England suffered more World Cup quarter-final heartache in Doha when Gareth Southgate’s men fell to a 2-1 loss to defending champions France.
The Three Lions came into this latest championship seeking to end 56 years of hurt, and despite being among the competition’s top scorers, they were unable to get past Les Bleus with Harry Kane failing to convert a late penalty that could have seen the game go into extra-time.
If anything, progress under Southgate has been positive. Under his leadership, England reached its first World Cup semi-final in 28 years and the European Championship final soon after. However, coming into Qatar, there were growing questions being asked of Southgate as the team endured a painful Nations League campaign which saw them relegated from Group A.
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His present deal with the FA sees him in charge until Euro 2024 ends. As far as Gary Neville is concerned, Southgate must remain in charge. “I would love Gareth to stay on for another two years,” he told ITV. “I’d love him to stay on beyond that whether it be actually as the coach or whether it be in a role in the FA in the future.
“England in the last 10 years have won youth tournaments. We’ve won a women’s tournament in the summer. We’ve got to the men’s final in the Euros. We’re playing really well.
“We’ve got a good team of technical players. England is in a pretty good place, let’s be clear about that. We’ve been out of tournaments in disgrace in the last 25 years, thinking ‘What the hell is that? What is the future?’ We’ve got a great future and he is a big part of that.”
It hurts. But we're family and we'll stick together ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PNO8pvJMXh
— England (@England) December 10, 2022
“Listen, Gareth has been amazing with myself, amazing with every player in the team,” Harry Maguire added.
“I’m sure if you asked every player in the team they wouldn’t be able to speak highly enough of him, his man management, the way that this team has been built and developed over a period of time.
“Over the last five or six years with Gareth in charge you can really see the development. I know being an England manager is so tough, they get every decision they make scrutinised, every squad they make, ‘he should be in’ or ‘he shouldn’t be in’. Every team he picks, ‘he should play’ or ‘he shouldn’t play’… that is being an England manager.
“He knows how to handle it, he handles everything really well and tactically he gets all the big decisions right and he has proven that again this tournament.”
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As for Southgate, he’s remaining coy. “After every tournament, we’ve sat down and reviewed and reflected,” he told reporters. “So we need a bit of time to make sure everyone makes the right decisions.”
The England boss later added: “Whenever I’ve finished these tournaments I’ve needed time to make the correct decisions because emotionally you go through so many different feelings. The energy it takes through these tournaments is enormous.
“I want to make the right decisions, whatever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA and I’ve got to be sure that whatever decision I make is the right one and I think it’s right to take a bit of time to do that because I know in the past how my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of tournaments.”
7 – This is the seventh time England have been eliminated from the quarter-final stages of the World Cup, more than any other side in the history of the competition. Heartbreak. pic.twitter.com/T8na9NtD6T
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 10, 2022
Although Neville and Maguire believe there is no reason to panic, England’s poor form has seen some look to the future and to who could replace Southgate. Out-of-work former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the current favourite with Thomas Tuchel not far behind. Though it remains to be seen whether the FA goes down the foreign manager route again following mixed results with Sven-Göran Erikkson and Fabio Capello.
There are also a couple of rogue names throughout the list including Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper at 16/1, current England Women manager Sarina Wiegman at 40/1 and David Beckham at 50/1.