With Roy Hodgson seemingly the FA's first choice to replace Fabio Capello as England boss, Sky Sports' Adam Bate looks beyond the initial hysteria to find out how the Englishman's record compares to his possible Euro 2012 counterparts.
By Adam Bate - Follow me: @GhostGoal. Last Updated: April 30, 2012 2:17pm
So it seems Roy Hodgson is set to be the next manager of England's football team. And the derision has already begun. The tabloids are predictably apoplectic, shrieking in horror about this "amazing snub". Whether the Football Association is supposed to have snubbed press room favourite Harry Redknapp or the barely disguised hopes and dreams of their own editorial staff isn't entirely clear.
But it's not just the tabloid press. When one of the broadsheets sees fit to indulge in a cheap jibe about Hodgson's bathroom cabinet being bigger than his trophy cabinet, you could be forgiven for assuming the FA is dragging in the nearest wastrel off the streets for a chat at Wembley HQ. As it is, even acknowledging his failings at Liverpool, the manager-elect has a CV that bears comparison to his peers and predecessors.
Perhaps it's a product of these increasingly demanding times. The last two World Cup winning managers, Spain's Vicente del Bosque and Italy's Marcello Lippi, already had Champions League victories on their CV. And yet, it's something of a new phenomenon - they were the first two to ever to do so.
Prior to their success, international management was seen as a different beast. Perhaps more suited to the administrator with an eye for detail rather than the transfer wheeler-dealer (naming no names). And, of course, a man with tournament experience. A priceless commodity, as Fabio Capello discovered.
A brief history of the European Championships reveals the broader trend. Each of the three winning managers from 1992 to 2000 - Richard Moller Nielsen, Berti Vogts and Roger Lemerre - had served their apprenticeship as an assistant to the national team manager. And it is this knowledge of international tournament play that Hodgson's supporters will cling to in the coming weeks.
The West Brom boss led Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup where they finished second in their group before being ousted by Spain at the last 16 stage. It was a commendable effort that included a 4-1 victory over the otherwise impressive Romanians and represented Switzerland's most successful World Cup since they had hosted the tournament 40 years earlier.
Even in the field of club management, the international element to Hodgson's experience is in stark contrast to that of Redknapp - a man seemingly uncomfortable managing beyond the environs of Dorset. Ten of the other 15 managers at Euro 2012 have experience of coaching in multiple countries, suggesting a globetrotting outlook goes hand-in-hand with the role.
Hodgson's titles in Sweden and Denmark may be viewed as key achievements or an utter irrelevance but four other managers at Euro 2012 have won titles in two or more countries with an additional two having done so outside the nation they are coaching.
One of those men is Germany boss Joachim Low. While Germany are many people's tip to lift the trophy in Kiev this summer, it is tempting to think Low's CV would be the subject of scathing criticism were he English. Low boasts a solitary league title with Tirol Innsbruck in Austria, while the high-point of his career in European club football was leading Stuttgart to the final of the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup. Something Hodgson, a two-time runner-up in European finals, could no doubt identify with.
Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk did at least go one better in winning the 2002 UEFA Cup with Feyenoord. But the man who so nearly took the Dutch to their first World Cup win in 2010 also had his struggles in club football and could only guide current Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund to a couple of 7th place finishes from 2004 to 2006. That's the same position Hodgson took Fulham to in the 2008-09 Premier League season.
When you then consider that Italy will be coached at Euro 2012 by Cesare Prandelli, a man yet to win a trophy in his managerial career, it seems somewhat unfair to suggest England will be at a deadly disadvantage in the dugout this summer. Indeed, Hodgson's standing in the international game means his appointment will hardly raise an eyebrow beyond these shores - he will be seen as a natural fit.
Having served on various UEFA and FIFA technical study groups and being a man likely to take a keen interest in the St George's Park development at Burton, Hodgson is a darling of the football bureaucrats rather than the cab-drivers of this country's capital. "That global view is very important and Roy has it," said long-time UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh. "It is about knowing the game in the country where you are working but being aware of the trends developing elsewhere, knowing the good players. Seeing that bigger picture is a great advantage."
How much that "great advantage" actually counts for remains to be seen. Roy Hodgson is a credible appointment with a broad knowledge of the game. But he's not Harry Redknapp. And while Hodgson could survive fans' apathy, perhaps even journalists' rage, the concern will be whether he can overcome his own players' disappointment that the man they apparently wanted has not been given the job. If that's the case it would be a great pity - because there's more to Hodgson's CV than 28 uninspiring weeks with Liverpool.