England’s World Cup dream came to a heartbreaking end after a defeat to reigning world champions France.
The defeat means England have been eliminated at the quarter-final of the World Cup for the seventh time in their history - they have exited at this stage more times than any other nation in the competition.
The Three Lions could consider themselves to be unlucky losers in their 2-1 defeat to France. England dominated possession and had 16 shots at goal compared to France’s eight. However, a mixture of controversial refereeing decisions and a costly Harry Kane penalty miss proved the difference on an unfortunate night for Gareth Southgate’s men.
Attention now turns to the future of England manager Southgate. Since taking over from Sam Allardyce in 2016, Southgate has guided England to a World Cup semi-final in 2018, a Euro final in 2021 and a World Cup quarter-final in 2022. He is the closest manager since 1966 to winning a major trophy but remains a figure that divides opinion with the English fan base.
Southgate himself said before the tournament in Qatar that his position would ultimately be judged on England’s World Cup performance. But will Southgate remain in the dugout for Euro 2024 or will he step down from his post as England manager?
Here is everything you need to know.
What has Gareth Southgate said following England’s World Cup exit?
England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted that he is “conflicted” about his future with the national team after their Qatar exit.
The 52-year-old said: “These tournaments take a look out of you, and I need time to reflect. We’ve done that after every tournament and that’s the right thing to do. I don’t want to be four, five months down the line thinking I’ve made the wrong call. It’s too important for everybody to get that wrong.”
Who has been linked with the England job?
If Gareth Southgate is to step down as England manager then there will be a number of names linked with the post.
Former Premier League manager Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel are both currently without a club and have been linked with the role if it was to become vacant. Meanwhile English alternatives such as Newcastle boss Eddie Howe and new Chelsea manager Graham Potter have also been linked with the job.
What next for Gareth Southgate?
Gareth Southgate was rewarded with a contract extension after reaching the Euro 2020 final. Southgate’s current contract with the Three Lions runs until December 2024 - meaning he would be in the dugout for Euro 2024 in Germany if England were to qualify.
His status as England manager and whether he should continue is one that has divided opinion across the footballing world. ITV pundits Gary Neville, Ian Wright and Roy Keane all unanimously agreed that Southgate would be the right man to take England into the Euros. Meanwhile BBC pundits such as Alan Shearer and Jermain Jenas also backed him to continue in the role.
However, other experts such as Henry Winter of Times Sport have called for a change of direction. Winter said: “A new manager is needed if England are to end decades of failure.”
Southgate’s next move will be one that attracts a great deal of intrigue. The 52-year-old has admitted in the past that he would like to return to club management one day. Southgate’s last managerial stint in club football came with his former club Middlesbrough who he managed from 2006 until 2009.
What have other England managers done next?
England’s former managers have had mixed records after leaving the international team. The likes of Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan and Roy Hodgson have all had successful returns to club football, meanwhile the likes of Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McLaren Ihave struggled to replicate their previous success.
Here is where the last five England managers went after leaving the national team.
- Sam Allarydyce - Crystal Palace
- Roy Hodgson - Crystal Palace
- Fabio Capello - Russia
- Steve McLaren - FC Twente
- Sven Goran Eriksson - Manchester City
If Gareth Southgate is to return to club management then it is expected that he will want to return to the Premier League. There are currently no managerial vacancies in England’s top flight following Gary O’Neill’s appointment as Bournemouth manager.
Based on the current odds, Everton boss Frank Lampard is tipped to be the next manager to lose his job in the Premier League. Southgate has previously worked alongside the likes of Jordan Pickford, Conor Coady and Dominic Calvert Lewin for England and regularly featured Dele Alli in his England set up in 2018 - so Southgate may see himself as the man to turn their fortunes around if the job was to become available.