Sam Allardyce’s abortive reign as England manager ended in ignominy on Tuesday after just one match in charge.
The former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham and Sunderland boss departed the role, by mutual consent according to the Football Association (FA), after being secretly filmed by investigative journalists claiming he could aid the circumvention of regulations governing the transfer of players under third-party ownership.
Gareth Southgate, England’s Under-21 coach, will take temporary charge of the senior team for the next four matches, meaning a new manager is unlikely to be appointed until 2017.
We assess the candidates to succeed Allardyce on a long-term basis:
Southgate will have the advantage (or perhaps disadvantage) over his rivals of auditioning for the job with at least four matches in charge, World Cup qualifiers against Malta, Slovenia and Scotland, followed by a friendly meeting with Spain.
He oversaw the relegation of Middlesbrough from the Premier League to the Championship and England’s swift exit from the European Under-21 Championship last year, bottom of their group with one win from three matches.
But the 46-year-old is seemingly favoured by the FA and unlikely to fall foul of the same disreputable behaviour that claimed Allardyce.
Crystal Palace manager Pardew is among the most senior of the domestic candidates to take over.
The 55-year-old took Palace to defeat in the FA Cup final last season, while his record at Selhurst Park and Newcastle United prior to that is mixed at best.
Previously manager of Southampton, Charlton Athletic, West Ham and Reading, his outspoken character and disciplinary record – he was banned for seven matches after head-butting David Meyler in 2014 – may well count against him, particularly given the nature of Allardyce’s scandalous departure.
The 38-year-old is one of the bright young things of English coaching after leading Bournemouth to promotion and then consolidation in the Premier League.
Howe’s team earned the praise of Pep Guardiola for their style of play during the Cherries’ defeat to Manchester City earlier this season.
But it is surely too soon in his fledgling, albeit impressive, career for the FA to hand the former Portsmouth player the country’s top football job.
Less polished and photogenic than Howe, Dyche is nevertheless another relatively young English manager deemed to have the tactical nous and insight required to succeed at the highest level.
The 45-year-old has twice led Burnley to promotion in recent seasons, although he is yet to demonstrate he is capable of securing top-flight survival for the Clarets.
The appointment of Dyche would be unlikely to wow supporters desperate for encouragement after the Euro 2016 failure and Allardyce debacle.
Wenger’s contract at Arsenal is due to expire at the end of the season, raising the prospect of the FA extending Southgate’s temporary stewardship while seeking to engineer a graceful departure from the Emirates Stadium for the man who built the modern Gunners in his image, but is seemingly now unable to meet the expectations of glory he helped to establish in north London.
The Frenchman has won three Premier League titles and six FA Cups since moving to England in 1996.
It remains to be seen if Wenger is willing to give up the total control and day-to-day involvement he is addicted to at Arsenal for the supervisory position of an international coach.
Available after leaving Hull City in the off-season, the 55-year-old’s stock is relatively high, having guided the Tigers to the top flight, only to walk out over uncertainty behind the scenes and a lack of activity in the transfer market.
Bruce notoriously never played for his country at full international level despite starring for Manchester United at centre-back.
The former Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland manager would be a steady but unspectacular appointment.
Blanc is available after leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season. He enjoyed consistent success in the French capital and with Bordeaux prior to that.
The 50-year-old briefly played in England with Manchester United and has coached in international football with France, taking Les Bleus to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.