Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce
have never been shy about announcing their abilities as managers, and they have
had modest success at club level. But to tout themselves as potential future
England managers is a bit much.
Just ask Steve McClaren, whose
tenure as England manager was an unmitigated disaster. Yet he is doing so well
at German club Vfl Wolfsburg that the disturbing rumour is he could be England
boss again when Fabio Capello steps down in a couple of years.
Admittedly, Redknapp has done
amazing things in transforming Spurs from relegation certainties to Champions
League qualifiers in 18 months. He has the knack of wringing the best out of
mediocre players and rinsing an extra edge out of the better ones. But to insist
that he is England manager quality is nonsense, having only won the FA Cup with
Portsmouth in 2008 as his only significant success in a 30-year career.
Same goes for Allardyce, who has
made a reasonable start at Blackburn but cannot expect to finish higher than
mid-table come May and maybe have a long run in the cups. He turned Bolton from
a lower league side to Premiership battlers but never came close to winning
anything with them.
Capello’s pedigree at club level
stands up to scrutiny with the best, including a Champions League title with AC
Milan in 1994. He also won numerous trophies with Roma, Juventus and Real
Madrid. England qualified for the 2010 World Cup in a breeze and Capello was
lauded before the tournament. Yet the poison chalice that is the England
manager’s job caught up with him in South Africa and he was lucky to survive.
The English FA having to pay him off around $20 million to get rid was the main
reason for no axe.
The only managers seemingly capable
of making a fist of the England manager’s job currently in charge of
Premiership teams are not English. If England genuinely want to have success at
international level, they had better continue their foreign policy, otherwise
it could be another century before they even have a sniff of winning the World