Czechoslovakia, Greece, Denmark and Portugal spring to mind as relatively recent winners of the European Championships. None of the four could be considered as serial winners of competitions.

Wales also stayed in the last competition for longer than England and even managed a 3-1 win over Belgium while England couldn’t even scrape a draw with Iceland and exited the tournament in their usual fashion, ie when there was still plenty of it left!

The common factor in most of the last few managerial appointments made by the FA is that they have gone on to be singularly unsuccessful when returning to club management and most of them have been sacked more than once, the most recent dismissal being that of Sven-Goran Eriksson by his Chinese employers.

Robson, Venables, Keegan, Hoddle, Eriksson, McClaren, Capello, Hodgson and Allardyce. Who will it be next?

Having trundled out a series of very average managers in the past it was hoped that Sam Allardyce would be the English equivalent to Fernando Santos of Portugal. There are similarities. Both Portugal and England are small countries. Neither are blessed with a plethora of world class talent, (although Portugal do have one, which is one more than England!) Both had won nothing for a long while.

Unfortunately, that is where the similarities end. Portugal have now won a major tournament and Sam Allardyce has departed due to his inability to say no to money. (By the way, if he was doing a favour for a friend, why was he getting paid so much money for it?)

What has happened to the others on the list? These great managers who were going to return the glory days to England in the shape of World Cups and European Championships. Where are they now?

As everybody is aware Sir Bobby Robson, sadly, departed this mortal coil a few years ago, but what of the others?

Terry Venables is virtually retired from football and runs a hotel in Alicante, Spain. He is only occasionally wheeled out to comment on a World Cup game involving England. After leaving the managers job with England he went on to manage Australia, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Leeds United with no success whatsoever, apart from avoiding relegation if that can be called a success.

Kevin Keegan is another who spends most of his time in Spain and is, like Venables, occasionally called upon to be a pundit, usually by BEIN Sports. After England he unsuccessfully managed Manchester City and Newcastle United, winning nothing with either.

Glenn Hoddle pops up on TV everywhere at present! He is a regular on Sky, can be seen on BEIN Sports and has been known to appear on BT Sport and ITV. He has championed himself for the England job recently as he also did for the job at Tottenham before it went to Mauricio Pochettino. After leaving England he managed Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur without achieving anything of note. He also had a very short-lived stint as a coach at QPR where, after 5 months he left, along with Harry Redknapp.

Sven-Goran Eriksson was the first foreign manager to be appointed by England. When he left, having won absolutely nothing, he went on to manage Manchester City, Mexico, Ivory Coast, Leicester City, Guangzhou R & F and Shanghai SIPG. He is currently out of work but not, as yet, out of money.

Steve McClaren had a little success in Holland with Twente Enschede after leaving the England job. So much so that he went back to try and replicate it a couple of years later and failed abysmally. In between these two appointments he managed Wolfsburg in Germany, another job from which he was sacked. Having also had stints at Nottingham Forest and Newcastle he is now in his second spell at Derby County where he is attempting to achieve promotion from a very unlikely position. McClaren has yet to prove himself anything other than average at any level of English football, yet like Eriksson, people keep giving him a job.

Fabio Capello became the second foreign manager to take the reins with England. Having spent four years in charge and, again following in the footsteps of every manager since Sir Alf Ramsey by winning nothing, left empty handed of everything but money. He went on to manage Russia and since then nobody really knows or cares what he has been doing.

Mr. Roy left a cosy little number at West Bromwich Albion to manage England. He needn’t have bothered. His time in charge of the national team went the way of all the others before him since Ramsey spoiled the English game in 1966 by winning the World Cup. He jumped just as the queue to push him was forming at FA headquarters.

Finally, Sam Allardyce. The only England manager with a 100% success rate. This will probably be big Sam’s only contribution to the history of the national team, which is a pity, because he does have a record of getting performances out of average teams and it would have been interesting to see if he could do it with the current lot. Alas, we will never know.

So, in conclusion, England have employed some decidedly average managers over the years. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that they have been unable to achieve anything with a squad of players which has also been, in the main, decidedly average. For an average team to win anything, a better-than-average coach is required. Examples, in club football, include Blackburn Rovers, Atlético Madrid, Leicester City and Borussia Dortmund.

We await the appointment of a great manager to oversee the future success of the English national team. Just don’t hold your breath!


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