In a first for me and for The Sporting View, I’ve decided to write about football. As someone who works at the higher end of sport I’m often left bemused by football. I love to watch it and I love to play it but when the whole circus surrounding it I just find frustrating.
For months now England fans have endured endless speculation and rumours around when Harry Redknapp would take over as England manager. It seemed that he was the popular choice with fans and perhaps more importantly, with the media. In a game as fast paced as football, people seem to expect that things like changing coaches or appointing new managers should take place instantly. In life, this doesn’t happen. So we had to wait.
The FA, to the outside world at least, have held off making approaches for a new manager until now. During that time we have seen Harry Redknapp continue to prove that he has next to no tactical ability whilst Roy Hodgson has continued to deliver promising results with a West Brom team who seemed like relegation candidates 18 months ago.
What are the qualities needed of an England manager?
First and foremost, they need to be tactically astute. Why? If you can only work with what you have then you need to be dam sure you can get them to play a variety of systems and be able to change tactics depending on opposition, conditions, injuries etc…Spurs have one style of play and this did not change when they lost players to injury. I’ve seen them struggle to hold on to leads and unable to really chase games when they needed a goal.
They need to know international football – Coaches at this level need to know what is happening internationally in regard to styles of play, systems and how players are developed. Mr Hodgson has managed in Sweden, Norway, England, Italy and Switzerland as well as managing the Finnish, Swiss and UAE national teams. The fact that he has been successful in these countries speaks volumes about his ability to adapt and perhaps more importantly communicate as a coach. Redknapp may know the transfer market but this isn’t exactly much use when it comes to international football. The fact that he is termed a “wheeler dealer” to me highlights the fact that he teams are unable to develop their own players, something again which is needed at International level. Hodgson will most likely be involved at all levels within the England set up and have an input on the development of players, something the FA are rightly placing a high priority on.
I don’t buy in to comments about Hodgson not being a motivator. To win things, players and coaches need to be motivated! He has done this. Surely when Spurs went on a bad run recently then Redknapp’s supposed skills as a motivator should have helped get them over the line but it didn’t. Is he really that good a motivator? I also believe that if you really need to get players up for playing in a European Championship or to motivate players who have the honour of playing for their country then England as a country has BIG problems.
Apparently, England fans demand to see strong, attacking football. The sort which has served Spurs so well in recent weeks but surely at International level it is the result and only the result that matters? Are there really England fans out there who would rather see England go out in the group stages but “have a go” or make it to the final by being tactically smart and doing what is needed to win?
England need to look to the long term now. They need a man with international experience who can make England hard to beat. They need that man to work throughout the system to enhance the game at all levels. I believe in Hodgson they have that man.