The pros and cons of Gareth Southgate's appointment as England manager


Gareth Southgate is the new permanent England manager after winning a one-horse race.

We analysed the 46-year-old's strengths and weaknesses to decide the pros and cons of his appointment.


Gareth Southgate
(Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport)

Knows England's youth

Named the Football Association's head of elite development in 2011, he then took the role of England Under-21s manager in August 2013. Southgate led the team to the 2015 and 2017 Euros finals, in-between leading the country to their first Toulon tournament glory in 22 years.

Southgate watches youngsters
(Nick Potts/PA)

It is little wonder Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn said that "nobody knows the nation's young talent better than Gareth".

England expects

Gareth Barry and Southgate
(Michael Stephens/PA)

As well as knowing what talent there is, Southgate knows better than most what is required when it comes to representing England and working within the FA. It would be wrong to define his playing career by his missed penalty at Euro 96, having performed admirably for his country in winning 57 caps between 1995 and 2004.

Southgate has worked within the governing body on and off since the start of 2011, playing a key role in setting out England's DNA and bringing through young players. He knows things need to change if major tournament performances are to improve.


Southgate claps his players
(Matt Dunham/AP)

He may not be the loud, chest-beating kind of person, but across his entire career Southgate has displayed leadership. The former defender performed admirably for his country and captained every club he played for. Southgate has never shirked his responsibilities or walked away when the going gets tough, with those credentials evident when managing Middlesbrough and the Under-21s.


Gareth Southgate
(Mike Egerton/PA)


Southgate does not have the deepest managerial CV and in September admitted he was not ready for the senior job.

The 46-year-old's only job in club management was with Middlesbrough, where 12th and 13th place finishes were followed by relegation from the Premier League in 2009 and firing within months. Southgate returned to management in August 2013 as head coach of the England Under-21s.

Is he too nice?

Southgate smiling
(Matthias Schrader/AP)

They say nice guys finish last and being nice is "an accusation" Southgate has faced throughout his life, and was asked again about recently.

"It can be (a compliment) and sometimes it isn't necessarily," he said, before pointing to a firmness and discipline that underpins his management style.

The best of a shallow pool

Southgate and Hodgson
(Adam Davy/PA)

Almost as depressing as England's Euro 2016 exit to minnows Iceland was the dearth of options to succeed Roy Hodgson. The choices shrunk further after Sam Allardyce's brief reign, with Southgate the clear choice to succeed him permanently after a solid four-match temporary stint. He might be the right man, but the lack of competition is a concern.