Good news at last for England rugby.
Now if only they can keep the politics out of the changing room and FFS give him a decent run of it.
The players will follow him anywhere, i just hope he is allowed to pick his own team of coaches to help.
The choice of Jonno is an interesting one. He has the respect of the players and other coaches alike, but it's the issues that surround the game that will hold it up, not what moves he chooses for the backs to run.
Good luck I say. I just hope we start from scratch like we should have done after we won the RWC.
England have been far too conservative IMHO of late. Ashton was too hung up on past players, especially from Bath (why Lewsey didn't play in he 6 nations is still a mystery) England have lacked punch, they fail to produce quick ball and allow defenses time to organise. Johnno might not have any coaching experience, but he understands the modern game. With the right coaching team behind him, I think the future looks promising.
The danger is that the press will not give him time.
One thing is for sure, anyone not giving a 100% for the team won't last long.
In my honest and unprofessional opinion, as an independent observer, who has exactly the same criticism of my own beloved Ireland...
The problem was never the coach, but the core squad of 22 players. Back in 2003 England had a fantastic squad of players. It made managements job a lot easier having a dependable squad from which to choose the best team. I think England (and Ireland) still has an extremely talented squad. Just a case of forming that backbone and letting them play. When things don't go well naturally the axe always falls at the top, and it's a trade off between letting a good team play and gain experience, or make changes for the short gain.
England have to let go of playing 'Wilkinsonesque' rugby, and look to developing a game on their strengths, like the pack. They were immense in the the World Cup, and the six nations- probably the best in the world. Much in the same light that Ireland has been playing O'Driscoll to the death, and now it's just boring, and it's not working anymore.
Hopefully Jonno can instil the same spirit that he appeared to have in 03. Good luck to him, and I hope the fans, players and the union aren't to quick to judge.
I think Ashton has been treated appaulingly by the RFU, I'm not taking anything away from Johnson's playing career, but he is untested as a coach at club or international level, and the RFU have gone for the populist vote.
It would be a shame if a great player like Martin Johnson will be remembered for ruining the English National team, I think the RFU should have swallowed their pride and gone for Jake White, unfortunately for the RFU he is not English. But if someone tells me that Johnson is a better coach than White, Shaun Edwards or Warren Gatland, I'm sorry but I wont believe them.
England should have stuck with Ashton or gone for a foreign coach (Edwards is off limits, thank god) and given Johnson a chance to get experience at a lower level. If he fails to get a better result than Ashton in the next 6N (Winning it) will the RFU stick with him till RWC?
I wouldnt mind seeing Ashton as Ospreys coach in the future.
Every coach has a "Day 1" in their career. To say Martin Johnson has no coaching experience is a lie. Yes his experience is limited in terms of exposure to reoputational risk but he is prepared like no other man to lead the filthy English out of their doldrums. I expect, regrettably, that he will succeed! He certainly will not be so prone to media intrusions in his priovate life or psyche as Brian Ashton was.
Yes Taffridge...but Clive Woodward had no single big name coaching appointment before he came to England...unless you include Henley Hawks in the mix!!
Johnston has the knowledge, the minerals and I suspect the motivational element. At lunchtime today we went through the teamsheets from the weekend Premiership games and came up with twenty backs and twenty forwards who could be described as the "young Turks" of English rugby. Frankly if "Johnno" can't hack it with these resources, then maybe he should have stayed in the Building Society...