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James backs Southgate for full-time England job

Ex-England international David James believes his former team-mate Gareth Southgate should be given the chance to manage the Three Lions on a full-time basis. 

Under-21 boss Southgate is in charge of the England senior side for four games following the departure of Sam Allardyce, but James believes his experience at international level as a player and experience of working with young players makes him an ideal long-term candidate.

England beat Malta 2-0 in Southgate’s first game in charge before a goalless draw in Slovenia kept them top of World Cup qualification group F.

“I like Gareth, he knows the game. He’s played the game at the international level and he’s had the ups and downs at international level, which is important as well,” said James at an event for the Asmir Begovic Foundation.

“He also is very familiar with the Under-21 players in the squad at the moment –  all the players who have gone through the Under-21 process – and I think the way he handles media is ideal as well.

“It’s not to say he’s perfect, but I think in the search for perfection, at this moment, it could be a very exhausting process.

“Why not allow Gareth to have that opportunity?”

James added that he was envious of Joe Hart joining Torino on a season-long loan from Manchester City after he fell out of favour under new manager Pep Guardiola.

“He’s getting an experience which English goalkeepers historically never get,” James said.

“For him to go there for one season and come back –  if it’s at Man City ideally that would be good –  but if it isn’t then if you’re looking back at the England question, you’re looking at an international goalkeeper with an experience that he can actually act on and improve on at 31 years old.”

Fri 28 Oct, 2016
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