Monday, April 23, 2018

England do not need Mr Beige in charge

David Nugent in Editorial, World Cup 10 Oct 2016

Current interim boss Gareth Southgate is the favourite to be the next permanent Three Lions boss

Current interim boss Gareth Southgate is the favourite to be the next permanent Three Lions boss

The England national side has got to the stage where if it was a horse it would have been put down and sent to the glue factory.

A lot of England fans do not watch their national side play, because quite frankly it is mundane.

We have now got to the point where the appointment of a new boss is just as mundane, simply because of what that the new boss represents.

The FA have already decided

A 2-0 win over Malta in World Cup qualifying was interim boss Gareth Southgate’s first game in charge of the national side. He has three more games to impress the FA enough to get the job on a permanent basis.

I have my doubts that he needs to impress the FA. In fact, I believe that the FA have already seen in Southgate the sort of yes man that they need in charge. The 46-year-old boss tries to play down his lack of charisma.

I cannot say I know the guy that well. However, he comes across as the sort of fella who would struggle to inspire a knees-up in a brewery. Maybe great leaders need a bit of devilment in them. I am not talking about taking bungs or taking part in corruption here.

I am talking about having the sort of personality to inspire. Look at the top football managers of recent times Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. They all have personality, whether you like them or not.

Gareth Southgate does not come across as that sort of guy no matter how much he attempts to be seen as someone who can make the hard decisions.

The national team needs to start again

The sad truth is England are no longer in the top echelons of world football and have not been for decades. Most England fans have long since accepted that, but the media have a harder time accepting the fact.

England are now arguably a middle-tier European team. However, even middle-tier European teams have achieved more than the Three Lions in recent years. Look at Portugal winning Euro 2016 or Wales getting to the semi-finals of the same competition.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the England national team psyche. Wembley is no longer the home of football. It seems more like a church and not because football is worshipped there, just because it is very quiet.

Maybe a library may have been a better comparison, but you see what I am thinking. The team do not inspire the fans, so the fans do not sing the team home.

There has been a separation between players and the fans. It is a long time since an England team excited fans.

Much like European rivals Germany have done in the past, the top people at the FA need to sit down with people who actually understand football and put a plan in place. Start again if you like.

England will be a reflection of their boss

On Tuesday night the Three Lions travel to face Slovenia in a game they are odds of 7/10 to win. The bookies are certainly more confident than I of victory.

England’s second display against Malta was a reflection of their boss. I am not sure what Gareth Southgate said to the players. It was certainly not that inspiring, as the scoresheet remained the same.

Some will say that the win was already in the bag. However, the lacklustre second half display was typical of the mundane football we have come to expect from the Three Lions.

The key is the manager sets the tone. One good example of a team reflecting their boss is Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. His team are exciting, adventurous and good to watch. Those are all traits you see in the German, wherever you like him or not.

He is not a boring guy, so he does not produce a boring team. His team has character, even they if they are slightly unstable at the back, which probably represents Klopp’s slight nuttiness.

Maybe it is time to think outside the box for England, as inside the box is just the same old underperformances and lack of character.

To be honest I would not mind if England appointed a foreign boss. I would prefer that we had an English boss. However, it is a sign of the times that English coaches are not that good at their job. That fact should be included in the FA’s plan for the future.

English football is in the gutter but is definitely not looking up at the stars. If Gareth Southgate does a wonderful job and revolutionises the England national team I will eat humble pie.

However, does anybody really believe that the former-Middlesbrough boss has the coaching ability and character to pull it off?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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