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Manager or Coach?

England's Managers/Coaches

Last update includes no.1062 against Spain on 14 July 2024
Football Association Select Committee
1872 to 1887
P 31 W 14 D 5 L 12 F 97: A 61
International Select Committee
1888 to 1939
P 195 W 124 D 32 L 39 F 577: A 232
Walter Winterbottom (ISC)
1946 to 1962
P 139 W 78 D 33 L 28 F 383: A 196 one match abandoned
Alf Ramsey
1963 to 1974
P 113 W 69 D 27 L 17 F 224: A 98
Joe Mercer
P 7 W 3 D 3 L 1 F 9: A 7
Don Revie
1974 to 1977
P 29 W 14 D 8 L 7 F 49: A 25
Ron Greenwood
1977 to 1982
P 55 W 33 D 12  L 10 F 93: A 40
Bobby Robson
1982 to 1990
P 95 W 47 D 30 L 18 F 154: A 60
Graham Taylor
1990 to 1993
P 38 W 18 D 13 L 7 F 62: A 32
Terry Venables
1994 to 1996
P 24 W 11 D 14 L 1 F 35: A 13 one match abandoned
Glenn Hoddle
1996 to 1998
P 28 W 17 D 6 L 5 F 42: A 13
Howard Wilkinson
1999 and 2000
P 2 W 0 D 1 L 1 F 0: A 2
Kevin Keegan
1999 to 2000
P 18 W 7 D 7 L 4 F 26: A 15
Peter Taylor
P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 F 0: A 1
Sven Göran Eriksson
2001 to 2006
P 67 W 40 D 17 L 10 F 128: A 61
Steve McClaren
2006 to 2007
P 18 W 9 D 4 L 5 F 32: A 12
Fabio Capello
2008 to 2011
P 42 W 28 D 8 L 6 F 89: A 35
Stuart Pearce
P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 F 2: A 3
Roy Hodgson
2012 to 2016
P 56 W 33 D 15 L 8 F 109: A 44
Sam Allardyce
P 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 F 1: A 0
Gareth Southgate
P 102 W 61 D 24 L 17 F 213: A 72
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Not until 1946 did the England national team have a manager or coach.  From 1870, when England played their first match, a friendly not recognised as official, until the Second World War, the team was selected by International Select Committee functionaries, at first the F.A. Secretary and later the F.A.'s International Committee.  Although most of the national teams of Continental Europe and South America had coaches from their beginnings, England's footballing establishment viewed coaching with suspicion in general and as unnecessary at this level in particular.  The selected players simply showed up, took the pitch and played their own game.  Match preparation, if there was time for it, was limited to training runs, conditioning exercises and perhaps a kickabout or two.

The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), a scholarly enterprise based in Wiesbaden, Germany, claims in its book on England's matches before the Second World War that Herbert Chapman was the team "trainer"--a term it uses in the Continental European sense of manager or coach--for the 1-1 draw with Italy in Rome on 13 May 1933 and that Thomas Whittaker was the "trainer" for six matches, the 5-2 win against Scotland at Wembley Stadium on 5 April 1930, the 2-1 loss to Austria in Vienna on 6 May 1936, the 3-2 loss to Belgium in Brussels on 9 May 1936, and the last three pre-war matches in 1939, the 2-2 draw with Italy in Milan on 13 May, the 2-1 loss to Yugoslavia in Belgrade on 18 May, and the 2-0 victory over Romania in Bucharest on 24 May.  IFFHS, England (1872 - 1940), Eire (1924 - 1940), England/Amateurs (1906 - 1940): Full Internationals, pp. 116, 126, 134-35, 147-49 (IFFHS, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2000).  

Chapman, the famed Huddersfield Town and Arsenal manager of the 1920's and 1930's, did indeed play an advisory role in England's two-match Continental European tour of 1933, which also included the 4-0 win against Switzerland in Berne on 20 May as well as the draw with Italy a week earlier, but he never received an official appointment with the England team and acted in an entirely informal capacity.  Another historian has the proper perspective:  "in 1933, despite objections from selectors, he acted as unofficial manager to the England team in Italy and Switzerland with considerable success.  His tactical pre-match team talks helped effect a 4-0 victory over a strong Swiss team, and a 1-1 draw against Italy, in Rome."  Tony Say, "Herbert Chapman: Football Revolutionary?", The Sports Historian, vol 16, pp. 81-98 (May, 1996).  

Whittaker, too, accompanied the England team on occasion.  But at the time he was the physical trainer for Arsenal, under Chapman at first and, following Chapman's death in early 1934, George Allison.  It was almost certainly that role he filled with England; he certainly never received an appointment making him coach or manager of the England team.  Whittaker did not become a manager himself until 1947, when he succeeded Allison at Arsenal.  The IFFHS itself seems uncertain about Whittaker's role.  While its book names him as trainer in the summaries of six matches taking place in 1930, 1936 and 1939, it inconsistently has him as trainer for only the three 1939 matches in the tabular record that follows the match summaries.

The role Chapman or Whittaker filled with the England team was purely on an ad hoc basis.  The F.A. did not give either of them official appointments putting them in charge of the team, and neither ever had anything resembling the authority of a manager or coach over the England team.  For these reasons, it would be inaccurate to include them in the list of England managers/coaches. 

When international play resumed in 1946 following World War II's seven-year disruption, Walter Winterbottom was named England's first coach and manager.  For the first few months of his tenure, he had responsibility for the national team as national director of coaching, but in May, 1947, immediately after England's 1-0 loss to Switzerland in Zürich, he was appointed England team manager.  Under neither title did Winterbottom have the final authority to select the England team, which still rested with the International Committee.  While Winterbottom played an advisory role in team selection, he had to negotiate for the inclusion of players he wanted and he usually ended up accepting players who were not his first choice as part of the bargaining process.  

The International Committee yielded the selection power only in 1963, after Winterbottom's successor, Alf Ramsey, accepted the manager's post on the condition that he alone would hold authority over team selection. The ISC disbanded in mid-63, only to be reorganised for Ramsey's first three matches in charge, whilst he still took care of his club, Ipswich Town FC. Since his fourth match, that power has remained with England's manager or head coach ever since.

Over the 45 years from Winterbottom's appointment in 1946 to the World Cup finals of 1990, England had only five permanent managers, which works out to an average tenure of nine years.  Another 22 years on, England have had another eight permanent managers or coaches.  Terry Venables, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson were given the title national team coach rather than manager when they were retained.  The diminution in title came in Venables' case because the F.A. wished to minimise his managerial role in view of his business and legal disputes.  In Eriksson's case, it presumably was the result of his foreign origins.  McClaren, Capello and Hodgson continued on the position.

Four managers/coaches--Joe Mercer, Howard Wilkinson, Peter Taylor and Stuart Pearce--were appointed as caretakers.  Mercer served for seven matches in May and June, 1974 after the F.A. sacked England's second and most successful manager, Alf Ramsey.  Wilkinson twice served for single matches, the first following Glenn Hoddle's brokered resignation in February, 1999 and the second after Kevin Keegan's resignation in October, 2000.  Peter Taylor, while continuing as manager of Leicester City in the English Premiership, succeeded Wilkinson under an appointment encompassing only the friendly match against Italy on 15 November 2000.  He was reappointed to take charge of the friendly match against Spain on 28 February 2001, but that reappointment became moot with Eriksson's early assumption of the coaching reigns.  Eriksson retained Taylor as a member of his coaching staff, but club pressure forced Taylor to relinquish his England role after the season ended.  Stuart Pearce, the under-21 and Olympic team manager, stepped in after Capello resigned, and was even prepared to take England in the European Championship 2012 finals, before Roy Hodgson was appointed.