It has been a particularly spectacular week in England. After the political turmoil of last Friday’s Brexit vote, the national team bowed out of Euro 2016 to Nordic minnows Iceland.
It was a performance described by Ian Wright as “rubbish”, Rio Ferdinand as “embarrassing”, “clueless” by Jermaine Jenas, Alan Shearer said it was “the worst performance by an England team, [he had] ever seen”, and Danny Baker, well that wouldn’t be appropriate for publishing here….
Much of the criticism has been directed towards manager Roy Hodgson, the man tasked by the Football Association (FA) with guiding the side to “at least” the semi-finals. Failures in Brazil two years ago and their ignominious defeat in Nice on Monday night made the 68-year-old’s position untenable, and he duly resigned after the final whistle.
Plenty of hats have already been thrown into the ring, so after 50 years of hurt the question is; who will fill this seemingly poisoned chalice?
FOX Sports Asia takes a look at some of the contenders.
The FA is expected to appoint Gareth Southgate on an interim basis after Hodgson tendered his resignation.
The former Middlesbrough defender and current England U-21 manager is the odds-on favourite to take on the position full-time. Having brought through the likes of Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling, Southgate is a proven nurturer of young talent, something the FA will look to tap into with their current crop ahead of qualifying for Russia 2018.
However, his potential selection has already been called into question. In an interview with the BBC, former Tottenham Hotspur gaffer Harry Redknapp doubted Southgate’s credentials. When it was suggested that he knew the English “system”, Redknapp responded: “What system? The losing system? He knows the losing formula?
“I like Gareth Southgate, he’s a great lad, but what’s he done?”
He has a point. His U-21’s failed to advance past the group at the 2015 European Championship, and his only other managerial spell ended with Middlesbrough’s relegation from the Premier League in 2009.
The one who got away. Many thought it would be football’s “wheeler dealer” who would ride into St George’s Park, only for Hodgson to pip him to the post.
The 69-year-old is a fan favourite, has an extensive resume in the Premier League with the likes of West Ham, Portsmouth and Spurs, and his no-nonsense approach is something the national side could really do with.
A posting in Jordan may waylay his selection, perhaps signifying a lack of desire for the job. Also against his favour, a series of comments he made in light of England’s game on Monday. Redknapp cited a “lack of faith” in the FA to make the right choice, before seemingly ruling himself out of the race. “I’ve made it clear how I’d have liked the job in the past, but they aren’t going to consider me now,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“I don’t fit. I would love to manage England, but I’m a realistic person and I realise I’ve got absolutely no chance.”
A controversial option being bandied around is that of Glenn Hoddle, a man who has already served at the England helm.
He guided England to the last 16 at the 1998 World Cup before the side were knocked out by Argentina on penalties.
However, an interview with The Times, in which he said disabled people were being made to pay for sins in a former life led to his dismissal. He went on to manage Southampton, Tottenham and Wolves, but has been out of management for a decade.
Redknapp believes Hoddle would be a more suitable candidate, and Alan Shearer, who led the England attack in 1998, feels the 58-year-old “has still got a lot to offer.”
The Geordie legend is the first to publicly put himself forward for the vacancy.
“I’d definitely speak to them, absolutely. I would offer my experience and tournament experience,” said the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer.
The 45-year-old would provide a fresh approach to a stagnant England team and his days at Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle shows his ability to galvanise players and fans.
Playing time aside, managerial experience is lacking, a point put to him by the FA when he previously offered his services. An eight-game stint in charge of his beloved Magpies failed to save his side from the drop and talks for the Cardiff City position fell through back in 2011.
Staying in the North East and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is also believed to in the running. The Premier League’s answer to Marmite, love him or hate him, “Big Sam” has a proven track record.
His time with Bolton Wanderers and West Ham, along with this season’s relegation survival with The Black Cats, cemented his place as a master of improving struggling sides.
Critcism of style (José Mourinho once likened it to “football from the 19th century”) and little experience with star names may pose an obstacle to his chances.
Touchline disputes with Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini, pushing over an official, and 2014’s “Headbuttgate”; no-one can doubt the Crystal Palace manager’s passion.
The 54-year-old led the south London club to the FA Cup final in May and enjoyed an impressive start to the Premier League season. He also, according to oddschecker.com, has the highest average finishing league position out of all the other favourites for the England job. At 8.9, his closest rival is Hoddle with an average of 10.8, followed by Southgate at 14.7.
The FA top brass will be sceptical though of a Pardew reign. His career has been so up and down it’s enough to give anyone motion sickness, as epitomised by the past season with the Eagles. The England board will also be keen to steer away from any potential hullabaloo, especially after the handling of Redknapp in 2012 and Hoddle’s controversial remarks.
One of England’s current coaching staff, the ex-Manchester United defender was widely tipped as Hodgson’s successor. His knowledge of the game is undeniable, as he showed week in, week out with Sky Sports.
England’s catastrophic showing in France combined with his ill-fated four-month tenure with Valencia (winning a mere three out of 16 La Liga games), could all but count against him.
The FA has already said it may look towards bringing in a foreign manager.
Recently departed PSG boss Laurent Blanc is available, and with almost a decades-worth of trophy-laden club and mild international success, the Frenchman would be a shrewd move by the FA.
Another name in the mix is fellow Frenchman Arsene Wenger. The 66-year-old has been under fire at Arsenal and it is understood the FA are willing to wait until his contract with the club expires in 2017.
In short, don’t go betting the farm just yet.