Capello Quits: Who Next for England?

by Tom Stewart

So Fabio Capello has quit as England manager following the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of his captaincy. So who is next in line for the role as ‘ultimate turd polisher’?

Here are the top 10 favourites(all odds listed are from Bet365)

Harry Redknapp

Age: 64

Odds: 1/4

Previous Management: Bournemouth; West Ham United; Portsmouth; Southampton; Portsmouth; Tottenham Hotspur

Honours: Division 3 (86-87); Football League Trophy (84); Intertoto Cup (99); Division 1 (02-03); FA Cup (08); Premier League Manager of the Year (09-10); 7 ‘Premier League Manager of the Month’ awards

The odds on favourite is the current Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp. There was a slight black cloud hanging over his chances of becoming England boss due to his ongoing trial for tax evasion, which he was cleared of today. Since taking over at Tottenham, Redknapp has led them to the Champions League for the first time, and they currently sit 3rd in the table, playing attractive attacking football.

Pro’s: Seems to be the media’s choice; is experienced; “is English”; his teams tend to play attractive football.

Cons: Has been managing for AGES and in reality hasn’t really achieved that much; despite being found not guilty, the FA may choose to go for a ‘safer’ option.


Stuart Pearce

Age: 49

Odds: 9/2

Previous Management: Nottingham Forest; Manchester City; England Under-21’s

Honours: None (has guided the under-21’s to a 3rd place and runners-up in European U-21 Championships (07 and 09)


Pearce was a popular player during his career, and is a former England international with 78 caps to his name. Is seen by many as being an ‘old school’ motivator, with bucket loads of passion. Has done a reasonable, if not spectacular job with the Under-21’s and has been chosen to manage the Great Britain team at this years Olympics. There are MAJOR question marks over his actual ability to manage, however, given his not overly impressive managerial career at club level. His main chance comes if the FA choose to follow the model that has been successful with other nations (such as Germany) and promote from within.

Pro’s: Is ‘passionate’; “at least he’s English”; has worked with some of the players before at U-21 level

Cons: Hasn’t really shown any form of managerial aptitude as of yet.


Alan Pardew

Age: 50

Odds: 16/1

Previous Management: Reading; West Ham United; Charlton Athletic; Southampton; Newcastle United

Honours: Football League Trophy (2010); has won promotions in 2002 and 2005


Pardew has performed well at Newcastle, with the Magpies currently 5th in the Premiership table. He has a reasonable track record, but not one that particularly excites. Pardew’s West Ham side were unfortunate not to win the FA Cup in 2006, losing on penalties after conceding a last minute equaliser against Liverpool. Would not have been considered for the role were it not for his performance at Newcastle.

Pro’s: Is a bit ‘flavour of the month’; has a reasonable track record; is also English

Cons: Hasn’t REALLY done anything of any importance; unless you’re a silver fox, grey hair+hair gel is a big no no; can be a bit ‘David Brent’ at times


Jose Mourinho

Age: 49

Odds: 16/1

Previous Management: Benfica; Leiria; Porto; Chelsea; Internazionale; Real Madrid

Honours: Champions League (04, 10); Uefa Cup (03); Primeira Liga (02-03, 03-04); Taca de Portugal (02-03); Supertaca Candido de Oliveira (03); Premier League (04-05; 05-06); FA Cup (07); Football League Cup (05, 07); FA Community Shield (05); Serie A (08-09, 09-10); Coppa Italia (10); Supercoppa Italiana (08); Copa Del Rey (11). Has won 31 individual awards.


Without doubt the most gifted and qualified individual on this list. “The Special One” has made no attempts to hide his ambitions to one day return to England, and with his days at Real Madrid possibly numbered, could return sooner rather than later. Has won almost everything there is to win at club level, so stepping up to the International stage seems like a natural progression in his career. Has been reported as saying that if he DID manage at international level, it would be with Portugal, however. Would also possibly be more tempted to stay in club management.

Pro’s: Probably the best manager in the world; knows the English game and speaks fluent English; is possibly looking to get out of Madrid

Cons: Would probably be quite expensive; might not even want the job


Roy Hodgson

Age: 64

Odds: 16/1

Previous Management: Carshalton Athletic; Halmstad; Bristol City; Oddevold; Orebro; Malmo; Xamax; Switzerland; Internazionale; Blackburn Rovers; Internazionale; Grasshopper; FC Copenhagen; Udinese; UAE; Viking; Finland; Fulham; Liverpool; West Bromwich Albion

Honours: Allsvenskan (76, 79, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89); Swedish Championship (86, 88); Svenska Cupen (86, 89); Danish Superliga (00-01); Danish Super Cup (01); LMA Manager of the Year (10). Has twice been UEFA Cup/Europa League finalist (97, 10).

HUGELY experienced manager, and one that is generally well liked. Unlike the other English managers on this list, Hodgson has experience of managing aboard and at international level. Did a decent job with Switzerland, guiding them to the World Cup Quarter Final in 1994, and while at Finland got them closer to qualification for a major tournament than they had been in years. Would be quite a ‘safe’ option for the FA, however hasn’t really shown that he can do a good job under high expectation- with most of his impressive performances coming at somewhat ‘smaller’ clubs.

Pro’s: Hugely experienced both at club level and internationally; highly knowledgeable about the game; is English; produces well organised sides.

Cons: Has disappointed when placed under high expectation (as he would with England); at age 64 is it too late for him?; not convinced the players or media would give him  much respect


Gareth Southgate

Age: 41

Odds: 16/1

Previous Management: Middlesbrough

Honours: 1 Premier League Manager of the Month Award


I literally have no idea how he is 16/1 for this job. Literally no idea. Southgate was a reasonable player but was distinctly average (at best) in his one managerial role thus far.

Pro’s: Genuinely can’t think of any

Cons: Would be absolutely awful


Rafa Benitez

Age: 51

Odds: 16/1

Previous Management: Real Valladolid; Osasuna; Extremadura; Tenerife; Valencia; Liverpool; Internazionale

Honours: Segunda Division (00-01); La Liga (01-02, 03-04); FA Cup (05-06); FA Community Shield (06); Supercoppa Italiana (10); UEFA Cup (04); Champions League (05); UEFA Super Cup (05); FIFA Club World Cup (10). 5 Manager of the Month’s; 2 UEFA Manager of the Year.

Has had a successful career on paper, however most of his success came in the mid 00’s at Valencia and Liverpool. Some would say that he’s the most fortunate Champions League winner of all time, and was eventually given the boot at Liverpool after failing to replicate the success of ’05. Was hugely disappointing at Inter where he inherited Mourinho’s Champions League winning side and left them in the bottom half of the Serie A table.

Pro’s: Pretty good track record especially in cup competitions; speaks fluent English and has experience of the English game.

Cons: Career has gone rapidly downhill in recent years and looks to have had his day.


Arsene Wenger

Age: 62

Odds: 20/1

Previous Management: AS Nancy-Lorraine; Monaco; Nagoya Grampus Eight; Arsenal

Honours: Ligue 1 (87-88); Coupe de France (90-91); Emperor’s Cup (95); J-League Super Cup (96); Premier League (97-98, 01-02, 03-04); FA Cup (98, 02, 03, 05); FA Community Shield (98, 99, 02, 04). Has won 29 individual awards.

Hugely experienced and with undoubted talent, I’m somewhat surprised that Wenger is behind the likes of Benitez in the running for this. Wenger has managed in England since 1996 and is extremely knowledgeable about the game. Has recently been under pressure at Arsenal after several years without silverware, and would perhaps be looking for a way out. Possibly his one main weakness as a manager is in signing players which wouldn’t be an issue at international level, especially with his tactical nous.

Pro’s: Proven track record; experienced; knowledgeable about the English game; speaks fluent English

Cons: Is still under contract with his beloved Arsenal and may be apprehensive about leaving, especially before he breaks his ever growing ‘trophy drought’


Guus Hiddink

Age: 65

Odds: 25/1

Previous Management: De Graafschap; PSV Eindhoven; Fenerbahce; Valencia; Netherlands; Real Madrid; Real Betis; South Korea; PSV Eindhoven; Australia; Russia; Chelsea; Turkey

Honours: Eredivisie (87, 88, 89, 03, 05, 06); KNVB Cup (88, 89, 90, 05); Dutch Supercup (93); UEFA European Cup (88); Intercontinental Cup (98); FA Cup (09). International record includes two 4th places finishes at World Cups in 1998 and 2002 with Netherlands and South Korea and a Semi-Final finish at Euro 2008 with Russia. Also took Australia to their best ever performance at a World Cup, 2nd round in 2006.

The most experienced man on this list in terms of International management. Worked wonders at South Korea in 2002, getting them to 4th place, and was also unlucky not to do better in 1998 when his brilliant Dutch side were a late Ronaldo equaliser and a penalty shoot-out defeat away from the Final. Has a good track record at club level, especially at PSV where he won the European Cup in 1988. Was extremely popular during his short (and only) spell in England with Chelsea, where he won the FA Cup. HOWEVER, has underperformed lately, failing to take Russia to the 2010 World Cup (losing to Slovenia in a play-off) and Turkey for Euro 2012 (losing to Croatia, again in a play-off).

Pro’s: Hugely experienced at international level, with a good track record; speaks fluent English

Cons: A tiny bit overrated perhaps?


Martin O’Neill

Age: 59

Odds: 25/1

Previous Management: Grantham Town; Shepshed Charterhouse; Wycombe Wanderers; Norwich City; Leicester City; Celtic; Aston Villa; Sunderland

Honours: Football Conference (92-93); FA Trophy (91, 93); League Cup (97, 00); Scottish Premier League (00-01, 01-02, 03-04); Scottish Cup (01, 04, 05); Scottish League Cup (01). Has won promotion via the play-offs in 94 (3rd Division) and 96 (1st Division). Has 17 Manager of the Month awards in England and Scotland and was 3 times voted Scottish Manager of the Year.

O’Neill would certainly be a popular choice, and has done a decent job wherever he’s been. Seems to specialise in getting the best out of relatively average players (perfect for the England job then….yeah? yeah?). However, he has only recently taken over at Sunderland so may not be particularly keen to leave, was also overlooked in 2006 in favour of Steve McLaren which may play on his mind. A critic would say that he hasn’t actually achieved as much as people think, especially in England where he has just 2 League Cup titles to his name.

Pro’s: Good track record; would be popular with the media and fans; knowledgeable about the English game

Cons: Only recently taken over at Sunderland; Might not be that bothered about taking it if offered after being overlooked previously.

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