“Future bright for England”
London: Gareth Southgate said it was “important to step forward” and take charge of England following Sam Allardyce’s departure as manager. Former defender Southgate steps up from the Under-21 job and will lead the senior team for the next four games.
Allardyce left his post on Tuesday following a newspaper investigation claiming he offered advice on how to “get around” rules on player transfers.
“The future is certainly bright for this England team,” said Southgate. His decision is a U-turn from June, when the 46-year-old had no interest in succeeding Roy Hodgson as boss of the senior team. Southgate has managed the U21s since 2013 and was previously in charge of Middlesbrough from 2006 to 2009. After stepping down, former Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland manager Allardyce said “entrapment had won” and his actions were a “silly thing to do”.
Southgate added: “It’s obviously been a difficult situation for the FA but it was important that there was some stability and continuity for everybody. “So, from my point of view, it was important to step forward and give us the best possible chance to win these games. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m confident that we can get good results. We have an excellent group of players.” Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger again committed his future to Arsenal after speculation linking him with the post. Wenger, 66, said in July he would “never rule it out” but the Frenchman insisted he will remain at Emirates Stadium. “I am focused 100 per cent on Arsenal and my priority will always be to this club,” Gunners boss Wenger told BT Sport. “I will have to assess how well I do until the end of the season.” Former England striker Michael Owen believes the fulltime job is Southgate’s to lose. “If he wins all four games it will take a brave man to say ‘let’s change it now’,” said Owen. “Possession is nine tenths of the law, isn’t it? BBC Sports