Being England manager is the toughest job in world football. Following England’s Euro 2016 capitulation to Iceland, the next step in English football history is more magnified than ever. It simply has to work.
Whether the next manager will be English or foreign remains to be seen. However, one thing for certain is that the first moves have been made. Ticket Pad recently discussed ‘What next for failing England’ and it appears we are a step closer to seeing who is the man to take English football forward.
It emerged on Tuesday that the Football Association had began their search for Roy Hodgson’s predecessor, with Sunderland boss, Sam Allardyce the first to hold talks with FA head honchos.
Allardyce had been in Austria leading Sunderland in their pre season training camp, but flew back to England on Tuesday to hold talks with FA vice-chairman, David Gill in his Cheshire home. FA Technical Director, Dan Ashworth and Chief Executive, Martin Glenn were also present at the meeting with further interviews expected over the next few days.
Sunderland confirmed in an official club statement that their current manager had been given permission to talk to England about the vacancy. The statement read: “The ongoing speculation over Sam’s position is extremely damaging to Sunderland Football Club.”
The statement added: “We urge the FA to respect the disruption that this process is causing and bring about a swift resolution to the matter.”
Steve Bruce, Eddie Howe and Jurgen Klinsmann have also been linked with the vacant managerial position and they are widely expected to be contacted by the Football Association in the coming days. Other candidates include Glenn Hoddle, but the fact he has not managed in a decade is an alarming stumbling block.
Football Ticket Pad takes a brief look at each of the top candidates and what they will bring to a dejected England:
Sam Allardyce: The 61 year-old is the bookmakers favourite for the job and he is very well respected in English football with bags of experience at club level. Allardyce was considered for the job back in 2006 but was unsuccessful with Steve McClaren being the preferred candidate.
The Sunderland boss has been backed for the role by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, who worked closely with David Gill at Manchester United, giving a glowing recommendation to the FA head chiefs. West Ham United chairman, David Gold, also sang his praises having worked together in the past.
Allardyce has a no nonsense reputation and is renowned for getting the best out of his players. The international futures of Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll may also look a lot brighter with Big Sam in charge.
Steve Bruce: Similar to Allardyce, Bruce is one of the most experienced managers around and has a refreshing old school approach. The Hull City boss has already stated that he would be keen on talking to the FA if contacted about the job.
He said: “I’d love the call. It would be a highlight to help England. I’ve been at this the thick end of 40 years.” Bruce has racked up an impressive tally of matches both as a player and as a manager with success in both forms of the game. The 55 year-old played almost a thousand matches as a player, most notably at Manchester United in a trophy laden career under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since then, he has gone on to manage almost 800 games which has taken him all over the country and through the divisions of English football.
So, what would Bruce change? He has identified a lack of identity and a fear factor which currently grips England’s crop of players. He said: “All we want to see in an England team playing with the energy, hunger and aggression that we see in the Premier League.”
He added: “I see the players arrive, tracksuits, washbags. Headphones, in their own world. Call me old fashioned, but we’re now holding umbrellas up as our players get off a plane. It’s a few spots of rain, let them get wet.”
Many will warm to his approach, but is he good enough to manage England having taken more clubs down than up in his career.
Eddie Howe: The young Bournemouth boss is certainly a refreshing option having proved himself at the highest level in his youthful managerial career. In the past, England tend to go for the more experienced candidates, but Howe’s energy and new-look approach may be what England need to take them in a new direction.
Many believe that the England job is a step too soon for Howe. However, in his short time as a manager he has played exciting attacking brand of football which works. At only 38 years of age, Howe has already taken Bournemouth up three divisions, with a managerial spell at Burnley in between. Last season he guided Bournemouth to a respectable finish in the Premier League with a small squad.
Compared to other frontrunners Howe is the most inexperienced, but his name is certainly in the hat and it would be a refreshing option for England. He certainly has the characteristics to succeed as Three Lions boss, but whether he has the credentials only time will tell.
Jurgen Klinsmann: Where Klinsmann does have an advantage over his fellow front runners is that he has experience at international level having managed the USA and Germany.
An English manager would be a preferred option, but when you look at the two previous English bosses Roy Hodgson and Steve McClaren quite simply did not cut the mustard on international level. However, the same could be said with Italian Fabio Capello, who’s methods did not work in the England set-up having build a clear distance between himself and his players.
Moreover, Klinsmann revolutionised both Germany and the USA when he was their national team boss and the same approach is needed for England - Dig it up and start again. English football has an obsession of possession football. Watching England is is all about keeping the ball but going nowhere with it in a distinctly laboured fashion. However, in the Premier League it is all about pace, energy and directness - Which the national team is glaringly lacking.
Klinsmann took Germany to the World Cup semi final in 2006 and has since enhanced his international reputation in his five years as USA boss where he has taken them to the World Cup and last four of the Copa America. He has a proven track record and his hands on approach may be what England need to move forward.
England are next in competitive action against Slovakia on Sunday 4th September 2016 when they begin their 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign. A new manager may be at the helm and you can secure your England tickets for the match from Football Ticket Pad.