It’s just over a month since Gareth Southgate spoke of his reluctance to be in the running for the England manager’s job upon Roy Hodgson’s sacking and now he’s been thrown in at the deep end as an interim manager, after Sam Allardyce’s quick exit on Tuesday evening.
The current manager of the England national under-21’s team said at the time he didn’t feel he was qualified enough to manage the England senior team but thought it to be the ‘ultimate job.’
But nobody could foresee just 4 weeks down the line, Allardyce’s time as manager would be cut short after just 67 days, in the aftermath of an undercover newspaper investigation and Southgate put in to fill the void, in what is arguably the only immediate option.
Southgate, a Crawley man, may have questioned his confidence for the job in the past, but Football Association chairman Greg Clarke feels he will slip into the role seamlessly.
“Gareth Southgate will do a good job. He knows the people, he knows the team, he knows the set-up at St George’s Park. He’ll take over pretty seamlessly and he’ll get them organised for Malta in 10 days time.
“It wasn’t the plan we had but we’ve now got to make the new plan work,” he said.
Allardyce had scheduled in the announcement of the squad for the next month’s World Cup Qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, followed by the Scotland and Spain friendly in November, for Sunday evening, but the plans have now been changed.
In the meantime the FA will begin it’s challenging search for the new England manager once again, with Southgate a 6/4 favourite as an obvious choice for the job in a permanent capacity, while Steve Bruce (5/2) and Alan Pardew (6/1) are also in the frame.