Within minutes of Roy Hodgson's tenure as England manager having come to an ignominious end at the hands of Iceland, speculation abounded as to who would be the next person to take hold of that particular poisoned chalice. The English Football Association has come under no small amount flak in connection with the disastrous Euro 2016 campaign, and some manner of shakeup is expected at almost every level of organization.
Depending on your point of view as to how England should best bounce back from their current disarray, the rumors that the FA are once again looking to recent faded glory for ideas may come across as either dispiriting, unsurprising, or perhaps a bit of both. As part of the post-tournament soul-searching, the FA has indicated that it will consult senior internationals - including, of course, Wayne Rooney - for their input in connection with the new manager search.
If SkySports' indications are correct, another living embodiment of glories past - one much more familiar to Liverpool supporters - will also be asked to participate in the post-Hodgson era, and in a much more hands-on capacity. Former England captain Steven Gerrard is reportedly set for talks with the FA over a possible coaching role within the new England setup, whenever that emerges.
It's no surprise that Gerrard should be mentioned in connection with an open job on England's shores. Though still in the middle of his second season with the LA Galaxy, and despite the fact that he has been recently quoted as being happy in southern California, the rumblings of Gerrard's return to the U.K. (which may just consist of England and Wales depending on when you're reading this) have never been distant, especially after unsubstantiated reports emerged about his family's homesickness.
More to the point, however, Gerrard has expressed interest in working his way towards management via a coaching role on a number of occasions in the past. Having seen his compatriot Gary Neville parlay an England coaching role into a (admittedly lackluster and short-lived) plum job as Valencia's manager, Gerrard already has a clear blueprint to follow (okay, maybe better not to follow the getting-sacked-after-four-months part).
What could Gerrard bring to the table as an England coach? For starters, there is instant name recognition and certain amount of respect that he can command, especially from younger internationals new to the England setup. As an international, Gerrard has been a big part in some of England's most famous victories - think of the 5-1 demolishing of Germany in the Olympiastadion - and was also on the pitch for some of the lowlights of more recent history.
Following the loss to Iceland, Gerrard spoke ruefully about England repeating "too many mistakes of the past". When he described the paralytic effect of thinking more about the consequences of defeat rather than on the game at hand, it was sadly clear Gerrard was drawing from his own experience. England's golden generation know a thing or two about the vicious cycle of pressure and disappointment. If a few members of that generation can help the newer generation break that cycle, there's hope yet for England.