No natural successor to Hodgson leaves England future in limbo after Euros exit
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | Updated September 28, 2016
Roy Hodgson told a post-match press conference he would not continue as England manager following a profoundly embarrassing last 16 exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland. There have since been major developments regarding who will now be the new England manager, so check out the latest.
Hodgson honourable but had no alternative
His contract was up following the tournament anyway, and it had always been made clear by the FA that Hodgson’s future would depend on how the Three Lions performed across the Channel in France.
England’s decade-long wait to win a knockout game at a major tournament goes on, and that is clearly not good enough for anyone connected with the national football game.
— England (@England) June 27, 2016
“Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young, hungry and extremely talented group,” Hodgson said as he called time on his four-year tenure as Three Lions boss.
Lack of obvious candidates
Anyone who watched the Iceland encounter will have very different adjectives to hungry and talented to describe defeat in Nice that was anything but that word from an English perspective.
Like the political situation that has dominated column inches following Britain’s Referendum decision to leave the EU, the top coaching job at the FA being vacant leaves a power vacuum.
What homegrown option can credibly step into Hodgson’s shoes? Coral make Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate a very early 6/4 favourite to be next England manager, but he is vastly less experienced.
Too soon for Southgate
Taking Middlesbrough out of the Premier League – a place they have only regained after several stalled attempts at doing so under a few subsequent bosses – Southgate looks among the softest options open to the FA.
It would be a convenient appointment, though, but one made with huge question marks and pressure hanging over him. Some supporters with longer memories still feel Southgate has the stigma of that penalty miss at Euro ’96.
It is a stain of shame that is hard to remove from his character, however hard he tries to do so, yet Southgate would have common ground with his prospective players in having plenty to prove to a cynical and angry support.
Coaching the Young Lions is very different to the senior England team, and there are those within the FA who will not have forgotten the botched succession of Sven-Goran Eriksson made by Steve McClaren.
Proffering Pardew poses problems
Had Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew been faced with the prospect of the Three Lions hotseat being vacant six months ago, then his stock would’ve been considerably higher.
At 9/1 to be next England boss, he has spent more time in management than Southgate across a variety of clubs, including a long stint by modern standards and loveless marriage at Newcastle United.
What counts against Pardew is the dramatic downturn in form the Eagles endured during the second half of the Premier League season, with only a run to the FA Cup final to offer the stupendous Selhurst Park support something to cheer about.
Had Palace beaten Manchester United and a trophy been taken back across the capital from Wembley to south of the Thames, then appointing Pardew would have more validity in the eyes of the English football public. Instead, he is someone who barely kept his club up in the top-flight.
Redknapp could only be short-term
As the FA opted for most mature coaching option available when appointing Hodgson after predecessor Fabio Capello left his post, then Harry Redknapp (14/1) is not without merit.
Is bringing in a manager, who admittedly has championed British footballers throughout his 30 years plus as a boss, that at 69 cannot be there for the long term wise, though?
Given his previous good work with Tottenham, where many of England’s bright hopes now ply their trade, Redknapp may make more sense than it first appears.
He has had the briefest of forays into international management, literally coaching Middle East outfit Jordan for a couple of games. No other market principal at present can boast this.
Neville not up to task yet
Hodgson’s assistant Gary Neville has left his position with the FA, rendering 14/1 odds for him to over from his managerial mentor irrelevant.
Although it is understood he has done sterling work behind the scenes, Neville cannot make a credible case for becoming next England boss because of his ill-fated maiden role in management with Valencia.
Such a failed experiment damaged both the status of this La Liga giant, Neville himself and the credibility of Los Che owner Peter Lim. It is in punditry where we are most likely to see Neville reemerge following the summer, but a return to the Three Lions set-up in the future cannot be entirely ruled out.
Allardyce most attractive of outsider options
While going down the foreign coaching route again is certainly possible, it’s too early to say who the FA might attract from further afield. With Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe (12/1) also in that too soon bracket like Neville and Southgate, it falls to Sunderland’s Sam Allardyce to be the appealing outsider.
At 61, he has the experience within him to be more than a quick fix. That hustle and bustle style you’d expect from Big Sam is what many Three Lions fans in France found themselves crying out for in fixtures with physical Russian, Slovakian and Icelandic outfits.
Not quite as long in the tooth as Redknapp, Allardyce is a tempting 16/1 punt at this stage to succeed Hodgson as England boss – a role he indicated that was of interest as far back as 2006.
With the World Cup qualifiers not underway until September, the FA has the luxury of more than two months to name the next Three Lions manager. It is an appointment, like so often in England’s football history, however, that comes at a crossroads.