England’s Manager Search and Scottish Dawn30th Sep 2016 |
It has been an eventful week, in more than one way, for everyone who follows British football – and there are big differences in the nature of the different events. On the upside we have witnessed a great Battle of Britain game in miniature in the Champions League. On the downside, some bad judgements have forced the English FA to start searching for a new national team manager.
Only one game
It is impossible to miss the biggest news from this week. Sam Allardyce has left his job as England manager after only one game in charge. It is needless to into the details here, as you have already heard about it. Some undercover journalists caught him on camera when he agreed to help them avoiding FA rules. The graveness of the entire case means that he was forced to resign as England manager. He only got one game in charge, a win against Slovakia away. What has happened has happened, and it is now time to think about potential names for the job.
Who will it be?
The question is whether the FA will prefer an English manager or if they will once again look abroad. There are some very talented English managers out there: One of the most mentioned candidates so far is Bournemouth’s manager Eddie Howe. He is only 38 years old, but he has already managed to take Bournemouth from League Two to the Premier League. That is a great performance, and England needs a manager who can make the best of a limited selection of players these days. Another manager who has proved that he can do this is Northern Ireland’s manager Michael O’Neill. You have to be barking mad not to think he has done a brilliant job there since 2011, and in the Euros he managed to take Northern Ireland as far as England. His players are mainly from the English league system, but they are considered to be a step down in quality compared to the English players. If he can take Northern Ireland to the round of 16, it is very possible that he can take England far in the 2018 World Cup. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also been mentioned. His contract with The Gunners expires next summer, and the possibility of taking England far in the World Cup would make sure that he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest managers in the history of English football – and it might also be his only opportunity of being remembered as greater than Sir Alex Ferguson.A new dawn for Scottish football?
The Battle of Britain is one of the greatest happenings in British football, but no one can deny that English football has always been far ahead of Scottish. This has probably never been truer than it is today. It is a long time since Celtic and Rangers were forces to be reckoned with in European football, and everybody expected Manchester City to have good control on Celtic Park on Wednesday. This did not happen. On three occasions did Celtic lead by one goal, but City always managed to equalize. The final score was 3-3, and we got to see what a great audience the home supporters, under the leadership of the Green Brigade, at Celtic Park really are. Maybe this is a sign that we might see a new dawn for Scottish football? What we know is that the English supporters might start to feel a bit anxious about November 11th. Wembley will be filled up at that date, as Scotland will be on the other side of the pitch in the World Cup qualifications. With all the disturbances surrounding the English team these days, Celtic-Manchester City might be a sign of what is to come. Scotland has not qualified for anything since the 1998 world cup, and I am sure that they can’t think of a better way to end this than by taking the place for the World Cup in Russia from their southern neighbours.