Gareth Southgate decides to carry on in England job despite World Cup agony

  • Manager spent time weighing up future after France defeat
  • Southgate has contract with FA that runs to December 2024

Gareth Southgate has decided to continue as England’s head coach after considering his future in the wake of the World Cup quarter-final defeat by France.

Southgate said he would take time to weigh up whether he had the energy to carry on and hold talks with the Football Association, which wanted him to honour a contract that runs to December 2024. He feels the climate is very different from the negativity that followed the Euro 2020 final defeat and the recent Nations League campaign that ended in relegation. He has greatly valued the support of the FA chief executive, Mark Bullingham, and the other members of the hierarchy, while he retains the firm backing of his squad.

A feature of the World Cup campaign was the near-constant endorsement of Southgate from within the dressing room. After the loss to France Harry Kane, the captain, said he wanted Southgate to continue and Declan Rice and Harry Maguire did likewise.

Southgate led England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and to within a penalty shootout of winning the Euros. Southgate went to Qatar targeting a first tournament victory since 1966 and said after the team’s exit: “The energy that it takes through these tournaments is enormous. I want to make the right decision, whenever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA.”

Southgate said in June he would not outstay his welcome and reflected after the defeat by France that he was “conflicted” about whether to continue in light of the various lows of the past 18 months.

The nadir came with June’s 4-0 home defeat by Hungary at Wolves, which drew an angry reaction towards Southgate from the crowd. There remains an element of the fanbase that would like Southgate to leave and he mentioned the Molineux response when saying after the France game: “I’ve found large parts of the last 18 months difficult.”

When Southgate extended his contract in November of last year, he talked of the depth of playing talent at his disposal, how he had “done a lot of the work culturally” to turn them into contenders and his desire to bring it to fruition. “To step away at a moment where we still think the next few years can be very exciting … that would have been difficult to live with,” he said.

After a week of soul-searching he has come back around to the wisdom of those words.


David Hytner in Doha

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Gareth Southgate will wait before making decision on England future
Gareth Southgate said he would take time before making a decision on his England future after his side were beaten by France in the World Cup quarter-final

Jacob Steinberg at Al Bayt Stadium

10, Dec, 2022 @11:36 PM

Article image
Serene Southgate is not one for turning amid sea of English negativity | David Hytner
The England manager remains impressively unruffled as he blocks out the criticism that followed the tepid draw with the USA

David Hytner in Doha

26, Nov, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Harry Kane felt discomfort in injured foot against USA, reveals Southgate
The England coach has confirmed his captain is still affected by an injury sustained in the opening group game against Iran but will be fit to face Wales

Jacob Steinberg in Doha

26, Nov, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
England’s Southgate has no qualms using Saka and Rashford in shootouts
Gareth Southgate has backed both Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford if needed for penalty shootout duties against Senegal on Sunday

Jacob Steinberg in Doha

03, Dec, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate in positive mood over new England contract talks
Gareth Southgate said ‘being the manager of England is a massive privilege’ as talks with the FA over a contract extension past the World Cup continue

Jacob Steinberg

14, Nov, 2021 @9:18 AM

Article image
Gareth Southgate says World Cup can be England’s best moment ever
Gareth Southgate will blast away the negativity surrounding England by telling his players they can make this the best period in the team’s history by winning the World Cup

Jacob Steinberg

12, Nov, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
‘I’m the right man’: Gareth Southgate determined to lead England in Qatar
The knives may be out after a dismal run of performances but there is no appetite to sack the England manager before the World Cup

David Hytner in Milan

24, Sep, 2022 @9:36 PM

Article image
Southgate voices England concerns about human rights at Qatar World Cup
The England manager said it was vital that female and LGBTQ+ fans, among others, were given stronger assurances about their safety in Qatar

Nick Ames

19, Mar, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate challenges England to make history against France
Gareth Southgate challenged his England team to become the first to defeat an elite side in an knockout round overseas when they face France on Saturday

David Hytner in Doha

05, Dec, 2022 @10:30 PM

Article image
Gareth Southgate reveals family persuaded him to stay as England manager
Defeat in Qatar prompted thoughts of stepping down but Gareth Southgate has said: ‘I’m in a job with the chance to make some history’

Mark Dobson

26, Jan, 2023 @6:55 PM