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England Need A Manager To Connect With Their Players - And There Is Only One Man Who Can

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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The Daily Mail painted a hysterical portrait of the typical England international the other day. As ever with the right-wing British press, a terrifyingly moralistic tone was adopted. Who is the average England footballer, they asked. They wasted no time answering.

He is a vacuous and intellectually incurious individual who, when he's not over-hitting a free kick or misplacing a pass, walks around with a giant pair of Beats by Dre headphones glued to his ears, which are no doubt pumping out some god-awful gangsta rap tripe.

Listen to our reasoning on today's edition of The Racket below:

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He shills personal grooming gear for some extra-moolah (as if he needed it). He acts the maggot in nightclubs and late night drinking dens. He spends his weekends down in high-end London hotels getting wasted on hippy-crack. The shisha pipe is a constant companion.

On his barely earned days off, he zooms around town in an offensively flash motor, and lives it up in his gaudy mansion. He invariably shacks up with a cynical lingerie model of equivalent intellectual prowess. She is equally, if not more, responsible when England lose.

He even goes so far as to spray strawberry scent on his knees to make sure he smells good on the pitch.


At all times, he displays the classic hallmarks of a 'chav done good'.

How can a cosmopolitan and genial elder statesman like Roy Hodgson truly connect with such a creature? Roy, with his erudition and multilingualism, his admiration for John Updike and Saul Bellow, his love of opera.

Judging by Roy's reading list, we believe he is a shoo-in to become the next chair of the Man Booker Prize judging committee, making him the first ex-England manager to do so.


On assuming the Inter Milan job for six weeks in 1999 as a favour to club President Massimo Moratti, he chose to forgo his wages in exchange for tickets to La Scala.


And it has been well documented that he missed out on watching Iceland's last group game because he was on a boat-ride up the Seine. This, in a culture which produced the famous joke about a player passing up the chance to visit the Great Wall of China on the grounds that once one has seen one wall, one has seen them all.

It was never going to work. The modern England footballer needs a gaffer with whom he can have a genuine connection. Someone who is of his world.


The evidence of the past two decades is that England are unable to win major tournaments when they have either (a.) a foreigner or (b.) an Englishman at the helm.

They have reached the stage where all anyone can say is 'sod this, let's try something mad altogether.' For what they need now, above all, is an anti-Hodgson. The unimaginative take this to mean 'a foreign manager'.

No, what they need is someone who is on the player's level. Someone who hears the name 'Jean-Paul Sartre' and inquires whether or not he was a Paris St. Germain full-back.


It's been a rough week for Leytonstone's most famous son, watching his beloved England humiliated in Nice and seeing his late pitch for a Remain vote in the UK referendum fall flat on its face.

But we believe the time has come for David Beckham to fulfill his destiny. No one can understand the pressures and temptations of the modern England footballer better than David Beckham. In large part, he invented this world.

The modern England footballer would be a very different creature were it not for David Beckham. The current generation of England players must know this deep down.


As was persuasively argued on our podcast today, in many respects, David Beckham is their father.

The most famous footballer on the planet failed to win the World Cup with England as a player. Maybe, he can finally do so as a manager.

Ladbrokes Bet of the Day

We have a few bets on the table due to the absence of football in the last couple of days. We've already plumped for a Poland-France-Belgium treble coming in at around 8/1 for the next four days. A couple of 'macro' bets, we've plumped for Chiellini as player of the tournament and, more conservatively, for Antoine Griezmann, the hammer of Ireland, to win the top goalscorer award.


On something of a whim, we've thrown €10 for Poland to win the first seven corners at 13/2.

Read more: Why Euro 2016 Might Be The End Of The 'Craic' For A Generation


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