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Who is the Favourite to be the Next England Manager?

July 18, 2016

- Grant Whittington

According to recent reports, Hull City manager and former Manchester United skipper Steve Bruce is the latest candidate to be interviewed by the FA for the vacant England role. Bruce is one of several managers who are currently been linked with the job, as individuals from the UK and beyond compete for one of the most prestigious and contentious roles in football.

While several managers including Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and former Three Lions manager Glenn Hoddle are also in the frame, Bruce has emerged as the bookmakers second favourite behind surprise front-runner Sam Allardyce. These selections have been the source of huge controversy among fans, while they also pose questions concerning the FA’s vision for the future.

The Future for England and Allardyce

Allardyce and Bruce are clear favourites for the role, with the former priced at 2/7 to be named as the next England manager. Bruce himself offers a little more value at 6/1, with former Germany and USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann next in line at a distant 11/1. This suggests that Allardyce is practically a shoe-in to be named as Roy Hodgson’s successor, unless talks between the two parties break down or another candidate suddenly hones into view.

While Big Sam is clearly the favourite to land the job, however, the question that remains is whether his appointment would be the right decision to take England forward. An always proud by declining force in the international game, the Three Lions reached their nadir during a second round elimination at the hands of Iceland at Euro 2016 and the FA have clearly reached the point of no-return. Consequently, they appear to placing their faith in a known quantity and man of experience in the the mould of Hodgson rather than pursuing an innovative and revolutionary choice.

In theory, there is nothing wrong with this course, particularly as eye-catching appointments such as Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello failed to deliver on their promise. It is important that the FA have determined a clear outlook with regards to how they want England to play, however, taking into account the existing squad and the input of former stars such as Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and others. This will ensure that they pick the right man to take England forward, leveraging the skills and qualities of the players that they have at their disposal.

Is Allardyce the Man for the Job?

In this respect, Allardyce may be the perfect man for the job. A manager with an eye for detail and who prefers a simplistic 4-4-2 structure, he would be perfectly suitable if England are inclined to mirror Iceland’s success and adopt an organised, counter-attacking style. If there is a desire to utilise unique talents like Dele Alli and Ross Barkley and play progressive football, however, the FA would be best served looking further afield for their new manager.

If the FA have once again failed to make such plans, then there is simply no way of gauging Allardyce’s suitability until it is far too late. Hopefully, this is something that can be avoided as the Three Lions finally look to enter a brave new era.

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