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banner Monday, 9 October, 2000, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
The worst job in Britain
Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Moore
The Holy Grail - an England World Cup win
What happens to England football managers when it is all over? Are they put out to pasture or can they be recycled? BBC Sport Online's Matt Slater investigates.

Wanted: One England manager. Must have relevant experience and rhino hide-like skin. Preferably English (although foreigners with good English will be considered...please!). Salary: we will check the biscuit tin. Prospects: almost none.

If you are still interested in following the 11 brave souls who have tried the job, it is worth considering what will happen when - and you almost definitely will - fail.

While ex-presidents found libraries, former popes move upstairs and one-time captains of industry take up honorary directorships, where do ex-England managers go?

  The Few
Winterbottom: 1946-62
Ramsey: 1963-74
Mercer: 1974
Revie: 1974-77
Greenwood: 1977-82
Robson: 1982-90
Taylor: 1990-93
Venables: 1994-96
Hoddle: 1996-99
Wilkinson: 1999 and 2000
Keegan: 1999-2000
Kevin Keegan, the most recent to fail to deliver the requisite miracles, will presumably divide his time between his race horses and the golf course - but will he ever work at football's highest levels again?

Not if past experience is anything to go by.

Admittedly, Glenn Hoddle has only just started his resurrection, and may go on to bigger jobs than Southampton, but for the others who have passed through Lancaster Gate's revolving door, retirement or second-tier jobs have been the norm.


Sir Walter Winterbottom, who managed the national side in a more forgiving time, enjoyed - if that is the right word - the longest stint in charge, 1946 to 1962.

During that time England gave up their unbeaten home record to Hungary, infamously lost to a rag-tag American side and, despite a hard-to-budge sense of superiority, won absolutely nothing.

Sir Walter Winterbottom
Winterbottom was shocked by the Marvellous Magyars
When Winterbottom retired, Sir Alf Ramsey was summoned to lead England's assault on the 1966 World Cup. Well, he won it - but only just.

If he had quit then he could have been the exception to the England job equals misery equation.

But Ramsey stayed on for a further eight years - doing little to embellish his reputation - and ended up being hounded out of the job after failing to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

For Ramsey it was a case of from top of the world to Birmingham City in a few short strides.

Next to warm the manager's seat was 'Uncle Joe' Mercer, although he, perhaps wisely, took the position on a temporary basis.

Coming in from the cold to replace Mercer was the much respected Don Revie.


Three mediocre years later, Revie, by now the most reviled man in England, decided to swap the brick bats and sand bags of the England job for a high salary and low expectations as manager of the United Arab Emirates.

Don Revie
Revie went from Leeds hero to England zero
Considering the Football Association tried to ban Revie from the game for ten years for having the cheek to quit, it was perhaps remarkable that anyone decided to follow him.

But they did, and Ron Greenwood was next to try.

The amiable Greenwood made a decent fist of things and was probably relieved to reach retirement in 1982 without attracting too much scorn.

His replacement, Bobby Robson, was not so fortunate despite coming closer to delivering the goods than anyone besides Ramsey.


But it is the very nature of the England manager's fate that Robson's failure at the 1988 European Championships is as much his legacy as his decent tilts at World Cup glory in 1986 and 1990.

Although he officially left of his own accord, Robson went into Italia 90 knowing the FA had found a replacement and that only winning the World Cup itself would save his job.

The likeable Robson, however, is the only ex-England manager, so far, to experience top-flight football again.

Ron Greenwood
Greenwood was the most well-rounded manager
But it is significant that he had to go abroad to do so. And it was only after successful stints in Holland, Portugal and Spain, that he was given another chance at a leading English club.

Replacing Robson was Graham Taylor, and with the former Lincoln City stalwart it is a case of the least said the better.

Having flown too close to the sun, Taylor has sought to regain some credibility and confidence at safer altitudes, Wolves and Watford.


With the turnip departed, the FA enstalled the people's favourite, Terry Venables.

The dapper don seemingly had it all: a glittering playing career, success as a club manager, the respect of his players and the press, a pop record and a co-writing credit on a hit TV show.

An under-fire Glenn Hoddle
Hoddle suffered for his bizarre beliefs
Too good to be true? Well, the FA certainly thought so, and after coming within a whisker of adding only the second trinket to England's hardly bursting trophy cabinet at Euro 96 he was off to the greener, and gentler, pastures of Portsmouth, Crystal Palace and Australia.

The aforementioned Hoddle's stint at the pulpit was a curious mix of surprising success, deflating defeat and new age psycho-babble.

Sadly, the latter prevailed and Hoddle was soon given the hair shirt and wilderness treatment.

Which brings us to Keegan. Well, as everyone outside of the most isolated Amazonian tribe knows, the Mighty Mouse came up short and now we are left with the caretaker's caretaker, Howard Wilkinson.

So whose head will be on the block next? Could it be time for Hoddle's second coming, a reprieve for Venables or a Robson swansong? Over to you Adam Crozier.

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See also:

09 Oct 00 |  World Cup 2002
FA's old guard on the edge
09 Oct 00 |  World Cup 2002
England's foreign option
09 Oct 00 |  World Cup 2002
England's contenders
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