UPDATE: Martin Johnson resigns as England manager

UPDATE: Following the breaking news earlier, it has been confirmed that Martin Johnson has resigned. The RFU have called a press conference for 4pm at Twickenham with Johnson and Rob Andrew.

Breaking news from the Daily Mail is that Martin Johnson is set to announce his resignation today, just one day before the meeting of the Professional Game Board. The following is taken from the Daily Mail website:

Martin Johnson is expected to resign as England coach today. Sportsmail understands that Johnson is on the brink of quitting after the calamity of the World Cup. England were knocked out by France in the quarter-finals – but it was their off-field behaviour that will be remembered.

The futures of John Wells, Graham Rowntree, Brian Smith and Mike Ford are all therefore in doubt following Johnson’s resignation, while the RFU have not confirmed that Rob Andrew’s future is secure either.

Candidates who have been suggested by the media to replace Johnson include Jim Mallinder, Nick Mallett, Sir Clive Woodward and Graham Henry in some shape or form.

Has Johnno made the right decision? Or has he jumped before being pushed?

37 thoughts on “UPDATE: Martin Johnson resigns as England manager

  1. I’m not an England supporter, but seriously, who are England going to find to replace him? Give Johnson a 2 year conract, saying either give us hope for 2015 or your gone.

  2. Given all of the uncertainty at the RFU, it’s not a massive shock. I think his pride has probably taken a bit of a battering after the WC as well. We probably do need someone with more experience, but who is going to want the job with the way things stand at the moment? Until a clear job role is decided on it will be tough to get anyone in.

  3. Re the comment above there are plenty of replacements, Mallet being the obvious choice, so no doubt the rfu will promote Wells. I think this is the mark of the man that he has taken responsibility rather than accept changes to his coaching staff and effectively blame them. I think Jonno was the right man at the wrong time, and what he has achieved with no coaching experience is very impressive namely a 6n title and an away win in Aus. Yet England has not progressed enough under him. We are a very limited and inhibited team and very inconsistent and I don’t get any idea of whether he has a grand plan or vision. Ultimately he has paid for being too loyal (Wells and Ford should have been axed when he came on board) both to coaches and players. He also seemed to loose his nerve during the world cup both with his selections and tactics.
    The worst thing we could do is give him ano year to prove himself. Then all the good coaches would be snapped up and anyone coming in next year would have to accept someone else’s coaching staff, just like Ashton and Johno. let’s learn from our mistakes have a clean break and get the best team of coaches available.

  4. I can’t help feeling sorry for Johnno, and that he’s been let down by people around him.

    Wells and Ford MUST go as well…they’ve been there for way too long. Wells has overseen years and years of slow ball as forwards coach…

    1. Agree with you Hutch. He had to go, was never the answer for this role, but it’s sad to see such an iconic hero of England Rugby come to such an inauspicious end. Personally, I feel a sense of relief that I can now remember Johnno as the warrior who epitomized the 2003 win.

  5. I think Johnson could be forgiven for his teams performance ON the pitch but allowing players under his charge to behave in the way the England team did OFF the pitch while in New Zealand did him far more harm. Personally, as an Irish person I won’t be sorry to see the back of him. We will never forget the disrespect he showed to our President while captaining England in 2003.

    1. I’m Irish and as far as I’m concerned we bent over that day for the English. Johnson said “Bend over Ireland” and we did. I have no problem with Johnson.

  6. nick mallet is a brilliant coach! look what he could do with italy. he would make england world beaters and wouldn’t be afraid to pick the young talent!

  7. completely agree that its right he goes. unfortunately to be remembered for what you did wrong off the pitch rather than on it, is not right. now is the time for fresh blood, he wont be afraid to wield the axe. As for the Irish supporter, how many times have Irish teams shown disrespect to other countries dignities? i’m not saying Johno was right, i’m just saying it was mind games

  8. This is good opportunity.

    get Jim mallinder in there and rethink the whole set up.

    England have the players, we need the vision.

  9. Until the RFU gets sorted, how can anyone be appointed? The mess is now complete. Johnno would have been much better prepared for 2015 after the last 3 1/2 years, but you can’t blame him for leaving.

    1. Agreed. I think they’re expected to appoint a CEO by Christmas, and they’ll need a new coaching team at around the same time.

      The thought of completely starting again is so frustrating, but what choice is there?

  10. nick mallet head coach, dean richards forwards coach, jim mallinder backs coach! that would be a serious squad of coaches is it too soon for dean richards to get a big post! his coaching ban was over in august!

  11. Shame for Johno, wish he had a few years coaching a prem side before he got the England Job.

    Surely Graham Henry would be the best for manager? I don’t really see much in Mallet although i could be wrong. Real shame Edwards is going to wales. Part of me still feels confidence in Brian Smith… i wonder how much influence he got over the side compared to Wells and Ford? very little i suspect. But i’d also happily see mallinder in there somewhere.

    My wish list:
    Head… Graham Henry, Attack… Jim Mallinder, Defence… Shaun Edwards, Scrum… Rowntree can stay. Do they have seperate forwards and backs coach on top?

  12. Can’t really bring myself to care to much about this. It was pretty inevitable. Lucky for Wales they just tied Edwards in. Henry wanted to coach some club stuff didn’t he so I’m not sure he’ll take it. Not sure Mallinder would leave Northampton would he? How about that fine young man Mike Tindall? ;-)

  13. Whilst agreeing that stepping aside was the right thing to do for Johnson, I am still very surprised that he did it. In all due respect, how far forward have England moved in the last few years under Johnson? I stand by the fact that he should never have been given the job in the first place and although loyalty is more often than not a positive attribute, he took it to the nth degree with many players (Tindall, Hape, Borthwick, Banahan, Goode etc.).

    All those calling for Ford and Wells’ head are absolutely spot on. If we are going to see changes, it needs to be across these two fronts as well.

    However, the biggest change that needs to happen is sending Rob Andrew to the wilderness. I saw Ben’s tweet earlier on which reminded me that Andrew has seen the sackings of Andy Robinson, Brian Ashton and now Johnno. At what point does the RFU turn around and think: “actually, perhaps that pillock might be the issue.”

    As for replacements, Nick Mallet is looking like a favourite at the moment. Mallinder would be good as well. Agree with most suggestions for forwards and backs coach but surprised some haven’t mentioned Mike Catt or Toby Booth. Far from a London Irish fan myself, but they could be a breath of fresh air.

    1. All remember that there was point when he was the man.

      we beat Australia @ home then beat them in away and when have we dont that before?

      MJ has been let down by those same players who were in those sides.

      (ie the young lads and some older players (Tindall) – not BTW the liecester lot, who are portrayed as boring and cliquey, at least they dont let the side down).

      Graham Henry is not the answer – there is an argument in NZ that HE is the reason they didnt win prevoius RWCs. Havign seen the Lions Tour 2001, he is not a coach who i would want.

      What has NIck Mallet done?

      England need to tap into ROb Baxter, Jim mallender, TOnby Booth ……but if you were them, why would you want to take the job?

      England rugby has become so corporate that it i imagine it no longer appeals to anyone half decent, and suggests that is why MJ left.

      roll on the lions 2013.

      1. Yes, that’s the worry. Who would actually want the job? McGeechan would be high up on my list, but he’d think ‘why do I, Lord Geech of Winalot, need that sort of hassle?’

        What’s likely to persuade someone to take it though is money – and that’s not a good thing, because whoever does get the job will have to overlook the political shenanigans, accept that it’s not perfect, but suck it up because it’s financially worthwhile.

      2. No-one from Leicester let the side down, you say? Off the pitch, Tuilagi wasn’t innocent with his dip in the harbour!

        1. To be fair to Tuilagi, didn’t this come after we had been knocked out. He gave his all during the tournament. Not many can say that. Also how many of you out there actually go – respect to him for jumping off the ferry – I might have done that – but not loudly! Before anyone says anything I’m not a Leicester supporter.

          1. I was going to make that point, but couldnt be bothered……

            jumping off a ferry isnt letting the side down, when youve been booted out the RWC and its all finished!

            IM not a Leicester supporter either, but the point i made above is that on Haskells videos from insdie the camp, all the chat was about how boring the leicester lads were and how they did nothing “fun”.

            ON a slight tangent, is Hartley realy our first choice hooker? there must be a better hooker in the prem?

  14. Sad to see Johnson go, but I think he was probably promoted before he was ready and at a very bad time. Believe he was let down by the players and the RFU, the players for how the behaved off the pitch and the RFU for not having a better support system in place to deal with the off-field antics. Reckon he has done the honourable thing in taking the blame onto his own shoulders in a, perhaps misguided, attempt to protect those around him.

    On who should be the next head coach, my choice would be Mallett, but reckon he has talked his way out of the role by saying he won’t report to a elite performance director/Rob Andrew. Can’t see the RFU picking a guy with experience who knows his own mind who they can’t ‘oversee’/control. I like that Mallinder has had success with the younger England age groups and the way he has got Northampton playing, but it seems a little to soon for him to have the top dog position.

    What will happen is that the RFU wont want anyone who is too experienced and successful – ruling out Graham Henry etc. There will be a lot of infighting between the different factions for their chosen candidate, till a compromise is reached with a candidate no one has anything against, but no one really wants either, leading to Wells being promoted (the Steve McClaren effect). While this is being sorted Rob Andrew will take control for a mediocre Six Nations performance.

  15. I love all these comments saying what has Mallet done then suggesting people like Mallinder and Booth who have won nothing at club level. Mallet has won tri nations with SA and set a then world record 17 consecutive wins, he won titles when coaching in France and has turned 6n whipping boys Italy into tough opponents. Have no issue with Mallinder and co as part of the coaching team, but let the head coach pick his own team and not have it foistered on him.

  16. Eddie O’Sullivan has just left his post with the Eagles! does any club even want him never mind a country he could be a good manager if he got the right back up coaches around him! England could be a great rugby team but need a quality coach who has complete free rein to make changes and start with his 30 man squad to mould!

  17. Against teh flow, I know, but I am desperately sad to see Johnno go. How many of you remember the nonsense surrounding his original selection, which as I recall took over a year of F**&^^%g around in RFU HQ. I read a great article a year or so ago suggesting that the England team were about a year behind being ready for the RWC. That would be the same lost year that they took to select Johnno. I believe if he had had that year, things would have been very different in New Zealand. I acknowledge the arguements about his lack of previous experience, but I believe MJ deserved another chance. I cannot for the life of me see the point of him going. How sad to see him hounded out!!!

  18. Very sad that Johnno has bowed out like his, but fair play for sticking to his morals – taking personal responsibility and showing loyality to those around him. These attributes were the making and breaking of a great man.

    As for who should be appointed………………..only a crazy person would want the job. Not the coaching England part, but the being employed by the RFU (Retarded Fuck Ups). First things first, Rob Andrews must be held accountable, and dismissed (as do most of the RFU board). Secondly, the entire coaching team have to be dismissed. Thirdly, a new board appointed (this is where Sir Clive Woodward could possibly feature). Forthly, a new manager appointed (who is allowed to select their own coaching team and develop the national squad in the direction they see as right).

    My personal choices would be either Nick Mallett, or Jim Mallander. Both i feel would be excellent candidates. And although i don’t like the idea of a “foreigner” being in charge of our national team, i do feel that to move forward and develop into a great rugby nation we need a coach with different views on how to play the game (i.e. southern hemisphere style rugby)

    1. It’s a poison chalice of a job in a way. Because THE RFU always have the legitimate expectation to win the WC (though that’s never going to be easy), there is allot of pressure on any head coach of England. It’s not like Ireland where we accept mediocrity :) Getting to the QF’s every time is enough. I hope not. I would hope the only reason Kidney would keep his job is because we at least managed to win the pool this time.

      1. To be fair the target at this RWC was the semi finals. Would have been wrong if we had made it as we didn’t deserve it the way we were playing. NZ, SA, Oz, Wales, France and Ireland were all better than us.

  19. I think Johnson was promoted to a position of incompetence. He had zero coaching experience and has ended up as another scapegoat. I’d like to see Henry come in, however unlikely that is, to spice things up a bit in the Northern Hemisphere.

  20. Johnno should never have been appointed. Someone at the RFU should have said, if you want the post in the future, go away and prove yourself managing/coaching at club level first. The RFU therefore let Johnson down by giving him a job before he was ready, and lets face it, who would turn the job down if offered it.

    I am sad to see him go now though as he has now got experience and I think that he would have learnt from it. Academic now though.

Comments are closed.