Fabio Capello has vowed to remain as England coach until 2012. The Italian's £6m-a-year contract with the FA has an escape clause that would allow either party to call time on the agreement after the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Given the astounding reversal in fortunes - from not even making UEFA Euro 2008 to being installed as third favourites for the biggest prize in the game - it is difficult to conceive the FA would rip the deal up.
There has been a sneaking suspicion that Capello might though. The theory goes that the 63-year-old is not entirely keen on life in London, misses the day-to-day involvement of being a club boss and, considering his lack of affinity to the England cause, would prefer to head home. In fact, Capello loves his life and his job.
He has repeatedly stressed the England manager's post was the only international role he wanted, that the challenge of re-invigorating the Three Lions was much more appealing even than coaching Italy, whose four FIFA World Cup triumphs give them a status sadly lacking in England. And, as he looks ahead to next week's UEFA Euro 2012 draw in Warsaw, Capello confirmed he has no plans to quit.
"I hope to be still here in 2012," he said. "It depends on the FA and results at the World Cup of course, but I am really happy. I like my job. I like being England manager and I hope after the World Cup I will still be manager.
"I don't think about not being the England manager. The football in England is exciting, the Premier league is good and I enjoy working with the English players."
I like my job. I like being England manager and I hope after the World Cup I will still be manager.
Certainly Capello seems to have avoided much of the negative publicity that has surrounded the role in recent years. The Sven-Goran Eriksson era was side-tracked by dalliances, both professional and personal. He also kept failing at the quarter-finals, a test admittedly Capello is yet to face.
Steve McClaren's ill-fated two years were hampered by injuries to key men, plus decisions such as playing Scott Carson in the vital final qualifier against Croatia after only making his debut five days earlier, that merely confirmed a suspicion that he was not up to the task. Those thoughts do not exist with Capello.
Even the sceptics who maintain an Englishman should be England manager would struggle to argue Capello has not been a success, while the former AC Milan coach's vast experience and trophies at the highest level earn him a priceless degree of respect from his peers.
"I have a good feeling with the players, but also the managers and the FA," Capello said. "That is important for me. I am comfortable here in England and with this job. It gives me great satisfaction and we still have things to achieve.
"For me, being happy in my job is the most important thing. It is not just about managing the team - it is everything," said Capello. "Being England manager makes me happy. I like living in London and so does my wife. The message is I am happy here and I hope to be the England manager for the Euros."