David Beckham Replacing Fabio Capello as England's Manager in 2012?
Fabio Capello has announced that a new English coach will be added to his England backroom team before September. The man to take the job and succeed the Italian in 2012 could be David Beckham, for a number of reasons.
Despite the 115 cap international star stating on July 14 that he had "no interest in being a coach or becoming a manager," speculation has begun to grow that Beckham will be talked around by Trevor Brooking into taking the job.
Newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, who in turn owns NewsCorp and Sky TV, have begun to print articles stating that Beckham would be the ideal successor to the Italian because of his experience and Diego Maradona-like celebrity.
News Corporation are the second largest media conglomerate in the world, behind Walt Disney, and are the third largest in terms of entertainment.
And when an organisation with that kind of money and resources, NewsCorp have at their disposal start to run stories with Beckham for manager, you know that somewhere there is a benefactor that would like to see it through.
Trevor Brooking's Coach Search
Indeed, the FA have charged Fabio Capello and Trevor Brooking, the FA's Director of Football Development, with bringing a young Englishman into the set up for the Autumn internationals with a view for future development.
After England's abysmal showing in South Africa, the FA have decided to shake things up at the highest level by introducing an assistant to the Italian, who would be given the chance to learn from Capello before succeeding him.
It is a model that has been used successfully in other countries and with the FA's insistence that Capello is a short term answer to a long term problem, they have moved to install an early candidate.
So why David Beckham over Stuart Pearce or Ray Clemence?
For the media and for the promotion of England, Beckham would be a dream. He is one of the most recognisable men on the planet, and while he may not be the footballing ideal, he is without doubt, the most well known English footballer of all time.
This is something that the FA will be eager to capitalise on, hence the need to install an apprentice two to four years before he actually takes over. One train of thought on why the FA is willing to gamble on a young coach is the lack of appropriately-aged English managers in the game.
Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgeson are the two stand out candidates at the moment, but both are in their 60s.
Beckham has absolutely no coaching badges, other than those afforded to players who have plied their trade at the highest level and would need time to earn his UEFA badges before taking over from Capello. As such, there would be no better place than as assistant to one of the most thorough managers in Europe.
Perhaps, the most important reason for installing Beckham into Capello's team is England's World Cup bid for 2018 or 2022.
In years gone by, countries like France, Germany, Portugal, and Brazil have been able to wheel out great thinkers on the game like Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio and Pele to promote their bids to hold the tournament and a David Beckham/Sebastian Coe-led assault on FIFA does look very appealing.
Apart from being one of, if not the, major influence for London gaining the Olympics in 2012, Sebastian Coe is recognised the world over for being one of the best sporting politicians on the planet.
FIFA recognised this back in 2006 when they made Coe the Chairman of their Ethics Committee. He has since stepped down to help lead the charge for 2018/22.
With Coe as the face meeting and greeting around the world and Beckham as the face of the team, the England bid would surely have an upper hand on its rivals.
On May 14, Beckham travelled to FIFA headquarters in Zurich to hand over England's bid to host the World Cup, a mammoth 1,752 page document. So the FA have already seen what an influence the midfielder can be.
On a negative side for Beckham, Pearce would be the current squad's undoubted favourite to take over as manager after the injured midfielder publicly blamed the players for their poor performances in South Africa, further stating that Capello had prepared each player meticulously.
He has also alienated certain senior players who felt his appearance at the World Cup was not needed and that he served no purpose other than to increase his own celebrity.
However, Pearce would not command the same media attention that Beckham would guarantee.
FA Orders a Shake-up at the Highest Level
The shake up at senior level in Fabio Capello's team comes on the back of a disastrous World Cup where England only won one game from four.
There has been much finger pointing, from Capello seemingly over-training the squad during their six week recuperation period from the end of the English season to the start of the World Cup, to players' attitudes, the 4-4-2 being outdated, and altitude.
However, the main reason for England continually failing at major tournaments is their management structure.
When each and every manager starts off in the England hot seat he is doing it from square one. Thus meaning that every regime goes back to the start every time there is a changeover.
No previous manager is ever sought and questioned or asked for advice on what he did right, even though things invariably went wrong in the end.
From Graeme Taylor to Terry Venables, past managers are always ignored by the FA. While some of you may scoff at Taylor's name being mentioned, he is currently spearheading Watford new philosophy as they become the template for player development throughout Europe.
When clubs like Ajax, Valencia, and even Barcelona are sending representatives over to see the Hornets' pioneering coaching and schooling methods you know that it is definitely time that the English FA also go to see what is transforming the way football will be coached in years to come.
At its most basic, Watford have integrated their academy players into a mainstream school, guaranteeing the players an education and the club at least three times more coaching time with aspiring 11 to 16 years than any other club in Britain.
Every manager does something right, and it is on this aspect of the game that countries like Germany, Italy, Brazil and Spain have moved away from England. They are not afraid of introspection and using previous ideas from ill-fated reigns, thus benefiting from a wisdom of crowds type approach.
If England had used a similar ideal, Fabio Capello would not have trained his team so hard after a long tough season, and they would not have been as tired.
In placing an apprentice with Capello the FA seem to be acknowledging this is someway but they have once again fallen short of what is really wrong with English football.
In English football there is a belief that kids are now receiving too much coaching and that the football is being coached out of the player, that's akin to saying there is too much education in school.
The facts speak for themselves; there are 2,769 UEFA qualified coaches in England.
Compare this with 23,995 in Spain, 29,420 in Germany, and 34,970 in Italy.
That means the ratio of coaches to players in England is 1:812 while in Spain it is 1:17.
The Future of English Football Is in the Hands of the FA
Club football dominates the structures of English football to such an extent that teams often defy the FA when they are requesting young players for underage international squads. Whereas in Europe conventional wisdom is that the international teams come first and that experience at underage levels is vital for player development.
Just look at the trouble Noel Blake had recently when clubs like Arsenal, Blackburn and Everton all refused to release players for England's assault on the U19 European Championship Final's in France.
During the World Cup in South Africa we read almost daily of how English players were bored with being stuck together for so long when in actual fact the German side of Jogi Loew had been together even longer. Five of Loew's first XI had been directly promoted from their successful U21 team where they gained invaluable experience when they won the UEFA U21 European Championships in 2009. Only one player from England's 2009 U21 squad made Capello's final 23—James Milner.
England Are Relying on 2018
Quite simply, they will not win the World Cup in 2014.
And with every indication thus far that they will figure in the running for the almost certainly Europe-bound competition in 2018, the FA have moved to promote the game early.
If England do not win the competition on home soil then the game runs the risk of moving backwards in the country of it's birth, to such an extent that club football would almost certainly take over from international football completely.
The pieces are beginning to fall into place. John Peacock's U17's are probably the best passing team England has ever produced and in May they beat Spain in the final of the UEFA U17 European Championships. In 2018 they will all be at their peak and need an English manager to lead them.
The English FA recognise this and are moving to have an Englishman in charge for the World Cup. David Beckham?
The hearts and footballing minds of the country is at stake.