Ready for top job

South­gate wants FA to con­sider him for va­cant Eng­land post

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY SAMI MOKBEL /

Gareth South­gate — whose first game as Eng­land man­ager has seen 88,000 Wem­b­ley tick­ets sold — wants to be con­sid­ered for the job on a full-time ba­sis.

The 46-year-old has been put in in­terim charge of the na­tional team fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Sam Al­lardyce last week and will over­see the next four games — against Malta, Slove­nia, Scot­land and Spain.

Pub­licly, South­gate has been non-com­mit­tal about whether he wants the job on a per­ma­nent ba­sis. But it is un­der­stood the for­mer Mid­dles­brough man­ager would like to con­tinue in the role once his ini­tial stint is over. If South­gate can make a suc­cess of his short-term chal­lenge, he would be up for the role as per­ma­nent boss.

Arsene Wenger re­mains the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s dream can­di­date for the job — chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Glenn last week ad­mit­ted the Arse­nal boss has the ‘per­fect’ cre­den­tials. But the FA will not for­mally start their search un­til South­gate’s in­terim pe­riod is com­plete in or­der to give him a fair crack of the whip.

For now, South­gate is fo­cused on get­ting his reign off to a win­ning start against Malta, with Wayne Rooney set to con­tinue in a mid­field role. The Eng­land cap­tain trained in a with­drawn po­si­tion dur­ing South­gate’s ses­sions at St George’s Park this week.

And all the in­di­ca­tions are that South­gate, who is set to play Joe Hart in goal, will con­tinue to de­ploy Rooney in a cen­tral role. South­gate has in­sisted Rooney’s ex­pe­ri­ence will prove vi­tal in help­ing the na­tional team steady the ship fol­low­ing a fort­night to for­get for English foot­ball, a clear in­di­ca­tion of the Manch­ester United man’s job.

Mean­while, Kyle Walker ad­mits Roy Hodg­son’s Eng­land had no Plan B when things were go­ing wrong against Ice­land over the sum­mer - and is the lat­est player to stress the need for the team to be ‘street­wise’.

The Three Lions ex­ited Euro 2016 at the last-16 stage in hu­mil­i­at­ing fash­ion in June as they were beaten 2-1 - the score from the 18th minute - by Ice­land, af­ter which boss Hodg­son promptly re­signed.

Eng­land have since opened their World Cup 2018 qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign with a 1-0 win in Slo­vakia over­seen by Hodg­son’s re­place­ment Sam Al­lardyce, who then left the job af­ter se­cretly filmed footage of him mak­ing con­tro­ver­sial re­marks was re­leased by the Daily Tele­graph.

Gareth South­gate has sub­se­quently taken over as in­terim boss, with his first match in charge com­ing to­day when Malta visit Wem­b­ley in Eng­land’s sec­ond Group F fix­ture.

/REUTERS

Eng­land in­terim boss Gareth South­gate with play­ers dur­ing a past train­ing ses­sion.

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