World Cup: In England's Managerial Merry-Go-Round, Is David Beckham the Answer?
With England's dismal failure in the 2010 World Cup, it is almost a tradition to immediately find a scapegoat. Should Capello's head roll, which is looking like a distinct possibility, there will be increasing clamour for former England captain David Beckham to take over the helm.
They say that great players don't make great managers, but look at Franz Beckenbauer and more recently, Diego Maradona. Two of the greatest players to grace the international scene.
Beckenbauer won the World Cup as a player, then coached West Germany to two consecutive World Cup finals, winning one. Maradona has only recently started managing. After a rocky start, he is winning fans all around the world for Argentina's attacking play.
David Beckham does not fall into quite the same category as Beckenbauer and Maradona-both can claim to have been the best in the world at their position and both have won the World Cup as a player. Beckham did, however, finish second as FIFA's player of the year two times.
With Beckham's long and largely successful career coming to a close, can 'Golden-Balls' really be considered as England's savior?
The man certainly knows the England set-up like the back of his hand, and will be doubly familiar with back-room staff and of course, the players.
As ex-England captain, we know he can command the respect of the players.
Some important questions arise. Can he think tactically and set up the kind of detailed strategies that are required to beat the best teams? While there is no definitive answer here, one can only imagine that having played under Alex Furguson and Fabio Capello (for Real Madrid and England), he must have garnered some tactical insight to go along with his years of pure footballing experience.
It might be pointed out that this is not a good time to take over the England job, with the key players getting old and a distinct lack of quality replacements. The nation's expectations at key tournaments might have to be dimmed before Beckham places his popularity and reputation on the line.
No doubt he remembers how England fans turned on him following a defeat to Argentina; he will soon recognize that failure at the England helm will be even worse in the eyes of the public.
My mind is drawn to the 2006 World Cup, where Jurgen Klinsmann was put in charge of the Germany team, a team with rather low expectations. Klinsmann used his experience and charisma to carry the team to third place.
Beckham might have a similar effect on the England team, but there are key differences. As mentioned before, Germany's expectations were reasonably low. Secondly, it is widely believed that current German manager Joachim Loew did much of the actual tactical work behind the scenes, while Klinsmann rallied the troops.
It would certainly be a risk for the FA to take, but it would be steps taken in a direction toward "right decisions."
The English public are keen on an Englishman taking the international reins. What Englishman could garner more support than Beckham? The fans are tired of highly expensive managers coming in with little international experience and failing to live up to expectations.
Perhaps it is time a radical change is made. Given the current roster, Beckham could accrue a decent amount of experience before taking the team (if all goes to plan) to Euro 2012-a lesser competition than the World Cup with slightly less pressure to win.
Do the FA want to take the risk? Does Beckham want to take the risk?
The FA might want to ask themselves, could he do worse?
Am I onto something here? Is it time there was a manager to break the fashionista monopoly held over management by Pep Guardiola and Joachim Loew? Could Beckham do it? Or is it an unforgivable risk? Would the public accept his failure? I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on this one. Let me know below!
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