses the phrase "root and branch" is unworthy of respect, in my book. Not that I have a book.

posted by Fat Buddha at 04:28 PM on November 23

Weedy, if you think the European national team coaches get the boot quick check the bossman tables in the top-flight Brazilian and Argentinean leagues--some of the clubs go through four or five in 12 months! McLaren at least got the full 12 qualifying games. Speaking of the non-English options, I found it interesting that US Soccer replaced Greg Ryan with a Swede and then didn't see any huge uproar, especially since she has only year year of head coaching experience for a senior side, and that was only WUSA's Boston Breakers. I was honestly surprised that no American woman was seen as a good candidate given that we will probably not be the favorites in Beijing, meaning less pressure and a window to prepare for the 2011 WC.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:21 PM on November 23

Maybe he can get a job over here in the MLS or the reincarnation of the WUSA. Apparently we like to hire losers.

posted by indigoskye at 12:52 PM on November 24

I found it interesting that US Soccer replaced Greg Ryan with a Swede and then didn't see any huge uproar... i don't think there was an uproar because everywhere i'd read up until the annoucement had Pia as the favorite for the job. she was a scout for the USWNT during the '04 games so she's not a complete outsider. apparently many players wanted her hired instead of Ryan 3 years ago as well. and i really don't see her lack of head coaching experience for a senior side to be a problem. i don't think Tony DiCicco was a head coach anywhere before he took over in 1994, he just held assistant jobs.

posted by goddam at 01:42 PM on November 24

The USWNT head coach job is a lot more high profile now then when Tony DiCicco got the job, though.

posted by dave2007 at 08:38 PM on November 24

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