Five potential candidates for the England job

With England’s stunning loss to Iceland at Euro 2016 Monday, and Roy Hodgson’s decision to walk away from the managerial job, the Three Lions find themselves in the market for a new manager.

The Football Association is at a bit of a crossroads. Since the end of the Kevin Keegan era in 2000, England has had four full-time managers (Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Hodgson). Their tenures ranged from pretty good (Eriksson) to so-so (Capello and Hodgson) to awful (McClaren).

Despite a roster full of Premier League players, England hasn’t won a knock out match at a tournament since the 2006 World Cup. And watching those players wilt under pressure against Iceland this week has to give the FA — and the country itself — pause.

There are two main questions surrounding this coaching search. Will the FA hire a foreign coach, or an Englishman? And will he be young and enthusiastic, or older and more seasoned?


Gareth Southgate — The former England center back and Middlesbrough manager is currently coaching the England U-21 side. His results there have been mixed, with a poor showing at the Euros last summer balanced by winning the Toulon tournament this year.

He seems likely to be named interim coach while the full-blown search plays out. If he shows well in his audition, the appointment could become permanent, or at least as permanent as a managerial job can be.

Alan Pardew — The Crystal Palace manager’s stock has been on the rise since his move away from Newcastle to the London club. He gets high marks for his tactical ability, but lacks managerial experience at a big club and doesn’t have any experience as a coach or player on the international stage.

Sam Allardyce — “Big Sam” was the runner-up to McClaren in 2006, and has long courted what he calls his dream job. The Sunderland manager has drawn criticism for his long ball tactics, and his knack of avoiding relegation from the Premier League may not translate to success on the international level.

He’d be a popular choice in some circles, but his age (61), resume and tactical style are all working against him getting the job. He’s great at scouting and neutralizing opponents, though.


Arsene Wenger — The Arsenal manager checks every box the FA would want in an England manager — except for the fact that he’s French. He has a wealth of experience, vast tactical knowledge and is considered one of the best managers in the world.

It’s unlikely that he would leave Arsenal with a year left on his contract for the England job, but the FA is crazy if it doesn’t at least feel him out. A report in the Daily Mail suggests that the FA might even be willing to appoint an interim manager and wait until he’s out of contract.

Gary Neville — He struggled in a managerial role at Valencia, but it would have been tough for anyone to succeed under those circumstances. He’s a former England international who served as Hodgson’s assistant for nearly four years.

Harry Redknapp, who ruled himself out of the running for the job in a scathing rant against the FA, wouldn’t be impressed with Neville getting the post.

“I’m seeing Gary Neville being made one of the favorites to succeed Hodgson, but how the hell can he be considered after the job he did at Valencia?”

Stranger things have happened.

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.