Who next? Wenger? Rafa? Bielsa? Sherwood?

Date published: Tuesday 28th June 2016 2:13

Seriously, we had a f**kload of mails sent in. If you haven’t been published and fancy another go, send your views to theeditor@football365.com


So, who should be the next England manager?
So who are the picks for England manager from the F365 crew?

I would love Bilic but you can file that under no chance. He would be bloody brilliant.

From the list of contenders it really is slim pickings isn’t it? I think I would have to opt for Harry Redknapp or Hoddle. I can’t see them appointing a foreign (after all we seemingly left the EU to try and avoid them) so that really does limit the choice. I have doubts that the FA would appoint either Redknapp or Hoddle because of their history.

So that leaves Pardew? Makes me feel a bit strange touting him for England manager (not in a good way) but every doubt I already had about Southgate was just reinforced watching that video you posted of his team talk.
Rich (Leeds)


Bielsa or Schmidt?
The expected shortlist of England managers is, well, sh*t. But let’s think outside the box a little.

England have some players who, individually or collectively at club level, have played very well. It stands to reason that they should be able to form a decent team together, given the right guidance. The game’s prominent new wave of youngish managers (Simeone, Guardiola, Mourinho, Klopp, Pochettino) all set their teams up to defend resolutely and counter-attack quickly; even if they’re dominating a game, they often sit deeper with possession and attack quickly. Pace in the attack was sorely missing in the last 4 games for England; if the opposition’s defending deep, draw them out rather than lining up on the edge of the box. So what sort of manager should they look for? I’ll focus mainly on the younger players who’ve shown some potential (in my opinion).

The Spurs players – Kane, Alli, Dier – play in a system that presses high up the pitch, condenses the opposition and makes the game narrow. When going forward, Kane often drifts to the left to pick up the ball and they transition quickly. The width often comes mainly from 2 full backs, without orthodox wingers. This is very similar to how Marcelo Bielsa’s teams play – although he likes wide forwards instead of full backs.

Liverpool players – Clyne, Sturridge – look to win the ball back quickly whenever they lose it, and if that fails they drop back to more conventional defending. Again, speed in the attack is imperative for Klopp’s system, even more so than for Bielsa/Pochettino as attacks are very direct. Wide players are asked to track back and they need pace.

Simeone and Mourinho like to concede the ball and defend the last third of the pitch (“parking the bus”), before attacking quickly. This one relies on a bit more defensive ability, but negates a potential threat if your centre-backs aren’t very fast.

Looking at players who, disregarding their part in this summer’s sh*tshow, should be part of the England setup for a while, I’d say that someone from the two high-pressing schools of thought (Bielsa/Pochettino or Klopp) would be a good appointment. Possession-based tactics such as those favoured by Laurent Blanc or Frank de Boer don’t seem to fit the players. They have fast, versatile players who have been trained in these systems (Kane, Alli, Dier, Sturridge, Clyne, Walker, Rose, Lallana), they have wild-cards in Rashford and Sterling (gets a lot of criticism but on his day he’s bold and inventive, and you can’t deny he’s fast) who could fit in a counter-attacking model, and players like Barkley and Wilshere have the ability to press and stretch teams with their passing ability.

The difficult part is finding someone who could train the team in these tactics. Could they tempt someone like Roger Schmidt from Leverkusen? Or would they take a chance on Bielsa?

Or they could give it to Pardew, because clearly what they were missing was just pashun.


Some general musings about the shambles that is England in Euro 2016.

So the day is finally here when I agreed with everything Chris Waddle said about those cretins who were impersonating world class footballers.

Here are a group of individuals. They’re not a team. They had no cohesion, no communication, no-one giving a team-mate a rocket or a kick up the Arsenal when they mess up. Rooney is no captain. And for all of the experience Hodgson surrounded himself with, there was nothing there. Roy was an ‘empty suit’.

So who takes over this debacle? Not Gareth Southgate. Way too vanilla! Basically a younger Hodgson. They need a leader! Someone who can deal in valid (and harsh) truths. I know Capello tried the tough regime and failed, but he went too far in his approach. They need someone who will drop the big players (not sure we have any anymore). Rooney and Cahill need to be put out to pasture. Sterling needs dropping until he shows why he’s such a big deal. All players, even Jack Wilshere should only be played if playing regularly and well for their club.

I tell you who I’d love to see managing England (not that it’ll happen) – Arséne Wenger. Tactically astute, excellent man-manager and a proven coach. He knows the English game inside out as well. Failing that, the FA need to take a punt. No more safe, media friendly options.

Harry Kane. Oh, Harry Kane. What happened, Harry Kane? A decent season for Spurs, albeit with a stuttering conclusion, but he looked bereft of ideas, motivation and even a basic comprehension of what is needed to be a footballer, let alone an international striker! Forget the whole business of taking corners and free kicks – Roy carries the can for that one, but the player who was so lethal for nine tenths of last season looked like a spare one at a wedding!

The FA could also do with a shake-up. Out with the old boys network, in with some fresh blood. There needs to be a smattering of ex-players (Tony Adams, Paul Ince, Bryan Robson and Gary Lineker spring to mind) who know what it is to bring a positive influence to the national side and to teach these old fuddy-duddies about our beautiful game. Because frankly my dear, they don’t have a clue!
Paul Wickes
Holt, Wiltshire


…at least we would reach the final four each time !


I’m not sure what is more uninspiring – the list of potential Labour leadership candidates or the list of potential new England managers. Can I throw Rafa’s hat into the ring? Sorry Newcastle fans, but he is the ‘missing piece’…in a jigsaw we haven’t even started to build the edges of.
Richard (at least I’m old enough to have Euro ’96. If you are under 25, I weep for you)


As an Irish fan, I do take a lot of interest in the fate of our English friends in tournaments. That was an utterly abject display. One of the entries in this mornings mailbox highlighted that Hodgson shoe horns Rooney into the team. I couldn’t agree more. Yes, he tucked his penalty away nicely but what else does he do? Genuinely? Bullied on and off the ball, he looked completely out of his depth. I don’t know, maybe Mourinho will reignite the talent he once displayed weekly. Anyway, that brings me on to my point. The next manager whoever it is, needs to show some determination and a steely resolve and drop Rooney. Forster is just as good, if not better than Hart and that needs to be addressed as well. Media clamouring of players like these being started has to be ignored. What England need is a manager who can inspire them to not only win matches but be incredibly difficult to beat. In my mind a manager like Rafa would suit England. Proven track record in knock-out competitions and well able to set up a team to be difficult to beat, he would be a good replacement in my opinion.
Miguel Sanchez, Eire (Love the Icelandic slow clap celebration with the fans)


With Roy has gone, is there anyone that really take this young talented (but flawed) team forward?

Shearer has put himself up for the job. Sit down Alan!

Southgate is being considered based on his U21’s performance but it’s not the same level as this. He will be found out when he fails to qualify for the WC and England are back to square 1 and the mentality of the team torn to bits (like this tournament hasn’t already done that – thanks Roy!)

G.Neville – after what happened in Spain, will he want it? Will the FA want to give it to him?

So who is left – Harry (of Jordan), Big Sam (relegation expert), Pardew, Eddie? None have the experience or tactical nous to deal with the giants of football – Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Iceland (I’ve included just on the basis of the clapping)

There is only one who can and should do it – Rafa “knockout king” Benitez. His record speaks for himself, won with Valencia, Liverpool and Chelsea. Has coached in England, Spain and Italy so knows how football outside the UK is played. Practically English and currently managing Newcastle – who wouldn’t consider managing England would be an upgrade from the championship (other than Roy)?

Yes the FA will have to pay an arm and a leg to get him out of his contract but then again they paid Roy a lot more of yesterday’s game. So why not?

Tarun (the icelandic clapping is like football version of the All Black’s Hakka just less scarier), Dubai


Just listened to Harry Redknapp on the radio saying Tim Sherwood has “the passion to be England manager”

This isn’t going to get better any time soon is it?
Gavin (Angry now) Hill, Malton


With the inevitable backlash it’s no surprise that a few names have been thrown into the hat in comparison to what was on offer last night. I was surprised Jonjo Shelvey was mentioned but people are angry and disillusioned and want a voice. It terms of management Eddie Howe is a popular choice as he’s a fine young manager but is he the right person at the moment even with a long term plan? Whenever I watched Bournemouth play last season they deployed an old-fashioned 4-4-2 formation or a variation of it (4-4-1-1, 4-1-4-1). That is obviously different to the majority of teams in the Premier League and international football in general, certainly at tournament level. I know there is an obvious proponent of that formation who was wildly successful last year and of course Iceland used it last night but it asks the question whether a throwback style of football is required to get the best out of English players? It’s a relatively simple tactic with clearly defined roles for those involved. Foreign pundits often say English players lack match intelligence and perhaps they need a more straight forward solution. They perform at high levels in sophisticated systems for their clubs but have foreign coaches and team mates sharing the responsibility. They can integrate into those systems but they never play in other leagues and experience different styles and tempos. When they get together they often look disjointed and confused about their instructions. Even Erikson and Capello would use a 4-4-2 variation and albeit with better players they enjoyed some relative success.

England won’t become a counter-attacking underdog overnight even with wholesale changes to the squad it might be too soon for Eddie. Could any Bournemouth fans shed any light on the tactical nous of Mr Howe? From what I’ve seen he likes to keep a settled midfield and defence but makes regular changes to attack. Obviously some of those decisions are down to injury and form but he does seem to like to buy or bring on a striker if things aren’t going to plan. He seems to be cautious with core of the team and makes low risk changes. Do England need to resort to type to optimise their potential? Would fans back a novice through a transitional period? Is Eddie Howe ready or does he need more time or a bigger platform to develop his skillset? Interesting questions for interesting times.
CP, Cambridge


Big Sam?
Maybe it’s the delirium of seeing the most inept and woeful performance of all time, but is now the time for Allardici to put our money where his mouth is? Let’s face it, questions over style of play are moot when we play as badly as last night, and I’m pretty sure that he could coach the team to defend basic long throws much better.

From the non-qualification of MacLaren to last night’s abomination England have spectacularly failed by almost every conceivable measurement, so why not give it to Big Sam? If nothing else, if he cocks it up then at least he won’t talk about it any more.

I feel unclean about even mentioning it, but at least I didn’t suggest Sherwood!

Phil Lewis


Big Sam for England please.

· Overwhelming sense of entitlement – check.
· No recognition of the ability of the non-English known world – check
· English – obvs.
· Will blame anyone and everyone else for failure – check
· Thinks passion and shouting will mask deficiencies in mental ability and skill – check
· Out of a job in November anyway (that’s when Sunderland sack their manager, isn’t it?)

England and Big Sam – made for each other. And it would probably work too.

My preference has absolutely nothing to do with getting odds of 33/1 on him last night…

Rob, London


I’m masochistically watching the ‘highlights’ on MOTD after previously viewing the full 90, thinking it can’t get any worse as an England fan, but then Alan Shearer goes and throws his hat in the ring to be the manager, and I realise yes, yes it can!

Depressingly, I can see how he thinks he might have a shot (he doesn’t) as the bookies list of favourites makes for pretty uninspiring reading. In light of this dearth of options, can I be the first to suggest Lars Lagerbäck? He seems to know how to formulate a game plan, and get the best out of a limited bunch of players, but mainly we can never beat his teams, so best to get him over to our side, right?
Chris (hoping one day we will be good enough to lose on penalties again) PAFC


Klinsy for the job

First of all, I’ll have to be honest: as a continental the second English exit from Europe in a week did made me smile and as a Dutchman who had to watch two painfull Dutch losses against Iceland in qualifying, this feels like a little bit like vindication.

But I always had a soft spot for English football and looking ahead I really hope your FA wises up and doesn’t appoint one of the (by international standards) mediocre English coaches who are being mentioned by the bookies as a replacement for Hodgson. And that included Rafael Benitez.

Hopefully the FA has the common sense to approach Jurgen Klinsmann. After 2004 he oversaw a mayor overhaul of the German Mannschaft, who to this day are still reeping the benefits of the hard decisions Klinsi made a decade ago. Dumping big, establish (old) names for a younger more energetic generation and leading them to 3rd place at the World Cup 2006 after a very disappointing Euro 2004 campaign. After Germany he also re-energized the U.S. national team, with two succesfull World Cup campaigns in 2010 and 2014, and even winning an international price (Gold Cup), as a result.

Contrary to all the English managers currently being mentioned (and Benitez) Klinsmann actually has an established reputation in international football and has proven that his way of working connects with young talented players, something England has no shortage of. Besides: which English manager (or Benitez) would have the b*lls to drop Rooney? That’s a job best left to a ‘nasty German’.
Tim, the Netherlands


There is only one answer…
It has to be Slaven.


We needed more West Ham
Apropos of nothing I’m going to argue the case for the inclusion of three West Ham players in the England squad which, for me at least, shows up where Roy Hodgson has failed as England manager.

Aaron Cresswell – general consensus is that he had a great season for West Ham. Solid in defence and good going forward. Is he a better left back than Danny Rose? That point is debatable but what isn’t up for question is that he is a far superior free kick taker to anyone else in the squad. He’d have four or five goals this season if he didn’t happen to have Payet hogging all the glory in that respect. Is Danny Rose so much better that it’s worth having Kane taking our set pieces? I would say no, and this to me sums up Hodgson’s approach – pick the best players but with some weird algorithm that gives them bonus merit points if they play for one of the established ‘big’ teams and try and squeeze them into a formation with no wider thought given to game management.

Mark Noble – Even West Ham fans argue amongst themselves as to whether he should be in the first team let alone the England squad but having added goals from open play to his game this season he was surely worth a call up for the pre tournament friendlies? But no, we find an ageing waning centre forward and patently unfit Wilshere in midfield instead. Again pandering to big team and established name bias.

Andy Carroll – We knew we’d be playing three teams likely to sit back in the group stage and then a 2nd/3rd place team likely to do the same in the first knockout stage. I know that we have no one in the squad capable of threading a pass through to unlock a deep resolute defence so howabout taking a battering ram instead? No forward thinking about the type of opposition we’d be playing over the course of the tournament.

It doesn’t seem to matter who managers England they take the same lazy approach, shoe horn players from the more successful teams into a formation picked at random, play some of them out of position if necessary and hope for the best.

Not sure what the point of this is to be honest, I think just a reaction to the deeply underwhelming feeling everytime I saw an England teamsheet and thinking there must be another way because Henderson is not the answer to any question.
Rob ‘Depressingly Kane will no doubt smash a hatrick in at West Ham’s new ground this season’ Perrin


The cost of coaching
Just wanted to add something to today’s 16 Conclusions, which were all spot on in my opinion.

I’ve wanted to re-train as a football coach for about ten years now, but the cost is extraordinarily prohibitive – even more so than you suggest. While the cost of achieving the UEFA ‘A’ Licence is indeed £5,600, what you haven’t mentioned is that to get the ‘A’ Licence, you also need all the other certificates that come below it. The total cost of becoming an ‘A’ coach, if you’re just some bloke off the street, is over £10,000 – and for most of the time you’re in the job, you’re earning very little from it, if anything at all, while also coaching kids’ teams in your spare time to get your hours up. Proper coaching jobs and the associated salaries only come after a huge financial and time commitment on your part. Then, at the same time, former pro players get free passes straight to the more advanced licences because it’s assumed they don’t need most of the basic stuff due to their playing experience, and then get chosen for jobs ahead of non-former players because their names are known. Jobs for the boys indeed. Who’s going to spend £10,000+, and hundreds of hours training, to maybe get hired at the end of it?

I think it’s becoming quite clear that being a top player does not necessarily translate to being even a decent coach. It’s indicative of the problems we have at international level that the FA complain we don’t have enough coaches coming through, but then puts barriers up to prevent truly passionate people from getting there.

Maybe I should start learning German.
Mike, Edinburgh


Blame the winter break
So let the inquest begin. I am going to float the lack of a winter break as one of the reasons that the players didn’t perform. Whether mentally or physically, players get tired and by the end of a long hard season the last thing they probably want to do is play more football (even subconsciously). This could be enough to drop their performances even slightly, which is enough to underperform. They can usually perform in qualifying no problem for most major tournaments, obviously they had a weaker group this time but not always, but when it comes to the finals there is a real sluggishness. These aren’t bad players, certainly not as bad as they looked last night.

Most of the other top leagues have a winter break, giving players time to relax and recuperate before going into the second half of the season. Obviously there are a number of Premier League players who play for other nations but nowhere near as many. All 23 England players play in England and have no winter break. Of the 8 remaining teams, Wales have the most players playing in England or Scotland (22), followed by Belgium and France (11), Germany, Italy and Iceland have 3, and Portugal and Poland have 2 – that’s an average of 7. Wales have done really well to get as far, but they didn’t look great against NI on Sat with the one la liga player bailing them out (pun intended). Have any of the premier league players played to the standard we know they can? Payet maybe? Definitely few and far between.

Imagine your own job, if you didn’t get any breaks for 9 or 10 months then you have to work another month when you’d usually have your feet up on a beach in the Med. Now it’s not the only reason, and I am sure other people will pick apart the team enough to save me the time, but I suspect it has an impact. I am using ordinary work as a comparison, but imagine the intense pressure these players are subjected to, week in, week out.

It’s easy to single players out and make scapegoats, but the truth is the majority of the team played badly. So surely there has to be fundamental issues here that need to be addressed before we see the players playing to their potential in a major finals. And perhaps a winter break, even just during the seasons in which the Euros and World Cup take place, would make a difference.
Garey Vance, MUFC


Some thoughts on Eexit
As a Wales fan, I just wanted to throw some (probably very unwelcome) thoughts in on England’s departure from another tournament, after seemingly under-performing. Again. There will be a lot of soul searching going on today at all levels involved with your national team, from the FA blazers, through the team itself, down to the fans, via the media. Solutions will be proposed that require the direction of the current set-up to lurch to the extreme opposite of whatever is failing now. Manager too cerebral? Get more passion! Goalkeeper too passionate? Get someone who can focus more! Team not technical enough? We need a more possession-based game. Team too slow? We need less possession and to be more direct! None of these (largely contradictory) points are right, or wrong, in isolation. The issues around the England team are many and varied, from the structure of the leagues, youth set-up, FA set-up, coaching set-up, fan expectation, press and media habits and there is no, one quick fix. However, something that really does need to be considered is the propensity for England players to stay in the safe and wealthy confines of the Premier League. I know this isn’t the first time this has been raised but I genuinely believe it requires further scrutiny. Quick, back of a Panini packet workings out show that nearly every team in Euro 2016 has a massive proportion of its players plying their trade outside of their own national league structure. For example, take a look at the following selection of teams:

Belgium – 19 of 23 play outside their domestic league
France – 18 of 23
Croatia – 17 of 23
Portugal – 15 of 23
Germany – 9 of 23
Spain – 9 of 23
Italy – 5 of 23
England – 0 of 23

Hell, even Wales technically have 20 of the 23 playing outside Wales. Or at the very least, 1 of the 23 playing in a bonafide ‘foreign’ league. What’s more, is that your most competent looking player in the group stages (Eric Dier) was developed and played in Portugal from the age of 9. Italia 90 was probably a high-water mark for an England tournament performance outside English shores (and the first World Cup I properly remember). During that tournament, England had 4 players based in Scotland (their league was OK back then, kids), 1 in France and 2 that had returned to England, having played abroad.

Whilst I appreciate that my email may be construed as having slightly political undertones here (especially when I cringe at the thought of how my own country voted recently), I think there is a lot to be had in mixing with different cultures. If England had more footballers with experience of playing in other national leagues, they may be more adept at coping with differing football styles when encountering them for the national team. I can’t help but feel that this insular nature will have an ongoing negative effect.

Just a thought.

I’ll fetch my tin hat…
Johnny (I’ll be proud even after we go out to Belgium) Maths


Man City’s academy is the answer
Let’s cut out all the tripe about players not being good enough. That was no excuse for Italy who have ‘their worst squad in 50 years’ yet look like they could easily win the whole thing and no-one would bat an eyelid. Who wasn’t nodding along with Ian Wright and Lee Dixon as they sat utterly bewildered and embarrassed at the complete lack of anything even resembling a game plan? What has Roy been doing all week? Showing the lads his holiday snaps?

Going back to Italy – they have a well-oiled system that works and has been drummed into the players since they were ten no doubt. Spain’s recent successes was sponsored by Barca and the long term project set in motion by Cruyff et al. Germany have followed suit and worked upwards from the youth setup through to the main squad. The need for a single mentality across the entire international setup is becoming increasingly vital to the success of a nation. We have some raw talent. It’s just that no one has a clue what they are supposed to be doing including the coaching team.

If the FA have any sense whatsoever, they will be approaching City right now and remodelling their entire international setup around what is going on at the EDS. The teams at every age group are being brought through on a distinctive philosophy, all playing together and knowing exactly what they are doing. More excitingly still, they are winning trophy after trophy, and increasingly are being comprised of Mancunian talent. Couldn’t be further from the headless chicken philosophy on display last night.
Nic, Manchester


Iceland > Ireland
While your mailbox will be full of english fans rightly hammering their team for their gutless performance last night I can only say congratulations to the Iceland players/fans and especially their Football Association.

Iceland have put in alot of work at grassroots level to not only maximise their potential butsurley now to even exceed even their wildest dreams.

I compare them to the Republic of Ireland football association. Our CEO John Delaney is paid more than the combined salaries of the Spanish & German FA. We had the oldest team in the tournament and our underage structure is basically schoolboy teams shipping off 14/15/16 year olds to england like cattle.

There is no plan in place in Ireland to develop underage football and no clear route for a talented youngster to follow to be a success in this country. The only focus in FAI headquarters is the senior international team.

Unfortunately the majority our fans will never question the FAI’s lack of direction or John Delaney’s leadership as he has bought pints for the fans in the past and that makes him ok.

So while Iceland heave established a model that will benefit them and ensure they get the most out of their limited resources now and in the future we have the heroic efforts of our players masking the inefficiencies and farcical set up that is Irish football.
Ed Freeman (Bohemian FC, Dublin, Ireland)


They are quite good, them Icelands
Not sure if this is a fashionable reaction, but will everyone just calm down a bit? As a non-Englishman, I’m finding this as funny as the next non-Englishman and yes, England definitely entered this game as favourites and should have had the quality to break Iceland down. The performance they put on was not a very good attempt at doing that. It’s been nice to see the ‘fair play to Iceland’ comments coming out but to be honest, as an outsider, I don’t actually view this as a complete humiliation the way it seems to be unanimously portrayed right now.

Let’s not forget that Iceland only missed out on qualifying for the 2014 World Cup by a tightly contested 2-0 aggregate loss to everyone’s darling Croatia. They finished 2nd in a Euros qualifying group containing regular middle to heavyweights Czech Republic, Turkey and the Netherlands, finishing 7 points ahead of the latter. They were one of a handful of teams who made it through the group stage undefeated, including a draw with Ronaldo’s Portugal and a win over highly rated Austria. The general response to all of these results seems to be the other team underachieved and plucky little Iceland have benefited from that instead of simply seeing it as it probably is. Iceland are a good team. They are very well drilled, play perfectly to their strengths and with players who really care a great deal.

Yes, England should have won. That is very clear. It’s also very clear they didn’t play very well in their attempt to win and lacked a well executed game plan. But it’s not like they were knocked out by a team of local U9’s who won a competition to compete at the Euros in a cereal packet.

The bigger humiliation is the extent to which Iceland was underestimated by everyone despite evidence to the contrary.
Matt (watch them get beat 10-0 by France now) Smith


Mental arithmetic
You were right to question exactly how The Sun reach their player ratings in this morning’s Mediawatch. Ignoring the laughable scores given the to individual England players, the cumulative score of Roy’s starting XI was higher than Iceland’s.

Go f*cking figure.
Simon CFC

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