And so the inquests begin into England’s shocking Euro exit. As ever the themes are familiar…pampered superstars; clubs not bringing through academy players; dearth of good English coaches and so on.
The FA will undertake a review to try to understand what happened on Monday night in Nice. But past post-tournament reviews have never led to drastic improvements in the national team’s fortunes. The one decision that will solve most problems is getting the choice of manager right.
The criteria for selecting a good national team boss is not complicated….
- Does the manager have the tactical acumen to succeed in big matches?
- Is he able to communicate his ideas effectively to his group?
- Are his training sessions stimulating for the players?
- Does he assign them roles that match their strengths?
- Does his expertise enable him to help them solve football problems for themselves?
- Can he create a collective bond that unifies the group?
- Will the players go the extra mile for him?
Get the choice of manager right, and much will fall into place. He has to have the strength of character to rise above a lot of the nonsense that seems to accompany the England team. Not a yes man..able to set his own agenda…rather in the way that Slaven Bilic and Jurgen Klopp have taken the West Ham and Liverpool jobs by the scruff of the neck. Creating progressive teams in their own identity.
Of course for the FA to attract such a candidate, they have to set aside their own fears. Fears of appointing someone will doesn’t necessarily play by their rules. Their track record of appointments hasnt been great. But after the abysmal failure of the 2016 Euro campaign, this is no time for playing safe!