SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: An expert in food not football is picking the next England manager

Slaven Bilic.
Slaven Bilic.

So picking the next England manager is down to a chief executive with a background in food rather than football, a former West Brom youth team boss and a man who has never appointed a manager in his life.

At least the latter, David Gill, spent over a decade working with the best boss of them all, Sir Alex Ferguson, so he might have some insight, but Martin Glenn and Dan Ashworth? Give me strength.

Alan Pardew.

Alan Pardew.

Glenn doubtless did a sound job as a top man at Cadbury and United Biscuits, but his admission he’s not a ‘football expert’ at a press conference this week should exclude him from the selection process.

As should Dan Ashworth’s decision to give Aidy ‘Hoofball’ Boothroyd a job in the England youth set-up.

Ashworth has risen without trace to become the most powerful man in English football. It’s a scary fact. What is there in his background (or his work so far) to suggest he can help deliver success in a tournament? He’s a PE teacher with a clip board. He’s never played a professional football match in his life.

Gareth Southgate, like Boothroyd, is one of Ashworth’s boys so lord help us if a man who took Middlesbrough down from the Premier League becomes the man expected to topple Mexico in the next World Cup. Let’s hope overnight reports are right and Southgate has accepted he would be just as out of his depth as Roy Hodgson.

Dan Ashworth.

Dan Ashworth.

I missed most of the Iceland match (thank goodness) in favour of watching a club tennis match which rather emphasises the disconnect I feel towards the pampered Premier League prima donnas and over-paid managers and coaches who make up my national team.

I get angry with England performances, but I get more upset when Posh lose a big match.

The time has surely come for fans to boycott England friendlies in protest at the out-of-touch, half-hearted, passion-free millionaires strolling about on the pitch.

I saw the last 20 minutes of the Iceland game and England were so clueless I started wishing Andy Carroll had been selected just to give the aimless long balls and inaccurate crosses some hope of leading to a goal.

Hodgson was a man without a plan A never mind a plan B. He should never have been given the job in the first place as his work at Liverpool had shown how out of touch he was at the highest level. And he should certainly have been sacked after a World Cup campaign that lasted two games.

I am anti foreign coaches, but this Euros campaign has been so pitiful I’d support the appointment of Slaven Bilic. His punditry at the tournament has shown that he’s mad enough to accept the post.

Emerging managers/ coaches like Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche lack the experience of working with the best players and Alan Pardew should only be considered if smugness and ego become relevant to winning matches.