Rough day for Roy as media question future of England boss
Coral looks at potential replacements for the Three Lions coach as Hodgson refuses to resign
As England fester in the depths of Group D on nil points, World Cup elimination at the first hurdle beckons for the third time in their history. In the humiliating position of hoping Italy can succeed where the Three Lions have so far failed, and help his side to what would be an undeserved qualification spot, Roy Hodgson’s future is looking bleak.
Despite England captain Steven Gerrard’s post-match protestations that it was the players, and not beleaguered boss Hodgson, who were responsible for the successive defeats, the vultures are already circling, with some media outlets sensing blood, and a convenient scapegoat.
Speculation has already begun as to who could fill the likeable grandfather figure’s boots, with the former Liverpool and Inter Milan coach 6/4 to no longer be England boss for Euro 2016, assuming they qualify.
A Luis Suarez double sank England, and their hopes of progression to the knockout phases, with them now odds-on at 8/11 to finish bottom of their pool, but Hodgson remained defiant. In the emotional aftermath of the loss to Uruguay he admitted he was: “bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don’t feel I need to resign.”
The Three Lions boss, however, also conceded that the final decision was out of his hands, stating: “On the other hand, if the FA think I’m not the right man to do the job, that will be their decision not mine.”
Which lucky coach would be brave enough to take on the poisoned chalice, and replace the affable England boss though? Coral looks at the options.
Currently in his second spell at Chelsea, whilst also moonlighting as manager of the Rest of the World team for Soccer Aid/Olly Murs’ footballing nemesis, Mourinho would be an incredible catch for the FA.
Although an unlikely appointment, the Blues boss has long flirted with the idea of the role, recently confessing he was: “almost, almost, almost England manager”, before opting to join Inter Milan, who he guided to an unprecedented treble in 2010.
At 7/4 to bring the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge next term, securing his services seems impossible. However, if his wife can be convinced, the superstar coach will not rule out taking on the challenge, “Maybe 15 years from now”.
Rodgers, who hails from Northern Ireland, won many fans this season after creating a swashbuckling side at Liverpool with a spine of exciting English youth, and was rewarded with the LMA Manager of the Year award.
He would surely be able to bring out the best in his current charges Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge on the international stage, and may relish the opportunity to be the man who revives England’s fortunes.
The Liverpool manager is 11/2 to build on this season’s second-place finish and guide the northwest giants to their first league title in 24 years though, so may also be difficult to lure.
As current assistant to Hodgson, the appointment of Neville would provide continuity for players and staff, with the former Manchester United man having already proven himself a shrewd pundit. Lacking managerial experience, the retired right back would always be a risk. He is, however, a born winner straight from the Sir Alex Ferguson school of football, and would bring real passion to a squad that would have likely grown up idolising him.
Current flavour of the month, Martinez, 4/1 to steer Everton to a top four finish next season, has already proven his pedigree in English football after inspiring former club Wigan to an FA Cup trophy. His side put in a heroic performance against moneybags Manchester City in 2013, a feat that surely secured him the vacant Everton job.
Wigan were also relegated from the Premier League under the Spaniard’s stewardship though, so it may be prudent to see how he fares in his second campaign with the Toffees, before anointing him as the Three Lions coach-in-waiting.
Originally the favourite to secure the honour of being England boss following Fabio Capello’s resignation in 2012, Redknapp eventually lost out to Hodgson.
Previously describing it as the “ultimate job”, fans could be sure that the wheeler-dealer would lead the Three Lions out with pride. Having previously undertaken a poisoned chalice challenge at Tottenham Hotspur, the QPR boss, who recently secured his side’s promotion back to the Premier League, is no stranger to stressful jobs.
Question marks would remain over his suitability, however, as the Englishman, 13/8 to be relegated with QPR next term, would be approaching his 70th birthday by the time Euro 2016 begins.