Who Could Replace Roy Hodgson?

After England’s early elimination from the World Cup, many fans and some of the media are calling for the head of coach, Roy Hodgson. I take a look at the possible replacements.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke has revealed that, despite England’s disastrous World Cup, manager Roy Hodgson will see out his contract as national manager until 2016. For once it looks like the FA’s decision is not a money-saving measure but simply, perhaps, due to the dearth of adequate replacements. With no obvious candidate sticking out, we look at the options should the FA have a change of mind, particularly if England suffer another calamitous defeat to Costa Rica in their final dead-rubber fixture in Group D.

    The Former Player
    Recent big-name English players from the past couple of decades haven’t exactly had fruitful forays into management, while others have preferred a cosy seat in the TV studio rather than a hotseat in the dugout. Gary Neville’s elevation to the England coaching staff, while maintaining his much-lauded punditry work, was seen as a stepping-stone to the former Manchester United defender being groomed for the main job. However, his association with Hodgson’s disappointing regime may yet stymie those ambitions. The only other two recent alumni even linked with the job – current Under-21s coach Gareth Southgate and his predecessor Stuart Pearce – display indifferent managerial records and would not exactly be welcome appointments for fans longing for an end to decades of international disappointment.

    The English Appointment
    In the recent past, the FA have tended to alternate between the selection of English and foreign bosses, with the series of Hoddle, Eriksson, McLaren, Capello and Hodgson seemingly destined to continue with another outside appointment. However, if they break their recent sequence of successions there are, again, a scarcity of suitable candidates who could guarantee an improvement on Hodgson’s tenure. Names such as Steve Bruce and Tony Pulis have been mooted, and while they both have displayed admirable qualities in motivating their charges to play above themselves the appointment of either would represent another risk for Dyke and the FA board. Harry Redknapp’s name will no doubt rear it’s hand-dog head again but while his selection would certainly satisfy Fleet Street, how would ‘Arry cope without biannual transfer windows where he’d be unable to add “triffic” signings like Niko Kranjcar to the England squad?

    The Foreign “Big Name”
    While Jose Mourinho recently admitted that he once turned down the England job as his wife told him he’d be “bored”, media and fans certainly wouldn’t be if he were appointed. It remains unlikely however that the current standing of the England managerial role would lure the likes of Mourinho from Chelsea, Pep Guardiola from Bayern Munich or, indeed, de rigueur candidates like Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez. It would, though, be reasonable to imagine a foreign, top-class manager with deep knowledge of the English game to be amenable to the position. Arsene Wenger’s age and new contract at Arsenal would suggest he’s a non-runner but an outside bet might be someone like Rafa Benitez. The current Napoli boss has an admirable track record in the English game – particularly in cup football – and maintains a family home in the country. He’s made no secret of the fact he’d like to return to management in England one day and the national team job may be the perfect fit for both parties.