Paul Ince offered his opinion on the England problem earlier this week. His valid point suggested that the lack of young English players was the problem, but foreign managers were the cause. He believes that foreign managers pack their academies with youngsters from the continent so that the local players don’t get a look in.
Unfortunately, this problem is not easily solved. There are English managers a-plenty in the football league, but with the Premier League so far removed now from the rest of the lower leagues, chairman are reluctant to take a punt on young English coaching talent. With immediate success needed, up and coming managers aren’t given enough time to adapt to the changes that a move to the big time would include. Paul Ince himself is a fine example of this, successful at Macclesfield and MK Dons, he lasted less than 6 months at Blackburn. As a result, English managers end up doing the tour of Football league clubs without ever getting a chance to test themselves at the highest level. Unfortunately, as a fan, I am aware that I am a part of the problem. Would I rather see my team managed by a foreign coach with a successful track record abroad, or an Englishman who has just won League One?
Harry Redknapp though seems aware of his role not only as the manager of Tottenham, but also as a contributor to the future of the England team. England took 5 Tottenham players to the World Cup, more than any other side. But the work that he has done for Spurs and the future of the English game behind the scenes is of just as much importance. With the additions of ex-pros Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood to the coaching staff Redknapp has replicated the English spine from his playing squad into his backroom team. While at Spurs they can learn different coaching roles and earn their badges without the pressure of being thrown into management immediately. Ally McCoist at Rangers is a good example of how a former player can learn the ropes at a top club and go on to become the natural successor to take over.
So after a meeting with the FA it was decided that Fabio needs an English assistant to work with him in the England team while Stuart Pearce retains his role as U21 boss. They’re hardly spoilt for choice. With media jobs offering attractive jobs to ex-professionals fewer and fewer are opting to take on coaching roles when they retire. So managers like Redknapp who are willing to take retired players under their wing at the big clubs seems like the only way that they will become tomorrows Premier League or England managers.
Written By Karl Sears