Southgate savors chance to be savior
FA confirms its man in top job as England bids to end years of hurt
Five months after saying he lacked the experience to coach England, Gareth Southgate landed one of world soccer’s toughest roles on Wednesday by showing he can handle the responsibility.
The 46-year-old Southgate pulled out of the running to succeed Roy Hodgson after England’s European Championship debacle, clearing the way for Sam Allardyce’s appointment in July.
But when Allardyce was forced out following one game in charge, Southgate had an unexpected chance to get a taste of coaching England for four games.
Promoted from the country’s under-21 team, Southgate passed his audition and secured a four-year contract.
“I think at that time (in July) there would have been a
“I don’t know why it’s taken them this long to do it, that pretty much sums up the FA. The audition went well, we played pretty well. I’m not sure who else is out there to be honest. I like Gareth, he is a good guy. He should have been appointed a long time ago and we could have all got on with it.”
former England teammate of Southgate perception about someone being promoted internally through the organization,” Southgate said.
“Having had the opportunity to prove myself over a small sample of games, I have been able to show I can handle the role ... and prove to people I was capable of preparing the team for some big matches.”
Southgate said he believes he is qualified to fill a role previously occupied by veteran coaches Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson, despite his only previous first-team managerial role at Middlesbrough ending in 2009 after three years.
“After the summer I have had time to reflect on the qualities I have got, the experiences I have got and how that would prepare me for this sort of a role,” Southgate said.
The former England defender pointed to tourna-
“I played with Gareth and couldn’t believe what a good player he was. People say has he got the experience? Which English manager would have the experience? It’s all about the players. Have we got the players? I’m not sure we have ment experience as a player and in charge of the under-21 team, which saw him work with much of the current senior squad.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there’s huge potential,” Southgate said of his unbeaten run as interim coach.
Southgate secured World Cup qualifying wins over Malta and Scotland, a draw against Slovenia and a 2-2 draw against Spain in a friendly. He seemed at ease in the role and even showed some backbone by dropping under-performing captain Wayne Rooney in his second match as interim coach. the players.”
former Arsenal and England midfielder
“It’s a thankless task because I don’t feel we have the players to compete at the very top level of international football. It’s tough because everyone expects England to be up there challenging the top teams when we don’t really have the depth of squad to be able to do that.”
former Southampton and England forward
Matt Le Tissier,
“I think it’s a decision based on potential more than what he has actually achieved in management. In some ways he fits the bill. He has had international experience as a
Southgate was the only person the Football Association interviewed this time, with the English governing body saying it looked into a “number of managers” before Allardyce was hired in July.
“The job was really to assess Gareth against that group of people we looked at before,” FA chief executive Martin Glenn said of the five-man panel which interviewed Southgate.
“Gareth displayed great confidence, he really knows what he is talking about and he understands how to motivate players,” said Glenn.
“You can see, like all of us, he has still got things to learn, and we got a better idea about player. And he fits the profile off the pitch that the FA wants after the (Sam) Allardyce fiasco. On the other side, his the ways we can put support around him to ensure he can be successful.”
England won the 1966 World Cup, but has only reached the semifinals of a major tournament twice since then. The last time was at Euro 96, when Southgate missed the decisive penalty in a shootout against Germany — the current team’s next opponent in March.
England hosts the world’s richest soccer league and has high expectations for its national team despite its woeful record at recent tournaments.
With Hodgson in charge, England was eliminated in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup and then lost to minnows Iceland in the last 16 at Euro 2016.
Once a job sought by the best coaches in world soccer, the England role has lost its appeal. No reign has been shorter or more embarrassing for the FA than Allardyce’s. He left the job after 67 days — and just one match — when his integrity was damaged by (Southgate’s) record at Middlesbrough wasn’t great. Managing international teams at the World Cup — has he got unguarded comments to undercover reporters about illegal transfer practices and potential public-speaking appearances.
Clean-cut, well-spoken and with no baggage, Southgate fits the bill for the FA in terms of image.
He also knows the FA and what it wants and expects, having been coach of the under-21s for three years and the national governing body’s head of elite development before that.
He repaired some of the damage done to his reputation from his time at Middlesbrough when he coached England Under-21s, leading it to a first title in 22 years at this year’s Toulon tournament.
And he impressed during his two-month spell as interim coach of England’s senior team by encouraging a brave style that saw the team play the ball out from the back as much as possible.
In his playing career as a center back, Southgate had spells at Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Boro.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there’s huge potential.” Gareth Southgate, after being appointed England manager
catches the ball during the World Cup qualifier against Malta in October. Pundits are divided on whether he can return his country to prominence in major tournaments. One of the more difficult parts for me is that I wasn’t as young as some of the others.” David Eatock, on being a victim of sexual abuse
“The job was really to assess Gareth against that group of people we looked at before. You can see, like all of us, he has still got some things to learn.”
FA chief executive
He added: “I’m just glad Andy Woodward, by speaking out, has given me the strength to do this because I never would have otherwise.
“It has been like a knot in my brain and I’m now trying to pick apart that knot.”
On Tuesday, Bennell, also a former youth coach, was charged with eight counts of child abuse.
Bennell, who has already served three jail terms for previous child sex offenses, has faced a slew of new allegations by at least 20 former players spanning three decades, beginning in the 1970s when he was working as a coach for Crewe, Manchester City and Stoke City.
Bennell, who it was revealed on Monday had to be hospitalized when he was found unconscious in a hotel near London, will appear in court on Dec 14.
Essex and Norfolk Police are the latest forces to confirm they are investigating abuse claims within the game, taking the current tally to 13.
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has called the developing scandal “the greatest crisis” in English soccer he could recall.
Police Scotland has also confirmed it has launched a probe following abuse allegations north of the border.
The FA has set up an internal review headed by lawyer Kate Gallafent, an expert in child protection.
Gareth Southgate gives fans the thumbs-up before England’s 2018 World Cup qualifying draw against Slovenia in Ljubljana last month.
England boss Gareth Southgate