Six contenders to replace Allardyce as England boss

Only 67 days after appointing Sam Allardyce, England are searching for a new manager. We take a look at the most likely contenders.

 

Gareth Southgate

A member of one of the most iconic England sides and, fittingly, the poster boy for one of the most iconic England defeats. Southgate was part of the team which reached the semi-finals of the 1996 European Championships, but missed the decisive penalty in the shootout defeat to Germany.

The former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender initially distanced himself from the role when Roy Hodgson left the post this summer, but has been installed as caretaker boss following Allardyce’s resignation and now finds himself as the bookies’ favourite to land the job permanently.

Supporters will hope Southgate, who has managed England’s Under-21 side for the past three years, is the man to blood a further number of youngsters – namely Marcus Rashford – alongside the promising players such as Dele Alli and Eric Dier already in the senior side, at the expense of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, and Joe Hart.

However, reports in The Times suggest the 46-year-old is now desperate to land the job and is unlikely to risk wholesale changes for the World Cup qualifiers with Scotland and Slovenia. Hardly a popular choice, Southgate may be better serving this opportunity as a free-hit; English football needs to change drastically and he needs to show he is capable of being the man to make the big decisions.

 

Alan Pardew

Allardyce’s resignation may have come at just the right moment for Pardew, who was among the names suggested following the Euro 2016 debacle.

Pardew’s teams are renown for embarking on impressive runs of form, before stringing together an alarming number of defeats.

Having guided Crystal Palace to three-consecutive victories in the Premier League, the 55-year-old is currently the highest-ranked English manager, with the Eagles sitting seventh in the table.

The former Newcastle and West Ham boss certainly divides opinion among supporters, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility to see ‘Pardiola’ dance on the touchline of Wembley once again.

Arsene Wenger

A name which is mentioned whether the England job becomes vacant, Wenger has reportedly been offered the job on a number of occasions, most recently this summer.

Whatever your opinions on the Frenchman, who will celebrate 20 years in charge of Arsenal on October 1, such an appointment would undoubtedly represent a coup for the English FA. The role is understood to interest Wenger, but his unwavering commitment to his contract in north London has always prevented any flirting from becoming a serious relationship.

With his current Arsenal deal expiring in the summer, and many of the Gunners faithful calling for a change, England could decide to wait for their man.

He’s certainly better on the training pitch than previous incumbents…

 

Steve Bruce

A damning indictment into the dearth of English managers to have operated in the Premier League in recent years, Bruce has often been championed by pundits – and former team-mates – as a future boss of both Manchester United and the national side.

Bruce’s record of four promotions to the top flight is often cited as a mark of his credentials, although his two relegations and sacking at Sunderland are just as notable.

The FA were criticised in some quarters as showing a lack of ambition in appointing survival expert Allardyce, Bruce’s record is even worse.

 

Eddie Howe

One of very few British managers to be widely respected and regarded as a bright, forward-thinking coach, Howe has been touted as a future England boss for a number of years now after masterminding Bournemouth’s astonishing rise from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League.

Howe has earned plenty of praise for his style of football and his development of young talent, two major plusses in his favour.

However, his rise at the Cherries was briefly punctuated with a poor spell at Burnley, and aged only 38, Howe must himself question whether he possesses enough experience. As the last three months have shown, the England job can be an unforgiving position, Howe may be better served biding his time before taking such a risk in his burgeoning career.

 

Jurgen Klinsmann

Allardyce is understood to have been favoured ahead of current USA boss Klinsmann this summer, but the German is likely to remain in the frame for the post.

Klinsmann was an extremely popular player with Tottenham in the 90s and earned plenty of credit for helping turn around the fortunes of the Germany side while at the helm of the national set-up.

However, the 52-year-old’s reign of the USA team has hardly been a resounding success, while he was sacked after only one season in charge of Bayern Munich.

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