So just two months after taking the job, Sam Allardyce has become an Ex-England manager, and almost immediately the bookmakers were offering their new England manager odds.
Allardyce’s ‘inappropriate’ comments about his predecessor and the FA’s rules on third party player ownership surfaced on Monday night and from that moment, his departure was as swift as it was inevitable. Gareth Southgate, who has been placed in temporary charge until November’s friendly against Spain, is the early market leader to replace Allardyce, at 6/4 with Coral, although the market will likely be extremely fluid.
The problem for the FA – and for punters looking to sting the bookmakers – is that the next appointment must be squeaky clean, and the Telegraph’s promise of more revelations about other current and former coaches looms large over proceedings. It’s quite possible that half a dozen of the names in the market will be eliminated by further allegations, but Under-21 boss Southgate seems unlikely to be among them.
Steve Bruce, unemployed since leaving Hull in the summer, attracted plenty of the early money before Southgate’s role was enhanced on Tuesday evening, and the former Wigan, Birmingham and Sunderland boss is now second favourite at a best price of 3/1 with BetVictor, Unibet and Betfair.
Given that Bruce was apparently the only other person to have been approached by the FA to replace Roy Hodgson in the summer, the man who took both Birmingham and Hull to promotions from the Championship and then led Hull to the FA Cup final in 2014, looks a prime candidate.
Beyond the leading two come the candidates who would have been considered as long-term replacements for Allardyce – headed by Alan Pardew and Eddie Howe.
Pardew sporadically gets results but has been known to rub the FA up the wrong way (headbutting opposition players, for example), thus Howe looks the more obvious choice to fit those ‘squeaky clean’ Football Association requirements.
The Bournemouth manager, who recently described the Three Lions post as ‘the ultimate job’, is certainly one of the brightest young coaches around and his team plays an attractive brand of football – almost the polar opposite of Allardyce in fact. But the 38-year-old is surely considered to be too inexperienced at this stage of his fledgling career.
Glenn Hoddle has been through the process before and left under a cloud and, having removed Allardyce, the FA surely can’t re-appoint a man they sacked under similar circumstances. Arsene Wenger is in the final year of his contract at Arsenal and would be a much more attractive proposition, particularly if he could be persuaded to take the job for a couple of years as a mentor to the likes of Howe. Wenger’s odds are currently shortening but he is available at 12/1 with Betfred.
Roberto Mancini, Guus Hiddink and Laurent Blanc are among the continental options, all at 33/1, and may well have their prices cut significantly if any of the names listed above find their way into Telegraph articles over the coming days.