Gareth Southgate admits he loves football but not the industry
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/10/16 7:35am
Gareth Southgate says football is a sport he loves but the interim England manager admits there are aspects of the football industry he does not like.
Reports by the Daily Telegraph's investigation team over the past week have shone a light on an unedifying side of the sport, with allegations made against several high-profile footballing figures.
Sam Allardyce left his position as England manager after comments made to undercover reporters, and, while insisting he knew little about the details of the Telegraph investigation, Southgate is clearly disheartened about some aspects about the sport.
"I have to say I'm involved in a sport that I love and an industry that at times I don't like," he said. "The detail of what happened last week, I'm not too au fait with.
"I've heard names mentioned and bits of information but I don't have the detail so I don't think I can speculate about what might or might not have happened."
The 46-year-old says there are "many different areas" of the industry he does particularly like, but the chance to improve the country's best is his only focus.
"I started kicking a ball around with my dad and my granddad and my one aim was to play for England at Wembley," Southgate said. "I fulfilled that dream.
"I love the sport, I love watching it, I love taking part in it, so to be manager of my country, having played for my country as many times as I did, then I feel it is an honour and privilege and I am really looking forward to it.
"That is sport at its purest form. It's what I love. Not just football. That challenge, having to go across the white line and put yourself on the block. That is what it is always about. I'm always drawn to the [Theodore] Roosevelt quote.
"At times you have got to step forward and you have got to take a risk. You have got to put yourself in that situation. To be in that position is a privilege."
The passage Southgate refers to is called 'The Man in the Arena' and was in a speech by former United States president Theodore Roosevelt.
It is about somebody being involved in a situation that requires great courage - attributes that appear necessary at a time when English football has been thrown into a tailspin.
Southgate is keen to now move away from the background noise of the past week and avoided expanding on the aspects of football he does not like, preferring to focus on getting the team ready for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.
Asked if he had any reservations about taking interim control, he said: "None whatsoever. None.
"I think experience gives you a feel of what is right at certain times. My feel was that this was a moment when it was right to step up and put myself forward.
"I felt best placed to do that. We have got to give the players the best opportunity to succeed in the three qualifiers coming up."