Fabio Capello anointed Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce as his most likely successors yesterday when he identified the pair as the two English managers who most impress him.
The England manager, who has already said he will leave the post after Euro 2012, was asked which English managers in the Premier League impressed him most and his first response was Alex Ferguson. When it was pointed out that the Manchester United manager was Scottish, Capello then named the men in charge at Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham.
Capello was speaking alongside the Football Association's director of football development, Trevor Brooking at Wembley. Allardyce, interestingly, was also invited to speak at the FA conference, which was held to promote an FA coaching initiative aimed, in part, at producing more players capable of building attacks through defence and midfield passing. This is not a style of play automatically associated with Allardyce's sides but both Brooking and Eric Harrison, the youth coach who brought through Manchester United's Beckham generation, countered the general view that Allardyce promotes "direct football" . "You will perceive Sam as this, and other coaches as that," said Brooking, "but we want to produce good quality players over a period of time and Sam has got some really good characteristics as a coach. He is a really strong supporter of coach education, he's been on all our courses and often does a session for our Uefa Pro Licence coaches."
Harrison, who works as a scout for Allardyce, said: "He has a good chance [of being the next England manager]. If you look at the stats during a Blackburn game they are very good. He is not just lumping it. He is a very good manager."
When Allardyce took the floor he was asked if he had the qualities to be an international manager. He said: "I can't answer that as I have never done it, but the international managers I have spoken to tell me it is about having the best players as fit as possible." Capello, who had earlier identified tiredness as the main cause of England's poor performance, together with injury, would have nodded at that.
However Capello who has often shoehorned Steven Gerrard into various positions to accommodate Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, will have been less happy at Allardyce's observation that a manager must not play players out of their natural position just because they are the best players, but must find the right formation.Reuse content