Gareth Southgate has been appointed permanent England manager. The 46-year-old had assumed the role on a caretaker basis following the resignation of Sam Allardyce in September. Southgate guided the Three Lions to seven points from a possible nine in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying – results which left them two points clear at the Group F summit – and what was viewed as an encouraging 2-2 friendly draw with Spain.
"I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager," Southgate said on The FA's official website. "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."
Southgate, who captained the three clubs he represented as a player – namely Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough – won 57 England caps between 1995 and 2004. The elegant centre-back infamously had a penalty saved by Andreas Kopke in the UEFA EURO 1996 semi-final shootout, which sent Germany through. Southgate went to France 1998, where he came on in England’s exhilarating Round-of-16 loss to Argentina on spot-kicks, and Korea/Japan 2002, though he failed to make an appearance in the latter.
The Watford native began his managerial career at Middlesbrough, and his only other post came in the England U-21s’ hot-seat, from which he mentored several players who have since won senior caps, namely Jack Butland, Calum Chambers, John Stones, Luke Shaw, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Wilfried Zaha, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Dany Ings, Andy Carroll and Harry Kane.
Southgate’s first games as permanent boss will come in March, when England face Germany in a friendly in Dortmund before hosting Lithuania in Russia 2018 qualifying.