NEW Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled himself out of the running to be the next England manager, insisting he has just landed his “dream job” at Parkhead.
Monday’s humiliating Euro 2016 last-16 exit to Iceland led to Roy Hodgson’s immediate resignation and left the national game in a state of flux.
Outgoing Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has questioned why anybody would want to manage England – a job bookmakers’ favourite Gareth Southgate is said to have no interest in.
The FA maintains it will conduct a thorough search to secure the right person to take the national team forwards, and appointing another overseas coach has not been ruled out.
While the likes of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and Laurent Blanc, recently dismissed by Paris St Germain, are all among the names being touted as possible foreign candidates, Sam Allardyce and Glenn Hoddle are two others said to be under consideration.
One man, however, who will not be throwing his hat into the ring is Rodgers.
The Northern Irishman was only appointed as the new manager of Celtic at the end of May, and is solely focused on the Scottish Premiership club, who are continuing preparations for their upcoming Champions League qualifier with a friendly against NK Celje in Slovenia.
“I haven’t put a foot wrong here! Brilliant. It shows you what the world of football is now, the gossip and speculation that goes on,” Rodgers said, quoted by several national newspapers.
“I’ve just landed my dream job. The team I’ve supported all my life. I haven’t even walked out for my first game.
“Imagine me as a Celtic supporter having walked out on the job at Parkhead!
“Is it flattering? It’s football. There are very few professions where one minute you’re up, then down, then up again – that’s just how it goes.
“If people think I can do jobs at a high level, then that’s fine.
“But I’m busy here, worrying about what I have to do here.
“I’ll be at Celtic, that’s for sure.”
While laughing off the speculation linking him with the vacancy, the former Liverpool manager knows whomever is eventually appointed faces a stern test.
“It’s a tough job, England. They’ve got a lot of good players but there is huge pressure, huge expectancy,” Rodgers added.
“There is a great group of players there. They’ve got some wonderful talents in that England squad, but it has been difficult for them at this tournament – and it has been like that for a few tournaments.
“So it’s unfortunate how it ended for Roy because he’s a good man, a very good coach.
“They now obviously have to appoint someone and look at creating an identity, a way the team can play.”
FA chief executive Glenn suggested on Tuesday it could take as long as a year to name a permanent successor, saying England Under-21s manager Southgate would be a “pretty obvious” interim solution.
However, it was widely reported on Wednesday evening that he has no interest in succeeding Hodgson, nor has he been contacted by the FA.
Those reports saw the odds on him becoming England manager lengthen, although the man who led the under-21s to Toulon Tournament glory last month remains favourite.
Dyke, meanwhile, is set to leave the FA next month, and the 68-year-old appears relieved not to be involved in those discussions.
“It’s got to be somebody who really knows English football,” he said, as reported by The Guardian.
“But there are loads of them now, more of them than there are English.
“You need someone who knows about English football. But Martin (Glenn, FA chief executive) made clear you go for the best person. The harder question is why anybody would want it.”
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