Saturday 24 February 2018 / 05:01 AM


Why must it be an Englishman?

By now you’ll have read about former England boss Sam Allardyce disgracing himself after just one game in charge.

The lunacy and foolishness exhibited by this greedy man beggars belief, and he’s only got himself to blame for the loss of his job. To try and earn extra money – contrary to the particulars within his contract – when he was already being paid £3 million a year is pathetic and sadly symptomatic of today’s game, where money is seemingly the only thing that matters.

But it’s happened. He’s gone, and rightly so.

It leaves the Three Lions in a difficult situation, though.

As you’ll remember, there wasn’t exactly a glittering shortlist of prospective candidates when Roy Hodgson left the role back in June. Allardyce got the job almost by default – he was English and he’d done a decent job with a number of teams.

But we should be under no illusions . ‘Big Sam’ has never proved himself as a world-class manager, and was only the ‘best option available’, rather than the man that everyone was desperate to see in charge.

What’s sad is that he was the best option, and now that he’s not an option, we’re left with a series of very underwhelming prospects – if we continue along this ‘he must be English’ route.

In truth, there are NO English managers ready for this.

Gareth Southgate will take charge for the next four games, but he’s failed in his one club job and been underwhelming in charge of the under 21s.

Tim Sherwood isn’t a very good manager, despite what he might tell you.

Eddie Howe is a good prospect, but too young. He’s never done it anywhere else other than Bournemouth and has no experience of big tournament games.

Alan Pardew blows hot and cold. When his side is on a run, he looks like everything he touches turns to gold. When they’re struggling, he looks bereft of ideas.

Steve Bruce is out of work, has never managed a big club and has shown himself to be severely flakey in terms of leaving jobs when things get tough.

And that’s about it. If we’re looking for an Englishman, then it’ll probably be from that list. (You might cite Harry Redknapp, but if not being ’dodgy’ is a prerequisite for the job following Big Sam’s demise, then there’s no chance for ’Arry.

Which brings me onto my next point: why should it be an Englishman?

My view is that at this juncture, England need someone who is a winner. Someone who can step in and sort the whole system out, from the grassroots up to the very top level. Someone who can take a stand against corruption. Someone with the gravitas required to truly be listened to.

In short, not an Englishman.

When the Welsh rugby team were dumped out of the 2007 World Cup in the pool stages, they decided to do something radical. In came Kiwi Warren Gatland to undertake a complete reboot of Welsh rugby.

Nearly a decade later, and Wales are one of the best sides in the world, with a young crop of talented players coming through every year. And the players? Never more proud to play for their country.

My point is that insisting on the manager being English only serves to handicap the side before a ball has even kicked a ball in anger.

Right now English coaches are not good enough. So why put a substandard man in charge just because his nationality ticks the right box? It makes so little sense. If we want to be the best, we should invest in the best – regardless of where they come from.

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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