England Managers Past & Present

The England Manager has arguably the hardest job in English Sport, and is perhaps only behind the Prime Minister as being the hardest job in England.

Some England Managers have excelled while others have had less favourable experiences, all of which is highly scrutinised by the unforgiving English Media and demanding fans, all of whom have an opinion of the best way England should play.

When it’s going well, it’s great, when its not going well, its hell.

The following England Manager’s List is of the Men who have taken charge of the England Manager hot-seat.

Gareth Southgate

England Manager 2016 to present

Gareth Southgate’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Malta in a World Cup Qualifier. England won 2-0 and Southgate appointed Wayne Rooney as Captain.

Gareth Southgate originally managed the England under 21’s team between 2013 and 2016.

He then took temporary charge of the senior England team after Sam Allardyce in September 2016 but he then became the permanent manager in November 2016.

Gareth Southgate Managed England to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-Final

Gareth saw his England team qualify for the 2018 World Cup and finish second in the group stages. Wins against Colombia and Sweden set up a Semi-Final tie against Croatia. But it wasn’t to be and England Lost the Semi-Final.

This equalled the best performance by an England Team, outside of 1966, matching the Semi-Final achievement in Italia ’90

Sam Allardyce

England Manager 2016 (1 Match)

Sam Allardyce’s only match in charge was the opening game of the 2018 World Cup qualification Campaign, for which he appointed Wayne Rooney as Captain.

Sam Allardyce signed a two-year contract as England Manager but his reign only lasted for 67 days.

The Daily Telegraph said Allardyce had a meeting with undercover reporters posing as businessmen.

During the meeting, which was recorded on camera, it is alleged Allardyce said it was “not a problem” to bypass rules on third-party player ownership and claimed he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”.

Despite making a ‘sincere and wholehearted’ apology for his actions, this was the end of his tenure as England Manager.  The FA stressed he wasn’t sacked but his position had become ‘untenable’

Roy Hodgson

England Manager 2012 to 2016 (56 Matches)

He led his England side in Euro 2012 and they topped their group, but the team was knocked out in the next round after losing 4-2 on penalties against Italy.

Roy Hodgson also led England to its highest FIFA ranking of third in the world and then helped his team qualify for the 2014 World Cup unbeaten.

Roy Hodgson’s first match as England Manager was on 26 May 2012, away to Norway, in a friendly.  England won 1-0 and Hodgson appointed Steven Gerrard as Captain.

Unfortunately England had a disappointing time at the 2014 World Cup and crashed out of the tournament after finishing bottom of their group, losing to both Italy and Uruguay and being eliminated after just two games.  The final game, which was a dead rubber, ended in a draw,

Roy Hodgson remained in charge and took England into Euro 2016, but the team fell short of glory, suffering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Iceland in the round of 16, Hodgson resigned after the game.

Stuart Pearce

England Caretaker Manager (1 Match)

Stuart Pearce’s only match as England Caretaker Manager was at Wembley against Holland in a Friendly. England lost 2-3 and Pearce appointed Scott Parker as Captain.

Stuart Pearce was successful as the England U21 Manager.

In June 2009, Pearce guided the under-21s to the final of the 2009 UEFA Under-21 Championship, where they lost 4–0 to Germany.  He was also manager of the U21 team which reached the 2013 UEFA Under-21 Championship in Israel.

Fabio Capello

England Manager 2008 to 2011 (42 Matches)

Fabio Capello’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Switzerland in a Friendly. England won 2-1 and Capello appointed Steven Gerrard as Captain.

Fabio Capello took over as England manager at the start of 2008 after signing a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Fabio Capello led his England Team to qualification for the 2010 World Cup, but after making it out of the group stage, England were eliminated by Germany, losing 4-1 in the round of 16.

England successfully qualified for Euro 2012 and remained undefeated during the campaign, losing the quarter-final to Italy on penalties.

However, Capello then decided to resign towards the start of 2012 after the FA removed the captaincy role from John Terry.

Steve McClaren

England Manager 2006 to 2007 (18 Matches)

Steve McClaren’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Greece in a Friendly. England won 4-0 and McClaren appointed John Terry as Captain.

A number of poor results saw his England team fail to qualify for Euro 2008, making them the only seeded team not to do so.

Steve McClaren took over as England manager in 2006 and was immediately met with criticism from the press, as he brought in former England manager Terry Venables as his assistant.

It was also the first time in 14 years that England hadn’t qualified for a major tournament. McClaren was sacked shortly after.

Sven Goran-Eriksson

England Manager 2001 to 2006 (67 Matches)

Sven Goran-Eriksson’s first match as England Manager was at Villa Park against Spain in a Friendly. England won 3-0 and Sven appointed David Beckham as Captain.

Sven was under a lot of pressure with many in the media calling the current group of players a golden generation for the country.  Nothing like adding extra pressure on the team.

During the Euro 2004 tournament England reached the quarter-finals but lost 6-5 on penalties to Portugal, who later reached the final.

Sven Goran-Eriksson was the first non-English manager to get the role of England Manger and he saw his team reach the quarter-finals in the 2002 World Cup and 2004 Euros.

His final tournament as England manager was the 2006 World Cup where he lead England to the quarter-finals but they once again lost to Portugal on penalties.

Peter Taylor

England Caretaker Manager 2000 (1 Match)

Peter Taylor’s only match as England Caretaker Manager was at Stadio delle Alpi, Turin against hosts Italy in a Friendly. England lost 1-0 and Taylor appointed David Beckham as Captain.

Peter Taylor was successful as the England U21 Manager.

For this game Taylor looked to youth. He handed David Beckham the captain’s armband for the first time, and used six players then still eligible for the Under-21s; Gareth Barry, Jamie Carragher, Kieron Dyer, Rio Ferdinand, Emile Heskey and Seth Johnson.

Kcvin Keegan

England Manager 1999 to 2000 (18 Matches)

Kevin Keegan’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Poland in a European Championship Qualifier. England won 3-1 and Keegan appointed Alan Shearer as Captain.

Kevin Keegan took over the England role shortly after Glen Hoddle had been sacked

He led the team to a winning start with a Paul Scholes Hat-trick to inspire a 3–1 victory over Poland to reignite England’s Euro 2000 qualifying campaign, and they entered the qualification playoff with Scotland.

Two goals from Paul Scholes gave them a 2–0 win in the first leg, and despite a 1–0 defeat in the second leg, they qualified for the championships for the fourth tournament in succession.

He saw his England team crash out of Euro 2000 after failing to get out of the group stage.  He resigned later that year after England lost their first qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup.

Howard Wilkinson

England Caretaker Manager 1999 to 2000 (2 Matches)

Howard Wilkinson’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against France in a Friendly.  England lost 0-2 and Wilkinson appointed Alan Shearer as Captain.

The other of Howard Wilkinson’s two games as England Caretaker Manager was away to Finland in a 2002 World Cup Qualifier.  The game ended 0-0.

Glenn Hoddle

England Manager 1996 to 1998 (28 Matches)

Glenn Hoddle’s first match as England Manager was away to Moldova in a World Cup Qualifier. England won 3-0 and Hoddle appointed Alan Shearer as Captain.

Glenn Hoddle was a player/manager of Swindon Town and then Chelsea before taking the England role in 1996.

England qualified for the 1998 World Cup but were eliminated in the second round after losing against Argentina on penalties.

Hoddle’s contract was terminated by the FA after comments he made reportedly made about people with disabilities was published by The Times.

Terry Venables

England Manager 1994 to 1996 (24 Matches)

Terry Venables’ first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Denmark in a Friendly.  England won 1-0 and Venables appointed David Platt as Captain.

England had automatically qualified for Euro 1996 as hosts and the side topped their group in the tournament.

Terry Venables saw his side lose to Germany on penalties in the semi-finals.

Venables decided to resign as England manager in 1996 after the FA refused to extend his contract until seeing how the team performed in the tournament.

He ended his career as England manager with his head held high after losing only one match out of 24 played while he was in charge.

Graham Taylor

England Manager 1990 to 1993 (38 Matches)

Graham Taylor’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Hungary in a Friendly.  England won 1-0 and Taylor appointed Gary Lineker as Captain.

Graham spent just three years as England manager and had critics from the media because of his lack of title-winning credentials.

England qualified for Euro 1992 but unfortunately they finished bottom of their group after drawing two and losing one of their matches.

Graham Taylor resigned as manager shortly after England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

Sir Bobby Robson

England Manager 1982 to 1990 (95 Matches)

Bobby Robson’s first match as England Manager was away to Denmark in a European Championship Qualifier.  England drew 2-2 and Robson appointed Ray Wilkins as Captain.

Bobby Robson was one of England’s most decorated club managers after spending time at various clubs in a managerial career that lasted over 40 years.

During his time as England manager Robson led his England Team to a second group stage in 1982 and a quarter-final in 1986.

His biggest accomplishment came in 1990 when his England side made it to the 1990 World Cup semi-finals against Germany

Agonisingly England were to lose on penalties and the defeat saw his England career come to an end.

I remember watching the Hamlet commercial on TV after the game with a tear in my eye.

Ron Greenwoood

England Manager 1977 to 1982 (55 Matches)

Ron Greenwood’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Switzerland in a Friendly.  England drew 0-0 and Greenwood appointed Emlyn Hughes as Captain.

Ron helped England qualify for Euro 1980 but unfortunately they failed to get out of their group.

He then led England to their first World Cup in twelve years in 1982 but they failed to get out of the second group stage in the tournament.

After the World Cup Ron decided to resign from his role and retire from football.

Don Revie

England Manager 1974 to 1977 (29 Matches)

Don Revie’s first match as England Manager was at Wembley against Czechoslovakia in a European Championship Qualifier.  England won 3-0 and Revie appointed Emlyn Hughes as Captain.

Before becoming England Manager, Don Revie dominated the domestic scene as Manager of Leeds United, winning many trophies during his 13 years.

His success in the position led to him securing the job of England manager but unfortunately things didn’t go to plan and his team failed to qualify for the 1976 World Cup.

In 1977, Don had revealed to the Daily Mail that he was quitting his role to manager United Arab Emirates, which led to the FA suspending him from football for 10 years.  He successfully contested the suspension but England were once again left without as manager.

Joe Mercer

England Caretaker Manager 1974 (7 Matches)

Joe Mercer’s first match as England Manager was away to Wales in a British Home Championship match. England won 2-0 and Mercer appointed Emlyn Hughes as Captain.

After Alf Ramsey’s sacking as England Manager, Joe Mercer was asked to take over the England team on a caretaker basis.

He combined his role as Coventry manager at the same time. Mercer managed England for seven matches in 1974 and he was touted for the job permanently until the FA appointed Don Revie.

Sir Alf Ramsey

England Manager 1963 to 1974 (113 Matches)

Alf Ramsey’s first match as England Manager was away to France in a European Championship Qualifier.  England lost 5-2 and Ramsey appointed Jimmy Armfield as Captain.

Alf Ramsey is known for guiding England to its first and only World Cup win in 1966.

Shortly after taking over as England manager he made Bobby Moore captain and openly stated he felt England would win the 1966 World Cup.

His prediction came true when England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time in the final of the World Cup.

Unfortunately history was not to repeat itself, four years later, in the 1970 World Cup when England lost 3-2 to West Germany in the quarter-finals.

Failure to qualify for the 1974 eventually led to Alf Ramsey being sacked as England manager.

He will always be remembered as the man England Manager who won the World Cup.  I truly hope he is not the only one to do so.

Walter Winterbottom

England Manager 1946 to 1962 (139 Matches)

Walter Winterbottom’s first match as England Manager was away to Ireland in a British Home Championship match. England won 2-7 and Winterbottom appointed George Hardwick as Captain.

Walter Winterbottom was the first ever manager of England and he had no previous managerial experience when he was put in charge of the side.

England qualified for all four World Cups during his time in charge, including reaching the quarter-finals on two occasions in 1954 and 1962.

Walter Winterbottom has managed more England matches than any other manager.


No England Manager 1872 to 1939 (226 Matches)

England’s very first match was away to Scotland in a Friendly.  The games ended 0-0 and Cuthbert Ottaway was appointed as the first ever England Captain.

We’ll cover more about the England Team ‘Managed by Committee’ in a later article

Bobby Robson is the reason I fell in love with watching England.  His enthusiasm and knowledge sucked me in and I have loved the journey ever since.  Thanks Sir Bobby, you are sadly missed!

Just before Glenn Hoddle became England manager he was player/manager of my home town club, Swindon Town.

I remember getting off work to go and watch a reserve team game at the county Ground just to be able to see him play.  In my opinion Hoddle is the the most graceful and gifted player to play for England and was decades ahead of his peers.  He would have been a revelation in today’s Premier League.

The summer of 1994 and I watched a World Cup without England.  It was a strange feeling but I helped pass the time by taking part in my first ever fantasy football competition and along with my best mate Phil, we both got £1,000 bank loans (which was a lot of money) to simply go to the pub, drink beer, watch the football and talk to girls every day for 42 days.  What a summer!

Come On England


I send a “Come On England” and big thanks to the sources that made this article possible:
FIFA, England Stats, and photo credits mentioned at each image.