BY PAUL LAGAN
Emma Hayes thinks Phil Neville’s impending appointment as the new manager of the England women’s team is “unusual’ and that “it’s not as glamorous a job as it used to be.”
When asked about the appointment, expected to be announced on Monday, the Chelsea boss said: “Listen, when four or five top candidates don’t want the job, what are the FA to do? They have to appoint someone to do it. You know we need to put a manager in place. That’s the most most important thing.”
But why are the top candidates turning the job down? Hayes does not mince her words.
“I think people really need to appreciate how much club football is progressing,” she said.
“Leaving a Chelsea or a Man City for England is not the glamour job it once was. Clubs are now investing a lot of money. The competition’s high. You have got weekly events, and I still think that for some of us younger managers, the thought of playing quite irrelevant qualifying games, no disrespect, where it’s a shoe-in for England to qualify, It isn’t necessarily the greatest challenge for a coach.
“So do you want to be coaching once every two years?
“ For some of us, we don’t want to be. So I think it’s partly that. The club scene around the world has had a major impact on coaches turning it down.”
Could they have done it part-time then? Hayes is adamant – no.
“I think coaching is tough to do in a part-time capacity.” She said.
“There is so much analysis, probably so much UEFA, FIFA, work you have to do. To attend a million and one draws, and then God knows what else they do. So it’s tough to do that in a part-time capacity. I think, we have to get behind whoever the candidate is now.
“I think there are question marks (over Neville). He has never been a manager. But ultimately if that’s the decision they take, they have to support it. I know the players are very keen an appointment is made.”
But is it not bizarre situation that an England manager has had no managerial experience?
Hayes agrees: “I think the FA have been working hard, we hope, to sort out how they are making their appointments, and I think if they think they have done a thorough enough job, and that’s the best candidate then we have to go with that. Yes , it’s unusual, but it’s the decision they have taken.”