5 Managers Who Could Replace Sam Allardyce As England Boss
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on October 5, 2016
It’s the talk of the country at the moment. Who will replace Sam Allardyce as manager of the England national team after his third party ownership scandal? Will he be English? Will he be a manager with Premier League experience? Or could the FA venture into the foreign ground to replicate the successes of Germany and Spain on international grounds? Here are five candidates who could make England rise from the ashes and become an international superpower once again.
The current Arsenal manager has boasted a revolution at the North London club and over the last 20 years, he has propelled them to heights that could only be a figment of some fans’ imagination. His very well documented ‘Wengerball’ style of football has had the Gunners playing some of the most attractive football the Premier League has ever seen and with that has come masses of success, including six FA Cups and three Premier League titles, one of which came during the ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/04 which saw Arsenal go an entire season unbeaten and become arguably the most memorable side in the history of the English game.
He has the perfect pedigree to lead England to glory and has a proven track record of success as well as nurturing the development of some of Europe’s top talents, something the England manager must possess given England’s masses of young talent, whether it be Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli or Marcus Rashford. As well as this he has the experience of managing English players and playing in the English league, something which the FA rate very highly on their list of requirements for the job.
Despite this embarrassment of riches in Wenger’s favour, it also can’t be ignored that he has a reputation of appearing to settle for mediocrity, while it looks like ‘title challenging Arsenal’ only settle for a top four finish in the last decade, a time which has seen Arsenal fail to reach their potential and is perhaps a sign of Wenger’s tactics growing tiresome amongst some supporters.
In short, surely he should be considered given his reputation amongst the game and the way he goes about playing football, not to mention his success and ability to maximise players’ potential.
Managerial ability: 10/10
FA Suitability: 8/10
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss is currently out of a job at the moment after resigning as manager of the French champions in 2015 but that’s exactly what he is a champion.
After a hugely successful and impressive stint in charge of Bordeaux, Blanc was handed the huge task of managing the French national team, something which he grasped after the disastrous display by Raymond Domenech’s side in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a tournament which fuelled arguments and disrepute in the French barracks. It was a hostile environment which he calmed and eventually brought a sense of balance to, despite crashing out of the 2012 European Championships at the quarter-final stage.
In 2013, after steadying the ship at his national team he was handed the illustrious job at oil-rich side PSG, a spell in which his side would threaten the whole of Europe, with huge names such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva at the helm. A Champions League semi-final and a couple of quarter-finals were a relative success but it was in the league where Blanc dominated, winning the league every year he was in charge.
One criticism of Blanc could be that his best times came while he was blessed to be in charge of such a talented side full of world class players, one which, perhaps under a Jose Mourinho or a Pep Guardiola, could have won the Champions League. As well as that he was in a league which is considered very easy and one which tends not to challenge the managerial resolve of the top coaches.
Despite this, Blanc has necessary requirements to fill the void at the helm of the England National Team such as his experience in English football while at Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side in the late 90s and early 00s, arguably the best era of the Ferguson reign. As well as that he’s a World Cup winner as a player in 1998, a Copa Del Rey winner at Barcelona and a Premier League winner at Manchester United, not to mention being announced as French Player of the year in 1990. His winning credentials could tick all the boxes for him to be the new leader of the pack at England.
Managerial ability: 8/10
FA Suitability: 5/10
Currently a young man plying his trade in the managerial world of Bournemouth, Eddie Howe has developed quite an impressive reputation in his few years of management, guiding a side which was on the brink of administration to the dizzying heights of the Premier League while playing a brand of football which the Championship had rarely seen before. It was a fast paced, high octane style which was a case of out-scoring opponents rather than the defensive structure we usually see in that division.
At just 38 years of age, Eddie Howe has that youthful exuberance and optimism which would excite many English supporters and leave people feeling genuinely confident of achieving success on the international stage at long last. The one thing he doesn’t have is a glittering trophy cabinet on the biggest stage. He has, however, won the championship with Bournemouth and guided them to premier league safety in their first season in the top flight, as well as being awarded the Football League Manager Of The Decade award in 2015. The lack of a big job experience and big trophies may scare the FA off from appointing Howe but he has barely had the chance to show himself given his young age.
A playing career which contained no England caps at senior level and no experience as a Premier League footballer means that his playing career failed to hit the heights but he is a cult figure at Bournemouth and has more than made up for it with his managerial prowess.
He may not have the trophies that a Laurent Blanc type figure has but his spirit and his managerial potential has seen him becoming a leading candidate for the top job in English football. Being English will be another string to his bow as the FA have made it clear that they would prefer a homegrown appointment and as far as British coaches go, there aren’t much better than the Cherries boss.
Managerial ability: 6/10
FA Suitability: 7/10
Louis Van Gaal
The Dutchman currently finds himself on a football hiatus after his sacking from Manchester United last summer, being replaced by former top job candidate Jose Mourinho. This came after two turbulent years in the Old Trafford hot seat which ended with an FA Cup victory.
Although the idea may seem crazy, Louis Van Gaal may be more likely than you initially presume to take over as England boss. He has international experience and a positive experience at that, one which captured the imagination of neutral supporters during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a tournament which saw his native Netherlands side take an underdog status and ending up finishing as the tournament’s third place team, as well as destroying the tournament’s holders at the time Spain 5-1 in a tactically astute display. With this fantastic showing at a major tournament, Van Gaal had proved his credentials as a top international coach and this is something which will be very well thought of by the FA.
Another thing going in his favour will be his impressive CV regarding the clubs he has managed. Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester United are three of the biggest clubs in world football and so to a manager, just one of them is a crowning moment in anyone’s career. For LVG to have all three on his résumé is such an impressive statistic and further proves his pressure handling when it comes to coping with big jobs. As well as this he has an incredibly strong personality and is accustomed to dealing with big personalities and egos, something which England are well documented to have in abundance. He could be the man to snap players out of this attitude and instil a winning mentality into them.
It’s not all perfect for Van Gaal, however, as he has often been accused of playing very tedious and negative football and so his methods are almost certainly not suited to the requirements of the English game. He’s also got a track record of being massively stubborn in regards to his tactics and once they go wrong his reluctance to change his style often results in a meltdown, as it did at Barcelona and Manchester United. Slow, negative football is something which the England fans have had to endure for years under the previous ruling of Hodgson, Capello, McClaren and Eriksson so the last thing a fan will want to see is England going down the same route again.
Managerial talent: 8/10
FA Suitability: 8/10
Currently, in charge at Crystal Palace, Alan Pardew has developed quite the name and reputation in the Premier League as a bit of a bad boy and a fiery character. That being said his coaching skills are not to be ignored and he has the nack of building an extreme relationship with his supporters. We have two opposite ends of the spectrum to support this case, at his current club Crystal Palace and former employers Newcastle United.
The two big factors Alan Pardew has in his favour over the majority of other candidates is that he is an English coach with Premier League experience so his knowledge of the English game and how it’s played is above most. That being said, he is yet to manage a truly top club and win silverware despite his fair portion of time in management. It’s been a steady progression from League One to potential England manager for Alan Pardew and I think his lack of stature in the managerial world could put the FA off.
On Tyneside, he was hounded by the Newcastle fans for his abrasive actions and his on the field results not being to a good enough standard set by the Geordie faithful. His consistent disagreements with the owner Mike Ashley meant that the club became a toxic working environment and as a result, Newcastle went from the dizzying heights of 5th, a position they reached in Pardew’s first season, too a scrappy 17th in just 2 seasons. This was perhaps his biggest job in terms of club stature and judging by how it went for him you could say that the pressures of being England manager may seem too much for Pardew, but it was a relationship which appeared to boil down to more than football.
At Palace, Pardew has a god-like reputation thanks to his exploits as a player which saw him soar into the limelight after a winning goal against Liverpool in the 1980s which has become one of the most famous goals in the club’s history. When he returned to his homeland as a manager, Pardew was treated like royalty and fans felt sure he would bring the fear factor back to Selhurst Park, after the life was sucked out under Tony Pulis and Neil Warnock. A couple of mid-table finishes and an FA Cup final later, it looks like they were right to believe so as the only way is up at the London club.
Managerial ability: 5/10
FA Suitability: 7/10