Ifreke talks Sports: … Every Sam, Kean and ‘Arry

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

Without drama and paparazzi that reminds you of a certain Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello left his post as England manager on Wednesday night. With less than four months to the European Championships, the Italian who had been in charge of the Three Lions for five years resigned.  Capello decided to quit after a row with the Football Association over stripping John Terry of the captaincy of the team. The Chelsea defender was removed as the captain of the team, after the legal proceedings against him for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand, was moved to June.

Already, he has been linked with the Inter Milan and Anzhi jobs in Italy and Russia respectively. And the FA has also wasted no time in searching for a new manager.  Chairman of the Association, David Bernstein, told a press conference that the preference is for an English manager to replace Capello, but they are ‘keeping an open mind’.

That hasn’t stopped the English press from going into overdrive. They have gone ahead and drawn up a list of possible replacements. The hot favourite is Tottenham Hotspurs’ coach, Harry Redknapp, who ironically was acquitted at a London court for tax evasion, few hours before Capello walked out.  Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have also taken to Twitter to voice their support for the former West Ham and Portsmouth manager. Redknapp has come out to say that his focus is on Spurs for now. Alan Pardew, another potential successor, has already ruled himself out of the running for the vacant post.

That has left in my opinion, ridiculous choices like Sam Allardyce, Steve Kean, etc. If any of them were to step in, quite frankly, it is several steps backwards for the team. There have been mooted mentions of Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Arsene Wenger, but honestly, I don’t see any of those men taking up the job – they are all managers that would rather be involved with the day-to-day running of a club. Even at that, I really feel that the English FA, even if they won’t admit it, will love to appoint an Englishman as their next manager.

In the meanwhile, Stuart Pearce has been announced as the caretaker coach and will oversee the friendly against Holland on February 29. And as the FA starts to search for the new man, you would have to get used to a lot of names being bandied about. That’s the way it is with the English press – they love to speculate, they love to hype.



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