Do England Have a Future Manager Amongst the ‘Golden Generation’?

In the years 2001 to 2010, there was hope. So prodigious was England’s pool of talent, that fans would anticipate every tournament with optimistic whispers of “maybe, just maybe”. The gazelle-like pace of a young Michael Owen; David Beckham’s hallowed right foot; Rio Ferdinand’s reliability – every ingredient needed to win a major trophy was in place. But despite the wealth of talent at England’s disposal, no manager was able to lead the team beyond the quarter-finals at a tournament, resulting in Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McLaren and Fabio Capello all being lead from the poison chalice to the proverbial gallows.

As for the players of the so called ‘Golden Generation’ (an epithet that is now contemptuously held against them), there may be a chance of exoneration for one brave soul who is willing to take on the England job. Just like France with Didier Deschamps and Italy with Antonio Conte, perhaps England will one day look to a former player to help them achieve the ultimate prize that has alluded them for so long.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential candidates…

Frank Lampard

Image Credit: Mark Freeman
Picture credit: Mark Freeman

Currently playing for Major League Soccer Side New York City FC, the former Chelsea and Man City midfielder has expressed a desire to move into management once his playing days are over. “I will take my coaching badges at some stage to be in a position where it [management] is a big possibility for me,” he told The Guardian in 2009 after once distancing himself from the idea.

Lampard has recently been consulted by the Football Association over who should succeed Roy Hodgson as England manager, and has been linked with a role within the management set-up.

It is also worth noting that Lampard has an exceptionally high IQ score in the region of 150, so if he can channel his intelligence into a management role then England could have their own Mourinho in waiting.

Rio Ferdinand

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit
Picture credit: Brendan Moran

In a recent interview with Copa90, Ferdinand declared that he would take the England job “all day long,” after criticising the since-departed Roy Hodgson for failing to know his best formation or starting line-up at Euro 2016. His 81 caps will no doubt hold him in good stead, but the former Man United defender will have to cut his teeth in a managerial role if the Football Association are to consider him a serious contender.

Ferdinand is currently working towards his coaching badges, and worked as a pundit for the BBC covering the European Championship this summer.

Steven Gerrard

Picture credit: Victor Araiza
Picture credit: Victor Araiza

Like Frank Lampard, Gerrard was also summoned by the Football Association to help in the search for new England Manager.

Having captained both Liverpool and England during his career, Gerrard’s leadership qualities are unquestionable, and with the 39 year-old already in the process of completing his coaching badges he could well be a strong contender.

Sky Sports recently reported that Gerrard, who plays for Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy, is set to hang up his boots this year and that discussions over a coaching role with the Three Lions are already in motion.

Nicky Butt

Picture credit: John Blenkinsopp
Picture credit: John Blenkinsopp

A dark horse no less, but former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt isn’t wasting any time gaining the experience he needs to follow in Sir Alex Ferguson’s footsteps. The 41-year-old came through the United ranks under the management of Ferguson, where he was part of the famous ‘Class of 92’ that went on to dominate the Premier League. It will be Butt’s job to bring through the next generation of United greats, as he was appointed Head of Academy in February.

Butt made 39 appearances for England, and won six Premier League titles, three FA cups and the Champions League in a 12-year-spell at Old Trafford.

Gary Neville

Picture credit: University of Salford
Picture credit: University of Salford

Once tipped by many to be a shoe-in for the England manager’s job, Neville’s progress has been halted by a succession of disappointing endeavours. A frustrating spell with La Liga side Valencia failed to underscore his potential, while working as Roy Hodgson’s England assistant from 2012-2016 has ultimately been more damaging to his reputation than beneficial.

There may still be a chance for Neville, but re-establishing himself as a contender for the England position will take time.

By Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.