So here we go again; following the fall out from the John Terry – England captaincy issue, Fabio Capello has resigned or been gently pushed from the England Manager’s post. It wasn’t an enormous surprise – he was almost certainly going to leave after the 2012 European Championships anyway but it seems as though the split between Capello and the F.A. had become unfixable.
Or had it? Would the same decision have been reached had England-manager-in-waiting Harry Redknapp not been cleared of all tax dodging charger earlier the same day, suddenly making him available should he fancy a pop at the hardest job in football?
Who knows, but the situation now is that the F.A. have a vacancy which needs filling on either a full or part time basis pretty quickly so there’s some continuity in the system in time for the Euros. Harry looks like the overwhelming favourite but if he doesn’t want the job the remaining options are limited. Martin O’Neill is always in the frame but the clamour for an Englishman will probably rule him out – not to mention his falling out with the F.A. during the last application process plus his obvious enjoyment at his new post at Sunderland.
Roy Hodgson could be a decent second choice but the list pretty much runs out after that. Alan Pardew has already said he’s not interested and could be a name for the future. The same goes for Stuart Pearce, already within the England set-up.
What everyone will want to avoid is the farcical situation which led to Steve McClaren somehow getting the job in 2006. When the likely candidates were dropping out of the running, people started whispering the name ‘McClaren’ as a sort of joke last resort. What then happened was that the suggestion began to become serious, to take on a horrifying life of its own. That momentum evolved what had begun as a joke into an appalling inevitability and all us England fans could do was stand back and watch as McClaren was appointed and we all wasted another 18 months of our lives in the completely vain hope that despite McClaren, something good might happen.
It didn’t of course – England failed to qualify for the 2008 Euros and McClaren departed. Fabio Capello then steadied the ship somewhat but it seems as though in the end he failed to get to grips with the English psyche. For now Harry Redknapp looks like the best, but unfortunately the only, realistically decent choice.