Maradona for England! Is this a joke? Or is it serious? I'll let you decide.
Since the resignation of Fabio Capello, the English media has gone into overload, even by its own impressive standards, as to who will take on the biggest job in world football. They have decided that the next man, whomever he may be, must be a proud, patriotic Englishman and they have overwhelmingly labelled everyone’s favourite wheeler and dealer, newly cleared of his tax evasion charges, ‘Arry Redknapp as the only man worthy of the role.
But this is short-sighted. For starters, to limit themselves to solely English candidates means they have disregarded a vast number of infinitely more talented and adept managers. Redknapp is adored by many of his players (with the notable exception of Darren Bent and his sub-Sandra standard of finishing) because of his ‘man management’ ability. He certainly has a prowess in this field, but this alone does not make him the best candidate for England and their oh-so-demanding FA. Redknapp has 30 years of experience at club level, but not a second as an international manager - nor even as an international player. There are a select few who belong to both categories; and one of those men is perfectly suited for the task.
The eternal debate as to who was the greatest footballer ever rages as ever it has, but his name is one which is always mentioned. Twice the most expensive footballer on the planet, he has experience at managing an international team at a World Cup and has played at four World Cups - winning one near-single handedly. Like ‘onest ‘Arry, his relationship with his players is more akin to that of friends rather than manager and player, while, unlike the current Tottenham Hotspur boss, they will always defer to his wisdom because he has achieved so much in his career. His name is Diego Maradona.
Source: Graeme Bandeira
He was accused of being chaotic, disorganised and even inept in the initial stages of his foray into national management. But when the tournament arrived, the team rallied and produced respectable performances, all under the tutelage of their manager. Their World Cup was, like England’s, cut short by a rampaging, devastating German team, though his team advanced one round further than England had under Fabio Capello - a man who won four Scudetti and two Coppa Italias as a player and seven Scudetti, two La Ligas and a Champions League as a manager.
However, the general English public may not be thrilled to see him in the dugout, nor may they be very supportive of him. 26 years ago, in the 1986 World Cup, he used his arm to score a goal against England, before scoring one of the greatest goals of all time. While the English people may not support the reign of a man who they have spent so many years hating, they would come to do so when he brings home the World Cup.
Diego Maradona has made his mistakes, in life, in football and in management, but so has Harry Redknapp. They are comparable in style but are separated by the unquantifiable quality of experience. El Diego has coached a team through World Cup qualification and got them to the Quarter Finals. He will satisfy the desire for attacking football and has his relative youth on his side. Like Redknapp, tactics are no forté of his, but he trumps him in his prized quality - his man management even better, while he commands more authority among the players for his greatness in his playing days.
There is no finer man for the England job. Let the unpleasantness of years past be confined to the great basin of history. He is a motivator; an idealist; a winner. Come on, FA, you know it is the right thing to do: El Diego for England.