Whilst having my daily toast and apple juice this morning (yes, apple juice, I’m not a coffee guy sadly) I came across a superb spread in the FourFourTwo’s magazine with the one and only Alan Pardew, with the title reading: “The England job you say…”
Ever since Crystal Palace’s tenth place finish last season, and their continuation of that form this season has meant whispers have become louder as pundits and fans are tipping Pardew to succeed Roy Hodgson as the next England manager. This article has long been in my mind; but the time has never been right. Last season was too soon. But as Palace are exceeding expectations currently, coupled with the fact that Hodgson’s future after Euro 2016 remains unclear – the time is now right to pen this article.
I’m going to go early here with what could be a potentially big call; and remember this is with my journalist head on and not my Palace fan head on: Pardew would make a great England manager.
In my opinion he has enough experience to take on a job that for all English managers must be high on their wish list. After differing spells at Reading, West Ham, Charlton Athletic, Southampton, Newcastle and now at his spiritual home guiding Crystal Palace, he has experienced the best, and, worst football management can offer.
From leading Newcastle to a fifth place finish in 2012, he was the prince of Tyneside, but after a year or two his time at Newcastle became more and more strained; fans began to turn, his style of play was criticised; and against his best wishes star players such as Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy were sold.
And we cannot forget that altercation with Hull City’s player David Meyler in which he head butted him; it was a new low for Pardew, but since then he has bounced back and shown everyone how he is a great manager as well as an astute tactician.
Since coming to Palace he has turned a team that were destined for the drop under Neil Warnock into contenders for the Europa League; and if people start to suggest he is defensive minded at Palace – well quite frankly you don’t know what you’re talking about. Palace fans have seen an instant change of philosophy the moment Pardew walked through the door; and as we know it has worked wonders for the club.
But let’s get back to the subject at hand; would that style of play be a good fit for England, would superstars such as Wayne Rooney appreciate that gung-ho attitude? I like to think they would – how many times have we seen a boring and lacklustre England over the past couple of years under Hodgson? Quite a fair few.
I have my gripes about Hodgson; one being his willingness to continue to pick players regardless of how they are performing for their respective clubs. Take the most recent squad; John Stones has just withdrawn and who does he call-up as replacements: Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker – seriously! Townsend has been a peripheral figure for Spurs this season and personally I don’t think Walker’s performances merit a call-up.
But in terms of his style and approach to games, in some aspects I think Hodgson is a good fit for England. He knows how to strangle the life out a game which sometimes in a high pressure international game is the way to go. But then when it comes to team where England can try impose themselves on the game; Hodgson’s approach just doesn’t lend itself to the cause at all.
But Pardew could be the man to unleash that excitement factor which England fans have craved. Whether he has enough experience to win a tournament as big as the World Cup remains to be seen.
In the FourFourTwo article Pardew spoke honestly about being tipped for the England job, saying: “…if I was the FA and wanted to win the World Cup, I would try and get Jose Mourinho. You need to understand English players, and he has worked with English players for several years.”
Apparently the FA have already begun in compiling a shortlist for Hodgson’s successor; names have been bounded about, the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez are thought to be included along with Alan Pardew, but as Pardew said if Mourinho came available – would that be an opportunity to good to turn down for the FA?
I don’t want to go into depth about whether Mourinho would do a good job with England; but I would say that if he became available the FA would be foolish not to try to tempt him; he would certainly increase our chances of winning a major tournament.
I am in no way trying to belittle Pardew’s chance of becoming England’s manager; after all what influence does Michael Stokoe, an aspiring Sport Journalist, have on the FA’s selection process? At the moment, none! But I like to think one-day I could.
Pardew is a credible candidate and he should not be taken lightly, even though he hasn’t won much silverware at club level – he could take England to another dimension.
I’m going to leave you with one quote that stood out for me from FourFourTwo spread with Pardew:
“For the England job it is going to be about where you are when the chance comes; if your flag is up the pole or down the pole. I hope that if it does come around at some stage my flag is up the pole.”