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It sounds like an old joke from The Comedians – have you heard the one about the five Englishmen, four Italians and two Spaniards?

Last Monday most of us sat and watched England embarrassingly exit the Euros, losing 2-1 against Iceland in what we all thought was a relatively easy passage to the last eight of the competition. Mercifully, within minutes, Roy Hodgson, who surely should have gone after the poor show in Brazil two years ago, announced his resignation.

Three days later, Southampton confirmed the appointment  of Frenchman Claude Puel as their new manager, replacing Dutchman Ronald Koeman who is now with Everton, and today, Pep Guardiola has arrived in Manchester, as pictured.

Much of the debate on Hodgson’s replacement has centred on whether he should be English or not; I say he because I don’t imagine Hope Powell will be under consideration. Some think he should, Alan Smith on Sky certainly being one who backs such an appointment, others believe we should appoint the best manager available whatever nationality even though Harry Redknapp has no faith in the FA being able to select the best candidate.

But if English – who? I’ve heard a number of pundits telling us that there will only be four Englishmen managing Premier League clubs come the start of the 2016/17 season. I wonder which of the actual five they’ve missed. Four of the five have certainly been mentioned as potential candidates, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce, Eddie Howe and Alan Pardew. That suits me; I don’t want the best of the five moving anywhere right now.

Sean Dyche himself said recently in a television interview that for an Englishman to get a Premier League job now he virtually has to win promotion into it. That’s certainly the case with these five; all of them got their first chance after a promotion.

Alongside those five Englishmen are two Welsh managers, Mark Hughes at Stoke and Tony Pulis at West Brom. Pulis, like the five English managers, had to win promotion with Hughes the odd one out, landing the Blackburn job in 2004 having previously only managed Wales.

Unless there are any sudden and late changes before kick off, those seven English and Welsh managers will be alongside four Italians, two Frenchmen, two Spaniards, and one each from Argentina, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Here’s the full list

Eddie Howe – Bournemouth
Sean Dyche – Burnley
Alan Pardew – Crystal Palace
Steve Bruce – Hull
Sam Allardyce – Sunderland

Mark Hughes – Stoke
Tony Pulis – West Brom

Antonio Conte – Chelsea
Claudio Ranieri – Leicester
Swansea – Francesco Guidolin
Watford – Walter Mazzari

Arsène Wenger – Arsenal
Claude Puel – Southampton

Pep Guardiola – Manchester City
Aitor Karanka – Middlesbrough

Maurico Pochettino – Tottenham

Slaven Bilic – West Ham

Jürgen Klopp – Liverpool

Ronald Koeman – Everton

Jose Mourinho – Manchester United

To be honest, I was under the impression that this lack of English and British managers in the top flight had been the case for a number of years. If I’d been asked, I’d have said that the numbers would have been similar when we first graced the Premier League in 2009, but how wrong I’d have been.

Apart from two Italians, two Spaniards and one Frenchman, all of the Premier League managers at the start of the 2009/10 season were British, a grand total of 15, made up of eight Englishmen, the same two Welshmen along with four from Scotland and one from Northern Ireland.

It’s worth taking a look back to see who they were.

Sam Allardyce – Blackburn
Gary Megson – Bolton
Roy Hodgson – Fulham
Phil Brown – Hull
Paul Hart – Portsmouth
Steve Bruce – Sunderland
Harry Redknapp – Tottenham
Mick McCarthy – Wolves

Martin O’Neill – Aston Villa

Alex McLeish – Birmingham
Owen Coyle – Burnley
David Moyes – Everton
Alex Ferguson – Manchester United

Mark Hughes – Manchester City
Tony Pulis – Stoke

Carlo Ancelotti – Chelsea
Gianfranco Zola – West Ham

Rafa Benitez – Liverpool
Roberto Martinez – Wigan

Arsène Wenger – Arsenal

Where will England look next? Will the next victim come directly from the Premier League? Hodgson did but maybe we’ll look elsewhere. I did laugh yesterday when I read Sven Goran Eriksson was interested in a return, he most have heard that the money has gone up.

Anyway, back to the domestic football now while we wait for our non-football expert Martin Glenn to help select the new man alongside David Gill, who has never been through that process, and Dan Ashworth, Hodgson’s man from West Brom.

Good to see the crowds turn up for Pep Guardiola today, pity City got in before England.

Just imagine if Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Hull go down this season and are replaced by Aston Villa, Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday. That would leave the Premier League with just two English managers.

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