I was pleased for Allardyce when he got the job and thought he'd do a decent job, he may have, but I did say at the time that I thought England should go for a young manager and build a young side up with a view to 4-6 years time and not just the 2018 World Cup. I was impressed with England for most of the game last night, players looked really confident on the ball and looked threatening on the counter. Think it's been refreshing to see a young manager in charge, from a personal experience with Wales, going from Toshack to Speed and now Coleman, it was the same sort of thing, it doesn't happen overnight though and if he keeps showing that he deserves the time then he should be given the time to make England a very good side again. People might think "Southgate?!", I had the same thought when Coleman replaced Speed for Wales. Fact is England have tried going down the experienced route for as long as I can rememeber, time for a different approach. Spain in a similar position too, I was unfamilar with him until last night when I looked him up and saw he'd coached Spain's age grade teams and had a 100% win record with their U21s. Southgate not as successful with England U21s but won the Toulon tournament with England's U21s in the summer, it's not a major tournament and i'm unsure of the quality of the opposition but he's won something with players who could well go on to play for the senior team and that's something I don't think an England manager has ever had or at least for a while.
I've got to be honest I'm really not bothered by who is in charge of the national team. And I say that not because international football bores me or that I've really lost interest in England. I say that because I don't think you need the very best manager. What you need is someone who a) has the knowledge of the set up to bring young players in at the right time and b) is passionate about the team and country.
That's not meant to be a knock on Southgate but international management is not the be all and end all. It's either the way you can make a name for yourself as a young manager like Bilic. Or it's for older managers to see out their careers by taking charge of their countries.
If International management was the creme de la creme then Jose, Wenger, Pep, Ancelotti would all be clamouring for jobs. But they aren't because it's just not where the best want to be.
In International management you are limited by the players at your disposal. You can't go out and sign players. You can't get rid of players and bring others in. Well you can but not in a transfer market. You have to work with what you have. And if the country doesn't produce the best then you've got to try and do the best with that.
What I like about this appointment is that clearly Southgate is rated by the FA. He's been in charge of the under 21s and did enough to impress to get this chance. What I hope that means is that they see a long term project with him in charge. That he plans on bringing some of those younger guys through and that there is a development plan to build the team back up.
And hopefully the FA will look at the set up of youth football in this country because ultimately that's where it all starts.