"I firmly believe that the England squad will soon be back to their usual great results"
Not the words of a stand-up comic, but the actual testimony of a certain Jose Mourinho, ruling himself out of the England job, while throwing the expected sardines from the trawler, which doubtless kept his PR men happy.
'Usual great results'? England..! You can't fault Jose for his sense of fun. To any seasoned observer, the former Chelsea and Porto coach was never a true contender for England manager anyway and was merely using his alleged interest as leverage for a real top job.
Mourinho has far bigger fish to fry, and will in all probability pitch up by February at the helm of one of Italy or Spain's top teams. Milan, for one, are said to be ready to dispense with Carlo Ancelotti and then offer his post to Mourinho early in 2008.
Now that the opinionated Portuguese has finally ruled himself out of the running for the FA's top job once and for all, can we have an apology from The News of the World for splashing an absurd front page scoop that Mourinho was gung ho for the England job, or a mea culpa from the nation's bookmakers, who laughably installed him as the favourite to win, please?
No commentator with sense would have seriously entertained the idea of Jose Mourinho becoming England manager with his particular media ego, a desire for day to day jousting that could only have been sated every few months, plus a desire for success that the three lions would have struggled to satisfy.
England just does not tick those boxes for Jose or for many talented coaches out there. A game and media coverage every few monthsn and the inheritance of one of the most mediocre records in international soccer hardly gets the blood of the continent's top managers racing.
So it is that the leading three candidates now are unemployed coaches in search of a new challenge.
Fabio Capello, despite his shortcomings, now appears to be in the driving seat, although expect a late surge from Jurgen Klinsmann, if he promises to relocate to England from California.
(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile
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