'Look at Mourinho, Pochettino, Wenger' – Ugo Monye questions if Eddie Jones has reached end of the line with England

By Sports Desk November 29, 2022

Eddie Jones has lost the support of England's fans and may be an example of a world-class coach who has stayed too long in his job, like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

That is the verdict of Ugo Monye, the former England back, who says there is little "tangible evidence" of reasons to be optimistic heading towards next year's Rugby World Cup.

England lost to Argentina and South Africa at Twickenham in November, while beating Japan and fighting back for a draw against New Zealand.

They won just two of their Six Nations matches at the start of the year, and the Rugby Football Union, which governs English rugby, is to review the team's performance. Its chief executive, Bill Sweeney, has already said results are "not where we expect them to be".

This has been England's worst calendar year since 2008 in terms of results, having lost six of their 12 Tests in 2022. World Cup-winning boss Clive Woodward, who oversaw the 2003 triumph, has said Jones should be sacked if England lose to Scotland on February 4 in their Six Nations opener.

A decision could yet come sooner, with Jones seven years into a reign that began in November 2015.

Monye told the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast: "If he goes, I think there will be people saying it should have happened sooner because of the time sensitivity pressure. We've got the Six Nations in two months and then a World Cup in nine months.

"At this point where you've had poor results and poor performances, you need a sense of faith backed by more than just a gut feeling – there needs to be an objectivity to it and something tangible behind it.

"It is hard to find that tangible evidence. The only people that seem to be able to see it are the players in camp because they see more than we'll ever see, and that's fair, but they're emotionally connected and tied to all of it."

Monye believes the RFU may yet choose to give Jones a vote of confidence and stick with him.

"They may just say, 'Eddie's our guy, we back him'," Monye said.

"I don't think anyone is saying Eddie Jones is a bad coach, he's got an incredible proven track record.

"But when I look at football… I look at the likes of Jose Mourinho. He's still a great coach, but that relationship ran its course at Chelsea as well as other clubs.

"I look at [former Tottenham boss Mauricio] Pochettino. I look at Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. He did so many incredible things, the Invincibles, but he was just there too long and he had to go.

"There are so many examples where you're talking about world-class, incredibly well experienced coaches that either stay too long or for some reason there's a disconnect between them and the players or them and the fans.

"If Eddie is to stay, the number one thing he has to fix is the relationship with the fans. I think the fans don't see it any more. I don't think they're buying into it at the moment."

Jones has been adamant England are "moving in the right direction", saying after the South Africa game: "Obviously on results we are not happy, but I feel like we are building a really good base to have a really good go at the World Cup."

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