There have been some calls for Gareth Southgate to go after a couple of underwhelming international breaks. But who would replace him?
Be careful what you wish for…
The ex-Tottenham boss would be up for it. Three years ago, in Guillem Balague’s book, Pochettino discussed the prospect of managing England…
“If I were to be an international manager one day, I’d relish the opportunity to coach the England national team.”
‘One day’. How about ‘this day’? But despite the manner of his Spurs exit, Pochettino is in a wonderful position where he can afford to wait until one of the biggest club jobs becomes available and then he can pretty much name his price. The fact Southgate earns less than half the salary Ole Gunnar Solsjaer is paid at Manchester United – before the FA imposed pay-cuts – makes the position no more appealing at this stage.
Maybe when he’s sick of Ed Woodward’s sh*t in a few years, then he might consider the England job. But not just yet.
Fourth time lucky?
Wenger says he has already rejected offers to manage England: “Yes, I turned them down two or three times,” he said upon leaving his Arsenal post in 2018. “But I saw it that the daily involvement was, for me, important.”
Occasional work is better than no work, which is Wenger’s current situation, at least from an elite coaching perspective. Though aged 70, Wenger would have to wonder if he needs the grief.
There is also another factor behind Wenger’s reluctance to rake the England job: “I felt and said many times it should be an English guy who takes the English national team.
“It’s a big country, they have enough quality managers, and I thought maybe it was not right for me to do that.”
About those ‘quality managers’…
Howe was reportedly considered for the role in 2016 when his stock was as high as it ever was. Back then, he had just steered the Cherries through a comfortable maiden season in the Premier League and was being touted for jobs left, right and centre.
The FA opted for Sam Allardyce then – that went well – but Howe suggested that he would have turned down the job anyway.
“I consider myself a training ground manager, so I don’t think it would be for me in the short term, if I was offered the job,” he told FourFourTwo.
“In the longer term, though, who knows?”
Four years have passed, and whatever Howe’s career plan, it almost certainly did not involve leaving Bournemouth in the Championship after their bubble burst last season. He is available now, but Howe has a reputation that may not require rebuilding, but it certainly could do with some touching up before the FA consider him more seriously. The 42-year-old reportedly doesn’t want to work until he’s had a break until around Christmas, just in time for the annual Premier League manager purge.
If Howe has ever been in contention then Dyche should certainly be considered too.
The Burnley boss is currently the Premier League’s longest-serving manager, having been in charge at Turf Moor for eight years. In that time, he has achieved more in club football than some previous managers and the current England boss too.
Dyche certainly has substance; whether he possesses the necessary style is another matter. The FA showed that they aren’t afraid to recruit from the old school when they hired Allardyce, but then Big Sam ruined it for everyone else. And optics are clearly important to the FA these days.
The Ginger Mourinho is currently the bookies’ favourite to become the next England manager and Burnley might feel soon that it is time for a change if the Clarets cannot arrest their recent form, which has seen them lose their first three matches of the Premier League season.
On the basis that it takes one to know one, Roy Hodgson would back Dyche for the job: “Why shouldn’t a guy like Sean Dyche be in that group of people to be considered,” he said two years ago. “I see no reason why anyway.”
Joint second-favourite behind Dyche with Howe is Brighton’s Graham Potter, with Chris Wilder just ahead of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the betting.
But we have to remember, Boothroyd is just following Southgate down the path he took to the England job.
The former Watford manager is part of the furniture at St George’s Park having been involved with the national set-up since 2014. In that time, he’s worked with the Under-17s, Under-19s and now manages the Under-21s.
Not that Danny Murphy feels he deserves the gig: “Did he get the job on merit? No, not really. There’s a bit of nepotism there and we have to be honest with that,” said Murphy, referring to Boothroyd and his friendship with the FA’s technical director at the time, Dan Ashworth.
The results hardly refute Murphy’s accusation. Boothroyd’s Under-21s may have just booked their place at next year’s European Championship but they would have to win it to make many people forget last year’s sh*tshow. For which he blamed his players.
Maybe he would fare better with an entire England team of right-backs.