GARETH SOUTHGATE is England’s new manager after his long-expected appointment was confirmed by the Football Association.
The 46-year-old signed a four-year deal on Wednesday after his nomination as Sam Allardyce’s successor was nodded through during an FA board meeting at St George’s Park.
Southgate became interim manager in September, stepping up from his role as under-21 boss, winning two and drawing two of his four games in charge and was the only candidate interviewed for the job.
Southgate 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.”
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.”
FA chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Glenn and technical director Dan Ashworth, who were joined by Howard Wilkinson and Graeme Le Saux in questioning Southgate over three hours last Monday, agreed unanimously they had the right man and presented their findings to the remainder of the 12-strong board in a scheduled session at the national football centre.
No vote was required and, with no opposition forthcoming and Southgate on site, the paperwork was finalised.
The finer points of the contract have not been made public but it is understood he will earn around £2million a year, four times his previous salary and higher than initial forecasts.
There is likely to be a performance-related element to the deal, with a break clause after the 2018 World Cup.
Having only previously managed Middlesbrough and the Young Lions, Southgate lacks experience at the top level but is the first former England international to hold the job since Kevin Keegan resigned in 2000.
England do not play again until March, when Southgate will lead the team for a friendly in Germany followed by a Wembley qualifier against Lithuania.
Southgate, who won 57 caps between 1995 and 2004, distanced himself from the role when he was linked in the Euro 2016 autopsy but accepted the reins on a temporary basis when Allardyce was forced out by a newspaper sting one game into his tenure.
He went on to take seven points from a possible nine in qualifying, including an all-important 3-0 win over neighbours Scotland, and went toe-to-toe with Spain in a 2-2 friendly draw.
He has also impressed in others regards, dealing deftly with the media, bravely dropping captain Wayne Rooney in just his second match and garnering good feedback for his interactions with the squad.
If proof were needed that he had aced his elongated audition it came with the confirmation that the FA declined to invite any other candidates for interview.
Much of the subsequent time was instead spent debating staffing issues, with the FA eager to enlist assistant Steve Holland on a full-time basis having previously used him on a job-split basis with Chelsea.
The Blues are understood to be willing to let their employee move on but with their Premier League title challenge in full swing, would prefer to make changes at the end of the campaign.
The future of coach Sammy Lee, who was initially drafted by his close friend Allardyce and kept on during Southgate’s interim stint, has also been discussed.
The FA also need to replace Southgate as under-21 boss.
Aidy Boothroyd stepped up from the under-20s when Southgate took charge of the senior squad, winning both games to qualify for Euro 2017, but is not guaranteed to continue, with the FA open to other ideas.
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