Former England boss Sam Allardyce says he is “jealous” of Gareth Southgate and believes it should be him leading the national team at the World Cup.
Allardyce left his post as England coach by mutual agreement in September 2016 after only one match in charge.
His exit followed claims by a newspaper that he gave advice on how to “get around” player transfer rules.
Nearly two years on, as the England team head to Russia for the World Cup, Allardyce said: “Jealous is what I feel. Massively disappointed. That should be me there. Unfortunately because of the circumstances that wasn’t the case.
“One night I was playing golf – next day they said you can’t carry on. And I still don’t know why… because in the cold light of day, there was no substance, nothing behind it.
“If a bit more time was taken, a bit more patience, I believe I should still be the England manager.”
Southgate replaced Allardyce and guided England to the top of their World Cup qualifying group unbeaten, with seven wins and two draws from his matches in charge.
The former coach said: “I’ve bounced back now – and while I will be extremely jealous I will be watching Gareth and the lads and hope they do extremely well.”
Asked whether managing the national team was an impossible task, Allardyce added: “It’s not the impossible job because people keep doing it. You’ve got to take the opportunity – it’s the greatest challenge there is.
“I’m really proud to be the man in the spotlight, even though it wasn’t for long enough. It will always be one of the biggest moments in my career.”