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May 09, 2006



If you dislike Sven, you'll hate McClaren. I can't imagine anyone who more embodies mediocre.

Frank McGahon

I don't think McClaren is worthy of the job and the FA did an abysmal job of choosing a successor to Eriksson, particularly the disastrous commitment to announcing the new manager before the World cup. But, unless you're an England fan, mediocrity isn't objectionable in itself. I don't have a particular problem with McClaren the person. What's objectionable about Eriksson is the reputation he enjoys which is disproportionate to his meager achievements (a solitary scudetto with a bankrupting Lazio) and the self-serving manner in which he presents/excuses his mediocrity.


I understand why they wanted to promote someone familiar with the English game. It's pretty absurd for a national team coach to take someone he's never seen play to the World Cup, especially when the player plays at home.

But the problem is a woeful lack of high class candidates within the British coaching fraternity. Really only Martin O'Neill had any gravitas and he's not even English.

Of course, the reality of the English football culture is that your either God or the worst manager in history depending on your last result. They have a propensity to tear down their heroes more than any other footballing nation as far as I can tell.

Frank McGahon

You're making the mistake of assuming that McClaren was the first choice candidate. He wasn't. He was probably the fourth or fifth choice. The reason this appointment was bungled was that for some reason it seemed like a great idea at the time to commit to unveiling the new coach before the World cup. There is no good reason for it. I can't believe that players would be all that bothered by any press speculation during the tournament. After all, the press will have other things to write about - like the World cup itself. At a stroke, this stupid commitment wiped out most established candidates. You can discount Scolari's purported reason for spurning the offer - Big Phil used fo manage Brazil FFS - the real reason he rejected England was that he would have to agree to it before the World cup which is a non-starter given that he is still managing Portugal, one of England's potential opponents at that tournament and would face accusations/suspicions of divided loyalties.

Another stupid decision was this faffing about with interviews as if they were replacing the likes of Faria "Fire Alarm" Alam, an office worker. They pretty much knew all they needed to know about every managerial candidate, none of which ought to need a personal interview to "sell" themselves. They should have arranged potential candidates in order of preference and tried to hire the best guy first and then only talk to the others in order of preference if the better candidates aren't interested. This charade, apart from wasting the time of the unsuccessful candidates, alienated one good quality candidate in Guus Hiddink. Can you imagine Manchester United interviewing a series of candidates, few of whom are realistic, for SAF's replacement?


No no, it was clear that McClaren was no better than 3rd choice if not lower. And yes (as I wrote in my own blog), the process was a debacle even more so than teh result.

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