Late last year a nation mourned the sudden and shocking death of one of its most respected sons. As the jolting news of Gary Speed’s death began to slowly sink in another – far less important – bereavement began to concern the Welsh public; the potential still-birth of a bright footballing future. In his all-too-short spell as international boss Gary had transformed Toshack’s dreary mandate into a budding Cymru Barcelona, full of youth, verve and adventure. Exciting times lay ahead.
The legacy Speedo left behind is fragile and precious and needs to be handled with care. Can any of the names below be trusted with it?
Wales’ very own Swiss Tony is currently firm favourite for the vacancy and it is hoped any consequent interview is conducted in a room containing a large mirror so he is distracted enough to talk his way out of the position by drooling in self-admiration and offering himself a cocktail. If not Coleman will no doubt impress upon the FAW the empty boast that he has now coached in three different countries thereby supposedly gaining a broader outlook on the game. In truth it’s irrelevant how many cultures you have experienced if you’ve been nothing but inept in them all.
Coleman hauled Coventry down to their lowest league position in nearly fifty years and, besides early promise shown at Fulham, has brought nothing to the managerial world except a raft of banal excuses and pointing aimlessly from the dug-out.
I bet he licks his finger and pats down his eyebrows before interviews. He looks the type.
Coleman is the cheap and easy solution and the time for settling for such compromise is over.
For too long we were grateful to a household name for turning his back on England.
It’s impossible not to have anything but the highest admiration for Rush as a player. He was the archest poacher around – arguably the best British finisher since Greaves – who would additionally work his ‘tache off as the first line of defence. As a potential gaffer however he is extremely callow and worryingly is perhaps not the fizziest can in the fridge. Is it wise to anoint as our international figurehead a man who once said of settling in Turin, “It’s like living in another country”?
I really like the fella but imagining Rush trying to tactically outwit a wily, wizened continental counterpart in the dug-out is akin to one half of Jedward attempting to debate the European Union with Jeremy Paxman.
It may surprise some just how unpopular the perfect role model, legend and Sports Personality of Forever is with the non-United supporting Welsh public, and that was before we all discovered he had the sexual deviancy of Michael Douglas on amyl nitrate and the morals of a jackal.
A litany of hamstring pulls prior to international friendlies that always mysteriously cleared up before the following club fixture revealed there was evidently little dragon’s blood coursing through his veins and, perhaps more damning still, from the 64 caps he did accrue I cannot recall a single special moment or majestic performance.
For too long we were grateful to a household name for turning his back on England and representing our small cluster of valleys and towns. In truth he may as well have not bothered.
Openly coveting the job of a supposed friend and mentor who – at that stage – had not even been laid to rest yet left a very sour taste in the mouth and has created a considerable amount of ill-feeling towards the Dutch assistant. Iwan Roberts immediately castigated his insensitivity whilst John Hartson has this week reminded us that there is little substance to Verheijen’s crass claim that being given the job would have been Gary’s wish. Would admittedly provide some much-needed continuity but my guess is that he’s already blown his chances by stripping to shorts and t-shirt and attempting to win the race while the other runners were pale and huddled in their mourning suits.
Currently a 16-1 outsider my concern is that the grumpy Dutchman will remain precisely that – an outsider.
For what it’s worth Deano is my personal choice. Stellar work at Wrexham resulted in a climb up a few rungs to the Championship where he has admirably retained the football philosophies of former boss Sean O’Driscoll at Doncaster. This in itself is an encouraging portent of what is required now for Wales. Additionally Saunders is a popular figure who –like Speed – is of a generation who is young enough to be both a father figure yet approachable to the talented young kids coming through.
Currently a 16-1 outsider my concern is that the grumpy Dutchman will remain precisely that – an outsider. Hiddink has carved himself a niche for being an international gun for hire in recent years coaching South Korea, Australia, Russia and Turkey to varying levels of success. So should the FAW look beyond the Severn Bridge for their appointment his vast experience certainly puts him in the frame.
However – as much as I love my country and my countrymen – we’re occasionally a funny lot and it is hard to imagine a coach being welcomed into the fray who wasn’t raised on Pobol y Cwm and cawl. Furthermore his wages would undoubtedly be a sticking point. Not to put too fine a point on it the FAW is skint. Which is a great shame because, in player such as Ramsey, Joe Allen, Adam Matthews, Neil Taylor, Adam Henley, Jack Collison, and Gareth Bale we have the nucleus of a truly fantastic team. It deserves – and needs – a manager of similar merit.
The Welsh torment is that until that awful morning in late November we had one.