Euro 2012: 5 Candidates If Roy Hodgson Does Not Become England Manager
The FA announced on Sunday that they had approached Roy Hodgson, and only Roy Hodgson, to talk about the role of England manager.
It now looks highly likely that Hodgson will take over the England squad; he had previously given an interview in which he stated he would "be delighted" to be England manager.
However, Hodgson has not yet been appointed. There's still a chance that the FA will have a rethink, that Hodgson has changed his mind about the England job since the subject of the England job last arose in an interview or simply that the FA and Roy Hodgson will not be able to reach a deal. Stranger things have happened.
With that in mind, who else might the FA be calling, if things with Roy Hodgson don't go as planned?
The second Fabio Capello left his post as England manager, Harry Redknapp was installed as the favourite to take over, making the announcement that Roy Hodgson was being interviewed for the job especially surprising.
Since then, the calls for Redknapp's appointment have grown quieter, although they remain loud. Tottenham Hotspur have fallen into a slump, and the fourth place and Champions League football that looked so certain earlier this season looks a little less certain.
Aside from the fact that he's English, a major plus in the eyes of England fans and the FA, Redknapp is enormously experienced and knows the players of the Premier League as well as just about anybody.
He also has a track record for getting the most out of players—something required for an England side that's not the most technically gifted in the world.
Just because Redknapp's side have suffered a run of bad results shouldn't ruin all the good work he has done—both at Tottenham and his previous clubs.
Pep Guardiola recently left his post at Barcelona, where he had led the club to unparalleled success over the last four seasons, winning an incredible 13 trophies in his time at the club.
Guardiola stated during the press conference to announce his departure that he would be taking a year out of the game, but reports from Spain suggest he might be open to managing the England national side.
Guardiola cited exhaustion after four years at Barcelona as a reason for his departure, and an international job would give him more time with his family whilst staying active within the game. It would also provide him with an opportunity to prove that it was more than just the players behind the success the Nou Camp has witnessed over the last four years.
From the FA's point of view, Guardiola isn't English, which is a negative, but he would come without the need for compensation—a definite plus point.
Currently playing the role of caretaker, Stuart Pearce might still be in the job come Euro 2012. Whoever takes over the England squad, be it Roy Hodgson or anyone else, is going to have a tough time getting to know the players and imposing his style on the squad in time for a major tournament. Success is going to be hard.
Pearce has been working with the squad for several years and knows the players, just like they know him. This is undoubtedly a positive and makes the chances of a France 2010 style falling out far less likely.
Pearce lacks top-level experience—both at club and international level. However, what he has done, he has done well. His work with the England Under 21s has been impressive.
In 2007, he took them to the semifinals of the Euros, and in 2009, he got them all the way to the final—not bad work by any means.
Less impressive was the 2011 tournament, which saw the team fail to make it out of the group stages.
Pearce is probably not a long-term replacement, but bringing a new manager right before a tournament might not actually do the team any good. It could potentially raise expectations and continue the tradition of England fans overhyping the team's chances.
Alan Pardew is currently vastly overachieving at Newcastle United and is taking the fight for fourth place to the wire. Newcastle had been widely tapped to finish somewhere in the middle of the table, but now, could well finish above both Chelsea and Liverpool.
That's impressive work for a man who's appointment less than two years ago was widely condemned.
Alan Pardew, however, would not be a sensible choice for England manager. His achievements at Newcastle aside, his managerial record is not nearly impressive enough to warrant him being given control of England's footballing fortunes.
Perhaps, if he continues to perform at Newcastle over the next few years, he will be a deserving candidate, but right now, he's too much of a risk.
With Pep Guardiola gone from Barcelona, there's a chance for Jose Mourinho to make Real Madrid the dominant team in Spain. They look set to win La Liga this season, and Barcelona do not currently seem to be the all-conquering side they have been in the last few years.
However, there have been plenty of rumours linking the mercurial Mourinho to the England managerial post. Mourinho has even claimed that he was nearly made England manager instead of Fabio Capello, so there's clearly something the FA like about him.
Obviously, Mourinho would be expensive, given the compensation Madrid would demand, and foreign—things the FA seem to be looking to avoid.
However, he does have a track record of enormous success, the ability to stand up to the media and the mental fortitude to handle the pressure that comes with the role of England manager.
The odds of Real Madrid letting him go seem low at best, and if he were to leave Madrid, it seems more likely that it would be to return to Chelsea—perhaps, a candidate for the future.