The 47-year-old has guided England through an unbeaten qualification campaign
By James Hopper – @JamesHopper10
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Former England captain Rio Ferdinand has backed Gareth Southgate to get the best out of his young Three Lions squad ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Southgate is set to lead his country to a major tournament at the first time of asking since succeeding Sam Allardyce in September 2016.
The 47-year-old has guided England through an unbeaten qualification campaign against the likes of Scotland, Slovenia and Slovakia.
A new pool of talent including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford provides the former Middlesbrough coach with potential international stars.
And Ferdinand believes Southgate should be excited for the future as he works with the best young players England has to offer.
“They’ve got exciting players but they haven’t excited me yet,” Ferdinand said, speaking to Tony Cascarino on the Weekend Sports Breakfast.
“This England team is the type of team I would love to coach, because with the players they’ve got, they’ve got some great weapons if they’re utilised in the right way.
“At the moment, you can see Gareth Southgate is trying to implement all these ideas into these young players and it’s taking time. Sometimes that’s just the way it is.
“Gareth Southgate has a great opportunity with these guys because they have a lot of what you want in a team. There’s pace, there’s aggression, they’re direct, there’s energy, there’s youth.
“These are great things to start with for a manager and I think Gareth has a great opportunity to do something good with these guys.
“It’s just about how quick they take up the information.”
Rio Ferdinand was speaking ahead of competing in The EE Wembley Cup on Saturday, October 7. To see Rio back on the pitch at Wembley click here.