English soccer fans are used to disappointment, but the national team took things to a new level in the 2016 Euro, getting ousted by Iceland – a nation of 300,000 – in the Round of 16.
England qualified for the tournament with a perfect 10-0 record, but never showed the same level of play in the competition. Part of the post-tournament fallout was the resignation of manager Roy Hodgson. (If he hadn’t expeditiously resigned, he would have been summarily fired.) And now the English Football Association is in search of a manager who will be able to change the culture in a country that boasts one of the best domestic leagues in the world yet one of the most underachieving national teams.
Who will be the next man to try to put the bite back in the Three Lions? Let’s look at the odds and try to find some value.
Odds to be the next manager of the English national soccer team
Gareth Southgate: 5/4
Southgate’s first managerial experience came in 2006 with Middlesbrough, where he spent three seasons. He’s been in charge of England’s under-21 team since 2013. Many think he lacks the necessary experience to run the national team (“Why should he get it in front of Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce, who are proven managers?” asked the former QPR boss Harry Redknapp). But at a relatively youthful 45, he may bring just the spark the similarly young English roster needs.
Glenn Hoddle: 6/1
Don’t ask me how Glenn Hoddle’s name got into this discussion, but here it is, and it’s getting louder and louder. Hoddle was the national team manager during the 1998 World Cup, when the team lost in the Round of 16 to Argentina (a decent showing from England, all things considered). He’s also the former boss of Chelsea and Tottenham. However, he hasn’t managed a team since 2006 when he left the Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Harry Redknapp: 8/1
You already know how Harry Redknapp feels about the job, and he has the managerial experience (with teams like West Ham, Tottenham, and Queens Park Rangers) to be a viable candidate. The problem is that he wouldn’t be much of a change from Hodgson. His teams are predictable and have never shown the creativity that England will be looking for at this juncture.
Eddie Howe: 8/1:
When you take a small-town team like Bournemouth from the third division to the Championship and eventually the English Premier League, you’ll get a lot of deserved kudos. Howe will be a tough sell because he’s not a big name but, like Southgate, he might be the fresh face this team needs.
Alan Pardew: 12/1
Pardew has lobbied for this position for a long time, and now he may finally get his shot. He showed off his managerial bona fides this year with Crystal Palace, guiding the team to the FA Cup final. They lost to Manchester United in the finale, but, in reality, outplayed the high-priced club thanks to Pardew’s top-notch game plan.
Sam Allardyce: 13/1
Slaven Bilic: 13/1
Guus Hiddink: 18/1
Gary Neville: 18/1
Manuel Pellegrini: 20/1
Laurent Blanc: 22/1
There are not many great options out there. I still think Southgate is too green to get the nod. The value seems to be with Alan Pardew. He wants the job and is coming off a great year with Palace. A good interview with the FA authorities could secure him the job.
(Photo Credit: James Boyes [CC BY 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)