CONNOR BACKS HODGSON

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Terry Connor has said that the English FA have chosen the right manager in the form of Roy Hodgson for the England managerial position.

England have been without a manager ever since the resignation of Fabio Capello following the sacking of John Terry as the captain of the England team. It was very much expected that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp would take over the position after the end of the season, but it is now announced that West Brom manager Roy Hodgson would become the permanent manager till Euro 2016. There has been a lot of support coming on for former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson and Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Terry Connor has been the latest.

Terry Connor arrived at Wolverhampton Wanderers in order to replace Mick McCarthy, but he has been extremely unlucky in the job. He is yet to win the Premier league match with Wolverhampton Wanderers and he has also relegated the club to the Championship. However, they showed a lot of pride in the most recent match against Swansea, in which they managed to pull themselves from being 4-1 down to draw the match 4-4. Connor reckons that he is certainly not worried about his future, but he would like to manage the club if he is offered the opportunity.  He’ll be waving his England Flag with pride to support Hodgson.

“His credentials and CV stand up and speak for themselves and his knowledge is second to none. Like everybody else, we were seeing what was happening at Tottenham, how they were playing. That was all credit to Harry Redknapp, who was doing really well, his teams were playing really expressive, really expansive football and that’s what we all want to see. But the FA have taken their time, maybe with the bigger picture in mind and Roy’s the best man for it,” said Connor.

WOODCOCK BACKS ENGLAND

Ex-England striker Tony Woodcock has said that there is every chance that England can be successful at this summer’s Euro 2012, which promises to be very exciting.

Even though England head into the competition without a permanent manager as of yet, Tony Woodcock believes that England can perform well at the Euro 2012 because they have some great players in the team. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will miss the initial two matches of the campaign, while Jack Wilshere is a major doubt for the Euro 2012, despite having ruled out by Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season.

The tournament will be taking place in a matter of just 52 days and the excitement has been building up. Fabio Capello recently handed his resignation in the wake of the captaincy being stripped off John Terry. The English football Association, however, are yet to name his replacement.

Stuart Pearce has been named as the caretaker manager of the England national team, but is unlikely to continue. Harry Redknapp is one of the big names being linked with the job, while the likes of Roy Hodgson have also been spoken about for leading England at the Euro 2012. Woodcock played for England back in the 1980’s. He has compared the current England team with the Danish side of 1992, which won the European Championships.

“Maybe this is the right time, with the pressure off a little bit, to just go out there and play. There is hope – there will be a lot of teams who will not relish playing against England. I have been encouraged with the way Chelsea have been playing in the last few weeks, where the so-called experienced players [John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard] look to be refreshed and are up for the challenge in the Champions League,” Woodcock said.

According to the latest Football Betting odds, England are third-favourites.

JOSE RULES OUT ENGLAND ROLE

Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has said that he is not interested in taking the England job after it has been rumoured that he is one of the contenders for the job amongst the English FA ranks.

José Mourinho was one of the favourites to take over from Steve McClaren the last time the opportunity opened up, but the then out of work Mourinho, did not take the job. Hence, the English FA are not considering him seriously this time around, as José Mourinho is currently managing one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Even though there have been reports that he is set to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, the former Chelsea manager dismissed speculation linking him with the England job.

One of the reasons for José Mourinho to be linked with the England job is the recent house hunting by the Portuguese manager in London. However, José Mourinho has many times said that he believes that the international teams should be coached by the managers from the respective regions. He also has said that managing the Portugal national team will make him a complete man, although he is not ready for such a job as of now.

“There is no way Jose will coach England. He loves the football in England but there is no chance of this at all. What he wants is a club,” a close friend told The National. José Mourinho is looking to capture the Spanish league title for the first time in three seasons. They are currently the leaders in the Spanish la Liga, and hold a significant 10 point advantage over Barcelona. Even though Real Madrid are yet to play Barcelona at the Camp Nou – where they have lost numerous times in recent seasons, Real Madrid are the favourites for the title.

HARRY UNSURE ON ENGLAND ROLE

Harry Redknapp has asserted that his taking charge of the England National Football Team now would be extremely unfair on the Tottenham Hotspur side that are doing so well at the moment, sitting pretty in third on the English Premier League table and looking good for direct qualification into next year’s UEFA Champions League.

Redknapp has long been linked with the managerial hot set of the England national team and ever since the resignation of Fabio Capello from the position; Redknapp has strongly been linked with the job.

Many of the tabloids in the United Kingdom have already begun circulating news that harry would take up the job and keep both the jobs at the same time but will leave White Hart Lane ahead of the European Championships at the end of the season. However, it has also been revealed that Harry will talk to his son Jamie, former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur player and current television expert before he takes any decision regarding the managerial position of the England National Football Team.

With Stuart Pearce currently handling the job as the interim manager, Redknapp is in no hurry to jump to any decisions but the FA wants a decision from him by the end of April so that the he and the players can get a chance to acclimatize with each other.

Continue reading HARRY UNSURE ON ENGLAND ROLE

BECKHAM TIPPED FOR ENGLAND ROLE

England midfielder David Beckham is one of the surprising candidates for the vacant England managerial position.

David Beckham is currently a LA Galaxy player after deciding to re-sign with the American team in favour of the French club PSG. He’s being reportedly paid around US$ 15 million in total for the next two years. It would be interesting to see if David Beckham would be interested in announcing his retirement just at the start of a new contract and coming to manage England – in what would be his first managerial job.

David Beckham has always been extremely passionate about his country, which can be easily seen from the fact that he wants to be part of the Olympic team from Great Britain.

Harry Redknapp is currently their favourite amongst the bookies, but it would be certainly difficult to disregard David Beckham with such a proposition. David Beckham was part of the England bid for the 2018 World Cup, which was ultimately handed to Qatar.

The candidates for the vacant England manager job include the likes of José Mourinho, Roy Hodgson, Hiddink, and current under 21 coach Stuart Pearce. The English football association failed to rule out the possibility of foreign coach this time around as well, despite the calls for a local coach.

“There is a preference for an English person or a British person, but in the end we want the best person. Clearly an English or a British person would have a good start of the matter” Football Association Chairman David Bernstein said on Thursday. It is very much expected that the Football Association will be making a decision after the Holland friendly. The English FA have said that Stuart Pearce will be the caretaker manager during the match against Holland. Capello resigned as the England manager recently.

ROONEY OFF TO CITY?

In news that shocked the entire English football fraternity, Manchester City are lining up a £ 60 million bid for Manchester United and England international striker Wayne Rooney if rumors of a rift between the player and his manager Sir Alex Ferguson turn out to be true.

The Manchester United manager dropped his star player from the squad for the match against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve, a match that The Red Devils went on to lose 3-2, before recalling the player for their 3-0 away defeat at the hands of Newcastle United a few days later.

According to reports, Rooney was dropped from the side when images of him partying after the Boxing Day fixture against Wigan Athletic were released and it is believed that the talismanic striker is extremely displeased with the manager for dropping him. Manchester City reportedly came close to signing the England international striker last October when Rooney handed in a transfer request to the United officials claiming that the club was not heading in the right direction but Fergie managed to hold on to him and got him to sign a new five year deal at Old Trafford.

But with the latest reports indicating another rift between two of the biggest personalities at the club, City might be making the right move as Sir Alex is known to offload players who he believes to have become bigger than the club, no matter how important he is to the side. Having wielded the axe on players like David Beckham, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane, The Red Devils manager will not think twice about selling the star player and release some cash for future buys and it seems that only Manchester City have the cash at hand to meet the valuation of the player at United.

All Eyes on England’s John Terry

All the eyes were on the pair of John Terry and Luis Suarez as the two trained before the Stamford Bridge crowd ahead of the titanic clash between Liverpool and Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League. The situation between the two has grown to such an extent that the game looks to be a non-existent factor. Luis Suarez has been brandished with claims of racial abuse by Manchester United left back Patrice Evra, while John Terry has been haunted by the claims of the same by QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Both the cases will be heard by the FA in the next few weeks, and it is truly an anxious moment for the duo.

They both support their cause for eliminating racism from football by wearing a shirt that indicated the same. They have also been giving out vocal support in terms of eliminating the same from football and in real life. However, it seems that the media spotlight will not be going away from the duo until a verdict is reached on the situation. Both Luis Suarez and John Terry were wearing the T-shirt that showed the slogan ‘One Game, One Community’ prior to the match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Stamford bridge. However, many have said that this unexpected situation between the two was none more than a coincidence and there was nothing planned in terms of the T-shirts.

Luis Suarez has only been charged by the FA, but John Terry has been subjected to police investigation, which is a far greater situation in the case of the England captain. Luis Suarez has vehemently denied any claims of making racial abuse over Patrice Evra. There are also does not seem to be any video evidence relating to the same. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has come out in support of his player.

Pallister Backs Rooney

Former Manchester United centre-back Gary Pallister has defended striker Wayne Rooney, and believes that even if there is a three match ban over his head, Rooney should be taken to the Euro 2012 Finals.

The controversy centres around the red card that Rooney received in the final Qualifier against Montenegro. The red card, recieved for needlessly shunting into a Monenegran defender, brings an automatic 3 match suspension, which means that Rooney will be unavailable for selection for all three of England’s Euro 2012 Group games. With a squad of only 23 players allowed, some commentators believe that taking Rooney might cost the team the chance to progress from the Group stages.

Gary Pallister is not one of them! He believes that Rooney has the ability and attitude to really help England behind the scenes whilst he’s banned, and then come out on to the pitch and lead the team to victory on the field.

“Rooney’s not going to be involved for the first few games so it is a difficult situation for Fabio Capello if he does end up with a lengthy suspension” said the lanky ex-defender. “But I would expect him to take Rooney. He’s a world class player. You need as many as those as you can get!”

“I know it’s a risk, but just imagine you get through those three games and you haven’t played well, Rooney can come back into the team and it will be like a shot in the arm to them.

“If the team’s plays well in the group games then you might have to start with him on the bench, but what a player to have on your bench!”

UEFA will be meeting in the next three weeks to decide on whether Rooney’s three-match ban will stand.

Has Capello hit the self-destruct button?

Up until the past week, it is difficult to remember a time when England’s preparations for a major tournament had gone so well. The nocturnal discretions of some players aside, all seemed well following a convincing qualification campaign and a relatively friendly draw for the group stage of the finals. However, Fabio Capello’s increasingly strange decision making may serve to dampen the nation’s World Cup expectations.

In the space of a week, Capello seems to have diluted his reputation as a master tactician of unquestionable methods, with a series of actions and comments which have left most fans and pundits scratching their head. Are we in for another anti-climatic performance from the Three Lions? Here are the Capello misjudgements which might be giving the nation cause for concern:

The Capello Index

The most bizarre of the lot. Just before he is about to announce his 30-man training squad for the World Cup, he launches a player-ranking system backed by an online gaming firm. The FA rightly waded in and forced its postponement but the damage may well have been done. Capello has constantly preached against off-field distractions to his players, yet is guilty of indulging in a remarkably crass one himself.

A squad featuring the walking wounded

Having previously strictly insisted on the form and fitness of his squad members, this may not have been the best time for the Italian to bend that rule. Confusion reigns as to Gareth Barry projected return from an injury which appeared to have initially ruled him out of contention, whilst Ledley King, a player who is unable to train between games owing to his chronic knee problem, has also made the cut.

An imbalanced squad

Capello had been expected to name a squad with four goalkeepers, and few could argue that Paul Robinson deserved his chance to impress following an excellent season at Blackburn Rovers. Surprise and, in Sam Allardyce’s case, anger therefore at his exclusion. ‘He has made the biggest mistake of his selection process has Fabio,’ the Blackburn Rovers manager told the Free Bet website.

Many have also been left wondering why Capello has failed to include adequated cover at right back in his squad. If Glen Johnson is injured, there is just Jamie Carragher to replace him. Somewhat worrying given Carragher’s protracted absence from the international scene, compounding the fact that it is not even his preferred position. Gary Neville must be wondering what he did wrong.

Talk of a 3-5-2 formation

Rather than recognising any potential shortcomings in his squad, Capello seems to have suggested he may employ a workaround and move to a 3-5-2 formation. This is one which he has never before utilised and which has not found success at the game’s top-level for a considerable period. England fans are unlikely to want to be reminded of Glenn Hoddle’s ineffective use of wingbacks this summer.

Contemplating taking Beckham as a coach

The injury which ended David Beckham’s World Cup hopes was undoubtedly a very sad moment, but inviting him into England’s coaching setup as some kind of consolation prize is ill-conceived. Putting aside the fact that Beckham has no coaching qualifications and his proposed role as a conduit is totally superfluous, the 23 players in the squad don’t need his presence overshadowing their preparations. The football betting markets haven’t changed any odds since Beckham’s new role was announced.

It is still very early stages for England’s World Cup preparations, and a fairer indication of how well the team is set for South Africa will come during pre-tournament friendlies against Mexico and Japan, as well as the subsequent reduction of the squad to 23 players. However, even these plans threaten to be disrupted by the volcanic ash cloud.

So England fans will be hoping that Capello can exercise the superb judgement he demonstrated in the qualifying campaign, rather than the somewhat perplexing decision-making he has demonstrated in the past week. Perhaps this is all part of a grand plan; but it would be reassuring to know exactly what that is we can sleep easy once again.