England look for ‘inspiration’; Southgate primed

Date published: Wednesday 29th June 2016 8:29

Gareth Southgate

Whoop-de-doo. Gareth Southgate is in line to take charge of England on a temporary basis after chief executive Martin Glenn suggested the Football Association could wait up to a year to name Roy Hodgson’s permanent successor.

Monday brought the well-travelled 68-year-old’s turbulent four-year reign to a shuddering halt, with the shock Euro 2016 exit to Iceland in the last 16 leading to his immediate resignation.

Reports suggest Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri were likely to be sounded out, but Glenn was not keen to talk names yesterday. Maybe he has looked at a list of the eight favourites and despaired like we did.

The FA chief executive did, though, concede England Under-21s manager Southgate would be a “pretty obvious” interim solution should they not appoint Hodgson’s successor by the first World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on September 4.

“We’ll see,” he said when asked of the time scale. “We’d like to get one for the first World Cup qualifier, but if we won’t we have an interim plan in mind.

“We are not talking about names today, but it would be a pretty obvious one to pick.

“We just don’t know yet who the runners and riders would be. We are going to scope out, which we start at the end of this week with (FA vice-chairman) David Gill and (technical director) Dan (Ashworth).

“It is – what’s the problem we need to solve?

“We clearly need an inspirational manager who can harness all of the resources that the English game, the big resources, has got, everything we have now got at St George’s Park, to make us more resilient in tournaments.

“That I think is a brief, but we want to work that through, but it is an inspirational manager and management team to get the best out of a squad which has got high potential.”

Inspiration? How about this for inspiration?

Glenn even suggested several people could take temporary control in a wide-ranging interview and did not rule Southgate out of the running for the permanent post, nor anyone else.

“As I said, it has got to be the best man or woman for the job,” he said, seemingly slipping into familiar chief executive rhetoric.

“More likely a man, but it’s the best person for the job. I don’t think we are ruling out anything.

“An ideal mix is somebody who has had experience of the English game, ideally at a significant level. That is what you would look for.”

Glenn has not ruled out waiting until the end of the season should the right person become available then, with Wenger one such high-profile manager whose deal expires next summer.

“It is a possibility, of course,” he said when asked if he would be prepared to wait – a comment he later clarified was “unlikely” but not inconceivable.

“If you said, ‘This person is an absolute shoo in, can you wait?’ then we are well-placed I think with an interim solution.

“You might get interim solutions plural as we have had in the past – get a few managers to come and help.

“It is such an important decision, we have got to get the right person.

“To wait a few months – if that is what we had to do – I think would be the right decision.”

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