Does The New England Manager Have To Be English?

CREDIT: Hufton + Crow/View
CREDIT: Hufton + Crow/View

The England job, despite being one of the most well-paid, is definitely one of the hardest in football. The amount of pressure the media and fans put on you to succeed is ludicrous, and then the abuse and criticism you receive when things don’t work out is brutal. Roy Hodgson found that out as his four year spell in charge of the Three Lions came to an end last week following an embarrassing defeat to Iceland in the Euro 2016 Round of 16.

But who should his successor be? And does he have to be English? Sven-Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello are our only two previous foreign bosses, but I think that it could be time to look abroad again. As much as I’d like the new man to be English just because it feels more right, there are no names from this country that are really jumping out at me.

Eddie Howe is one of England’s most promising young managers, but I think it is too soon to give him the job – it could potentially ruin his career prematurely.

Glenn Hoddle may have done ok in the role previously, but after watching/listening to him on ITV over the last couple of weeks, he’s not the man I want in charge.

The FA are reportedly considering appointing from within and are looking at Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate, but his record doesn’t convince me. The Young Lions may have found success at the Toulon Tournament, but flopped in the European Championships last year, and you get the idea that Southgate would be just another ‘yes man’, following FA orders.

I originally thought about Harry Redknapp for the job, but swiftly came to the conclusion that he’s probably past it. Should have been appointed in 2012, but instead it was that muppet Hodgson who got the gig.

Alan Shearer might be passionate, but a manager he is not. The same with Gary Neville. Stick to punditry, lads.

If you think Steve Bruce is a good choice then just get out.

Finally, I come to Alan Pardew. I cannot think of a man I despise more in football, so to see him appointed might drive me me to support Scotland.

So, Olly, who do you want as the new England manager? Well, here are my four candidates…


Sam Allardyce

CREDIT: PA Wire
CREDIT: PA Wire

If we’re going to go with an Englishman, let’s make it Big Sam. The Midlands-born boss has made a career out of getting bad teams out of trouble, most recently Sunderland, so why can’t he do the same with England?!

Former players and pundits have cited his preparation as his main strength, which allows his teams to have better organisation and defensive stability, both of which England lack massively at the moment. The Three Lions also need a kick up the backside/reality check, and Allardyce would be able to provide that, telling the players how it is, yet at the same provide them with confidence.

He’s the choice of the greatest manager of all time Sir Alex Ferguson, plus he has international experience having coached the England team at Soccer Aid in 2012, 2014 and 2016!

He may still be at the Stadium of Light, but surely if offered the job, Allardyce would take it? He seems like a proud Englishman, and this opportunity may not come around again for the 61 year old.


Laurent Blanc

CREDIT: Reuters/Benoit Tessier/Files
CREDIT: Reuters/Benoit Tessier/Files

Having just left PSG after winning 11 trophies in three years, Laurent Blanc is looking for a new job and England could be the perfect fit. He has an impressive CV as both a player and a manager, and knows English football having played for Manchester United between 2001 and 2003.

The 50 year old knows what it is like to take charge of a national team in a mess, managing his homeland France in 2010 when the country’s football federation had just suspended the 23 players in the World Cup squad that year.

In his time at PSG, Blanc was a promoter of youth, bringing through Adrien Rabiot and Kingsley Coman, whilst also recruiting youngsters Marquinhos and Lucas Digne. With lots of exciting young talent in the Three Lions squad at the moment, this attribute could be key.

You may question how hard it really is to win Ligue 1 with a star-studded PSG side, but Blanc’s fantastic achievements with Bordeaux earlier in his career and the class and excitement his PSG team dominated French football with show he is a very worthy candidate.


Guus Hiddink

CREDIT: AFP
CREDIT: AFP

An unlikely candidate, but Guus Hiddink would be my choice to replace Hodgson. He’s experienced, has achieved success in the past on the international stage and will want to prove himself in one final job at the age of 69.

It was clear the impact that the Dutchman had when he was appointed as Chelsea interim manager in December. He was a calming influence who the players respected, which meant he was able to stabilise the Blues’ season after a poor first half of the campaign. The same sort of impact is needed with England.

Hiddink took unfancied hosts South Korea to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup and is now a pretty much a saint in the country, and also surprised many by taking Australia to the Round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup (before losing unluckily to Italy) and Russia to the Euro 2008 semi-finals.

He may have a played a part in the Netherlands’ horrific Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, leading to his sacking, but Hiddink favours possession football which is what FA technical director Dan Ashworth wants. However, as he did with Chelsea at times, he is willing to adapt and play on the counter attack.


Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann

A German? As the England manager?! It seems like it would be an unpopular choice, but Jurgen Klinsmann has already won over this country’s public once with his smart and effortless charm whilst as a player at Tottenham Hotspur. That also means he knows a bit about the English game.

The former striker’s first managerial job came in charge of his national team in 2004, and Klinsmann began the ‘revolution’ so to speak in German football as his young and exciting side finished third at the 2006. That’s what this England team has the potential to be – young and exciting. Could Klinsmann bring it all together?

He is currently in charge of the USA national team, and guided them through the ‘Group of Death’ at the 2014 World Cup a year after lifting the Gold Cup trophy. Yet the fact that a number of fans over in the States are desperate for him to take the England job suggests he hasn’t done as great a job as it seems.

Although Klinsmann seems the most likely foreign manager to be appointed and I wouldn’t be against bringing him in, he’s certainly bottom of this list of four. Questions do remain over his managerial reputation; he had a disappointing spell in time of what should have been a dominant Bayern Munich side in 2008-09 and since the 2014 World Cup the USA have been underwhelming.


Who do you want as England manager? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@IFNSBlog)!

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