FA: Next England boss will be English

ENGLAND chiefs have fuelled speculation over who will succeed Fabio Capello by confirming that the next manager of the national team will be an Englishman.

Capello, already under pressure following a dreadful World Cup campaign, attracted fresh criticism last week for clumsily declaring David Beckham’s international career over. Team England managing director Adrian Bevington admits communication between the manager and players could be improved, and concedes the Italian may need help in that department. That is unlikely to be an issue, however, if England’s next boss is a home-grown candidate, which Bevington says is the objective.

“That is the view in the discussions I have been involved in,” he said yesterday. “We enjoyed working with Sven-Goran Eriksson, and we have Fabio Capello in now. I think the English team should be managed by an English manager.”

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Capello while Stuart Pearce, the Under-21 manager, is also strongly fancied. Blackburn chief Sam Allardyce was interviewed by the FA before Steve McClaren got the job in 2006. Ex-Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill would be a prime candidate, were he not Northern Irish, while respected Liverpool Roy Hodgson is also likely to be in the frame.

Capello’s stock has fallen dramatically since the World Cup, although his contract runs until 2012.

“A lot of people have a very different view of Fabio Capello to the one they had before the World Cup,” added Bevington. “Our job is to support him as best we can. Maybe we can help him, and maybe now is the time to improve communications between manager and players.”

FAVOURITES TO REPLACE CAPELLO
HARRY REDKNAPP
9/4
Would love England job and is arguably best qualified, having enjoyed success at Portsmouth and now Tottenham. Off-field issues may count against him, however.

STUART PEARCE
7/2
Has been groomed as future England boss in role as Under-21 coach, but jury still out on his management credentials. May be in with better shout further down line.

ROY HODGSON
6/1
Has only just landed plum job at Liverpool so would be unlikely to contend in next two years. If Capello sees out his contract, however, time may be right for Hodgson.

SAM ALLARDYCE
11/1
Still bitter at missing out on job in 2006 and does not hold out much hope of a reprieve, but has his cheerleaders and, owing to lack of other options, will always be mentioned.