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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 04:25 GMT
Who will fill Sven's shoes?
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson will leave his post after this summer's World Cup in Germany.

BBC Sport takes a look at the main contenders to succeed the Swede.

BOLTON'S SAM ALLARDYCE - 5/2

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce

Allardyce is fiercely ambitious and has done an outstanding job enabling Bolton to punch above their weight in the Premiership.

Made no secret of his desire to manage England, and despite a cliched reputation as a no-nonsense boss in the oldest British tradition, is one of the most scientific and forward-thinking of coaches.

Allardyce has also proved he can handle big names, as a succession of experienced foreign stars have flourished at Bolton.

He has, however, had to contend with growing criticism of Bolton's abrasive style.

And how would a man who reacted in such prickly fashion to recent claims that Bolton play "ugly" football cope with the incessant pressures and scrutiny of England?

CHARLTON'S ALAN CURBISHLEY - 3/1

Long regarded as one of the best English managerial talents, not only taking Charlton into the Premiership but showing the acumen to ensure they flourished.

A low-key individual, but hugely capable and well respected. He is also the perfect antidote to Eriksson's magnetic attraction to front-page headlines.

Often mentioned as a potential England manager, but there may be a question mark over whether his time has passed him by.

A real contender.

MIDDLESBROUGH'S STEVE MCCLAREN - 7/2

McClaren has been touted for years as Eriksson's natural successor, although quite why remains a mystery to many.

And the impending England vacancy has come at a time when McClaren's managerial stock is at its lowest.

Middlesbrough are having a woeful season and McClaren's big spending in the transfer market is being seriously questioned.

Dare England appoint a manager who is not even universally popular with his own supporters, who have criticised Middlesbrough's dour style?

McClaren is, in many ways, a mythical managerial figure and it is difficult to make a serious case for him as an international coach.

And if McClaren is only too happy to take the kudos of the highs under Eriksson, let's not forget he has also been involved in the lows.

Surely England can do better.

OTTMAR HITZFELD - 8/1

Brilliant coach with an astute tactical brain and a track record of success, winning the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

The appointment of another foreign coach is reportedly not high on the FA's agenda, although few would argue with Hitzfeld's credentials.

Highly capable but a rank outsider.

MARTIN O'NEILL - 10/1

O'Neill is rumoured by many to be the FA's favoured choice, but obstacles stand in the way.

He is currently in self-imposed exile from football after leaving Celtic to care for his wife, who is seriously ill.

O'Neill may also prefer to make his return, when it happens, in club football.

It is easy to understand the attraction for the FA. Charismatic, successful and clearly an outstanding motivator.

Sadly it might be a case of right man, wrong time.

AUSTRALIA AND PSV EINDHOVEN'S GUUS HIDDINK - 12/1

Brilliant Dutch coach, who has proved himself at club level and also on the international stage with Holland, South Korea and Australia.

Hiddink was behind South Korea's epic run to the World Cup semi-final in 2002 and also stepped in to take Australia to Germany this summer - doing all this while presiding over an increasingly impressive PSV Eindhoven side.

Could well be tempted by England though will also be a target for every top vacancy in Europe, such is his glowing reputation.

MANCHESTER CITY'S STUART PEARCE - 12/1

Pearce is in his first full season of management at Manchester City, so any link with England is surely a non-starter.

He was also fiercely critical of recent suggestions he could succeed Eriksson, claiming they were "ludicrous" and "embarrassing".

So that's a no then?




SEE ALSO
FA to begin hunt for England boss
24 Jan 06 |  Football
Exit will help England - Butcher
24 Jan 06 |  Internationals
Reaction to Eriksson's decision
24 Jan 06 |  Football
Eriksson to quit after World Cup
23 Jan 06 |  Football
Sven's swansong
24 Jan 06 |  Football
Eriksson's England era
24 Jan 06 |  Football


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