Gareth Southgate has officially been offered the England job and could be announced as their new permanent manager early next week, reports the Telegraph.
The former Middlesbrough and under-21 boss has enjoyed mixed results during his interim spell in charge, the low points coming in a 0-0 draw with minnows Slovenia and letting a two-goal lead slip in the friendly with Spain.
Yet, wins against Malta and Scotland in World Cup qualifiers have done enough to convince the FA that he’s the man for the job.
There will be a core of England fans who are delighted with the imminent appointment. Southgate’s CV with the under-21s has always suggested he would give young players a chance if he were ever in charge of the senior side, and that can only be a positive.
Questions are still being raised, however, about exactly how much control the England manager has. It may not even be up to Southgate who makes his starting XI, and in recent weeks, he has recalled the likes of the ageing Phil Jagielka to the Three Lions’ peril.
Southgate’s appointment has the potential to be a successful one – relatively speaking, not in terms of England actually winning anything – but only if he’s allowed to work with the current crop of players as he chooses.
Given the options, Southgate seems like the most sensible candidate, and one whose heart might actually be in the job.
The FA are currently on their third manager in a matter of months after the debacle of Sam Allardyce, so there’s more pressure than ever to get this one right.