(Reuters) - England might actually benefit from Sam Allardyce’s shock exit with caretaker manager Gareth Southgate bringing in a fresh approach to the job, according to former Scotland midfielder Archie Gemmill.
Thrust into the job after Allardyce departed following an undercover newspaper investigation, Southgate’s immediate challenge is England’s World Cup qualifiers at home to Malta on Saturday and away to Slovenia three days later.
“It’s fresh management once again. Gareth has been with the England set-up for quite a few years, he has had a stint at Middlesbrough as a manager. So he’ll know a large percentage of the players,” Gemmill told British media.
“It’s someone who is a bit younger and possibly a bit fresher and might have some different ideas. I think it might help them.”
Southgate will also be in charge in a third World Cup qualifier at home to Scotland, who breezed past Malta 5-1 earlier this month, in November.
Gemmill felt the former Middlesbrough manager’s appointment will make England stronger and Scotland should target second place in Group F.
“I think that will possibly make England stronger. I think Scotland should look at it as a group minus England,” he added.
“If Scotland can concentrate on picking up the points against Lithuania, Slovakia, Malta and take it as that, if they win the group minus England, they are going to be in a play-off for the World Cup.”
Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty