Wednesday 28 September 2016

FA intent on hiring English manager as Sam Allardyce and Eddie Howe emerge as favourites

Sam Wallace

Published 10/07/2016 | 08:25

Eddie Howe and Sam Allardyce are the leading contenders for the England job CREDIT: PA
Eddie Howe and Sam Allardyce are the leading contenders for the England job CREDIT: PA

The Football Association is intent on appointing an English successor to Roy Hodgson as England manager with Sam Allardyce and Eddie Howe the leading candidates for the job as the governing body prepares to make its decision.

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The consultancy process is now at an end with the three-man panel charged with finding the new England manager determined that the next man should be English, despite a lack of obvious candidates for the job. Appointing either Allardyce or Howe presents certain problems for the FA who would have to go through due process with their respective clubs by requesting permission to speak to their under-contract managers.

The FA has decided that it does not want an interim appointment which also mitigates against Arsene Wenger, who has one year of his contract at Arsenal to run and will not break that agreement. It has also decided that the new man should be English, despite having appointed two foreign managers in the 21st century. Although a foreign manager cannot be ruled out definitively, the FA is confident that there are suitable native candidates.

Alan Pardew has ruled himself out of contention for the job, although it remains to be seen how he would respond to an approach. Gareth Southgate, the England Under-21s manager, who would not wish to do the job on an interim basis, is still potentially a candidate.

There will be no consideration given to those who might politely be described as mercenaries - those who see the FA as a chance for a big pay-off at the end of their careers. Luiz Felipe Scolari is interested in the job, and so too Roberto Mancini. Both the chief executive Martin Glenn and David Gill, an FA board member, as well as Uefa executive committee member, will be at Sunday’s Euro 2106 final in Paris in an official capacity.

Those two, along with the FA technical director Dan Ashworth, will draw up the list of candidates and make the decision will be subject to approval by the FA main board. As ever, the FA are looking for a long-term candidate who will invest time in the “England DNA” programme which is overseen from St George’s Park where Ashworth and the FA technical staff are based.

The FA wants the England manager to take an interest in the junior team and the progression of players through the age-groups – a common theme in recent years. The composition of the new man’s contract is still up for debate but the feeling is that it will have to take the FA to Euro 2020 to at least show that it has faith in the choice.

There was a period of consultation with big figures in the English game including the likes of Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Harry Redknapp as well as some of the current players and those recently retired. Gill, Glenn and Ashworth will meet again this week to make a decision and set a strategy on getting the right man.

This does present problems with many of their main candidates embarking on pre-season tours. Sunderland and Allardyce are current on pre-season training in Austria. Bournemouth fly to Chicago on Sunday for their pre-season training, and a friendly on July 20 against Minnesota United. The FA hopes to have its new manager in place in time for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on 4 Sept.

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