Two former England stalwarts have had their say on the present star players while another, retired and national legend, to many, has tipped a reasonably successful manager from an unfashionable club to take over the reins at one of the country’s richest Premier League clubs.
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright surprisingly backed Sean Dyche, manager of Burnley FC, to replace current Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger, claiming the Turf Moor chief is is more than capable of besting the Frenchman’s present record of a club he described as being in ‘crisis from top to bottom’.
Wright’s loyalty to the club for whom he scored 185 top flight goals and to Wenger is well known, and bless him, his yearning to have an English manager at one of the Premier League’s top six clubs has a ring of common sense about it.
If you cannot reward a manager, he seems to be saying, who has taken the Lancashire minnows into the top six, then what is going on?
However, Wrighty does not believe Dyche will be allowed to progress to one of the top jobs in Europe and will be handed a role in the England set-up as a sop.
I kind of like Wright’s suggestion as I, too, am not convinced simply installing an overseas head of coaching, however exotic their rewards have been on the continent, guarantees instant success, despite shovelling large amounts of money to football agents to fill up their sides with players of ordinary or average talents.
I know it’s fashionable to have a pop at Everton boss Ronald Koeman’s £150 million venture into the transfer market over the summer looks to have backfired massively, as has Wenger’s in the past, while Dyche has steadily built up a squad good enough – at present – to take on the big boys.
“If Arsenal want him (Dyche) they should take him, he’s got the attributes to take over one of the Premier League’s top clubs,” said Wright, of the brains behind Burnley beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday.
“I believe he is somebody who needs to go to the next level at some stage.”
Well, we will never know until he is given the chance, will we?
I have a certain sympathy, too, with Gary Linker’s viewpoint that Harry Kane is currently on course to become an England great and a real rival to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the title of Europe’s best striker.
Like me, Lineker is an avid Messi fan and believes the record-breaking Barcelona faorward is a magician we are unlikely to see again in a hurry. Unlike me, Lineker has played at the highest level and should know what he is talking about as the former England, Leicester, Tottenham and, of course, Barca forward had lightning reflexes and a formidable record in front of goal.
Lineker also feels Kane is in such a hot goalscoring spell and plenty good enough to replace, or join, Ronaldo at Real: but not Messi , at the Camp Nou, well not yet.
“Harry is the best striker in the Premier League but Messi and Ronaldo are in a league of their own,” said Lineker in a magazine interview.
Better than Aguero, Lukaku and Costa? Oh, yes and, arguably the best English striker since Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney whose scoring records critics believe Kane will overtake.