Gareth Southgate Says He’s Happy as England Manager Amid Manchester United Links | Bleacher Report
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England manager Gareth Southgate says he’s honoured to serve at the helm of the national team and politely dismissed rumours linking him with the permanent position at Manchester United.
Sky Sports recently cited sources reporting Southgate, 48, was being considered to take over from interim United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Three Lions chief responded to the channel, suggesting he’s happy where he is (h/t Metro):
“I’m the England manager and it’s a privileged position to be in. We’ve had the best year for 28 years and we’ve got a semi-final this summer and a European Championship that’s predominantly at Wembley, providing we take care of business to qualify.
“So, it’s a hugely exciting time with the team. I don’t think we’ve progressed as far as we can yet. I think there’s room for us to grow.
“So, I think there’s a lot of importance in life about enjoying what you’re doing, and I am still a young coach. I’ve managed less than 200 matches, so, for me, it’s an honour to be in the role I’m in and I thoroughly enjoy it.”
Solskjaer, 45, has won his first seven gamed in charge of the Red Devils since taking over from fired Jose Mourinho on caretaker terms. Football writer Sam Lee didn’t see Southgate as a step up from the incumbent:
Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal
Not sure about Southgate/United. He’s done really well for England, not least by uniting fans and players under a fresh, forward-facing approach. Solskjaer’s doing that already, in what I would consider a style more suited to United. And both have things to prove tactically, too
Southgate said it was nice to be recognised for his work with England and added that in regards to his future with England, “there’s a lot for us to go for and a lot of improvement for us to make.”
United haven’t had an English manager since Ron Atkinson was fired in November 1986 and replaced by Sir Alex Ferguson, but it doesn’t appear likely Southgate will be the one to break that duck.
That’s not to say he hasn’t the potential to perform at a big club, although his only managerial stint at club level saw him see Middlesbrough to relegation in 2009.
Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam recently appeared on BBC 5 Live Sport and said the former England under-21s boss has to win the two biggest titles in international football before he can take over one of the elite:
BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport
‘Southgate needs to win the World Cup AND the Euros before he even thinks about getting a top four job’
@Charlie26Adam thinks that a club like #MUFC would not go for the England manager just yet
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Metro mentioned Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino and free-agent Zinedine Zidane as two of the top targets linked with the hot seat on a permanent basis.
The situation could be a moot point if Solskjaer maintains his terrific start to life at Old Trafford, however, with former crowd favourite the Baby-Faced Assassin already ahead with the United faithful.