The hunt for the new England Women manager is still on, and there seems to be a shortage of candidates interested.
The job seems to be a poisoned chalice, despite being very attractive from the outside. England reached the semi-finals of the last two major international tournaments – the 2015 World Cup and 2017 European Championships. They are currently number three in the FIFA World Rankings and number one in the UEFA European rankings.
Mark Sampson did an excellent job after taking over from Hope Powell, before being dismissed for inappropriate behaviour towards a Bristol Academy player. He was also found guilty of making racially insensitive remarks to Eni Aluko, in a long-running saga that led to the departure of England’s goalkeeping coach but no real punishment for Sampson.
One after the other, potential candidates are pulling out of the race – Emma Hayes and Nick Cushing extended their contract with Chelsea and Manchester City respectively. Laura Harvey left her Seattle Reign job, but decided to join Utah Royals and stay in the NWSL. John Herdman was also in the reckoning, before he decided to stay with Canada.
So, this leaves us with a declared candidate in Mo Marley, who has been the interim manager and has an excellent record for club and country. But looking at the FA latest stance, they don’t seem keen to give her the job, unless she hasn’t put her hat in the ring yet?
Someone like Keith Boanas, who has done it for club and country with Estonia, would also be a great choice as he is a well-respected coach. But the FA snub last time round, when they did not even interview him, shows they don’t appear to be interested.
You have to wonder why the job does not seem that attractive to coaches, considering the wealth of talent available and the fantastic facilities at St George’s Park, let alone the big investment made by the FA for all the England Women teams.
The next important games for England are the international friendlies played in the USA as part of the third and final SheBelieves Cup in March 2018. It leaves the FA with enough time to find the right fit, but it’s taken the English Football Association long time so far to find a permanent replacement.