FA turn attention to finding replacement for Hope Powell - but it might not be an Englishwoman

Outstanding candidates do not meet the preferred criteria

The Football Association’s search for a replacement for Hope Powell, who was fired as England women’s manager today, will start by seeking an Englishwoman, but there is every possibility they may appoint someone who is English, or female, but not both. Most people within the game simply want the best candidate for the job, but the FA feel it is important to have a native female in charge to show there is a pathway to the top – just as they prefer an English manager of the men’s team. However, neither of the outstanding candidates, Geordie John Herdman and Swede Pia Sundhage, meet both criteria.

The third strongest contender, Mo Marley, is English and female but she looks to be an outsider as the FA are intimating that they are in no rush to make a decision and are likely to hand responsibility for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Turkey to Powell's assistant, Brent Hills. As Marley, the former Everton coach, is on the FA payroll as U19 coach she could have taken over within days. Herdman and Sundhage would have to be prised from their current jobs as coaches to Canada (the 2015 World Cup hosts) and Sweden respectively.

Marley's biggest disadvantage is that she is closely connected to the Powell era and it seems the FA wish to make a clean break. They were at pains to state Powell had not been 'sacked', but there is no other way of interpreting her departure. The FA statement said: "the Club England board believe the time is right to make a change and for a fresh outlook."

The FA said the decision had been promoted by 'the disappointment of the recent [European Championship] tournament in Sweden'. England came 12th of 12 teams having taking one point from three matches. Powell said herself  failure to make the quarter-finals would be a 'disaster' but afterwards insisted she would not resign. Many leading players were said to despair at the prospect of Powell continuing and finally, after a delay because Powell was on holiday, the FA have acted.

FA chief executive Alex Horne rightly paid tribute to the work Powell has done in taking the women's game forward. Powell had been at the FA for 15 years and in that time totally transformed their approach to the women's game. Proud, feisty and determined she stood up to FA councillors and officials who were not, in the early years, convinced that women's football deserved the backing she demanded. Players who had slept in gyms before matches in her playing days now stay in high-standard hotels, there is a support structure in place and a national league. She effectively did two jobs, coach and technical director, a fact recognized by the FA with the announcement they are also seeking a 'technical lead for women's football'. 

However, Powell alienated many senior players by branding them 'cowards' after a shortage of volunteers to take penalties in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final defeat. Her squad selection at Euro 2013 relied too heavily on long-term stalwarts, several of whom took injuries into the tournament.

Her captain, Casey Stoney, admitted: "There was unrest [in the England camp at the Euros], but that came because we were losing games." Powell was, said Stoney, "ruthless, "She did what she thought was right. It can't have been that wrong because she reached a European final and two World Cup quarter-finals."

But the FA need - and expect - a tournament triumph if their increased investment in the women's game is to be rewarded by greater media coverage and sponsorship interest. That will be the target set Powell's successor.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on