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The American manager who should be on England's short list

09 February 8:03 pm

The American manager who should be on England's short list

By Simon Borg

Pick up the phone, David Beckham. It’s time to call in a favor.

LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena was a big part of helping Beckham finally settle down in MLS after a rocky start. Now it’s time for Beckham to use his direct line with the English FA to nominate Arena as a candidate for the vacant national team post of the Three Lions.

There’s a strong argument to be made that Arena would leap to the top of the list if he ever got on it. Here’s how he matches up with the rumored finalists:

Arena has more World Cup experience than Harry Redknapp and a lot less baggage. Aside from his recent spell at Tottenham, Redknapp's resumé doesn't blow anyone away.

Arena has plenty more international experience, including management of star players, than second-division coach Sam Allardyce.

And let’s not flatter Stuart Pierce with a comparison to The Bruce.

Which leaves Guus Hiddink as the only real competition, although the Dutchman doesn't have Beckham's influence on his side like Arena does. Hiddink is the classic coaching mercenary -- the new Bora Milutinovic -- and his record says he's good for a short-term run, but don't expect him to leave a legacy. Not when the next big payday is waiting.

Look, an American at the helm of England is the longest of long shots, but hasn't Beckham always said he wants to help grow the American game? Is there anyone who doubts that merely having Arena’s name in the mixer for the most important national team job in the world would leave a mark?

It just takes a phone call.