South­gate looks likely to lead the Three Lions

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

GARETH South­gate was ex­pected to be ap­proved as the new Eng­land man­ager by Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion chiefs yes­ter­day, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tish me­dia re­ports.

South­gate has been in in­terim charge since re­plac­ing Sam Al­lardyce in Septem­ber af­ter he was forced out just 67 days into his reign fol­low­ing a Daily Tele­graph in­ves­ti­ga­tion into cor­rup­tion in foot­ball.

The 46-year-old South­gate has made it clear he wants the job and, given the lack of other qual­ity can­di­dates, is be­lieved to have done enough dur­ing his four games in charge to con­vince the FA to hand him the post on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

South­gate’s po­si­tion was ex­pected to be rat­i­fied dur­ing an FA board meet­ing yes­ter­day, although an of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment did not ar­rive by time of print.

The for­mer Mid­dles­brough boss, who would be­come Eng­land’s third man­ager this year fol­low­ing the de­par­tures of Roy Hodg­son and Al­lardyce, spoke to a five-per­son panel at St Ge­orge’s Park on Novem­ber 21 af­ter the end of his in­terim reign.

FA chair Greg Clarke, chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Glenn, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Dan Ash­worth, for­mer Eng­land player Graeme Le Saux and League Man­agers’ As­so­ci­a­tion chair Howard Wilkin­son were all in­volved.

While it was billed as an in­ter­view, it was more of a dis­cus­sion about South­gate’s vi­sion of the Eng­land team.

Glenn had pre­vi­ously con­firmed South­gate was in a strong po­si­tion and the for­mer Eng­land de­fender wanted the job.

Dur­ing his brief ten­ure South­gate has al­ready had to deal with con­tro­versy with cap­tain Wayne Rooney pic­tured min­gling with guests at the ho­tel where Eng­land were based dur­ing his free time fol­low­ing the 3-0 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing win over Scot­land.

News­pa­per re­ports sug­gested the skip­per was drunk and made an un­sched­uled ap­pear­ance at a wed­ding re­cep­tion, with chief ex­ec­u­tive Glenn promis­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the con­duct of all play­ers and staff dur­ing their free time.

South­gate was un­beaten in his four games, win­ning two and draw­ing two, in­clud­ing this month’s win over Scot­land which left Eng­land top of Group F as they bid to reach the 2018 World Cup.

Eng­land also beat Malta and drew in Slove­nia be­fore a 2-2 friendly draw with Spain in South­gate’s last game, when they squan­dered a two-goal lead in the fi­nal min­utes at Wem­b­ley.

South­gate’s back­room team will be dis­cussed at the board meet­ing, with Chelsea as­sis­tant coach Steve Hol­land set to be handed a full­time role with the se­nior na­tional side.

The FA must also look at the age group set-ups with un­der-20 man­ager Aidy Boothroyd hav­ing tem­po­rar­ily stepped up to re­place South­gate, who had pre­vi­ously served as un­der-21 boss. – ENG­LAND cap­tain Alas­tair Cook is look­ing for­ward to a rare week-long break in a hec­tic play­ing sched­ule af­ter the heavy third Test de­feat against In­dia in Mo­hali on Novem­ber 29.

Vi­rat Kohli’s side won by eight wick­ets to take an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead in the five-Test se­ries.

But Eng­land’s play­ers are look­ing to un­wind with some wel­come down time in Dubai be­fore mak­ing the short trip from the Gulf re­sort city to Mumbai for the fourth Test, which be­gins on De­cem­ber 8.

“The break comes at a very good time, ob­vi­ously, af­ter three back-to­back Test matches,” Cook told reporters af­ter the de­feat.

Some of the Eng­land squad have been on duty since land­ing in Bangladesh on Septem­ber 30 for three one­day in­ter­na­tion­als fol­lowed by the 1-1 draw in the Test se­ries there.

Cook him­self has spent just 18 hours with his new-born daugh­ter af­ter dash­ing home from the Bangladesh tour for her birth.

“We have this week off and I think, most peo­ple go­ing to Dubai,” said Cook. “Men­tally it will be break from cricket. We will come back lit­tle bit more re­freshed.”

‘The In­dia we played in 2012 was dif­fer­ent, prob­a­bly an age­ing team com­pared to now.’

Alas­tair Cook

Eng­land cap­tain

Photo: AFP

Gareth South­gate is poised to as­sume the long-term post of coach­ing Eng­land’s na­tional side.

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