Roy Hodgson’s resignation in the wake of the humiliating Euro 2016 exit to Iceland leaves England in a state of flux.
Nice witnessed one of the most embarrassing nights in English football history on Monday as the country that gave birth to the sport lost to the smallest nation ever to make a major tournament.
Most worrying was the fact Iceland fully deserved the 2-1 win against a ponderous, uninspired and ragged Three Lions, with Hodgson stepping down as manager 20 minutes after the final whistle.
“I’m extremely disappointed, of course, about tonight’s result and ultimately our exit from the competition,” he said in the post-match press conference while sat alongside coaches Ray Lewington and Gary Neville, who are also departing.
“We haven’t progressed as far as I thought we were capable of, and that’s obviously not acceptable.
“I am actually proud of the work that my coaching staff and I have achieved in our time at the helm with England.
“The transition from a squad whose average was 30 to now being the youngest in the tournament is both remarkable and exciting for the future of English football.
“I would have loved to stay on for another two years, however I am pragmatic and know that we are in the results business.
“My contract was always up after the Euros so now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young, hungry and extremely talented group of players.
“They’ve been fantastic and they have done everything that has been asked of them.”
Hodgson was sad to end his “fantastic journey” as England manager, but accepts it was the only choice after failing to deliver in France.
The 68-year-old read a statement rather than take questions from reporters, having emerged from the dressing room after he, Lewington and Neville told the players.
Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn and technical director Dan Ashworth were also informed before the press conference, after which the country’s governing body backed the change in management.
“Like the nation, we are disappointed to lose this evening and that our run in this tournament has come to a premature end,” the FA statement read.
“We had high hopes of progressing through to the latter stages of the competition and accept that we have not met our own expectations or those of the country.
“We back Roy Hodgson’s decision to step down as England manager and will discuss next steps imminently.”
England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate is the early favourite for the job with bookmakers.
The former Middlesbrough boss last month led the Young Lions to Toulon tournament glory, while Alan Pardew, Eddie Howe, Harry Redknapp and Brendan Rodgers have been mentioned as possible contenders.
Outgoing coach Neville is also at relatively short odds to succeed Hodgson and former England striker Alan Shearer has surprisingly thrown his hit into the ring.
“I went to see the FA about four or five years ago and said I wanted the job,” the ex-Newcastle boss told BBC’s Match of the Day. “They just looked at me and said ‘No, it’s a lack of experience’.
“I said ‘well, you’ve hired experience, you pay them an absolute fortune, I could not have done any worse than those guys’.
“I would offer my services again, even if Gareth Southgate got the job, I would offer my experience of tournaments, for him to take players who have been there and done it has to be of benefit.”