Why I don't want a non-Englishman managing England - and that includes Fergie!
Sir Alex Ferguson is the best manager in the world right now. But would I love to see him in charge of England? Would I hell.
Fergie might be No.1 when it comes to getting the best out of players, but he has also got Scottish blood coursing through his veins and I know for a fact that he loves his country.
And that’s why, when Fabio Capello came into focus on my TV screen on Tuesday night before England’s clash with Wales, I was tempted to switch channels.
The camera first panned across the faces of Gary Speed’s team and then to the visiting fans who had made the trip to Wembley. It was clear to see that they were proud Welshmen by the way they belted out Land Of My Fathers with all the gusto of a male-voice choir.
Yet when God Save The Queen was played, it seemed as if Capello didn’t even recognise the tune. And why should he? He’s as Italian as pasta and parmesan cheese.
International football should be about country v country – England against the rest of the world.
It should be about pride.
I am no Little Englander. Football is a universal language. It is the game that brings all cultures, colours and creeds together.
I am open to new ideas from abroad and have even travelled to Spain to learn about the methods of Real Madrid so that I can attempt to introduce them on a much smaller scale at Blackpool. But football at international level should be about the best people your country can produce taking on the rest of the world – and that should include managers and coaches, as well as players.
I’m not calling into question Mr Capello’s ability or his record as a manager. He has been an outstanding coach throughout his career.
But while it might not be politically correct to say so, I think it’s wrong that we have a foreigner in charge of England.
Giving the No.1 job in English football to a manager from another country is an admission that we’re not very good at the game we gave to the world.
Would Italy or Spain appoint an Englishman? Not a chance.
We can’t pick an Italian to play up front with Wayne Rooney because that breaks the rules, so, by the same token, we shouldn’t be able to appoint an Italian as England manager.
There seems to be a lack of pride in England right the way through society. The recent riots proved that.
Those scenes shocked me to the core, but I shouldn’t have been surprised because so many people seem to have a problem with authority these days.
England’s footballers can help to address that. They can show the rest of the country what it means to represent the Three Lions.
For a start, I don’t think anyone should be paid for playing for England.
Top players earn so much these days that it is wrong for them to also cash in on something that should still be the greatest honour of someone’s career.
I am sure the players are passionate about England – but it’s about time they started showing it again as that’s how they will connect again with fans who shell out the hard-earned cash that the FA need to pay for Wembley.
I want to see the players singing the national anthem – I want them celebrating like it’s the best thing they have ever done when they score.
But, most of all, I want to see an Englishman leading them out before every international.