Almost within hours of the search for Roy Hodgson's successor beginning, the FA were dealt a blow when Gareth Southgate confided that he had no interest on taking the job on an interim basis, thus immediately making it unlikely that they could sign up their number one target, Arsene Wenger, when his Arsenal contract expires at the end of next season.
So where to turn to next? It's far from clear, but when one of the greatest managers of all time gives his opinion, it's probably wise to listen.
And Sir Alex Ferguson, winner of 38 trophies in 26 glorious years at Manchester United, has backed Sam Allardyce as 'the obvious choice' to be the next England manager.
He told Sky, “The problem is there was an expectation England would do well and because they didn’t, it’s all a bit flat. So they need to work out what the plan B is. It’s very difficult to think of the right man and there are only three English managers in the Premier League. With Sam’s experience, he is the obvious choice. But I think they have to search wider to make sure they get the right one. If it’s Sam, fine. But they have to have someone with the capabilities, the tactical awareness and the feel for the national side.
He added, “Thank goodness I’m not making the choice because it’s a difficult one but Sam’s the best English candidate because he’s in the Premier League.”
While, naturally, Ferguson's opinion will carry some weight, we should consider two crucial pieces of evidence:
Yep - David Moyes didn't work out too well, and Fergie and Big Sam are famously good friends stretching back many years.
He also gave his opinion on the lack of winter break in England, saying
“The league programme English players go through - to then play a major tournament after that makes it impossible. In Germany they have a rest in December and January and teams who play in a better climate must be better prepared than English players.”
Doesn't quite explain Wales getting to the semi-final though doesn't it?