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Rob Burnett: Why Alan Pardew is the obvious candidate to be next England manager

26 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Rob Burnett: Why Alan Pardew is the obvious candidate to be next England manager

As Palace aim for a Cup quarter-final, the Mirror sports writer believes their controversial boss is the last man standing to succeed Roy Hodgson

If Roy Hodgson decides – or if the FA decide for him – that he has had enough after Euro 2016 next summer, who would be next in line to lead the national team?

There are certainly not many names that spring to mind, particularly if the feeling is that an Englishman should take the helm once again.

There was once a time when the surfeit of talent among English managers meant that the FA could twice afford to overlook Brian Clough for the top job.

Today, there is currently not a single Englishmen working at any top flight club in any of the major leagues in Europe. 

Even in the Premier League, just five of the 20 clubs are bossed by Englishmen.

And how many of them are genuine contenders?

Steve McClaren at Newcastle has already had a go and, well, the less said about that the better.

You sense that the moment has probably passed for Sam Allardyce, who has just taken over at Sunderland.

So too for Harry Redknapp – the overwhelming favourite back in 2012 when Hodgson got the job in the first place.

Eddie Howe has done a tremendous job at Bournemouth, but, at just 37-years-old, it is surely far too early in his career to take on that job.

The same applies for Swansea boss Garry Monk, who is still only in his second full season of management.

So, who does that leave?

There is still one English manager who could – and perhaps should – do the job.

Alan Pardew is by no means everyone’s cup of tea.

You get the sense that the FA like the fact that Hodgson is a company man, a diplomat, a man of languages.

Pardew is none of those. He is bullish, arrogant and very much his own man.

But he also gets results.

After all, what are the skills needed to be an effective England boss?

One: you need to be an experienced coach with at least some track record of success.

Pardew is arguably the most successful English manager currently in the game.

He was taking Reading towards promotion in his first job before West Ham poached him, so he took them up instead.

He then took them to within a stoppage-time Steven Gerrard wonder goal of winning the FA Cup before he started to believe a little too much of his own press and it fell apart.

He was an unpopular appointment when he was brought in at Newcastle – with just five per cent of the Toon Army in favour of his appointment according to one poll – but he shook that off and led them to a hugely impressive fifth place finish.

And was there ever a more stark illustration of his skills than Newcastle’s complete collapse after he left last season, coupled with the simultaneous rise of Crystal Palace to safety?

Two: you also need to be a strong personality with the character to deal with the biggest egos in the game.

That would certainly not be a problem for Pards, and nor would having a skin thick enough to cope with the inevitable and relentless abuse and personal criticism that always comes with the England job.

After all, there was a sustained campaign to get him out of Newcastle by a section of vocal fans who once booed him throughout a match against Cardiff City, despite the fact Newcastle won the game 3-0.

Now second-bottom of the Premier League and with just a single win on the board, one wonders if they might just regret forcing him out now.

Yes, he is a bit of a hothead who is prone to clashes with other managers, players and officials – just ask Arsene Wenger, David Meyler and tomorrow’s opponent Manuel Pellegrini.

But no man is perfect, and is a bit of fire and passion not just what the England team needs?

To butcher the quote about Sven-Goran Eriksson’s half-time team talk during England’s World Cup defeat to Brazil in 2002, Pardew would surely be more Winston Churchill and far less Iain Duncan Smith in a similar situation.

Aside from his moments of controversy the FA would also need the public to buy into the idea of Pards leading the Three Lions.

And that means he needs some good PR with the wider public outside the environs of Selhurst Park.

With the best will in the world, Crystal Palace are not going to win the Premier League – but they could win a cup.

In fact, they don’t even need to win it – Hodgson got the Liverpool job off the back of taking Fulham to the Europa League final a few years back.

And what an advert it would be for Pardew himself if he could mastermind another away win at Man City – to follow his shock victory with Newcastle in the same competition last season – to kickstart another Capital One Cup run.

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