Gareth Southgate has been confirmed as the permanent England manager on a four-year deal, the FA has confirmed. The 46-year-old's nomination as the long-term successor to Sam Allardyce was ratified by the FA board on Wednesday (30 November), leading to his formal appointment after a four-game spell as interim boss.
Southgate enjoyed wins over Malta and Scotland and draws with Slovenia and Spain after being put in temporary charge following the departure of Allardyce, who left the post after 67 days following a newspaper sting. The former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough captain has been coach of the England Under-21 side since 2013, during which time he guided them to the 2015 European Championships.
Following the final match of his caretaker spell in charge in the 2-2 draw with 2010 world champions Spain, Southgate was interview for the role by a five-man panel for the position. The group comprised of the FA's chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth, League Managers' Association (LMA) chairman Howard Wilkinson and former England defender Graeme Le Saux.
"I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager," Southgate, who won 57 international caps as a player, told The FA.com. "However, I'm also conscious that getting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job successfully. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there's huge potential. I'm determined to give everything I have to give the country a team that they're proud of and one that they're going to enjoy watching play and develop. For me, the hard work starts now."
CEO Glenn added: "We are delighted to confirm Gareth as England manager. He's obviously somebody we know well but it's his understanding of international football and the development set-up at St. George's Park that is important. He performed extremely well during the four games he was in temporary charge and he impressed us during a tough interview process. Gareth is a great ambassador for what The FA stands for, he's a very good football tactician and a leader but beneath that he's a winner and that's an important part of the job."
Despite the likes of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and German coach Ralf Rangnick both being linked with the job (The Daily Telegraph), Southgate – whose initial contract takes him up until after Euro 2020 – appears to have been the only candidate formally interviewed. He begins his tenure as the permanent manager in earnest in a friendly against Germany in Dortmund on 22 March 2017 before a World Cup qualifier with Lithuania at Wembley on 26 March.
The main challenges facing Southgate include restoring public confidence in an England team which has flattered to decisive at major tournaments for half a century, while also implementing the 'England DNA' that is regarded as a key component of the FA's vision of the game.