The hunt for England’s next manager is well underway and, with England returning to action in September for the World Cup qualifiers.
Roy Hodgson’s decision to step down after a frankly terrible Euro 2016 was the right one and surely had the manager not pulled the trigger himself the FA would have handed him his P45 and sent him on his way.
The England position must be one of the hardest jobs in the world and it’s going to take an exceptional coach to take over and put the Three Lions back where many fans believe they should be.
With that in mind we’ve taken a look at three options for the position and assessed their credentials – the favourite, the continental choice and a Squawka recommendation.
The favourite – Sam Allardyce
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has moved into odds-on favourite to become the new head coach of the England team after the Black Cats confirmed they had given their permission for him to hold talks with the FA.
The 61-year-old certainly comes with a wealth of experience, having spent the majority of his 22 years in coaching at the top level of English football and was considered for the position a decade ago following Sven Goran-Eriksson’s departure in 2006.
Big Sam’s status as one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the Premier League is well-documented but the former West Ham and Blackburn boss does come with a stigma attached – it is perceived that Allardyce favours a long-ball, highly defensive style of play, one which fans do not deem attractive or appropriate for the England team.
It’s fair to say Allardyce is known for using tactics that clubs battling at the wrong end of the table would find advantageous, but that doesn’t mean those philosophies cannot be applied to our struggling national team. Defence was one of the Three Lions’ weakest areas at Euro 2016, and you can be sure under Allardyce that fixing the leaky back-line will become the priority.
With his understanding of the English game, his ability to adapt, and his raw passion for the nation’s football, Allardyce seems set to become the next man to guide Wayne Rooney and co.
His first job will be to convince the majority of fans he is up to the task.
How do you think Allardyce would set up England's Euro 2016 squad? Visit the Virgin Media Lineup Builder here!
The continental choice – Jurgen Klinsmann
Jurgen Klinsmann has been towards the top of the betting polls since Hodgson’s resignation was confirmed and the USA coach is certainly seen as a strong contender for the position.
Klinsmann has been with the USA side since 2011 and his time in his third major coaching role has been mixed, to say the least.
Just a few short months ago the German’s role with the national team was under intense scrutiny and a large section of the USA fans have been calling for the 51-year-old to depart the position for a while now.
On the field Klinsmann has guided his current side to silverware and success. The USA claimed the Gold Cup in 2013 and finished in the semi-finals of this summer’s Copa America. But for each of these potentially legacy-building moments, the coach has suffered equal periods of immense failure.
Embarrassing defeats to the likes of Guatemala and Jamaica are just as abysmal as England’s loss to Iceland only weeks ago, but more crucial is that Klinsmann assured fans when he took the job five years ago that he would bring in an attacking style – which simply hasn’t happened.
Klinsmann certainly represents a continental choice for the position of England manager, something a number of fans feel is needed after Hodgson’s tenure ended, but it seems the longer the job is available the less likely the German is to be offered the position.
How do you think Klinsmann would set up England's Euro 2016 squad? Visit the Virgin Media Lineup Builder here!
Squawka recommends – Guus Hiddink
When it comes to firefighting in football there’s not many better than former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman was called by Roman Abramovich last season to salvage the Blues’ appalling campaign and was able to guide the relegation battling Premier League champions to mid-table.
Hiddink’s abundance of experience across Europe makes him one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the game currently without a contract with any club, meaning the FA could appoint him tomorrow should they decide he was the right choice.
Hiddink has formerly worked with the likes of Real Madrid, PSV, Fenerbahce and also a number of national team jobs including the Netherland and Russia. When it comes to understanding the game there are few that can match up to the Dutchman.
His calm nature with the press and his players serves as a boon as well. This is a manager who will command, and instantly get, respect from his players. Hiddink’s ideas and philosophies will be bought into by England’s players with the tactical knowledge the manager possesses a simply incredible asset.
It might also work in England’s favour, long term, to bring in Hiddink and have him work with a younger coach - such as Gareth Southgate - for a few years, perhaps leading to that individual taking over either after the 2018 World Cup or, perhaps more realistically, the 2020 European Championships.
Ultimately Hiddink would represent a smart choice in both the short and long term for the FA. The former Chelsea boss’s incredible managerial instinct and understanding could bring pride back to the national side.
How do you think Hiddink would set up England's Euro 2016 squad? Visit the Virgin Media Lineup Builder here!
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