It might be amusing for Newcastle fans to hear Sunderland supporters bellyaching about the damage being done to their pre-season, due to the lack of decisive action on who will be the next England Manager.

However, just how deep is this barrel that the FA are scraping?

With forty odd years of club management between them, I have to say I have never heard a single (sane) person suggesting that Steve Bruce or Sam Allardyce would be an ideal choice as England Manager.

They haven’t won a single trophy with their combined talents and when given a chance at the biggest clubs they (Bruce – Sunderland, Allardyce – Newcastle & West Ham) have managed, the fans were desperate to see the back of them.

The very fact that both Hull and Sunderland (see below) have confirmed that Allardyce and Bruce have spoken to the FA about the job, should be telling them that they have no alternative but to either go abroad for a foreign boss, or take on a young retired former respected player who hasn’t got a long history of failure/mediocrity like these two.

Just because they made wrong choices of foreign managers before (Capello & Sven) shouldn’t mean they never go down that route again, if common sense is telling you that is the only option.

Steve Bruce relegated Hull City two seasons ago and Sam Allardyce only avoided that fate with the mackems last season because of Newcastle’s usual donation of points to Wearside. They are hardly two managers on the up in any real sense, they simply are what they are – a pair of very average at best managers who have proven durable.

Is that what the exciting future of the national team should be all about? What next, an approach for John Carver?

Official Hull City Statement – Tues 19 July

‘The Club can confirm that manager Steve Bruce has held informal discussions regarding the England vacancy, although no official approach has been received from the FA.

We would hope to see the FA conclude their business quickly in order to avoid further speculation regarding Steve ahead of what is a season of huge importance for the Club following our return to the Premier League.’

Official Sunderland Statement – Wed 18 July

‘The Football Association contacted Sunderland AFC to seek permission to speak with our manager as part of what was supposed to be a confidential discussion process with potential candidates for the position of England manager.

At Sam Allardyce’s request, we agreed to this.

Sam is very much key to our plans. After what was an extremely challenging season, we are keen to see a period of stability, both on and off the field, and we want him to remain as manager of our football club.

The ongoing speculation over Sam’s position is extremely damaging to Sunderland AFC, particularly at this crucial time of the season and we urge the FA to respect the disruption that this process is causing and bring about a swift resolution to the matter.’