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[FM15] England - The Nation's Game

Started on 13 July 2016 by Feliks
Latest Reply on 16 February 2018 by sidmehra
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Well That Wasn't Nice

"Live the way you want England. Iceland is going to play France on Sunday. France Iceland! You can go home! You can go out of Europe! You can go wherever the hell you want!"

The screeching words of Gudmundur Benediktsson sent the English national team on their way. Yet again, expectations were high for a squad with a whole new set of stars - Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford. This was their year, again. And again, they came crashing out.

England are the oldest international side in the world. They invented football as we know it. The Premier League is the most prestigious sporting league in the world. And yet, in 66 years of trying, they have won just 1 international tournament - the 1966 World Cup on home soil. Every single tournament, they have immense pressure to succeed but we have not seen them come close since the great side of the 1990s. Paul Gascoigne's tears in 1990 were not the first to be shed; England have still not challenged for a trophy since that fateful day at Wembley 50 years ago.

The 2016 European Championships were seen as a great hope for the national team. They were considered favourites, along with France, Belgium and Germany, off the back of some immense domestic form from the likes of Kane, Vardy and Dele Alli. It was a younger, more refreshing Three Lions team. But they still could not get past a far more resilient and hungry Iceland. The ageing Roy Hodgson pulled the plug. The rebuilding process starts yet again, and most likely, they will bow out of the 2018 World Cup early as well.

In this story, I will be going back to where it should have restarted. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil, or more accurately, just after it. A group stage knockout, in my opinion, was just not good enough to keep Hodgson on so I will be exploring just what could have happened if he had left in July 2014. Can someone save the national game? Can someone take England back to 1966?

Join me to find out.
Hopefully otherwise even more anger will be released! :)) Good to see you back and Good Luck with the story!
TheLFCFan: Cheers mate, I hope to finally get English people supporting their national team properly ;)

Hodgson Sacked As Three Lions Boss

After days of speculation, Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has officially announced that England manager Roy Hodgson's contract has been terminated. The 66 year old was heavily touted to be moved on after a poor showing at the recent World Cup which saw England return home after the group stage to disparaged fans. Indeed, it is thought to be heavy home support for his removal that prompted Dyke to pull the switch.

Hodgson released the following letter to media outlets following his dismissal.

Roy Hodgson:
"Dear England,
It was a great honour to commandeer our country's national team, and I regret any misunderstandings and poor showings that have contributed to my dismissal. It has been an interesting 3 years, and they have taught me primarily about one thing - the England fans. You are a marvelous lot, and I sincerely hope we can leave on good terms.

As much as I'd love to remain in charge, I do understand the reasons for my dismissal. The World Cup in Brazil was not my finest hour, and even if I believed we could turn it around at the Euros in 2 years time, the writing was on the wall. I'll move onto a new chapter in my life, and you can move onto a new chapter in the English national team. I wish my successor the best of luck.

Sincerely, Roy Hodgson."

Several figures from around the game have expressed pity on Hodgson's behalf, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville arguing that after a strong showing at the 2012 Euros, "he should have been given a good 3 or 4 years to set up a successful side." Meanwhile, Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has voiced his pleasure at the move, claiming Hodgson was "unprofessional" and "archaic" in his ways. The move has divided some, but the general consensus is positive - the England fans are looking now to the future.

Multiple high profile names have been linked with the vacancy, including most notably Chelsea's Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti, although luring a top club manager four years before the next World Cup is a tall order. More realistic suggestions include Everton's Roberto Martinez, who has declared interest in such a role, as well as aforementioned Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate, who would be a wise choice if the FA were looking for a quick transition. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how England can pick themselves up after a disappointing tournament - could Hodgson's successor turn back the clock to 1966?

Hodgson Forced Out By Player Conspiracy?

Reports are coming out of the returning England camp that the recent sacking of manager Roy Hodgson largely came down to the actions of two or three key players within the squad, forcing Greg Dyke's hand in the matter. Although the majority of fans wanted Hodgson gone, it is now being suggested that the FA were prepared to give Hodgson 2 more years before making a decision before being forced to pull the trigger under the threat of multiple international retirements.

Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, both of whom have retired from international football after the World Cup, have denied speculation that they did so in retaliation to Hodgson's sacking in direct opposition to others threatening to retire if Hodgson stayed. Gerrard, 34, spoke earlier today at Anfield about the issue.

Steven Gerrard:
"Look, I certainly didn't hear anything like that in Rio, and I'm sure no-one would go so far to do that. It's the FA's decision whether he went or not and they made that decision on their own, I don't think Dyke would let himself be threatened by players. I honestly want to just put the whole tournament behind me now and get onto playing football again."

The Liverpool captain was joined by Gary Cahill and James Milner in condemnation of the claims but some have suggested that the Football Association may re-appoint Hodgson and deal with the offenders head-on. This would certainly confirm the claims, but whether or not the FA would bother with the fuss for Hodgson anyway is yet to be seen.
Starting the drama early... I was considering starting this story but it was so obviously to do I knew someone would pick up the idea, best of luck with it mate hopefully you stick to this story and get active around the forum again man!
Liking the early drama matey! Don't see too many international stories so will be nice to keep up to date with this one :)
Thank god Roy is gone both in game and irl! Hopefully you can do a lot better and restore some pride in England again!
Griffo Yeah hopefully it's my return!

Beany No worries :)

mgriffin I certainly hope so!

Top 10 Potential England Managers

Gareth Southgate looms as a possible England manager

Roy Hodgson is on his way, and the England role is open again for the first time in 3 years. It's one of the most sought after jobs in Europe, and possibly the one with the most pressure. England is the home of football, and the home of the Premier League, and yet in 64 years of trying has only brought home 1 major trophy - the 1966 World Cup, on home soil. After the brilliance of the 1990s England side, the Three Lions have petered out and have not shown anything close to success since 1996. The next England manager will have immense pressure on him to succeed in one of the most competitive eras of international football ever - and so the FA need to make a strong choice. Here's our top 10 favourites to nab the England job.

Across the pond, German manager Jurgen Klinsmann has turned the USMNT from pretenders to contenders and after the 2014 World Cup they sit in an impressive 15th in the World Rankings, 5 places above England. The 49 year old is relatively young as managers go but has an impressive resume including over 100 caps, a World Cup and a European Championship for Germany, 2 years as manager of Die Mannschaft (including third place at the 2006 World Cup) and a brief spell in charge of Bayern Munich. It would be extremely interesting to see a German in charge of the English national team after managing the United States but he has certainly proved himself on an international stage.

9. Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

It would be extremely difficult to convince the 'Special One' to take up this role but the fact remains that Jose Mourinho craves a challenge. Having won the Champions League with FC Porto and Inter Milan, a Liga BBVA with Real Madrid and 2 Premier Leagues with Chelsea, the 51 year old Portuguese manager can rightly claim to being the best manager in the game. However, he has not yet managed an international side, and to take England to World Cup glory would be a crowning achievement of a magnificent career.

If appointing German Jurgen Klinsmann would antagonise the England faithful, then Scot David Moyes would also be ruled out of the job. His current availability makes him a strong candidate, especially considering his fine work with Everton, but his nationality coupled with his calamities at Manchester United work against him. The Red Devils' failure is fresh in the mind of England fans and that kind of association could rule him out of the running.

Queiroz is certainly a left field candidate but can claim to be one of the most experienced and versatile international managers in the world. The 61 year old has managed internationally since 1991, with Portugal (1991-93, 2008-10), UAE (1998-99), South Africa (2000-02) and Iran (2011-14). He is perhaps most famous for being Sir Alex Ferguson's right hand man at Manchester United and that kind of knowledge and experience could lead England in he right direction.

After almost clinching Liverpool's first Premier League title, it would be tough to convince Rodgers to quit the Anfield post or juggle two jobs at once but the 41 year old is arguably the most up-and-coming manager in the game. His adventurous play at Liverpool makes him stand out and he could be the man that England are looking for.

Having taken AS Monaco out of Ligue 2, Ranieri failed to deliver continental qualification in their first season in Ligue 1 and has been moved on. Like Mourinho, he is an experienced club manager who is yet to test himself internationally after managing big clubs such as Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus and Roma. Despite his age, Ranieri could be the guily and tactful manager England needs.

4. Gareth Southgate (England Under-21s)

If England want to get things rolling quickly, Southgate is their man. As Under-21 manager, he already has extensive knowledge of the system in place and can get things rolling immediately. His current role could also mean a more youthful element to the national squad, with Southgate having personally overseen the development of young talents such as Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Southgate will certainly be seen as the best option if the FA wanted to stay in-house. He's also the only Englishman on this list.

Martinez was the first manager to declare interest in the vacancy, just hours after Hodgson's dismissal, and the 40 year old Spaniard seems eager to please. He shows a tendency of overachieving, lifting Swansea to a promotion and Wigan to a historic FA Cup victory before taking Everton to their highest finish in 5 years in his first season at the helm. His enthusiasm has surprised some, given he could instead manage Everton in the Europa League, but that desire for more success could convince the FA to hire him.

Mancini is most famous in England for taking Manchester City to their first English top flight title in 44 years and that reputation could see him win the fans' support. He is coming off a second place finish in the Turkish league with Galatasaray, but has never managed an international side despite plenty of success at club level. The Italian could follow in Fabio Capello's footsteps and become the manager of the Three Lions, but he isn't our favourite...

One of the most reputable names in the business, Dutch maestro Frank Rijkaard has spent a full 18 months unemployed and is now thought to be aggressively pursuing job opportunities, with the England job reportedly on top of his list. The 51 year old has previously managed Holland and Saudi Arabia on an international level but is most famous for leading Barcelona to the 2006 Champions League trophy. His reputation and resume make him our favourite for the England job.
Please for the love of God not Moyes or Southgate haha! Loving the story so far bro
Beany: I can definitely confirm it's not Moyes ;)

Reports are coming out of the Football Association that the English backroom staff will be 'cleaned out' in anticipation of the arrival of Roy Hodgson's successor. The claimed move is being described as 'cleaning the slate', with the FA clearly looking to put the World Cup in Brazil behind them as quickly as possible.

Coach Gary Neville is one of the staff threatened by the cull, along with assistant manager Ray Lewington and even Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate. Should a foreign manager become the head of the operation (as is expected), then we could also see an entirely foreign backroom staff as well.

For now, the claims are entirely speculative, and no official word has come out from the FA camp. Greg Dyke has promised a replacement "in the next two weeks" and so we will wait with bated breath.

The *********** Diaries

"I am the next manager of the English national football team."

"I am the next manager of the English national football team."

"I am the next manager of the - shit, time to go."

I looked away from the mirror and adjusted my tie one last time before leaving the house. It was just a short 5 minute drive to the interview that might change my life.

"I am the next manager of the English national football team."

I arrived at the FA headquarters in London 5 minutes early and was greeted in the lobby. It appears I wasn't the only one eager to begin early. Chairman of the Football Association, Greg Dyke, gave me a firm handshake.

"****, great to see you. Please, come, follow me."

I followed Greg to his large office in the centre of the complex, and took a seat in front of his desk. Greg looked weary and tired, and I didn't blame him. Big things were happening at the FA, and if I was appointed, I planned on initiating even bigger changes. But hopefully, better for Greg.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" he asked.

"No, no, I'm fine."

"Alright, well let's get down to business." Greg ruffled a few papers on his desk and then propped his head up with his hands.

"Look, we're considering a lot of other candidates and I won't lie to you about that. But we're very keen to listen to what you have to offer. I'd like to start off by asking you the key question. What do you plan on doing to rectify our failure at the World Cup?"

I had prepared long and hard, for several weeks, for this one question. I took a deep breath.

"Greg, I'll be honest with you, the way the national team is being run at the moment, we're no hope. We've consistent failed at tournaments since 1966. This is something that has to change. And I want to change things, drastically."

"We're open to change at the moment, for reasons obvious. Explain further."

"I want to initiate a sort of national football system, where we have a standardised system of play across the entire set-up. Here, I, uh, brought some papers."

Greg reached off to read them. He spent a good couple minutes before putting them on the desk and leaning back in his chair.

"It looks good, I'll give you that. But we are looking for results soon. What I'm seeing is a lot of parallels with what Germany did. They took a good 10 years to win a World Cup."

"My focus is not on the development of players. It is on the style of play this team will play. I have faith in the developmental coaching here. What I want to focus on is getting these 15 years old playing an attractive and effective style of football in 10 years time, whilst also being effective enough to challenge immediately. I want to win the Euros in France."

"That's certainly one of the things we're looking to achieve. Do you mind if I take these back to my associates and discuss them? Rest assured, we're seriously considering you as a candidate for this job. You're young, spirited, you know the place, and you can get the public behind you. And these plans look promising, to say the least. We'll get back to you."

Dyke stood up and I shook his hand. I walked out of the FA headquarters confident, and one last time, I repeated the mantra,

"I am the next manager of the English national team."
I like the idea of a style of play across the entire England national team! Wonder who the boss will be, looking forward to the unveiling :)

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