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Sam Allardyce attacks England's one-man shortlist of Roy Hodgson
Published : 10 Sep 2010 02:29:55Rss feed
With Capello serving notice of his intention to vacate the post of England manager following Euro 2012 and the Football Association already intimating a determination to recruit an Englishman to succeed the Italian, the starting gun has seemingly been fired on the race to find a home-grown manager to take charge of the national team. But with only one Englishman Tottenham's Harry Redknapp guiding his club to a top-10 finish in the Premier League last season, the field of candidates already appears low on trophy-winning credentials. Related ArticlesCapello claims do not stack upFA narrows field with demands for English managerSupport for Gerrard as captainWelbeck: England future in good handsJermain Defoe set for six-week lay-offSport on televisionWith the likes of Stuart Pearce, Gareth Southgate, Paul Ince and Alan Shearer all failing to replicate their playing success as managers, seasoned campaigners such as Blackburn manager Allardyce, Sunderland's Steve Bruce, Redknapp and Hodgson appear to be the only options open to the FA. And Allardyce, who was interviewed for the England job in 2006 before losing out to Steve McClaren, alluded to a lack of faith in the FA's recruitment process, by claiming that Hodgson's success in guiding Fulham to last season's Europa League final has placed him at the top of a one-man shortlist. Allardyce said: "It wasn't long ago that Roy Hodgson was put up for the England job when he was manager here at Blackburn. "But he lost his job here, went back to manage on the continent and he's never mentioned again until he comes back and has a good season with Fulham. Now we say he's the only candidate. "If the possibility of the England job comes around after Euro 2012, then whatever club I'm managing at the time, I would have to be doing pretty well to be in with a chance. "But it depends what the FA want. If you want someone to get the best out of the players, then I think an Englishman is better than a foreigner. "In terms of communication it has to be a lot better, but the committee, or whoever picks the England manager, is under big pressure and they can't be swayed by anyone. They have to pick the right man and stick to their guns." With Carlo Ancelotti, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger occupying the manager's positions at Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal the most successful clubs of the Premier League era opportunities for English managers to compete for major trophies have been restricted. Of the leading English candidates with the bookmakers for the England job, only Redknapp has won a major trophy the FA Cup while Hodgson can point to European finals with Inter Milan and Fulham, plus domestic titles in Sweden and Denmark. The rising stars who could be contenders in two years' time? Try Ian Holloway at Blackpool or 29-year-old Karl Robinson at MK Dons or Simon Grayson at Leeds United. There you go, hardly managers with a glittering CV to strike fear into the world's best coaches. Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, insists that patriotism must be a factor when the time comes to replacing Capello. "Can you think that an Englishman would be managing Italy, Spain or France? Would other big footballing powers have Englishmen? I don't think so. "In an ideal world for me, being an Englishman, I would like to see an Englishman in charge of the team. We have had some great English managers before, so why not?" Bruce, a decorated former captain of Manchester United, failed to earn international recognition as a player, but after managing Huddersfield, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Wigan to varying degrees of success, he has earned the nomination of Redknapp, one of his apparent rivals for the England job. Redknapp said: "It's time that we found somebody out there who can do the job. We've got a great manager now. He [Capello] is top level, he's got a fantastic record, but it hasn't worked so far, so get an English boy. "There are people out there like Steve Bruce loads of boys who know just as much about the game [as foreign managers]. Give it to one of them." Redknapp added that if Capello was going to be too old at 66 in 2012, he, at 65, would be too. Steve Bruce's view: "You have to try to get to the top. That is the way I have always strived and the England manager's job has to be the highest accolade. It is about how I do with this team over the next 18 months. To manage England must be the pinnacle of anybody's career but it is very difficult to get a top, top job, and to get one it seems you have to win something, and in our country now it is very difficult to do that. But it is all about timing. There might be a new kid on the block by then, Ian Holloway, for example." Harry Redknapp's view: "Could I turn it down? No, but I don't want to start saying I want the England job, because I don't. It's not something that I'm pushing myself for. I would like to see an English guy get the job when Capello calls it a day and there are enough lads out there who could do a great job. It certainly is a difficult job. Whoever takes it gets absolutely slaughtered. Nobody escapes. But people would always take it. You've got to take the job if you're offered it. 2012? I look at my life and I worry about next week, to be honest." Sam Allardyce's view: "It's not a young man's game, that's for sure. It's very difficult for a less experienced manager to live with the pressure. We saw the pressure on Fabio at the World Cup, which he'd never experienced before. There's more pressure on an English manager to do better. You have to want the pressure it's going to bring you. But I went for it last time, so it's obviously something I understand. I spoke to Bobby Robson and Terry Venables last time. They say it's the greatest job you could ever have."
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