The FA: Knee jerk short termism vs. Long term patience

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For the FA to get the best man, the next appointment must be made from a shortlist of candidates that have shown an ability to change with the times and have an impact while doing so. The England National Football Manager’s job is a heavy job title and in years gone by has been too heavy for recent managers. For England to succeed on a international scale the next man must be able to show that he does not just live off his past reputation and is by contrast dedicated to growth.

Yes. A coach with a growth mindset.

Has the potential candidate shown an ability to learn what the best do and try and adapted? Has he managed to experience a level of failure and learn from it. Has he bounced back and experienced success on an international scale? These are questions that should be asked if the FA are to get a worldly, robust, successful manager.

The idealistic vision for a home grown National manager is a wonderful vision yet unfortunately, for fans and the media to have such romantic visions with such a limited talent pool as it stands, is and has been, a recipe for failure.

If short term semi final, final and tournament winning success is to be experienced for England, the quality of the candidate needs to stand up to the criteria of the role. To find quality candidates in the short term the FA would be sensible to set aside their patriotic ideals and go out and get the best man. That man is not English as things stand.

If they were to go and appoint a current Englishman, they would be taking another risk. The realistic candidates are very much in the beginnings of their managerial careers if we look at the likes of Eddie Howe and Gareth Southgate. No matter how bright they have shown to be, placing them under that national pressure will imaginably lead to the FA then having to pick up the pieces again and coming under pressure themselves to recruit from overseas once more as they did with Eriksson and Capello. In recent times only Glen Hoddle has shown to be a home grown success coming straight in from a strong yet short track record as a club manager.

Hoddle included untested youngsters Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen who went on to establish themselves in later tournaments.

That appointment was made just over 20 years ago now.

So right now, the best candidate is not English. But let’s be clear that best does not mean most expensive.

Clearly Fabio Capello was not the best man for the role when appointed in 2008. Despite being highly capable, a language barrier and lack of international experience should have counted against him more than it did. Yet these factors were somehow ignored or at least not seen as significant and the Italian disciplinarian was rewarded a contract that made him one of the best paid men in his field. In fact such was the poor judgement by the FA they went ahead and renewed his contract before a ball had been kicked before the disastrous World Cup 2010 campaign in South Africa.

There are high quality candidates out there and they want to take on this position.

However the FA’s expectations for the role and how they have been going about meeting these expectations, need a revaluation of their investment. There has been so much knee jerk changing on their recruitment policy in the last 20 years and now once again it will come under scrutiny.

If they are to make an impact in the short term, the next two tournaments, there is no other option but to get a ready made man and as mentioned the solution is currently not an Englishman.

But without question if they are serious about the ‘FA DNA‘ propaganda they have been pushing since the debacle in Bloemfontein then a strong and varied group of home grown candidates need to be invested in.

Here’s hoping the FA do the best thing and start readying those men.

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