FA to meet with Gareth Southgate in January to decide his future
The English Football Association are due to meet Gareth Southgate in early January to decide his fate as England’s head coach Henry Winters.
The TimesSport reporter says the FA wants to hold a “full debriefing” with Southgate at the turn of the year but will first allow the 52-year-old to relax with his family over the holidays in hopes this will give him encouragement, refreshment to return and continue in his capacity.
The FA want Southgate to take charge of the forthcoming Euro tournament, with England set to face a difficult opener against Italy in Naples and then face Ukraine at home. But the manager has insisted on taking time to reflect on his future in the job.
Southgate has enjoyed a relatively successful six-year tenure as manager of the Three Lions, achieving far more than any English gaffer before him.
However, a heartbreaking exit in the World Cup quarter-finals by reigning champions France has prompted the former Middlesbrough manager to reconsider his future at the top.
After the disappointing defeat to Les Bleus, Southgate admitted he was “conflicted” about continuing after sustained criticism over the past 18 months.
While the FA and several current and former England players have publicly reiterated their support for Southgate, the England gaffer has kept everyone on their toes as they await his decision.
Possible replacement, just in case…
When Gary Neville said ‘there is no Englishman alive who has more experience of major tournaments’ than Southgate, he wasn’t far from the truth.
Whilst Southgate’s ability to lead the Three Lions to glory at every tournament remains in question, his achievements during his six-year tenure have so far been unmatched by any other England manager or former England manager.
So it’s understandable that the FA would want to keep the Watford-born manager in the job, but with Southgate now taking time to consider his future it’s a 50-50 chance whether he decides to stay or not Not.
If Southgate decides to leave, England could be in a precarious position as their substitute options are very limited in terms of international experience, tactical acumen and ability to deliver silverware.
Eddie Howe and Graham Potter could top the list but it’s unlikely either Newcastle United or Chelsea will be in talks for their tacticians.
The same can be said for Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City, especially following their resurgence this season.
It remains to be seen whether Frank Lampard’s first season at Chelsea was a success. But he struggled to thrive under pressure and eventually found himself at Everton where his struggles as manager continued.
Steve Cooper has done a good job of getting his side into top-flight football but has so far failed to get his squad going and languishes in the bottom three of the Premier League. While Steven Gerrard, a Scottish Premier League champion, couldn’t hack it in England.
Wayne Rooney has shown promise as a manager, but neither he nor the aforementioned have done much to show they have what it takes to lead the national team to glory.
The FA could take a slightly unorthodox approach and opt for one of Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel, who will reportedly take the chance, but that decision could be met with backlash as they are not English.
Hence the need to keep Southgate, at least until another England boss proves fit enough for a dry run with the Three Lions. The January meeting will be crucial but the FA must do everything in their power to ensure he stays.