67 days. That’s how long Sam Allardyce lasted as England manager and now, ahead of this weekend’s World Cup qualifying clash with Malta, Gareth Southgate is taking the reigns- in a role that will probably last until the end of the year and, possibly, until the end of the season.
Following England’s disastrous campaign at Euro 2016 there was plenty of problems that needed fixing. Allardyce, however, didn’t have the time to cover those issues- and the problems Southgate faces in his new role are even bigger, with some new ones rearing their ugly heads.
Ahead of England’s two internationals during this break from domestic action, we’ve identified five problems for Southgate.
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What to do with Wayne
The biggest problem right now is captain Wayne Rooney who, currently, is a thorn in the side of the national team. England’s skipper and all-time leading goalscorer is pretty much guaranteed his place in the starting eleven due to the fact he wears the armband but the fact is he’s no longer the best option available.
Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane are the most obvious choices up front, although the latter is absent from the current squad, whilst Marcus Rashford, Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott present alternative options. This time out, it’s likely Rooney will feature in attack but when everyone is available, where does he fit in?
The experiment of Rooney in midfield was undoubtably a failure, whilst his inclusion there also means the formation and selection choices are limited, so you have to wonder whether Rooney would have been doing everyone a favour if he hung up his boots in the summer.