The Midweek Memoirs of Mr Bodell, this week, the first of a three-part special.
It`s been nearly a week, but I still, firmly, believe there is only one thing to talk about. England. I`m not going to be negative, because after something like this, they only way is up and we have to look up. This is the first week of a three part ‘special`. This week I will be looking at the men appointing the new gaffer, next week the new gaffer, and then finally, player development and player recruitment in England.
So, onto business?
The men in charge of appointing the new manager all have one thing in common, of significance, The Sun had a large feature on their age last week, but that is of little significance. What they do have in common is they have little actual involvement in the day-to-day running of football. In fact, who are most of them? I`ve only heard of a few, but in full they are:
Roger Burden [Gloucestershire F.A Member]
David Henson [Devonshire F.A Member]
John Ward [Hampshire F.A Member]
Brian Mawhinney [Football League Boss]
Michael Game [Essex F.A Member]
David Sheepshanks [Ipswich Town Chairman]
Geoff Thompson [F.A Chairman]
Phil Gartside [Bolton Chairman]
Dave Richards [Premier League Chairman]
Barry Bright [Kent F.A Member]
Brian Barwick [F.A Chief Executive]
David Gill [Manchester United Chairman]
Of these 12, I`ve only actually heard of seven, but really that is irrelevant, more importantly, look at their roles. How many of those are actually ‘qualified` [formally or not] to help pick the next manager of the country? In my opinion, three, the three Premiership chairman, I simply believe this because they are involved in the day-to-day running of a club and have chosen successful managers for their clubs.
There are many things that I think the members of my ‘ideal` board of selectors would have, they are as follows:
1. A day-to-day role in the game:
What`s the point of Geoff Thompson or someone like him being on this board? What does he know about football, what does he know about picking a a manager? Compared to say, Phil Gartside, absolutely nothing.
Therefore, people with an actual background in the running of a professional club need to be placed on this board. I.e. football chairman, football managers, players [ex or current] and at a push, members of football club`s boards.
2. A passion for the game:
Perhaps it`s obvious to me and you, but I seriously question Geoff Thompson`s actual passion for the game, with some research I have found he was actually once a ‘general manager` at a non-league club, however, outside of football he is a magistrate. Do we really need a magistrate giving his opinion on the next England gaffer? No, of course not. With a passion for the game comes the desire to appoint the best man for the job, not necessarily the most qualified, the most expensive, the biggest name, etc, etc.
3. Spare time:
Although some of the best qualified men to do this job are probably in some type of employment within football already, there are plenty outside of football who can do the job.
We need someone who gives this project their blood, sweat and tears so that the right man is eventually appointed, not someone like David Gill who is a Premiership chairman and would be splitting his time between club and country.
The men I would have on my idyllic board are:
1. Sir Trevor Brooking:
An out and out football man, you can`t dispute that, and having worked with some great managers at West Ham, I`m sure he could pick ’em.
2. Sir Bobby Charlton:
His brother was a successful international manager and he has worked for quite possibly the best managers ever.
3. Ken Bates:
He picks managers for a living, for example, Claudio Ranieri, not a bad choice it turned out. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and although Leeds chairman, spends a lot of time out of the country.
4. Graham Taylor:
A hugely successful club manager and someone with time and experience on his hands.
5. Terry Venables:
This may be controversial, but he can spot in candidates what McClaren had, and not appoint them. Finally, took us to Euro `96 Semi`s. An excellent gaffer for me.
Sadly, I doubt any of these men will get a say in the matter and that Barwick and his cronies will continue to mess things up as a hapless brigade of bunglers.
Keep the faith,