Gareth Southgate is facing undoubtedly his toughest time as England manager with some fans calling for his departure.
It’s not even a year since England narrowly missed out on their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup, losing to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on penalties but the mood has changed within the Three Lions.
After sealing their spot at the 2022 World Cup and navigating friendlies in March, England’s attention turned to the UEFA Nations League in June where they were pit against Germany, Italy and Hungary.
By no means an easy group, England were still expected to challenge for top spot and a place in the Nations League finals but after a batch of four games the Three Lions are staring relegation in the face. Draws with Germany and Italy were sandwiched by two defeats to Hungary, the second a humiliating 4-0 thrashing that saw England fans in attendance berate Southgate and his players at full-time, and brought calls for the boss to step down.
England next permanent manager betting odds:
- Graham Potter – 3/1
- Eddie Howe – 5/1
- Frank Lampard – 10/1
- Mauricio Pochettino – 10/1
- Steven Gerrard – 10/1
- Pep Guardiola – 12/1
- Steve Cooper – 16/1
- Brendan Rodgers – 16/1
- Steve Holland – 16/1
- Arsene Wenger – 20/1
- Aidy Boothroyd – 20/1
- Sean Dyche – 20/1
- Dean Smith – 25/1
- Scott Parker – 25/1
- Gary Neville – 25/1
- Rafa Benitez – 33/1
- David Beckham – 33/1
- Emma Hayes – 33/1
- Jose Mourinho – 33/1
- Phil Neville – 33/1
- Chris Wilder – 33/1
- Zinedine Zidane – 40/1
- Jurgen Klopp – 40/1
- Roy Hodgson – 50/1
- David Moyes – 50/1
- Steve Bruce – 66/1
- Michael Owen – 66/1
- Rio Ferdinand – 66/1
- Antonio Conte – 66/1
- Alan Shearer – 80/1
- Alan Pardew – 80/1
- Sol Campbell – 80/1
- Jamie Carragher – 100/1
- Sam Allardyce – 100/1
- Paul Scholes – 100/1
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It was only a few days ago that Southgate admitted he wouldn’t overstay his welcome at England with his contract up after the European Championships in 2024, signing a new deal last November, and a departure does look slightly more likely after the Three Lions suffered their heaviest defeat since May 1964 when they were beaten 5-1 by Brazil.
England have also gone four consecutive matches without a win for the first time since June 2014 when they went five without victory in a run that included the disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign, and have not scored a goal from open play in four matches.
After the game, Southgate was backed by England captain Harry Kane who praised the former Middlesbrough boss for his impact in forming one of the most successful Three Lions sides in recent memory.
“It’s a really disappointing question to be asked. Let’s not forget where we have come from,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Gareth has been a key part of transforming this England team to one of the most successful sides we have had in the past 50 years.
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“I know it’s disappointing for the fans. It has been a disappointing camp, every now and then football throws up a surprise, we have to look at the big picture. It’s the first low point I’ve had in five years, a really disappointing night. We expect to win these games, but it wasn’t our night. We need to stay calm and learn from it.
“We’ve had two fantastic tournaments in a row. It’s not the time to panic. It’s a loss we’re disappointed with but we need to stay calm and we know we have stuff to work on.”
Kane’s sentiments were echoed by former England defender Jamie Carragher on Twitter, who had a go at those who were chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing” at Southgate.
He tweeted: “Shut up you clowns. This manager has taken the country in two tournaments to the best positions since 1966.
“You don’t know what you’re doing” shut up you clowns. This manager has taken the country in two tournaments to the best positions since 1966. #ENGvHUN
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) June 14, 2022
“Also this idea that Southgate is holding this group back is nonsense, this squad is no better than 2004/06 or 1996/98.
“Southgate has overachieved albeit with favourable draws. Rest up boys and come back to your normal level.”
Although Kane believes there is no reason to panic, England’s poor form has seen some look to the future and to who could replace Southgate. Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter is the current favourite, hailed for his excellent work in making the Seagulls a Premier League mainstay with forward-thinking football.
Under Potter’s tutelage last season Brighton finished ninth, just five points behind West Ham United in the final European spot and only the top three lost fewer games than their 11. Not too far behind Potter is Eddie Howe, a man who has been linked with the England job in the past and did a superb job in saving Newcastle United from Premier League relegation having arrived midway through the season.
But there are a couple of rogue names throughout the list including Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper at 16/1, former England Women manager Phil Neville at 33/1 and Michael Owen at 66/1.