When Sam Allardyce left his position as England manager back in September, Gareth Southgate was handed the reins in a caretaker capacity for four games.We are now halfway through those four ties so Southgate has just two more opportunities to earn the position on a full-time basis, if of course he wants the job.
Southgate won his first game in charge of England with a 2-0 victory coming at Wembley over Malta. The Three Lions were expected to roll over the minnows of international football but could only find the back of the net on two occasions against a side which was made up solely of part-time players.
Just days later, he took his squad to Slovenia in what was always going to be a much tougher assignment. England came away from that game with a 0-0 draw following a lacklustre display, however, it could be argued it was a point gained rather than two points lost.
Unless England show much more in their next two games against Scotland and Spain respectively, it is difficult to say Southgate has done enough to merit the chance to lead the national team towards the World Cup in Russia in 2018. England are expected to beat Scotland, they are 4/11 in the bet365 international football betting markets, while they will be marginal favourites to get the better of Spain in their friendly.
After things went terribly wrong in France back in the summer at Euro 2016, losing to Iceland in the last 16 of the competition, the FA thought they had got their appointment right when Allardyce became Roy Hodgson’s replacement. Things started well for Big Sam as he won his first game in charge with a 1-0 win coming away to Slovakia, leaving England very optimistic about the future.
Sadly Allardyce was not able to continue in his role with England, therefore the FA are under even more pressure to get their next appointment right. The association will be desperate to avoid any further embarrassments to them or the position and that is going to be a considerable factor when it comes to Allardyce’s successor.
Southgate has worked with the FA since 2011 when he accepted a role as head of elite development. He then went on to become the England under-21 manager in 2013 where he has been very successful, with the highlight being their Toulon tournament win earlier this year, England’s first success in the competition in 22 years.
Although Southgate is unlikely to be involved in any scandals, he has not done enough on his CV to justify being hand the job. Instead England have a choice of experienced managers who are out of work. Roberto Mancini is the pick of that bunch. The former Inter Milan boss has worked in England so knows English football very well.
Mancini was known at Manchester City for getting the best of out of some hard to handle players such as Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. If the FA are happy to appoint a foreign manager again, Mancini could be the right man to lead England into the future.