The fan - Hunter Davies wants a pensioner to replace Sven
When Sven goes, let's skip a generation - and appoint a pensioner
Sven, like Tony Blair, must always have known it was coming. Our hero, our saviour, what a great victory over Germany/the Tories, can do no wrong, kissy kissy, we love you we do, the greatest manager/PM in the history of blah-blah, followed by what a load of rubbish, how were we taken in, he's weak and useless, a poodle, pathetic, he's shite, get him off.
I haven't actually gone off Blair yet, he'll be pleased to hear, but Eriksson is certainly no longer flavour of my month, or even the half-time break, especially the one against Australia. But he still has one thing going for him, unlike Blair - Sven has no natural, obvious, likely successor. That's what everyone agrees. Except me. I know the man for the job. Oh yes.
Peter Taylor, he was being touted not long ago, but now you can't even remember him; and Bryan Robson, John Gregory, where have they gone? Steve McClaren was also a favourite, but he doesn't get tipped any more. David Moyes has been this season's taste thrill, but he's too young and inexperienced, and he's Scottish. Our two most successful managers, Fergie and Wenger, wouldn't take it if asked, why should they, it would be like demotion.
I didn't mind Sven having it off with Ulrika. Time does hang heavily for England managers. When scouting, Sven always leaves games ten minutes early, so he has to go somewhere to park his shoes. Being found out and ridiculed, that was bad, showed lack of planning and cunning, but nah, didn't really bother me. Cashing in on his position, promoting other stuff, when he's on £2m a year, that was poor, but what do you expect, they're all so greedy. Apart from Wenger.
It's his football management that's let him down. Or lack of it. In the World Cup game against Brazil, he sat there like a stuffed dummy, unable to move, summon any emotion. Now it's true we've suffered from over-emotional England managers, like Kevin Keegan and Graham Taylor, working themselves into a lather, losing the plot. There's a lot to be said for staying cool, calm and detached. But there are also times you have to give them a bollocking, stand up and shout. At least show you care.
I forgave him then, for he told us later they were knackered, had given their all. He must know them better than we do. But then it happened again in the Oz match. Like a trapped rabbit this time, stunned, unable to move, apart from the odd twitch at the corner of his tight little mouth. He did nothing to ruffle the course of the game or the feathers of his players.
So who should take over? I bet when he does go, it won't be another foreigner. When things haven't worked out, appointments people always like to go for a different solution, to ring the changes. Which was how Sven got it last time.
That will mean an Englishman. David Platt is still being heavily tipped, but he's done nothing. Alan Curbishley, I'd have him, but not yet - too early. Venables will never return but Hoddle could one day come back. For his Second Coming, of course. It's only really a part-time job, managing England. No need for all that rushing around. Perfect for someone elderly, a senior citizen who has seen it all, is wise and sensible, knows when to smile and when to scream, but is still full of energy. Step forward, Sir Bobby Robson. But steady, mind how you go.
Being 70 means he won't be distracted by the Ulrikas of this world. Even at his age, I'm sure he can still give a girl a good time, but it's no longer one of his priorities. In bed, he'll be up for it. Getting into bed, and out of bed, that will be the hard bit. At 70, he now knows how to conserve his strength for the real tasks. Sven has watched trillions of League games, which did unearth Chris Powell of Charlton, overlooked by all the experts, but then he dropped him. As he has done with many others.
Robson knows the field already. And is decisive. But it's his passion for the game that's so remarkable. He might give Newcastle another season, but after that, he'll be perfect for England. He's got his knighthood already, so no need for arse-licking. He's the most loved and respected football manager in England, so has more chance than Sven in dealing with the Premiership pigs. All I am saying is give age a chance . . .