England manager Gareth Southgate praised Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for making “brave” choices to start their managerial careers and added that he will always be available if they want to talk to him.
Both clubs present the challenge of reconciling high supporter expectations with limited financial resources, but Southgate regards their decision to sacrifice lucrative pundit jobs with BT Sport in favour of testing themselves in the dugout as a positive step for English football.
“They’re two really good characters, and in particular it’s great to see two lads that I think have a lot to offer the game stay in it,” the England boss said. “There’s an easier route to go but they haven’t taken that, and that’s brave. Both of them I’m sure could have a far more comfortable life, but maybe not as fulfilling.
“They’re going to have a different type of challenge, they’re going to develop different skills, different experiences, but it’s great that they’ve got the opportunity to put back into our game.
“We want more English coaches and when in the future the England job is available, we want lots of high-quality candidates whether they’ve played or not played.
“But there is obviously an advantage for the guys who have played in terms of the experiences they can pass on, among all the other things.
“I’m really pleased to see it and I wish them both well.”
Asked if he had advised the pair on managerial matters, Southgate insisted his door was open to them.
“Not so much advice, they both know if they ever want to speak about anything then I’m more than happy to.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.