Brendan Rodgers As England Boss Is The Perfect Mixture Of Delusion And Ego.

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Brendan Rodgers; England manager.

How entertaining the idea is to me, how entertaining and somehow nerve-shredding at the same time.

One can easily imagine him fashioning a trophy winning team out of their undisputedly talented pool of available players. But one can equally easily imagine him writing his own chapter in their litany of disasters.

At the moment it’s nothing but talk, and the rumours around the camp fire are that he’s been sounded out and his wage demands are a little too rich for the FA’s blood.

But that might not necessarily be enough to prevent it from happening.

For all of my life so far, the English national team has been at the centre of sky high anticipation, almost fever pitch at times, over a date with football destiny. It’s not a question of “if” they win a major title, it is a question of when.

The presumption is almost universal, and it should be because their population size and the vast amounts they still sink into youth development and centres of excellence and all that other stuff ought to be enough.

To call them under-achievers is to be generous to how spectacularly they have failed across a long, long timeline now.

They call themselves a major nation, but their solitary win at a World Cup hides an even more shocking record; outside of that single victory, in 1966, their side has never even finished in a top three place. Not once.

Their record in the Euros is a little better, but not by much. They have one final place (the last one) and two semi-final places since the tournament started.

For context, Brazil has five World Cups, Germany and Italy has four each, Argentina, France and Uruguay have two and Spain have one.

But Brazil has also been in two additional finals, and four semi-finals; Germany have been to four additional finals and five semis; Italy have been two more finals and two semi-finals and Argentina have been to three finals they didn’t win.

You get the drift here, right?

Germany has three European Championships with six final appearances, Spain has three wins from four finals, Italy has two wins from four and France two wins from three. Every single one of England’s so-called “rivals” on the big stage has a record which leaves them in the dust. They a second tier international team at best.

Still, the expectation is always there. Will this be their year? Will this be the moment when all the disparate strands which make up an English national team come together in just the right way at just the right time and shock the world?

Always the question is asked. Always the answer is no.

Deep down, they all realise it might never come again, in spite of all the hype and hysteria they let surround them. Yet Rodgers is the sort of guy who might just turn the trick.

He makes good teams better, that’s just a fact. He might well make a very good team into a great one.

But really, for him, the main attraction in the job isn’t really the chance at glory, it is the chance to bask in the spotlight which shines down like no other.

The England job is one of the most feted and respected and commented on in the game.

The person who has that job is never out of the spotlight, and that’s where Gareth Southgate has been an exceptional manager; he’s managed to get on with one of the most high profile jobs in the game in a way that’s understated, unpretentious and almost without ego at all. That would certainly not be true of Rodgers, who craves attention like a vampire thirsts for blood.

If ever a job in football was made for that man this is it, and he will be tantalised by the prospect that it might be he who finally ends that long streak without a major title.

He will go to bed at night from now until the decision is made thinking of what it would be like to bask in the euphoria of a whole country and to finally win the sort of immortality he believes he’s destined for.

I cannot see him turning it down if he’s offered it. I cannot see him making it purposefully difficult for them to offer it to him, not even through wage demands.

The grand illusion – some would call it a delusion – that England is only ever a short leap away from being the greatest side in Europe or the world flows through the veins of their sporting public and its media like other mad fantasies flow through the veins of the Ibrox fans.

This is a match made in heaven.

Or in Hell, if you prefer, and as such I am both tantalised by the prospect and suitably appalled by it.

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  • Martin says:

    It could actually be a pretty good fit for Rodgers. Plays to his strengths (man management, taking over established teams) and avoids his weaknesses (transfer market).

    I don’t doubt with a well set up system this generation of English footballers could win something (note could, not should). But I worry if Rodgers led them to it he might eat himself or transform into a being of pure ego energy.

    As a nation of 60+ million and having had the head start on playing football compared with the rest of the world, their record is dire. A controversial world cup win with a draw when every one of their games was played on their home pitch. That’s shameful. More shameful is that Southgate is probably their most successful manager since and they still Bay for his blood because of their entitled attitude.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Think Rodgers would actually do well as Engerlund manager – eventually.

    But doesn’t make sense to bin Southgate just yet: he’s getting there.

    If the ‘big’ players had turned up on Saturday, England would be in the semi final.

  • BhilltheTim says:

    Point of order, Mr Speaker – Argentina, France and Uruguay have each won two World Cups, not three.

  • Johnny Green says:

    An Irishman in charge of England appeals to me, I hope he gets the job.

  • John Copeland says:

    If the English can’t at least get to a World Cup final after pouring £ 4 Billion into their game every season …Well ,I don’t know …

  • Al says:

    There solitary win…matches our Euro trophy haul. Are we a major club? They at least ho into tournaments believing they can do something. We gave seen Celtic fans this week celebrating the possible sale of one of our players in Juranovic. We are small time in so many ways we should be careful who we dare criticise

  • John says:

    Getting rid of Southgate would be a huge mistake from the English F.A. Since he’s been in the job he has moulded a pretty formidable outfit. They were more than match for France the other night and pretty unlucky not to go through.
    I was delighted they failed but not because I don’t think they have a good team or manager but because I despise the English pundits and media as much as the ones up here.

  • Peterbrady says:

    Sougate is a dinasur from the nineties football has moved on they have the players to open up defense s in freakish and maddison but plays neutraliser like rice and Henderson that’s why they will never ever win a major trophy they are the sevco of international football

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