With England bumping along fine in qualifying for EURO 2016, and seemingly no shame too awful for regime change following the Three Lions debacle at the World Cup last summer, it seems likely that boss Roy Hodgson will be around for a while yet.
However, that shouldn’t stop us speculating on who might take over next, even if it is just a guessing game this far out. The five men below have all been tipped for the job. We give them the run-down:
Fancied by many, despite never holding a job in management, but Neville will know the England setup inside out by the time Hodgson leaves, having spent a number of years as assistant coach.
The former Manchester United man would no doubt be a popular choice; even Liverpool fans think he knows what he’s talking about, but whether Neville has a coherent coaching philosophy, as the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho clearly do, is impossible to say.
It all seems a bit soon.
Verdict – Hard to imagine.
When Monk took over Swansea from Michael Laudrup 18 months ago, many thought he wouldn’t still be there at the end of the season, let alone in a strong position 12 months later, after leading Swansea to their best Premier League finish yet – eighth, above the likes of Everton and big-spending West Ham.
As odd as it may seem for England to adopt a style of football nurtured in Wales, they might have to think about it in a few international cycles’ time, if the 36-year-old keeps the Liberty Stadium faithful roaring.
Verdict – Could happen.
The Bournemouth boss is a typical ‘flavour of the month’ after leading his side to the Premier League in style, so talk of his taking over could be premature, but there’s not likely to be a vacancy for the England gig until after the 2018 World Cup (if it goes ahead), so time is on his side.
Maybe not Howe, but another rated as up-and-coming now, such as NextGen series creator and axed former Brentford coach Mark Warburton, could be in the picture.
Verdict – Time is on his side
The former West Ham and Newcastle boss is doing a bang-up job at Crystal Palace and has been mentioned by plenty of pundits as a potential national-team coach, but after the awkward reign of Terry Venables two decades ago, and continued reticence over Harry Redknapp, it probably won’t happen.
Pardew’s headbutting of Hull’s David Meyler last term was enough to preclude him.
Verdict – No chance
If Guardiola were to leave Bayern Munich this summer for a spell in the Premier League, probably with Manchester City, three years’ time could be the perfect moment to ease out Hodgson and call on the master.
It’s a longshot, but Pep would be approaching 50 by then and could be looking for a different kind of challenge. What better way to show you’re the best manager in the world than by leading England to a major trophy?
Verdict – Fingers crossed!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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