There is one major question this week in English football.

Who the hell will be England boss?

It's quite an easy question, but only if you have a favourite gaffer. Spurs fan? 'Arry. Liverpool fan? Gotta be Rafa Benitez. Glory hunter? Let's grab Jose whilst we can.

In reality, it's a very, very difficult decision for David Bernstein and the rest of the big guns at The FA. Having backed themselves into a corner in 2010, when they announced that the new manager would be English, a media frenzy has begun after contradicting reports and statements have been released stating that the manager will be 'the best candidate available', so may not be English. Which is great news.

It confused me at the time that The FA had decided that the new manager must be English - why pick the fourth or fifth best candidate purely based on their nationality? Thankfully, it seems they've relented.

However, based on the latest FIFA World Rankings, England were the only team in the top 10 without a manager from their own country. For a nation that invented the game, and made it what it is - topped off with having the biggest league in the world - it's a big surprise that they have failed to find a candidate born and bred within this great land.

The last English manager with a 60% win rate in his games was Glenn Hoddle, joining an elite group with Ron Greenwood and the late, great Sir Alf Ramsey. Steve McClaren was the last English manager at the helm, and before him was Kevin Keegan, back in 2000. It's a poor record over the last fifteen years or so that hasn't helped portray the English team in a great way.

If The FA do want an English candidate, with a good success rate in domestic football, then the stand-out candidate is indeed Harry Redknapp. However, a lack of international experience could be a hindrance to his application. Which could open the door to more candidates.

Roy Hodgson would be a great international manager, but his time at Liverpool and the hounding he got by the media for his spell in charge has most certainly damaged his reputation. Having managed Switzerland, the UAE and Finland, alongside spells at the very successful Malmo in Sweden, two spells at Inter Milan, a great tenure at Fulham, and now doing a good job with West Brom, he'd be a great man for the job. He also speaks five different languages, which could be crucial for international relations.

A candidate I'd love to see take the job is Alan Pardew. Many guffawed at the idea of him becoming Newcastle boss two years ago, but his man management skills, his drive and determination and his tactical awareness has turned round a club, and put them towards the top of the Premier League. An underrated boss if ever I saw one.

Abroad would be an option, but not one that will necessarily benefit the English national team. Those brought up on the English style of play tend to have a more successful spell in charge, whereas those coming in with different, unique ways to play the game, such as Capello and Eriksson, has caused friction in the past.

We can't discriminate against those who wish to apply for the job, so Bernstein will draw up a candidate shortlist in order to gain the best possible manager available.

What I would like to see is more equality through the coaching set-up. More black coaches and more prominence for women in the set-up. Without that, the game will never move forward. England themselves have a great opportunity here to be at the forefront of change in the Beautiful Game, and that chance shouldn't be wasted.

Agree with me? Want to add your tuppence worth? You can follow me on Twitter - I'm @Adam9309 - or find me on my own blog!

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Comment by Villan0u5 on February 16, 2012 at 0:01

I never get why people say that the England job has to be a "full time" job, the time they get in training together is outside of the premiership/league schedule, and there are so few a games throughout the year anyway, then you have a month or so after the season finishes for a major tournament every other year. It's probably more the pressure side of things and being able to manage the stress levels but there's no reason someone can't do both, especially if they get in the right backroom staff. Look at Spurs when Redknapp had the case, Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond took charge of proceedings and it was fine. I think Redknapp should accept it part time, wait to see whether or not Spurs think that they can get a suitable replacement in the summertime and then if not, ask Harry to carry on part time, at which point there won't be anything until the 2014 World Cup so he'll have 2012/13 season as okay (I'm sorry but if we can't qualify even without a decent manager then what is the point in even having the national side). It's doable, definitely doable.

Comment by Doghouse on February 11, 2012 at 17:49

It has to be Harry Redknapp. I'd want to see him do it part time, because it'd be a big loss to Spurs.

Personally I think the last few years have proved beyond all doubt that foreign managers are not up to the job. People will point to qualification and this and that, but when push comes to shove the foreign managers have failed us at critical times. Against Brazil in Japan, all the way through South Africa, just crappiness.

It's not that these guys are not from the UK that makes them wrong for the job, it's that they are not from the premier league. They don't use our players well. They don't pick the best ones. And as a result we're a poor tournament side. On paper our team is a lot better than it looks in tournaments but because they try to play wrong it work.

Worse is that not only do we win nothing with foreign managers, we look like shit while we try. What we need is a proven premier league manager (ideally British, I could stomach a foreign manager who was grounded in the premier league) who wants to play with verve and power. It's three lions on the shirt, not three hedgehogs.

We will probably never win a major tournament. There, I said it. The question is how do we want to lose? Do we want to play like a bunch of continental turkeys or bring the premier league style of fighting to the last second to the world? The English game is the envy of the world, the English team the butt of the joke. We won't change that until we get the England team playing English football, and we won't get that with a foreign manager.

Comment by thecityisred on February 11, 2012 at 10:39

I've seen many people ridicule Pardew for ruling himself out of the running, which I find ridiculous.

He did well last season and this year got the crap out of the dressing room, encouraged players to play and he's doing just brilliantly, if you had to pick Manager of the year now then he'd be above Redknapp.


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