As the search begins for the next England manager, the FA finds itself at a crossroads.
With pride in the national side at an all-time low after the loss to Iceland, it is vital for the future that they choose the right appointment to revitalise the team’s aspirations and get the fans back on side.
Though there were few obvious candidates to succeed Hodgson at first, there are a number of options for the FA to pursue. The possibility of an English coach, a third foreign appointment or even returning to a former manager have been discussed.
The Sunderland manager’s best chance to take the England job looked to have gone when Steve McClaren was appointed Sven-Goran Eriksson’s successor in 2006. However, after saving the Mackems from relegation this season, the 61-year-old finds himself in the running once more.
It seems likely that if the FA do opt for an English manager then Allardyce will be the leading candidate due to his experience. He has a history of bringing stability and success to clubs. He established Bolton in the Premier League and lead them into Europe, and also led West Ham back to the top flight at the first attempt in his debut season at Upton Park in 2011/12.
His reputation for playing unattractive football and lack of experience of managing a top team may be discouraging for some. But his straight-talking approach might be just what England’s players require.
The 50-year-old has experience of inheriting teams in the midst of a crisis. He took over as France manager following their disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign and successfully led them to Euro 2012. He is also fresh from a successful spell at PSG which saw his team win three successive Ligue 1 titles.
However, though he bought stability to the French national side he was unable to take them much further. France were disappointing at Euro 2012 and were comfortably beaten by eventual winners Spain in the quarterfinals. Blanc resigned after the tournament.
Many fans will also question his achievements at PSG, given the lack of competitiveness in France’s top division and the fact that they failed to mount a serious bid for the Champions League despite possessing some world class players. There is also the uncomfortable issue of a Frenchman managing the England team, which may irk some supporters.
Hoddle would be a contentious choice for more than one reason. To re-appoint a former manager would be a bold call to begin with, but would not be seen as the most progressive move.
Hoddle has also not been in a managerial position since resigning as Wolves manager ten years ago, meaning people will also question whether his approach would still work in the modern game. The manner in which he vacated the England post in 1999 following controversial comments about disabled people may also understandably be a potential stumbling block.
However, he has received the backing of a number of high profile figures and has said he is open to talks with the FA. He also built an impressive team for the 1998 World Cup, his only tournament in charge of the Three Lions, famously introducing Michael Owen onto the world stage in France, where England’s participation was only ended narrowly in a penalty shootout defeat to Argentina.
A widely liked and respected figure, Howe would be a popular appointment. He has deservedly received much praise for his achievements at Bournemouth, taking the Cherries from the bottom end of League Two to the Premier League and securing their place in the top flight last season.
However, he does lack experience of managing at the top level, having just one season in the Premier League under his belt. It would also be a shame for Howe’s reputation to be tainted if he was given the job and it backfired. At 38-years-old, he still has a long and promising coaching career ahead of him and the England job has a history of severely damaging the reputation of respected coaches. But with the FA surely looking for an exciting appointment to usher in a new era, Howe will be a tempting option.
Due to his respectable record as an international coach, the former German striker is another foreign coach who has emerged as a candidate to succeed Hodgson. Under immense pressure as the host nation, he led his national side to the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup, where they were beaten in the final minutes of extra time by eventual winners Italy.
He also has a decent record on paper as coach of the USA, leading them to the 2013 Gold Cup and through a tough group and into the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup. However, he has not been without his critics as US coach with some questioning his tactical approach.
Some may also question his depth of knowledge and experience given that his only managerial role at club level came during a short spell at Bayern Munich. As a German, he may also find it harder than Blanc to win over certain fans.
Six months ago, Pardew might have been the frontrunner for the England job had it become available. After leading Crystal Palace to a top half finish in 2014/15, the Eagles also enjoyed a solid first half to last season. However, a poor second half of the season saw them dragged towards the relegation zone.
Pardew has a mixed record, but his recent record is respectable. Though he led West Ham back to the Premier League in 2005 and to the FA Cup final the following season, he was sacked after a disappointing start to the 2006/07 campaign. An underwhelming stint at Charlton followed, before he rebuilt his reputation in the top flight at Newcastle. He was widely applauded for leading the Magpies to a fifth-place finish in 2011/12 and to the quarterfinals of the Europa League the following season. But he was never quite able to replicate the league form of 2011/12 (Newcastle finished just two places above the relegation zone the following season). Critics may point to a lack of consistency and experience of managing in Europe, and with the FA seemingly open to employing a third foreign manager, this may not be quite Pardew’s time.
The Arsenal manager is one of the most respected managers in the game and has been linked with the England job in the past. Wenger has won three league titles with the Gunners along with six FA cup victories and also led them to the 2005/06 Champions League final.
However, his recent years at the Emirates Stadium have not been quite so successful. They went nine years without lifting a trophy before their FA cup triumph in 2014 and Wenger has had his critics for failing to mount a serious bid for the Premier League title in recent seasons.
He has also shown no real interest in moving into international football in the past. Appointing Wenger would still be seen as an incredible move by the FA, but it may take some convincing to prise him away from North London.