A game of 21s

The Times' Matt Dickinson fears the Football Association could have made a mistake in appointing Gareth Southgate as the new England under-21 manager.

Last Updated: 25/08/13 at 16:58 Post Comment

The former England defender replaces Stuart Pearce, who left the role in June following a disappointing European Championship campaign.

Southgate, who was previously the FA's head of elite development, will also oversee the coaches with responsibility for the under-16s through to the under-20s.

Dickinson admits Southgate has great knowledge of the game, which he often demonstrates as a pundit on ITV, but says the FA's insistence on appointing an Englishman could have left them with a man who does not have the requisite coaching experience for the role.

"I don't think anyone can revolutionise English football," he told Sunday Supplement. "I think that is shooting for the stars and I think we gave up on that a while ago.

"We have all spent a lot of time with Gareth. He is on the road a lot doing his punditry. He spent 18 months at the FA looking at youth development. He knows his stuff and cares about his stuff. My worry is that it is a coaching job.

"It is a big coaching job. It is not just the under-21s but all the development teams and the one thing that Gareth's CV does not screaming is coaching experience.

"He had three years at Middlesbrough where he was thrown in at the deep end; he didn't even have his badges at that stage. He has now gone and done his badges.

"But I just think that if you are looking at wanting a guy who has the coaching acumen and experience, hopefully some new, fresh and radical ideas, you don't give it to someone who is a relative novice in coaching.

"That is my big worry. But the trouble is that when the FA say this is going to be an English appointment, which they clearly felt it had to be, then you are very much restricting the field."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Premier League: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers targets win at Norwich

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Sunderland's draw with Manchester City is a "warning sign" for his side.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property