Friday, 23 November 2007

Worst 5 England Managers

In tribute to Steve McClaren's short but woeful reign in charge of our national team here are my five worst England managers.

1. Graham Taylor (1990-1993) When the man we would eventually all know by a selection of vegetable analogies first took over the job I thought it was going to be a good thing. How wrong I was. Not only led the team to a poor performance in the 1992 European Championships, in which he substituted Gary Linekar in his last International game, but also failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, a campaign that was captured in horrific detail by a Channel 4 documentary.

2. Sven-Göran Eriksson (2001-06) The man single-handedly responsible for wasting the so called "golden generation". Yes I know he's a great club manager and his results and qualification record were actually pretty good. However, when the important games came around he didn't have the guts to do the job required.

3. Steve McClaren (2006-07) Not content to seeing six good years wasted under Eriksson, the FA felt it was a good idea to use his right hand man as his replacement, thus ensuring that we'd not have to waste any time on one of those tricky little European competitions that come round every now and again.

4. Kevin Keegan (1999-2000) Clearly he should never have left Fulham. At least he was passionate and had the good honour to quit when he realised it was far too big a task for him.

5. Glenn Hoddle (1996-1999) Mad as a loon and arrogant with it. Actually did OK results wise but had a far greater opinion of his own abilities than anyone sensibly should.


Anonymous said...

Harsh on Sven! I can't see any circumstance where he's worse than McLaren, and subscribe to the view that he got every ounce out of his players in the end, but that they weren't quite good enough.

He was also a bit unlucky, with two Sol Campbell headers being disallowed in important games. In Euro 2004 we were absolutely on fire until Rooney got injured. Other than that I don't know what we can really complain about with Sven.

Keegan was well out of his depth and has no business being above Sven either, surely? Rememeber who took over from whom? We were in total disarray after Keegan's reign, and Sven corrected that in short order.

Taylor had some strange ideas too, but probably deserves to be above McLaren. He never really had much use of Shearer and was absolutely jobbed in 'that game' against Holland.

Hoddle did alright.

Don Revie did the job for a very short period of time then ran off in search of greater riches.

All the managers here just happen to be our last few don't they (except for Venables, who had the fortune of having a tournament in our own country in which to gain a shiny aura). Venables actually drew as many games as he won as manager, and Euro 96 was hardly a success. We were rubbish against Switzerland, and against Scotland until Gary McAllister missed that penalty. Then it came good against Holland, but we were dodgy and lucky again against Spain, then lost (in thrilling fashion) against Germany.

I think a big issue is that in olden days managers got a lot longer to get things straight. Bobby Robson is spared your wrath, presumably owing to a decent run in 86 and getting things back on track in 1990, but in these days he'd never have survived Euro 88. Then he'd just be another manager who failed to get us past the quarter finals in a world cup (86) and who didn't do the job when he was meant to after that (we were awful in the 88 tournament).

Ron Greenwood is probably above reproach because he did halfokay in '82 and - if I have my facts straight - never really wanted the job, but only stayed at it as a favour, but he didn't exactly set the world on fire did he? I don't think we qualified for Euro '80 or '84. Again, fast forward to the present and this would've been enough to cost him his job (I'm not certain he was in charge in '80, but I think he was).

So this is a bit of a minefield really. I've got a couple of books on the subject at home that have a similar list, will see what they say when I get back. Always a good subject though!


Chopper said...

Actually I really disliked Greenwood at the time but decided against including him because of his qualification record. Couldn't vote for Robson now, the man's a Fulham legend. I think Sven deserve's his place for wasting the talent he had available. Keegan beat's him due to his passion for the country and knowing when it was time to quit. I've probably not made it clear before but these are not supposed to be definitive top 5's, I don't expect everyone to agree with them. They're my top 5's and as such can never be wrong ;-). Cheers for checking by though Rich.

Anonymous said...

he he, fair enough.

I noticed you've just read a Jim Thompson book. I haven't read that one but am a big fan. Creepy stuff, no?

Chopper said...

Jim Thompson is an incredible writer love nearly everything I've read. The two omnibuses that Picador published have all his best work in - truly searing crime fiction. His stuff's pretty hard to come by though, that book I just read I got of ebay with another 3 books.

Anonymous said...

He and Patricia Highsmith (Ripley,etc) are about the best I know of at doing 'guilty suspense'. I've a biography of him to read at some point too, but it's been on the shelves for a while. I'll get there in the end.

Chopper said...

I've not heard of Highsmith at all. Will have to check her out. Have read some Tim Willocks who is hugely influenced by Thompson but also writes some good stuff.

Anonymous said...

as in The Talented Mr Ripley. She wrote that and others. All her books are pretty much the same, but there's such an impending doom vibe about them it's just frightening to read.

Chopper said...

Ah. Nice one. I'll try and check her out. Just read the Wikipedia biog on her and looks quite interesting. Cheers.