Alan Shearer For England? Thanks But No Thanks, We Need Someone Who Has Proven Managerial Ability

The FA’s Martin Glenn may not be a football expert, but if he has an ounce of common sense it must by now have registered that Alan Shearer is no more qualified than you or I to become the next England manager. I hope so anyway. 

Being good at scoring goals, means you are good at scoring goals. It hardly guarantees you have what it takes to lead the country’s main sport out of an ice-inflicted abyss. 

And nor does being ‘passionate’. Any of us could say or show we care; even to Gary Lineker on national TV. 

Being able to transmit that enthusiasm so skillfully that you consistently galvanize a group of high profile footballers; now that’s the real skill. I’m afraid Shearer has no idea whatsoever if he can foster togetherness of that ilk. 

Seeing tactical mistakes and talking about them when you’ve had ages to prepare analysis is a skill that’s not to be sniffed at, but it really can’t compare to the clarity of thought and football intelligence required to make game-affecting decisions from ground level in the heat of the moment either. 

It’s two separate genres.

This isn’t a vendetta against the Match of the Day pundit, but when Shearer threw his hat into the ring on Monday night, straight-faced in front of millions of viewers, I was genuinely waiting for the punchline. 

After all, he picked up one win in eight matches as Newcastle United’s caretaker boss, and has followed that up with seven years of coaching inactivity. 

He’s also a man that retired from international duty at the age of 29, to prolong his club career. 

Sorry Al, but England are going to need a little more expertise than you’ve proven you can supply to get out of their torrid circle of tournament stagefright. 

Alan Shearer of England clebrates after scoring the opening goal : News Photo

What’s scary is that 19% of readers who took part in yesterday’s poll by The Sun newspaper - asking who should replace Hopeless Hodgson - made the former Blackburn and Newcastle front man their leading fancy. He actually topped the list!

I’m hoping Martin Glenn, and the other two panel members David Gill and Dan Ashworth, won’t be swayed by that kind of opinion. 

Rumours are circling that the FA want to bring in someone from the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ to have a presence in the 2016-17 squad. My first thought, is why?

Forming a backroom team should be the manager’s remit. Everybody needs to be on the same page, which means the main man must be given the power to surround the players with the right, carefully chosen people. 

Appointing a head coach and then forcing him to parachute the likes of Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand or Steven Gerrard into the environment seems unnecessary. 

England Training & Press Conference : News Photo

As I’m writing this piece, there are also whispers that cycling chief Sir Dave Brailsford has been sounded out over a possible role within the new set-up. I’m hoping that’s a wind up. 

I know these are strange, uncertain times, but getting him involved would be weirder than that time rugby’s Sir Clive Woodward rocked up at Southampton. 

There’s really no need to over complicate matters. 

I realise there’s a bigger picture, and that English football’s structure needs to improve from the ground floor upwards, but in terms of this managerial appointment its pretty straightforward. 

With time at a premium in international football, the best managers have tactical organisation, an inspirational personality, big-match experience, and a willingness to take brave decisions.

United States v Argentina: Semifinal - Copa America Centenario : News Photo 

Of the candidates proposed (most are instant no-no’s) I’ve got to say that Jurgen Klinsmann leaps off the page. 

He’s charismatic, motivational and proven to be tactically astute at major competition level. International football is his area of expertise, and at 51 he’s not in dinosaur territory either. 

I’m not bothered he’s not English. 

In recent weeks this country has had its’ fill of bewildering decisions. I am just keeping everything crossed that those in charge of the England team don’t add to the nonsense that’s stunned us in 2016. 

For now the FA must keep calm, choose a proven tactician that will inspire the lads, and carry on. 


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