Call off the search now for the England job. It must be Guus Hiddink.
If the Football Association don't pick him then their values are skewed and patriotism will have exerted undue influence in their deliberations.
Hiddink is Dutch. Working on the principle that the FA always choose the successor as a contrast to the incumbent, it would appear that another Johnny Foreigner has no chance of the job, especially as entrenched and powerful forces, such as the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers' Association, want an Englishman at the helm after the World Cup.
But that is just self-preservation on the part of two organisations that have to be heard defending the interests of their members. They believe the English game is the best in the world and cannot see that there are no outstanding English candidates.
Sven-Goran Eriksson is unpopular with many influential football people in this country because of his defects, not because he's a foreigner.
If an Englishman had been so manifestly lacking in motivational powers, so dependent on keeping in with senior players, so tactically inept at key moments in tournaments, so keen on looking after No 1 - then he would be rightly pilloried at the bar of public opinion.
Eriksson is lazy, unprincipled, enigmatic and passive, except when his own interests are being pursued. But that shouldn't rule out anyone else born outside the United Kingdom to take on the England job.
It should be handed to the one who has the best qualifications. Guus Hiddink ticks every box, apart from the narrow one of his place of birth.
No other candidate has his breadth of experience and success. When Eriksson was appointed six years ago, he had carved out an impressive CV at club level, in Portugal and Italy. Hiddink has surpassed that, as well as thriving on the international stage for years.
He has worked wonders in Holland, Spain, Turkey, South Korea and Australia. He took Holland to the World Cup semi-finals in 1998 then, in 2002, astonishingly guided South Korea to the last four, after they started the tournament as 150-1 outsiders.
This summer he'll be at the World Cup, coaching the first Australian team to make the Finals since 1974; something the overrated Terry Venables failed to do, incidentally.
In the late 1980s, Hiddink coached PSV Eindhoven to three consecutive Dutch league titles and the European Cup.
Now, in his second stint with PSV, they are the holders of the league and cup double and lead by three points, despite losing most of their star players to the English Premiership at the start of the season.
PSV also lost unluckily in last season's Champions' League semi-finals, after outplaying AC Milan in both games.
So his record is outstanding. Messrs Allardyce, McLaren and Curbishley can't live with him. Nor the charismatic, gifted Martin O'Neill. But Hiddink has many other impressive qualities, apart from his addiction to winning trophies.
Dutch footballers are acknowledged to be challenging, disputatious characters with inquisitive minds and the confidence to take on the coach if they sense a weakness in personality or knowledge.
Hiddink has thrived in such a hothouse atmosphere since starting his coaching career 25 years ago.
He has never shied away from tough decisions. In Euro 96, he sent home Edgar Davids after his star player offered the race card in a radio interview.
Hiddink had also decided earlier that the inclusion of the gifted and egotistical maverick Ruud Gullit would not have helped the team ethos.
The coach did what he thought was best, even though the Dutch ended up also-rans in that tournament.
Can you imagine such a personality being starstruck and gooey-eyed over David Beckham in the manner of Eriksson?
Do you think Hiddink would agonise over what to do with Rio Ferdinand after he missed his drugs test, or whether to play Frank Lampard ahead of Steven Gerrard?
Hiddink wouldn't waste time trying to win popularity contests, his players would follow his lead . . . or else. That mental clarity impresses top players, not the consensual approach of Eriksson.
Hiddink speaks five languages and his command of English is better than most of Eriksson's current favourites.
His personal life is settled. Divorced some years ago, with children, he has a permanent girlfriend. At the age of 59, he lacks Eriksson's predatory instincts towards former television weather girls or secretaries.
He also has principles. As a young teacher, who worked with problem children, Hiddink soon became aware that there was more to life than football.
Two years ago, he was offered a fantastic contract to coach the German national side. Hiddink turned it down because his grandfather had been in the Dutch resistance.
A football man with such an interesting hinterland would not get involved in the sort of grubby antics that have defined Eriksson's time with England.
Hiddink knows the English game inside out. He instinctively understands what's needed at international level, unlike Eriksson who had to start at base camp, despite his apparent maturity in football matters.
At his age, Hiddink doesn't need to fuss about day-to-day involvement of club football because that's out of his system after his many years at the coalface.
The media would probably irk him at some stage - it gets to everyone, even skilled practitioners like Graham Taylor and Venables - but every time I've heard a Hiddink interview he has appeared at ease with himself. Don't assume that English candidates are masterful at dealing with the media.
If proof was needed of the massive difference between club and international football it's in the list of candidates for the England job. No Englishman apart from Peter Taylor has the qualifications for the post. Having run the England Under-21s in two stints, starting in 1996, Taylor's practical experience sets him apart from Allardyce and company. But Taylor is a low-key character, likeable and genuine but not a big enough personality for the role. The media would walk all over him.
Not so with Guus Hiddink. He's a big enough character for the worst job in English football.
Kelly creates his own exclusive as manager who understands hacks
Here's a quiz question that should win you a few quid down the pub. Which club involved in last Saturday's FA Cup fourth round was managed by a qualified journalist?
Some clues. He's 41, born in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, supports Aston Villa and played for Leicester City, Tranmere Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
A back injury curtailed his career at the age of 26 and he then made his name as a youth-team coach at Wolves, Watford and Blackburn. Damian Duff and David Dunn have reason to appreciate this man's work with them at Blackburn.
Robert Kelly's the name. He's in charge at Leicester, filling the gap between the departure of Craig Levein and the appointment of the new man. Rob doesn't really want the job full-time, his forte is working with young players, but he made an engaging change from other preoccupied managers at his press conference last Saturday evening.
He walked into the press room, smiling broadly and said, " Good evening, I'm Robert by the way" and was charm itself.
Afterwards, he told me about the diversion into journalism as his football career stalled.
"At school I always wanted to be a journalist. I was inquisitive and liked reading everything I could. But when you get the chance to be a professional footballer at the age of sixteen, then you take it."
But when his back gave out, he started to write a regular column in the Wolves' programme, with the blessing of the manager at the time, Graham Turner. But Robert didn't want to reveal his identity because he was still on the staff. So he called himself Roy K Brettle, an anagram of Robert Kelly.
He caught the writing bug and, when his playing career ended prematurely, did his two years' training at an evening paper in Wolverhampton and qualified.
He said: "Working as a news reporter as well, in the real world. Football is such a cosseted industry that I didn't want to make the obvious transition. I never reported on a football match."
Robert is that rarity in football, someone who actually respects our rough old trade.
"I always see the media's side when we're arguing about the football coverage. Some on my side of the fence can't see the other side of the coin. I'll stick up for the press because I know how the profession works, unlike so many others in football."
Perhaps one day Robert Kelly will graduate to a higher echelon in football and make some sort of contribution towards bridging the gap between us and them.
For the moment, though, he's a happy, amusing presence at a club that's going through the horrors, with relegation out of the Championship looming.
I wish him well tonight, as Leicester go to Queens Park Rangers in what will probably be his last game as caretaker manager. I trust he'll resist the temptation to nip up afterwards to the press box and check out the quality of the hacks' prose.
Unselfish Moore was great ambassador for Albion
Another man who gives footballers a good name has just had an important change in his career.
Darren Moore has left West Bromwich Albion and the area will be the poorer for his departure.
Nobody can blame Darren for going to Derby County because at the age of 31, the hulking centre-back needs to be playing regularly.
His chance in the Albion first team would have been limited, now that the partnership between Curtis Davies and Neil Clement is gelling. But it's typical of Darren that he unstintingly gave young Davies so much advice as soon as he arrived at the club, even though Davies was after a regular place in the side.
The interests of the team always came first for Darren Moore.
And the community. Darren's unselfish charity work has been a feature of his professional career, once he discovered his religious faith after his acknowledged self-indulgences as a young pro.
But he never banged on about the Lord, boring people to tears. Darren just answered questions honestly about his faith and left others to follow their own paths in life.
How many other footballers would give up precious time in the summer to coach kids in India, suffering from desperate poverty, and then walk the Great Wall of China a year later, to raise money for charity? It's sad that Darren's last first-team game for the Baggies saw him sent off at Wigan, when his lack of pace saw him exposed.
That would have become more of a problem for him in the Premiership but the supporters won't forget him for what he's done on and off the field in his four years at The Hawthorns.
Nor will the media, who found him to be a marvellous ambassador for the club.
So when you next hear someone droning on about the bad example set by rich footballers, give Darren Moore a mention.
Don't tar everyone with the same tacky brush.