Video: Time to turn towards Eric Cantona for England Manager?
It has not been a cheery time to be an England fan. Expectations weren’t particularly high going into UEFA Euro 2016 but there was still some cautious optimism that their team would make them proud. The talent was there, Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane were coming off magnificent domestic seasons, topping the goalscoring charts and Dele Alli and Eric Dier were young, skillful and technically proficient players who showed genuine promise.
It wasn’t to be though, and England put in a tame lifeless performance against Iceland and were sent crashing out of the tournament in the Round of 16. An uninspiring Roy Hodgson was also accountable for his often peculiar substitutions and strategies, and when he turned up for a press conference after resigning from the managerial post he amusingly said, “I don’t really know what I am doing here”, in an interesting attempt at deflecting attention and undermining the blame that would inevitably come his way.
In any case, it wasn’t the first time that an English manager disappeared meekly into the shadows after an unsuccessful spell in charge of the national team and it doesn’t look like it’ll be the last. What has followed is the inevitable link-ups with foreign managers, especially those who’ve been part of the English game for a while.
So what’s different this time?
Eric Cantona. Enter the swashbuckling, outspoken French, Manchester United legend who has announced himself as a candidate for the England managerial post. He has taken Zlatan’s audacious twitter announcement of joining Manchester United one step further by releasing a video to announce his candidature. And he’s done it in true Eric Cantona-style.
I’m not particularly sure how he thought the flickering montage of him sitting shirtless in a semi-dark room would strengthen his position in the eyes of England Football Association, but it’s certainly a sight to see. He goes on to say that he’d never lose to a small frozen island that consists of players who pursue other professions apart from football and his best solution to stop England’s critical goalkeeping debacles is to ‘pray to the gods’. Brilliantly innovative, Eric.
His claim that he won’t keep his hand over his mouth while giving out instructions is hilarious though, and it’s easy to imagine Cantona ranting and shouting his lungs out at his players. Perhaps that’s in fashion too at the moment, with Antonio Conte’s success with Italy. Whether it will backfire with some spineless English players, only time would tell.
Cantona goes on to claim that he’ll have Sir Alex Ferguson as his special advisor and Peter Schmeichel as the assistant coach. You’ll get Tintin and Captain Haddock for the price of one, he goes on to suggest. You could guarantee some entertaining adventures with Cantona at the helm, this bit is undebatable.
Surprisingly, Paddy Power have gone on to slash their bets for Cantona as England manager to 200-1. Tempted?