Gareth Southgate is reconsidering his future as manager of the England national team after the Three Lions were knocked out of the 2022 World Cup by France
(Football news) Gareth Southgate is considering leaving his post as England manager after their quarter-final defeat to France at the 2022 World Cup. The 52 year old has always been open about wanting to return to club football management if he were to leave the Three Lions but the FA and England players want Southgate to stay until at least Euro 2024 in Germany. Southgate signed a contract extension with England that runs out until the European Championships but it remains to be seen if he will remain until then.
Under his leadership, England reached their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years but were knocked out by Croatia in extra time (Russia 2018). They went on to reach the finals of Euro 2020 but were defeated by Italy at the Wembley Stadium on penalties. It has been a case of so close, yet so far with Southgate’s England and it’s without a doubt that the future is bright for the England team considering the young players in the squad.
Southgate has been accused of being too conservative with his formation and style of play, but the reality is that England are now considered to be genuine threats in any major tournament, a factor that was missing even in the ‘golden generation’. Many fans and pundits forget that the Three Lions were knocked out of the Group Stage in the 2014 World Cup, failing to win a single match and were humiliated by Iceland in the 2016 World Cup. Since then, they’ve reached a World Cup semi-final, Euros final and a World Cup quarter-final. A definite improvement from their past performances.
However, there is a lingering feeling that this is as far as Southgate can take them. Ultimately, a team like England should be winning titles, something the manager is yet to do. His man management appears to be second to none and he has maintained a dressing room harmony amongst some big name players, who are not just happy with him, but have shown time and again that they are willing to give 100% for him.
However, Southgate leaves a lot to be desired tactically and his in-game management could improve. Against France, he should have brought on Rashford earlier, especially when the scores were tied 1-1 and substituting Bukayo Saka for Raheem Sterling didn’t make sense, especially considering that the Chelsea forward hadn’t trained for five days while Saka was the brightest spark in England’s attack. Jack Grealish also only got a few seconds of gametime, even though the Three Lions desperately needed some creativity and attacking prowess.
It might be time for Southgate to leave the England role, but he can do so with his head held high. The 52 year old has brought a level of consistency that only Sir Alf Ramsey managed to achieve amongst Southgate’s predecessors. He has restored the connection between the players and fans and has restored pride in supporting England once again. They were just a penalty kick away from winning Euro 2020, which would have been England’s first title since 1966 and Southgate can be proud of the legacy he leaves behind and the platform for his successor to take on for the ultimate push for some much needed silverware.
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