Gareth Southgate has finally been confirmed as England manager. The Reluctant One, who twice said he didn’t think he was ready for the job, has been given a four-year contract that will see him in charge of England for the 2018 World Cup and then through to Euro 2020 (should he last that long).
Having taken charge of four games on an interim basis and not messing it up – two draws and two wins – and the lack of viable alternatives, he was always going to be given the job full time.
The length of contract may be considered a surprise though.
The former Middlesbrough and England Under-21 manager said: ‘I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager. However, I’m also conscious that getting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job successfully.
‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there’s huge potential. I’m determined to give everything I have to give the country a team that they’re proud of and one that they’re going to enjoy watching play and develop. For me, the hard work starts now.’
FA chief executive Martin Glenn added: ‘We are delighted to confirm Gareth as England manager. He’s obviously somebody we know well but it’s his understanding of international football and the development set-up at St. George’s Park that is important.
‘He performed extremely well during the four games he was in temporary charge and he impressed us during a tough interview process.
‘Gareth is a great ambassador for what The FA stands for, he’s a very good football tactician and a leader but beneath that he’s a winner and that’s an important part of the job.’
Southgate’s appointment comes after Sam Allardyce was sacked in murky circumstances after just one game in charge.
His first game will be against Germany next year and his last – if all goes well and he departs at the end of his contract – would be the Euro 2020 final which is being held at Wembley. Fingers crossed.