How Southgate took England from laughing stock to heroes
Three years on and manager’s stock is still rising
It is three years to the day that Gareth Southgate took charge of his first England game and few of the 81,000 crowd who watched his side labour to a 2-0 win over Malta at Wembley would have staked too much on him enjoying a long reign.
The job had rather fallen into the hands of the former Under 21s coach after Sam Allardyce was sacked after 67 days in charge after being embroiled in an undercover newspaper sting.
Southgate was initially installed as caretaker manager – a “safe pair of hands” to guide England through choppy waters following a humiliating exit to Iceland under former manager Roy Hodgson at the 2016 European Championship in France...