Why not Howard Kendall?

by   |   11/07/2024  21 Comments  [Jump to last]

In 1990, England reached a World Cup semi-final for only one of three times in the history of the competition to date, with a team featuring some key current and former Evertonians. 

Immediately afterwards, the then England manager Bobby Robson called it quits and Graham Taylor, long-ball merchant who’d never won anything was handed the keys to the kingdom. 

I was 12 at the time so didn’t question it although, even then, I knew Brian Clough was too outspoken for the job. But was Howard Kendall not in the reckoning? By then, he’d left Athletic Bilbao and was rejuvenating Manchester City.

But he was the last Englishman to win the Football League Champions trophy – and he had done it twice with Everton in the prior 5 years.

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Maybe I’m missing something and there was more to the story I missed but, on the face of it, why the hell didn’t Howard Kendall get the England manager's job?


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Reader Comments (21)

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John Raftery
1 Posted 11/07/2024 at 16:04:34
Kieran,

I think the FA told Howard Kendall they wanted to interview him for the job. Howard told the FA that, if they didn't already know what his capabilities were, there was little purpose in him attending an interview, or words to that effect.

There was almost certainly more to it than that but the FA traditionally appointed people seen as safe, low-risk options. There also seemed to be a resistance to the appointment of managers with big club experience. With the exception of the two foreign managers, that still applies in the 21st Century.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 11/07/2024 at 16:43:03
Cheers John. Yeah I could see him feeling a bit insulted to explain himself to suits at Lancaster Gate.
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 11/07/2024 at 17:24:17
I can't help thinking it's an Everton thing.

Alan Ball won a few caps, but he was established after the World Cup.

Howard Kendall never won a cap. Colin Harvey only one.

Even Bob Latchford didn't get that many, but I was probably a bit too young to understand then.

Some wiser people of those eras might be able to comment more knowledgeably than me.

Not that it matters for England now, I'm still surprised they didn't take Branthwaite. His day will come though.

Derek Thomas
4 Posted 12/07/2024 at 04:20:54
Danny @ 3;

Maybe file under rumour or conspiracy but allegedly Southgate was overheard talking to Man Utd 'connections' (of whom he might have, again allegedly, post Euro expectations from) and the gist was... "Don't select Branthwaite, it will only increase his price for us."

Eric Myles
5 Posted 12/07/2024 at 05:47:14
Danny #3, my vague, and maybe biased memories of Latchford and England was during the Mexico World Cup (I think).

Latchford only got a game 'cos Robson (?) was injured and, when Latchford played, we won; when he didn't, we lost.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 12/07/2024 at 06:25:43
Looking back respectively, I remember at the time being gutted when Howard Kendall left for Spain.

I understand what he wanted as he was denied what he would have liked to have achieved with Everton, as were us supporters.

But I won't go there as I'll just sound bitter, but it changed my relationship with the cousins in a footballing sense.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 12/07/2024 at 07:13:54
Wasn’t it soto voce that Howard, like Clough, liked his drink a bit too much?
Colin Glassar
8 Posted 12/07/2024 at 07:29:07
Sotto
Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 12/07/2024 at 07:31:09
As in, rhymes with Blotto?
Jeff Armstrong
10 Posted 12/07/2024 at 07:37:26
Eric,

I think you're getting your Everton players and World Cups a bit mixed up there.

England didn't qualify in '74 and '78, when Latchford had his peak years; '82 was Spain and by the time Mexico '86 came along Latchford was finished.

Robson did however reluctantly have to play Reidy in '86 because of injuries to Bryan Robson or Ray Wilkins, I think.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 12/07/2024 at 07:56:15
Got it first time, Mike
Eric Myles
14 Posted 12/07/2024 at 08:34:12
Jeff #10, you are certainly more likely to be right than I am!!!

Yes it was Bryan Robson injured in Mexico forcing the manager to play who I thought was Latchford!

So Reid it must have been. Am I right in thinking they won the games Reid played?

Jeff Armstrong
15 Posted 12/07/2024 at 08:38:20
Yes, apart from the Argentina game, Eric! Where Peter's “pace” suddenly went awol... 😆
Dave Cashen
17 Posted 13/07/2024 at 12:54:24
"Maybe I'm missing something and there is more to the story I missed but, on the face of it, why the hell didn't Howard Kendall get the England manager's job?"

Yeah, you are missing something... [Looks over both shoulders…]

Kendall (along with a couple of others) was invited to apply. He declined the invitation. He wasn't even interested in listening to what those awfully nice chaps down at the Football Association had to say. Still, after 30-odd years of "why-the-hell-didnt-he-get-the-job" agonising, the mystery has finally been solved for you.

He didn't want it.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
18 Posted 13/07/2024 at 13:10:01
We had lost the 1st against Portugal so a defeat by Morocco and we were going home.

Robson got injured on 38:03 mins with a dislocated shoulder (again). Wilkins now captain. 30 seconds later he was booked for a foul. 3 minutes later, he was blown for offside, picked up the ball and threw the ball at the ref, which was a second yellow equals red and Shilton now captain.

So in 4min 38sec we lost 2 players and 2 captains. Wilkins really was a muppet.

Next match he replaced Wilkins and Robson with Tricky and Reidy and we won 3-0.

Was the Argentina semi-final the last time there were 4 Everton players playing for England?

And what I also found interesting was not one player from them lot in the squad? Were they just stuffed full of foreigners (Rush, Johnson, Molby, Hansen etc.) or were they having a strop with the FA because English clubs had been banned from Europe and they thought it should not apply to them?

Ray Roche
19 Posted 13/07/2024 at 20:39:07
Colin @7,

I heard from numerous sources that I respect, that Kendall was ‘overlooked' because of his well-documented drink problem.

After seeing him doing an after-dinner ‘Gentleman's evening' with John Bailey and others, it was probably a wise decision.
Talk about your idols having feet of clay…

Brendan McLaughlin
20 Posted 13/07/2024 at 21:57:50
Foreigners, Phil #18.

Rush, Hansen...

Stephen Davies
26 Posted 13/07/2024 at 22:37:29
Phil #18...That game WASN'T a Semi Final...it was the QF
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
27 Posted 13/07/2024 at 23:06:03
Brendan, when we are talking England, they are foreigners. One was Welsh, the other Scottish.

It was also a slightly, ever so slightly, tongue in cheek comment.

Stephen, you're right. It was the QF. But was it still the last time there were 4 Everton players in the England team?

Paul Kernot
28 Posted 17/07/2024 at 03:11:40
Colin. I just finished reading Pat Nevin's biography 'The accidental footballer'.

Great read and not at all your average footballer's biog. His opinion only of course but he emphasizes the booze culture of the old school players v the new boys, him included of course.

A real eye opener re Kendall's approach actually.

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 17/07/2024 at 06:13:41
Jeff @15,

Poor Peter Reid desperately trying to catch up with the then best player in the world and made to look like he was jogging on the spot!

It wasn't just Reid, Maradona calved through several England players as as if they weren't there.


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