FA considers Southgate for interim job

Gareth Southgate congratulates his players at the Toulon Tournament

The Football Association is prepared to make Gareth Southgate interim England manager for the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign as it begins a global search for Roy Hodgson’s successor.

Hodgson resigned after four years as manager following the humiliating Euro 2016 last-16 loss to Iceland in Nice on Monday.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn, sitting alongside an emotional Hodgson in Chantilly, even suggested the search could take months – bringing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger into the equation as he enters the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium.

Glenn, asked if England Under-21 boss Southgate could take charge for the opening qualifier against Slovakia in September, said: “We’ll see.

“We’d like to get one for the first World Cup qualifier, but it we don’t we have an interim plan in mind.

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

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The selection process will be led by Glenn, FA board member David Gill and technical director Dan Ashworth – and they plan to conduct a widespread consultation process before narrowing down the contenders.

Glenn said “It’s such an important decision. We have got to get the right person. To wait a few months – if that’s what we had to do – would be the right decision.

“You might get a few interim solutions, where a few managers come to help.”

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Wenger would be a prime candidate if the FA could tempt him – so would the FA wait a year for any manager, not necessarily the Arsenal boss, to see out a deal?

Glenn said the FA would not delay that long if it jeopardised the World Cup qualifying campaign, but added: “It would be unlikely. A lot of things can happen in a year which may undo your plans.

“So what I am saying is it is hypothetical. I wouldn’t rule it out but I would say it would be less likely.”

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Glenn also refused to restrict the search to English coaches and insisted choosing a foreign coach would not impact on the production of hoe-grown players.

“It has to be the best person for the job,” he said.

“You have to make trade-offs. If there were the perfect English manager you would pick them. I am not sure there is, but we would take a good look and make a rational assessment.

“The Premier League clubs all want home-grown players to get through because it makes financial sense. If I were to pick a foreign coach I don’t think that would change anything materially or somehow lose face.”

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He was backed by outgoing manager Hodgson, who said: “I don’t have a problem with it. It would be very hypocritical of me to do so having been coach of Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.

“I think I should be the last person to say it’s got to be a national. It’s got to be the best person.

I think it would be nice if it was an Englishman. I have been proud as an Englishman to do the job and I have had a lot of support from the general public as an Englishman – but Martin will have to find the best person available.”

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