Gareth Southgate: The right man for the England job?
Gareth Southgate has been announced as the new permanent England manager. We take a look at his credentials and if he is the right man for the job.
Although he is still relatively young for a manager at 46, Southgate began his managerial career a decade ago. His first role was at Middlesbrough, fittingly perhaps after Steve McClaren left for the England post. At the time he did not have the requisite coaching badges but was allowed an exemption by the Premier League in 2006 as he had not had sufficient time to qualify after calling time on his playing career.
Gareth Southgate - England Under-21s managerPA Sport
The former England centre-back did go on to pick up the UEFA Pro Licence and guided the North East club to 12th in the Premier League in 2007. There were high points – notably the 8-1 thrashing of Manchester City 2008 – and another mid-table finish before they were relegated from the Premier League. After this he was duly sacked, although Boro had the chance to bounce straight back up after a solid start to the following season.
England Under 21s
After a stint as a co-commentator and a role as the head of elite development at the FA, Southgate went back into coaching in 2013 to replace his former England team-mate Stuart Pearce who was sacked as boss of the Under 21s after a poor European Championship. He successfully led the talented team – that included Tottenham striker Harry Kane – to the 2015 event, but controversially decided to leave talented players such as Ross Barkley, Jack Wilshere, Raheem Sterling, Phil Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at home after they had featured for the senior side.
Harry Kane representing England U21PA Sport
England were knocked out in the group stages following a 3-1 defeat by Italy, when a point would have been enough to qualify for the last four. Despite a win over Sweden, they exited before the knockout stage for the third successive tournament.
His record as interim England boss
'There's another side to him that people haven't seen' - What former pros/managers say
Middlesbrough manager Aitor KarankaReuters
"It's the right step. It's not about Gareth. If he loses two games in a row, it is not his fault; so it's build something strong. England can do it."
"There's always a demand for big names but the most important thing is the person's competency. He has a good opportunity and I'm happy he has a chance to show he has the quality."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during trainingReuters
“But there is another side to him and I have seen that. When he was captain at Palace and I was manager, he was not afraid to argue with me. He could be awkward.
"He was great in the changing room. One time at Southampton we had had a terrible first half and I walked in to see him swinging punches at another player, because he didn't feel he was giving 100 per cent. He was not afraid to do that - and that is a side of him that people have not seen."
'Southgate is no doormat' - The Media View
Following the comfortable win over Scotland and encouraging draw with Spain in the most recent international window, the papers were generally positive about the appointment.
" If there has been a popular perception of Southgate as a doormat, ready to be walked all over by the FA hierarchy and club managers alike, he has so far done a decent job of showing he is tougher than his polite demeanour suggests."
" England went at Spain with a freedom and passion which screamed 'Give Gareth Southgate the job'"
" A resounding victory against Scotland was followed by a feisty display against Spain, and the fact that these young players have turned up for their interim boss is as good a reason as any to give Southgate the job now on a permanent basis"
That said, his managerial record is patchy at best, with no real success to fall back on. Although there seems to be positive murmurings in the press, this, in reality, is a shot in the dark. The FA will hope that Southgate's relative youth compared with Hodgson will allow him to forge a strong link with the squad and that he can use his experience of the Under 21s to bring through young talent.
But after Iceland, how much worse can it get? Actually, don't answer that...