Once seen as management's brightest young star, Steve McClaren has built up a reputation as amiable, uncontroversial and, above all, English.
McClaren is seen by many as steady and solid, with years of experience in the England camp
Add in his efforts in guiding Middlesbrough to last season's Uefa Cup final and FA Cup semi-final and his appointment as England manager after a long-running search was inevitable.
In the closing stages of the season, the former journeyman midfielder bounced back from being a managerial also-ran to become Sven-Goran Eriksson's obvious replacement.
The 45-year-old has certainly paid his dues with a footballing career that spans back to 1979.
McClaren enjoyed playing spells at Hull, Derby and Bristol City before hanging up his boots at Oxford in 1992.
He went almost straight into coaching, working his way up through the ranks at Oxford before making his mark as Jim Smith's number two at Derby in 1995.
Derby's promotion to the Premiership and subsequent mid-table steadiness led to McClaren being hunted down for a backroom post at Manchester United.
Unveiled as Brian Kidd's successor and manager Alex Ferguson's number two in 1999, he was widely seen as the tactical brains behind Manchester United's treble success of winning the Premiership, Champions League and FA Cup in the same year.
Born: York, 03/05/61
Playing career: Hull, Derby, Lincoln, Bristol City, Oxford
Coaching career: Oxford (youth team coach), Derby (assistant), Man Utd (assistant), England (assistant coach), Middlesbrough (manager)
The man from York thus became touted as one of the best coaches in the English game before he had even landed a top managerial job.
It was at United that McClaren enjoyed his first spell in the England fold, when he and Peter Taylor took joint charge for a friendly against Italy in Turin after Kevin Keegan's abrupt resignation in November 2000.
He stayed on as assistant coach when Eriksson was appointed, helping England reach the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup.
But he quit the role to concentrate all his efforts on managing Boro, whom he had joined the season before.
His efforts were rewarded in 2004 with Middlesbrough's first trophy in 128 years - the Carling Cup - but McClaren returned assist Eriksson at Euro 2004.
Despite his Cup win, McClaren has enjoyed a fairly unremarkable but steady five-year stint at Boro, notching up a string of mid-table finishes in the league.
McCLAREN'S RECORD AT BORO
12 June 2001 - 11 May 2006
2001/02: 12th (Premiership) & FA Cup semi-final
2003/04: 11th & League Cup winners
2005/06: 14th, Uefa Cup final & FA Cup semi-final
The club achieved their highest Premiership finish of seventh in 2005 but it was his final season at the Riverside that arguably proved to be McClaren's most successful.
When Eriksson announced his decision to step down, Boro lost 7-0 to Arsenal - a January drubbing that led to the club slumping to 17th in the table.
The result against the Gunners provoked some supporters to call for McClaren's head and he was all but out of the England running.
But the world of football is fickle and in the following weeks the team built up solid runs in the Uefa Cup and FA Cup and also beat champions-elect Chelsea 3-0 at home.
As the other contenders - such as Alan Curbishley, Sam Allardyce and Luiz Felipe Scolari - fell by the wayside, McClaren's credentials as a suitable candidate went from strength to strength.
It was believed the Football Association, keen to get away from Eriksson's tenure, favoured someone English and uncontroversial.
McClaren ticked all the boxes and, knowing the England set-up inside-out, he was deemed to be the 'safe pair of hands' that the FA had been looking for.