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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 11:02 GMT
England managerial contenders

By Mandeep Sanghera

Steve McClaren has been relieved of his England managerial duties and the search for his successor has started.

The England job divides opinion - some consider it one of the top international posts, while others see it as a poisoned chalice.

BBC Sport looks at who is in the frame.


How England fans would love the self-proclaimed "Special One" to become the England manager.

Jose Mourinho
Ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho would be a popular choice with England fans

The maverick and charismatic Portuguese is currently out of a job after his Chelsea exit earlier this season and has all the credentials to handle such a mammoth undertaking.

But there are suggestions that, although he is champing at the bit to return to management, he would prefer to stay in club football rather than take charge at international level.

Mourinho has experience at the highest levels in club football having led Porto to the Portuguese league titles and Champions League winners' trophy before two successive Premier League titles with Chelsea.

Tactically astute, he also has the requisite ego, and oozes the confidence and arrogance, to handle the biggest names as well as not being afraid to put the team before big-name stars.

The FA may yet be able to test his resolve with the right financial package, while the carrot of having the chance to win the World Cup may tempt him.


The Aston Villa manager is, along with Mourinho, an early favourite with bookmakers for the job - but has appeared to rule himself out.

He was overlooked in favour of McClaren last summer after reports suggested his no-nonsense manner did not go down too well with his FA interviewers.

O'Neill is famed for the motivational skills, which England are in desperate need of, while his strength of personality and unflinching belief suggest he can more than handle the rigours of the job and players.

England may have to disregard hopes of the more aesthetically pleasing football for more of a results-based game under him but that seems like a minor sacrifice at present.

O'Neill's chairman Randy Lerner has said he would not stand in his manager's way if he wanted the England job, but he may not have to if his initial comments are anything to go by.


The exploits of Redknapp at Portsmouth have seen him emerge as a viable candidate.

He kept Portsmouth up against the odds in spectacular fashion in 2005/2006 before leading them to ninth last season and sixth at present so far this term.

Redknapp's side play effective and open football, and the fact he is English furthers his cause.

The FA may see his penchant for the controversial as a major drawback, while Redknapp's lack of experience at the top of the Premier League and in Europe is also likely to count against him.


Placards of (clockwise from top left): Luiz Felipe Scolari, Jose Mourinho, Martin O'Neill, Guus Hiddink and David Beckham outside the FA's headquarters
Placards of (clockwise from top left): Scolari, Mourinho, O'Neill, Hiddink and Beckham outside FA headquarters

He claims he was offered the job before McClaren but turned it down because he had already agreed to take over Russia.

Hiddink has only recently extended his contract with Russia until 2010 and is unlikely to be prised away from his role until after leading their challenge at Euro 2008.

At 60, his agent has also suggested the Dutchman may prefer to stay away from a position which entails such a spotlight.


The Brazilian World Cup winner has succeeded in leading Portugal to Euro 2008 - and his sides have knocked England out of the last three major tournaments.

He was courted by the FA after Sven-Goran Eriksson's exit and the publicity surrounding FA chief executive Brian Barwick's trip to meet him undermined McClaren's appointment.

Scolari then stated he did not want the job and he is a firm outsider because the FA will not wait for him until after he masterminds Portugal's Euro 2008 challenge next summer.


The Blackburn manager has won plenty of admirers for his exploits with Wales and Rovers, but his decision to sign a new deal at Ewood Park presumably ends his chances.

His side play a physical game with football which is pleasing to the eye and, most of all, they get results.

Hughes led Blackburn into Europe last season but the fact his side went out in the first round and a lack of experience may count against the FA targeting him.


Shearer has no managerial experience and would be a wild-card appointment.

The former Newcastle striker does have a track record of producing the goods as a player on the international stage and is likely to have the respect of the players.


He can also cite the example of Jurgen Klinsmann taking over as Germany boss without any previous experience and leading his country to the semi-finals of last year's World Cup.


The way former Tottenham striker Klinsmann breathed new life into the German national team and the vibrancy with which it played was impressive.

He left his job with Germany after the World Cup and, despite the America-based Klinsmann reportedly being courted by Chelsea, he has yet to take up another post.

But, after leaving Germany, he may feel it would be insulting to his home nation if he came back into the game to become manager of England, while the FA would also be cautious in going for Klinsmann because of his nationality.


The two Italians are currently out of the game but are revered for the success they have enjoyed.

Lippi led Italy to the World Cup last year, while Capello led Real Madrid to the Spanish league title last season before leaving the club during the summer.

Capello has stated his ambition to take the job but a style of play revolving around the defensive side of the game from both these elder statesmen could put them out of the running.

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