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England managers are fair game to sell papers

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Premier League

Graham taylor was portrayed as a turnip

Wizard Harry would be Potty to take top job.

Harry Redknapp is the universal choice of sports fans and pundits alike to be the next England manager.

But who in their right mind would take the job knowing that virtually every England manager that has gone before has been pilloried and criticised for not delivering the success that England football fans crave?

From the wally with the brolly to "Turnip" Taylor and mad Glenn Hoddle with his daft "payback for sins in a previous life" comments England managers are a target for hateful bile and abuse when things do not go our way. And that is pretty much every tournament they play in.

Knowing that your private life is going to come under the journalist microscope and your squad pick decisions will be scrutinised to the nth degree will require mental toughness and a thick skin that can only come with age and experience so at least Redknapp has that on his side.

Not to mention the patience of a saint to bat off the idiotic questions that get offered up at pre match press conferences.

At least the England manager's nemesis the News of the world is gone and consigned to the journalistic abyss.

Of England managers that I can recall in my lifetime the most appallingly treated was Bobby Robson who sadly died in July 2009 of lung cancer battling the disease till the very end.

Bobby Robson Statue I read Bobby Robson's autobiography several years ago and what I got out of it was a kind and decent man who lived for football. He was a man of principle and ethics and he did not deserve the vile abuse that the British press meted out to him in the wake of England's failure at the 1988 Euros.

Prior to that and the run up to the 1986 world cup Robson lost only one of 28 Qualifying matches.

Yes that's right. One qualifying game lost. England were defeated in the 1986 world cup quarter finals by Argentina and more specifically Maradonna who scored "the goal of the century" running past the entire England midfield and defence from the halfway line and rounding past the goalkeeper Shilton.

If that was the goal of the century then it was sadly overshadowed by the same player in the same game who infamously handballed the ball into the net prior to his amazing solo effort and claimed that it was "the hand of god" that did the dirty deed.

What did Robson have to say about it?

"It wasn't the hand of God. It was the hand of a rascal. God had nothing to do with it... That day, Maradona was diminished in my eyes forever".

That's the measure of the man he was in that sentence. He wouldn't stoop to hurl foul abuse or churlishly congratulate the referee and yet the press still hung, drew and quartered him.

That is the nature of the beast we are dealing with.

Graham Taylor was also abused horribly by the press but he contributed to his own downfall by having the cameras follow him around and his "do I not like that" comments are infamous, as well as his rant at the linesman telling at him at the very end that he had cost him his job through a poor decision which is excruciating to watch:



The Sun photo shopped Graham Taylor and morphed him into a Turnip. Their headline pun ran "that's your allotment".

As a Liverpool fan I won't comment anything on what that repulsive rag has to say. Isn't it about time they went the way of the NOTW? Do they still do that topless page three thing?

Taylor's successor Hoddle met his end when he declared in an interview with the Times newspaper that disabled people were paying the price for sins in a previous life. He later said that he was misquoted or comments were taken out of context but the incident caused such a storm that the FA terminated his contract. The press wouldn't let it go.

Keegan famously resigned in the Wembley toilets after a loss to Germany in the first world cup qualifying game in 2002. By doing so he ducked the hatred coming his way. But he was smart enough to protect his family and his own self esteem by doing so even though the press called him a yellow bellied coward for admitting his limitations.

Clint Eastwood would have rode into town and hung 'em high.

By appointing a foreigner In Sven Goran Erikkson the FA tried a different approach but despite being moderately successful the Swedes private life was constantly in the spotlight and he couldn't stop himself from eating the forbidden apples that kept dropping in his path. Most famously leaving his shoes outside Ulrikka Johnson's bedroom door to let the maid know he was in town.

Erikkson insisted that his private life should remain his business and no one else's and it highlighted the British press' obsession with bringing out the skeletons from the closet. Erikkson was disliked for being too ice cool on the touchline and not being animated enough. So there we have it. If you show passion and slate the referee for blindingly obvious mistakes you are laughed at and if you do nothing you are laughed at.

If you stand in the rain with a brolly then you are laughed at. Mclaren was clearly too inexperienced when he succeeded Erikkson and the press had a field day with their "wally in the brolly" monikers.

capello-jackassCapello has had the easiest ride but his failure to become fluent in English has led him to be portrayed as a bumbling dementia ridden.... Jackass?

Oh it's the Sun again and somebody has too much Photoshop time on their hands.

So what's in store for Redknapp? Who knows? He may go and win the world cup.

At least he knows what he is letting himself in for.

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