LONDON: Gareth Southgate is England’s new manager. No more “interim.” He completed four matches undefeated in place of the short-lived Sam Allardyce and has now been officially appointed to the role by a Football Association board meeting.
He has agreed a four-year contract worth between £1.5m and £2m per year and including a ‘break’ option after the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Allardyce, 61, quit after only 61 days in charge after being caught up talking out of turn about the transfer system in an under-cover investigative operation by The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
While Allardyce was in charge Southgate, the England under-21 manager since 2013, said he had not felt ready for the senior job after Roy Hodgson’s resignation following the dismal Euro 2016 quarter-final exit to the minnows of Iceland.
Southgate’s caretaker tenure saw England beat Malta 2-0, draw 0-0 in Slovenia, defeat Scotland 3-0 and draw 2-2 in a home Wembley friendly against Spain. He said after the Spain match that he hoped for a speedy resolution of his position so that he would “know which space to use in the car park.”
The former Middlesbrough manager dealt solidly with controversies involving Wayne Rooney – first in dropping him from the starting line-up for a World Cup qualifier in Slovenia and then the captain’s drunken appearance at a wedding party inbetween matches.
Subsquently Southgate underwent a formal three-hour interview with a five-mabn panel led by FA chairman Greg Clarke and accompanied by ceo Martin Glenn and technical director Dan Ashworth.
Also present, in an advisory capacity, wer former England player Graeme Le Saux and Howard Wilkinson, the chairman of the League Managers Association and himself a former England caretaker.
Much of the discussion centred around Southgate’s vision for England going forward and the staff he would want, notably the Chelsea coach Steve Holland.
Southgate, born in Watford on September 3, 1970, scored two goals in 57 appearances as a defensive midfielder for England between 1995 and 2004. He played at one world Cup and two European Championships while the The lowest point of his international career was missing the decisive penalty in England’s semi-final against Germany at Euro 1996.
At club level Southgate won the League Cup with both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough (in 1995–96 and 2003–04 respectively, and as captain), and captaining Crystal Palace to win the second division title in 1994.
Southgate also reached FA Cup and UEFA Cup Finals before retiring in 2006 after more than 500 league appearances. He then managed Middlesbrough from June 2006 to October 2009 and subsequently joined the FA staff before stepping up as under-21 manager in August 2013.