When Fernando Santos guided Portugal to Euro glory, he was hailed by one and all for another collection in his magnificent CV. One which had trophies listed under it’s name.Ditto with former Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli who ended their long trophy drought and former Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque. There were exceptions too. Chris Coleman of Wales and the duo of Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson. Sam Allardyce, Eddie Howe and Steve Bruce : Are England recreating their own predicament? Read this article.
But the likes of Tata Martino of Brazil and Marc Wilmots of Belgium are sad examples of what happens when you don’t have the visionary leaders to take full advantage of phenomenal players. Argentina has Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and co but still find themselves without a trophy to show for themselves. Belgium has the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku but was knocked out by Wales in the Last-16.And it’s not that England didn’t have their share of embarrassments. Roy Hodgson was another reminder of FA’s farcical decision making.If the latest developments surrounding the vacant post of England’s national team coach are any indication, all the calls from prominent personalities of the game for a “Quality Manager” are turning out to be falling on deaf years.
Sam Allardyce, Eddie Howe and Steve Bruce : Are England recreating their own predicament?
Sam Allardyce is a well respected figure in England coaching circles. Having never seen any team under his watch relegated, he knows all about survival skills. His handling of Sunderland’s survival drew plaudits from plenty of fans of the clubs and critics alike.But that’s where the achievements fall short. Fall short for a coach who has the requisite skills to guide a nation to glory. Especially England where the notoriously demanding press is unrelenting in it’s quench to find a scapegoat for every failure and a criticism for lack of style to be found in its team’s play. It’s hard to believe then Sam would be any upgrade of Roy Hodgson. Having employed rustic long ball approach to break down attacking teams, he is a next to sure bet to eke out a draw but an uncertainty to go full throttle for a win. With a team possessing the wealth of talent in the likes of Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Co, his methods may not be suited to guide the Three Lions to the podium.
Steve Bruce is another candidate whose name has been recently been linked with the England job.The Ex-Manchester United star is not very different from the options tried earlier. His Hull City were relegated the year before and have gained qualification again via play-offs. The former striker has been managing clubs who don’t regularly finish in the top ten. Rather, they are engaged in the perennial relegation dogfights. As a manager of England, He might have difficulty summoning the respect of the players from big clubs accustomed to winning trophies. A case in point would be David Moyes. The former Everton man had managed the Merseyside team for 11 years and successfully kept them competitive while obliging to the budget constraints and player sale year after year. Relatively successful, but not successful enough to manage Manchester United. Of the many things that went wrong, his lack of silverware was pointed to as a significant hurdle in commanding the respect of the Old Trafford faithfuls who were used to see their teams dominating and winning year after year.The case of Bruce becomes even more intriguing considering the fact that he has yet to achieve a feat similar to Allardyce or even Hodgson. Whereas “Big Sam” can point to his ability to get his teams pull-off unfathomable jailbreaks against big teams when their backs are firmly against the wall, Bruce has no such comforting factor working in his favour.
Eddie Howe is still 38 years old and probably not enough experienced to handle the pressure of being the Three Lions boss.. Handing him the job would be akin to throwing him into a deep end and expecting the gamble to pay off which is both unfair and unrealistic. To use him as a stop-gap solution to wait for an year when Arsene Wenger would probably have run through his course with Arsenal is cruel.The need of the hour is to find a coach for the national team with a fragile mentality, a coach who can work on the weak nerves of the superstars used to handling the pressure of playing big games in the domestic scene but who crumble while representing their national teams leaving the supporters bewildered. The FA can’t get the selection wrong. Not this time.