England turned down approach from Guardiola for manager’s job – report

Pep Guardiola

The British press are claiming that the now-Bayern Munich coach was interested in the Three Lions role following the departure of Fabio Capello.

A report in The Daily Mail is claiming wholeheartedly that the English FA had a chance to interview Pep Guardiola’s for the vacant England manager’s role in 2012, but declined.

The position, which is now occupied by Roy Hodgson, was available after Fabio Capello’s decision to leave his post, with candidates being lined up as a replacement.

With Harry Redknapp and Hodgson the frontrunners and Euro 2012 on the horizon, the English FA are said to have made a choice to appoint a home-grown manager rather than another foreigner.

Italian Capello had replaced Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson in the Three Lions hotseast and as such the FA were keen to bring in an English successor.

Guardiola had made the decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the forthcoming 2011-12 season, and The Daily Mail are reporting that a message was sent to the English FA, through an intermediary, stating that the Spaniard would like to hold his hand up for consideration.

The former midfielder is adjudged as one of the best coaches in the world game after leading the Catalan giants to two Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles.

The report also suggest that the FA were contacted by a number of other top bosses from across Europe, but only English candidates were in the running to replace Capello.

The Daily Mail quotes an FA spokesman as clarifying the issue.

“This was a confidential process. We made it clear from the outset the preference was for an English manager and appointed the best man for the job, based on the outline set out by David Bernstein at the time.”

How much truth or credence there is in the story is hard to tell and we may well never know. However, there are two ways of looking at the story.

It is admirable that after two foreign coaches, who failed to deliver any semblance of success, an Englishman would be instilled to the position. The likes of Spain, Germany, Brazil, France or Italy do not have foreigners in the national team’s coaching position and England needed a hit of national pride through appointing one of their own.

However, to believe that the FA were adamant enough to go with an English manager, regardless of who else applied, is potentially a bit short-sighted. Someone like Guardiola, with his fabled tactics at Barcelona, could have been the shot in the arm to not only reignite the national team but the game as a whole in the country.

Having someone with his level of success on board would have instilled a bit more national pride in the players also, who seem to prioritise their club responsibilities over stepping out for the Three Lions.

With Euro 2012 on the horizon, would the players feel more confident with the West Brom manager leading them to the tournament or the Barcelona man?

image: © tpower1978

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