Looking back on when we first met;  

I cannot escape and I cannot forget;  

Southgate, you’re the one; you still turn me on;  

and football’s coming home again 

Just as young Labour supporters appropriated Seven Nation Army for Jeremy Corbyn the year before, England supporters adaptation of Atomic Kitten’s You Can Bring It Home Again became the anthem of a summer. 

Despite the Three Lions performances being generally dismal from a footballing point of view, Southgate and his team laid the foundations in Russia 2018 and went from strength-to-strength in the Nations League. 

The football’s improved to the extent that Southgate is linked with some of the biggest jobs in English football. Chelsea, Manchester United, possibly even Arsenal; none of that trio of clubs has had an English manager since the mid-1990s.  

But if Southgate does go, who would inherit arguably some of the best young players we’ve seen in some time. I’m sure Sam Allardyce will be crying into his pint somewhere that it should have been him but that’s what you get for playing with fire. 

In reality, it’s hard to think of an England boss with Southgate’s popularity, certainly this century. Sven Goran Eriksson found love after a 5 – 1 win over Germany but not for long Roy Hodgson found only ridicule in memes. Probably Terry Venables at Euro ’96 was the last genuinely popular manager. 

Who then would take on Southgate’s mantle? We look at the contenders for Gareth’s waistcoat. 

Eddie Howe 

The Bournemouth boss is linked with every big job going, often as the token Englishman. His Cherries side plays football which is pleasing on the eye and in common with many England managers, has never won the league. 

Not since Howard Wilkinson’s caretaker stint has the Three Lions zookeeper been in charge of an English league championship winning side. Sven and Fabio Capello both won titles in two or more countries but never here. 

Probably the biggest negative Howe must overcome is the lack of European experience. Southgate spent three years managing the England Under-21s which proved invaluable in not only knowing the players but also different tactics. 

Odds on Eddie Howe becoming the next England boss: 4/1 with Marathon Bet 

Arsene Wenger 

For improving the technique of players and developing youth, there would be no better candidate. When it comes to winning tournaments, Arsene lost the knack in his later years. 

Straight knockout competitions such as the FA Cup never posed any particular problem, but Arsenal were always capable of dropping a ricket in the group phase of the Champions League and bar two seasons, never made headway in the knockout rounds.  

The Frenchman is 69 now and that would make him the oldest man to take charge of England and after the tribulations at the end of his Arsenal reign, would he want the aggravation the England job brings with it? 

Odds on Arsene Wenger becoming the next England boss: 5/1 with Paddy Power 

Sean Dyche 

If the Burnley boss took over, there’s no doubt we’d all be the Gruffalo’s Soldiers. Dyche’s reputation was built on a solid team ethic, with the defence underpinning everything.  

OK, so Burnley tried to rip up their manager’s playbook by being frankly awful this season at the back, but things are pulling together as the Clarets edge toward mid-table obscurity.  

Dyche is relatively open with the media, not that anyone argues with the imposing former Watford centre-back.  

Can he organise England into a genuine world force? The jury is out. Certainly, if anyone is going to exploit the natural tendency of English players to run hard, chase the ball and kick it long, Dyche will bring the best out of everyone. It would be very interesting to see his organisational skills allied to the elite players. 

Odds on Sean Dyche becoming the next England boss: 7/1 with Marathon Bet 

Frank Lampard / Steven Gerrard 

I know what you’re thinking; two midfielders who couldn’t play in the same team surely can’t manage it as a dream team? 

I beg to differ. The pair didn’t play in the same team because – mainly – Sven wouldn’t adapt his tactics to fit them in.  

Put an experienced tactician in the mould of Southgate’s right-hand man Steve Holland and the pair might find some common ground. Certainly, no-one would question their experience of dealing with the pressure of the role and the ability to pass that on.  

And let’s face, few roles in British football come with more intense scrutiny than the Rangers job so Gerrard is well-versed in being criticised for not winning well enough. 

Odds on Frank Lampard becoming the next England boss: 13/1 with Paddy Power while Steven Gerrard is 14/1 with Paddy Power. 

Published by Stuart Stratford

Stuart is a freelance writer based in the UK with more than a dozen years experience. He previously worked with Daily Mail betting, 10bet, Betway, Come On and a number of other international bookmakers, as well as ITV and Goal. Contact Stuart at stuart@aclfarsenal.co.uk.

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