As much as one would love England to appoint Marcelo Bielsa for any number of reasons – not all of them financial – one thinks that the race to succeed Roy Hodgson as coach is a race in two between Jurgen Klinsmann and Sam Allardyce.
One cannot believe that Klinsmann is the betting favourite to be the next England manager. For starters, Klinsmann is not English even though he won the hearts of English fans during his spells playing for Tottenham in the mid and late 1980s. Surely England is not going to appoint a foreigner unless that individual’s managerial resume is light years ahead of the best qualified English candidate. One does not wish to be mean about Klinsmann but he did not last a full season coaching Bayern Munchen because the team’s results were not up to scratch and he almost received his marching orders from the United States of America as the consequence of an abysmal start in which he oversaw four losses in six matches. Klinsmann’s record as a boss is nowhere near as good as some people think, with the clear highlight being Germany’s 2006 FIFA World Cup quarter-final victory over Argentina. Remember, though, Germany had home advantage throughout that tournament and the Germans required an equalising goal and penalties to eliminate Argentina.
According to bookmakers, Klinsmann leads the next England manager race along with Sam Allardyce, ahead of, in odds order, Eddie Howe, Glenn Hoddle, Guus Hiddink, Alan Pardew, Harry Redknapp, Gareth Southgate, Roberto Mancini, Arsene Wenger and Bielsa.
Coaching England would be a huge honour for Howe but the Bournemouth boss could ruin his career by taking it now. Hoddle has not had a coaching job for 10 years. Hiddink’s reputation is on the slide – close to being in tatters – following a series of recent flops. Pardew’s managerial record is hit and miss. Redknapp has considerably stronger credentials for the England job in the 2000s. Southgate led Middlesbrough out of the English Premier League and only survived as long as he did due to the patiences of Boro chairman Steve Gibson. According to reports, Mancini fell out with most people at Manchester City and now he is boss of Internazionale. Wenger insists that he will not break his Arsenal contract. Bielsa is the wild card having walked out on Lazio just two days after arriving at the Rome club.
Big Sam is the logical man for the England position and the 61-year-old from the Black Country wants the job more than anyone else on the list. Allardyce has managed seven teams – Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland – and one would argue that he has not failed in any of his jobs, which is something that almost no-one else can claim. Football professionals who pick on Allardyce – Pep Guardiola had a crack at him in his first Manchester City media conference – made themselves look ridiculous. Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are two of Allardyce’s biggest public supporters, with both of them acknowledging that Big Sam knows a lot more about how both football and people work than most of his peers. Ferguson has endorsed Allardyce as Hodgson’s successor as England coach and it is not because, as a proud Scot, he wants to see England continue to under-deliver. Ferguson thinks that Allardyce is the best man for England job and he is right.
One of our tipsters highlighted big Sam at +1600 in the days after Hodgson’s resignation, but Allardyce is still available at odds of +100 with Coral, Bet365 and Betfred to realise his ambition of managing England in the near future. If you didn’t manage to get on straight away it’s still worth a punt on the Sunderland manager to take the top job.
Sam Allardyce to be named Next England Manager
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