South­gate edges closer to be­com­ing Eng­land’s boss

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

RED TAPE ap­pears to be all that is keep­ing Gareth South­gate away from be­ing named as the next per­ma­nent Eng­land man­ager af­ter he emerged from a marathon in­ter­view at St Ge­orge’s Park as the FA’s pre­ferred can­di­date.

De­spite the dis­ap­point­ing late ca­pit­u­la­tion against Spain, the rise in Eng­land per­for­mance lev­els un­der his care­taker spell in charge had al­ready put him in the driv­ing seat as Howard Wilkin­son and Graeme Le Saux joined Martin Glenn, Dan Ash­worth and Greg Clarke in iden­ti­fy­ing the na­tion’s third Eng­land man­ager in five months.

The feel­ing go­ing into today’s planned de-brief­ing ses­sion at St Ge­orge’s Park was that the po­si­tion was Gareth South- gate’s to lose and that pro­vided the fu­ture he out­lined was well-re­ceived, then there would be no need even to in­ter­view other can­di­dates.

That meet­ing lasted sev­eral hours, but South­gate ap­pears to have emerged with his rep­u­ta­tion in­tact, al­though part of the meet­ing is un­der­stood to have in­volved the thorny is­sue of player dis­ci­pline af­ter Wayne Rooney, Phil Jagielka, Adam Lal­lana and Jor­dan Hen­der­son – four of the most se­nior play­ers in the Eng­land set-up – all made neg­a­tive head­lines dur­ing his spell in charge.

Al­though South­gate’s £1.5m-a-year salary is an­other large drop fol­low­ing the steadily di­min­ish­ing pay-pack­ets of, in turn, Fabio Capello, Roy Hodg­son and Sam Al­lardyce, suc­cess will be re­warded hugely with FA chief ex­ec­u­tive Glenn a huge pro­po­nent of per­for­mance-re­lated pay.

The five-man panel are keep­ing quiet about their re­sponse to South­gate’s in­ter­view, al­though it seems that a man who im­pressed with his han­dling of drop­ping Rooney in Slove­nia again did not put a foot wrong when con­fronted with a po­ten­tially awk­ward sit­u­a­tion.

Even if the ver­dict is pos­i­tive, South­gate will have to wait un­til a full FA Board meet­ing planned for Novem­ber 30 for full ap­proval to be given – al­though there is lit­tle to sug­gest that there will be any chal­lenge to Glenn’s rec­om­men­da­tion. – Ex­press News­pa­pers

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