15. Steve McClaren (2006-2007)
Highlight: David Nugent scoring from 0 yards out
Lowlight: Wally with brolly
Second-choice Steve’s sole qualifying campaign was the stuff of first-class nightmares. He wasn’t the only manager who couldn’t get a tune out of England’s ‘golden generation’, but taking a squad that regularly starred Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to third in their Euro 2008 qualifying group – level on points with Israel – was a dismal effort.
His end game came with a 3-2 loss to Croatia at Wembley, where McClaren had the audacity to use an umbrella to keep dry, depriving tabloid hacks of the rain-drenched Macca they apparently craved. Sorry Steve, sometimes nice guys finish last.
14. Graham Taylor (1990-1993)
Highlight: Sticking up for John Barnes
Lowlight: “Do I not like that?”
Taylor was a gent who conducted himself with dignity when root vegetables were being digitally merged with his head in the tabloids, but his team were dire to watch. England bored at Euro ’92: three games, only one goal and Gary Lineker substituted with England urgently needing to score against Sweden. But at least they got there.
The failed qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup was a debacle detailed in the riveting documentary An Impossible Job. Taylor’s use of language was the stuff of genius (“Can we not knock it?”) but his usage of England’s creative players was definitely not.
13. Sam Allardyce (2016)
Highlight: 100% win record!
Lowlight: Pint of wine!
It’s hard to judge Big Sam on a tenure comprised solely of a forgettable 1-0 win over Slovakia (opposition Big Sam couldn’t actually remember when FFT quizzed him on it recently). But lasting only 63 days in a job is ignominious, even if there wasn’t really a ‘smoking gun’ moment in the Telegraph sting in Wing’s restaurant which ended his stint.
Allardyce clearly isn’t a bad manager. Yet would we have seen the fresh, free-flowing football introduced by Southgate under him? Few believe so, rendering him an unrequited figure – although we’ll set the record straight and say that was probably a light beer rather than an actual pint of wine Sam was supping (when he didn’t have a napkin over his head).
12. Kevin Keegan (1999-2000)
Highlight: Beat Germany
Lowlight: Quit in the loo
King Kev steered his side to Euro 2000, but performances underwhelmed. England’s leads against Portugal and Romania turned into 3-2 defeats, either side of a drab 1-0 win over Germany.
Accused of tactical naivety, Keegan later admitted he missed the day-to-day involvement of club management. “I found it hard to fill in the time,” he said. “I found myself going and training the blind team, the deaf team, working with the ladies team.”
Unfortunately, his tenure with the men’s team ended with a 1-0 defeat to Germany in World Cup 2002 qualifying. In the last game to be played at the old Wembley, King Kev abdicated by the throne, telling David Davies of his resignation inside a toilet cubicle.
11. Fabio Capello (2008-2012)
Highlight: Revenge over Croatia
Lowlight: Capello Index/Germany meltdown
It started so well. A once great manager, the no-nonsense Italian appeared a coup – even on megabucks wages – particularly after England steamrollered their way to World Cup 2010 qualification.
When there, England drew with the USA and Algeria before being put out of their misery by Germany in the last 16. That 4-1 defeat revealed Capello was a busted flush tactically as Germany’s between-the-lines attackers found gaps in England’s rigid, outmoded system.
Few were disappointed when Capello resigned in February 2012, after the FA stripped John Terry of the captaincy against his wishes.
NEXT: Fake sheikhs! Football’s coming home!! The World Cup!!!!!