Wednesday, 21 August 2013

England manager sacked

In this case, it is Hope Powell who has been given the boot. Writing as one whose closest contact with women's football* is via the TV screen, the decision seemed inevitable after the England team's poor showing in Sweden this summer. I would say that she paid the penalty for being too faithful to the squad she had built up over the years. The squad included veterans who were not 100% fit at the start of the tournament, and when England lost Rachel Yankey (a world-class winger) to injury early in the tournament, she did not take the opportunity to bring in a direct replacement from the next generation. Jess Clarke had to wait until England's chances of progressing were virtually over before coming on as a substitute.

Having written all that, I think tribute should be paid to Ms Powell's overall record. England women have had a better record of reaching world and European finals than the men over the same period.  I see from the wikipedia entry that: "As well as managing the England Senior team, she oversaw the whole set-up from Under-15s to the Under-21s, a coach mentoring scheme and The FA’s National Player Development Centre at Loughborough University." Not someone who can be completely cast aside, in my view. The English FA must look to augment the staff on the development ladder.

Rumours are that the Canadian coach - a man - is favourite to take over. Two of the teams in the European semi-finals this year - Sweden and eventual winners Germany - are coached by women, but clearly the FA has to appoint the best person available. Canada play exciting football and were robbed by a couple of (in my opinion) bad refereeing decisions of a place in the 2012 Olympic final.

* I have, though, had my hair cut by an Welsh international-class player.

No comments: