Is Gareth Southgate closer to God or Sean Dyche?

Editor F365
Gareth Southgate and Sean Dyche
Gareth Southgate and Sean Dyche

Are England in the Euro 2024 final despite Gareth Southgate rather than because of him? The debate continues.

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Gareth Southgate is basically Sean Dyche
It’s mad how opinions swing so wildly. Southgate goes from the worst manager in the tournament to the best.

To me, and I may be wrong – but it’s how I’ve felt all tournament, we are winning despite Southgate and not because of him. It is entirely possible for him to make a couple of good substitutions and get the win, and still be mediocre overall.

He’s obviously a “good” manager though (for England). You don’t get to finals in major competitions by being bad. I just don’t think he’s exceptional or elite, and I can’t see that scoring last-minute winners or equalisers is the best way to go about winning games. Why not make those changes earlier and try and try too see the game out comfortably? I thought the same about Koeman though to be honest, if he thought that bringing on 2 attackers was the best way to score in the last 2 minutes, why not try that 10 / 15 mins earlier?

As for the penalty. Here’s my take for what it’s worth. It all depends on whether you believe the defender was trying to challenge Kane, or if he was trying to block the shot. If it’s a challenge on Kane, it’s a high foot with studs up and no contact with the ball. Therefore a penalty. If he’s trying to block the ball and Kane kicks his boot, it’s not a penalty.

It’s very hard to call to be honest, especially looking at slow motion and still images on a VAR screen. My personal take is that VAR should never have been involved. It was a difficult call and the ref made the decision on the pitch. Not obviously wrong therefore shouldn’t have been a penalty. If the ref had given it then it should have been a penalty.

On the final. I think that on balance of play over the tournament it would be a shame for Spain not to win it. However as an Everton fan I know how it’s possible to play utter shite for 4/5 games in a row, then play an absolute blinder when it counts (you lost the league at Goodison Park).

Southgate actually reminds me a lot of Dyche, and I can’t help but think, this is exactly how Dyche would play if he had an abundance of amazing attackers at his disposal. He would not have a clue about how to get the best out of them, so he’d focus on being disciplined and defensive and hope that they produced some magic at the top.

If we do end up winning the tournament (which I don’t expect) I just hope we win it convincingly and un-controversially. Wouldn’t it be great to just go and smash them 4-0 or something.
James EFC

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 ‘Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate’ as England fans respond to epic victory
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine


Sliding doors time for Southgate
It seems to me we are approaching a hugely significant sliding doors moment. For Gareth Southgate, this England football team (and some of these players in particular) and the nation as a whole.

Whilst there must be some element of pressure relieved on Gareth Southgate after last night’s result and performance – the final is massive. That’s because the game on Sunday will fully determine his lasting legacy.

If England win, it’ll be statues, a knighthood, the keys to number 10, 10 million in bitcoin and probably a handful of firstborns in tribute from the endearing public, some of which will have to eat humble pie and accept that when you look at it objectively, he will have to go down as the most successful England manager of all time.

A man who has critically altered the state of games en route to the final through balanced, careful and thoughtful substitutions.

A man who, whilst may not have given us a dominating tournament win instead littered the route to success with game-changing moments that will live on in the memory as we tell our kids about Bellingham’s overhead, Watkins’ injury time stunner, of Kyle Walker completing more than 45% of his passes. He will live and die as a hero of our nation and be fondly remembered forevermore, even by his detractors who might disagree with his approach, but cannot object to his results.

If we lose, then Southgate’s lasting legacy will be (deservedly/undeservedly so depending on the strength of your opinion) one of failure, of a ‘nearly man’, of a manager who despite being presented with the tools and the opportunities to get us over the line after almost 60 years, just couldn’t do it. Too pragmatic, too safe, too risk averse. Poor decision making, passive, overly loyal, putting square pegs in round holes. Whilst it won’t be like 1996 again, there will certainly be an overbearing feeling of ‘what if’ from himself and the nation.

Yes, the final is massive for a Spain side looking to recapture their place at the summit for over a decade. But for England, and Southgate in particular – Sunday is his opportunity to ascend to Godhood.

Bring it on.
Lee (not that one), LFC


Gareth, you’re the one
Well where has that been?

England beat the Netherlands on possession, shots, shots on target, xG and of course goals in a major semi final. They also, dare I say it, looked actually pretty good (a press, and a left back, thank the Lord).

Yes there was a soft penalty, but also woodwork hit and a clearance off the line. Yes this wasn’t a vintage Dutch side but it’s nonsensical to say VVD, Gakpo and co aren’t a big team. So England have not lost to the first big team they played.

England are likely not as good as Spain but the joy of knockout football is that anything can happen as a one-off, especially if you’re good at penalties, and England now look like they won’t be embarrassed at the very least.

Whatever happens on Sunday, I’m very pleased for Gareth to get another tournament landmark. The last few years have been enormously better than the wasted decade of McLaren, Capello and Hodgson. England are regularly relevant in the business end of tournaments for the first time… ever?

While it’s only one match I think this semi was a big deal for Gareth’s place in the England manager rankings. Without a big performance and normal time win against a big team this would have felt like a frustrating and cagey tournament with more luck than anything else, and a big drop off from 2021-22. But the performance was finally there in the notionally toughest game, and the key subs to bring on Watkins and Palmer paid off.

Should the performances in the earlier rounds be better? Absolutely, but it’s the results that matter. Can another manager come in and do better? Maybe, but think Potter or McKenna, not Pep – the pool of top flight managers who’d consider England and aren’t in demand at CL-chasing clubs is pretty thin.

Gareth, you’re the one for me.
Roger (coming home?), Newcastle in London

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 ‘Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate’ as England fans respond to epic victory
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine


From Ed Acteson yesterday… ‘So I’m sorry John, Southgate’s record isn’t enough for me to want him to stay on, or to stop me having an opinion if I think we’ve played badly, and if that makes me a ‘miserable shite’, a ‘dumb keyboard pundit’ or ‘in denial of my own empire guilt’ in your eyes then so be it.’

I wonder if this miserable shite is celebrating today? Johnny Nic has a gloriously over the top way of supporting Southgate, I’m not sure if he got the exact reason correct, but its plausible and there is something really strange about why Southgate gets so little credit.

Southgate pulled off a f**king master class yesterday. The fact that Palmer and Watkins have the belief to come on and pull that crazy out of the hat is down to a man instilling that belief and freedom in them. The English players have forever been terrified of failure, Southgate is piece by piece building their belief back up and all we do is knock him for it.

Also people should watch the Stefan De Vrij interview from NOS (Dutch TV). It’s cringingly awful, with a couple of interesting points.

– . De Vrij couldn’t remember Watkins’ name he just calls him ‘the striker’. The Dutch team themselves, didn’t have a clue that Watkins existed. They know is name now.

– The interviewer asks De Vrij a series of awful questions – How did hescore? Has your world just collapsed? Yes. Well has it really? Do you  yourself? Have you just let a unique chance go? As De Vrijsteadily gets more pissed off and depressed.
Ian, LFC, Belgium


More on that England penalty
I disagree with your conclusion on the penalty, although I agree that it shouldn’t be a penalty. Kane got his shot away, so it didn’t prevent a goal scoring opportunity in the box.

As many people have commented, it would have been a free kick and a card outside the box, so I think the appropriate punishment should be a straight red red card for dangerous foul play, and no penalty.

I’ve seen too many incidents from defenders and goalkeepers, where they clattered into a forward in a dangerous manner after the shot has been taken, and received no punishment. Dumfries foot was high with studs out and nowhere near the ball. If he was trying to kick it his foot should have been coming up from the ground and he would have hit Kane with the top of his boot. Painful but not dangerous.

That’s my ha’penny worth anyway.

Watkins goal superb by the the way. Mainoo involved in that too. He’s potentially the best England player I have seen.
Charles (Maybe Southgate is a genius after all)


…In response to Dave, Dumfries. When almost all the English pundits agree that it wasn’t a penalty then you can be damn sure it never should have been given.

But I will use your logic there to see what you think of the ref not giving any penalties to the Netherlands? You said “There is nowhere else outside of the Dutch box that anyone debates that as foul at a minimum”. Well then, where were the 3 penalties for the fouls at the 3 corner kicks that the Dutch got???

I’m not saying it is only the English players that do this, nor am I saying its only at corner, but using corners from last nights match as an example to disprove your argument – there were a grand total of 3 corners last night, all to the Dutch. Each and every corner had players pulled and dragged. Declan Rice was the most obvious culprit. All 3 times he was holding/dragging a Dutch player with both hands. Yet no penalties were given. Guaranteed if that happened around the centre circle, frees and yellow cards are given. “There is nowhere else outside of the English box that anyone debates that Declan Rice fouls at a minimum.”


Thanks for Mainoo, Man Utd
I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I was (and have been since his 1st game) with Kobbie Mainoo

What a player that young man is.

He was utterly brilliant during that first half and while quieter in the second was still making tackles on the edge of his box and playing forward passes into the other box

Thankyou to Eric Ten Hag and Man Utd for letting the lad play (due to injuries and sort of by accidental default) but I don’t care.

He is just wonderful to watch (obviously gutted he plays for you lot but credit where it due)

He’s been my player of the tournament for us at least. Without him NONE of this happens imo!

Still got all the flags up for a few more days (she hasn’t divorced me yet),
Al – LFC and England (The Pen was clearly reverse Koeman Karma for ’93 – I take it we have stopped moaning about dodgy refs and match fixing)

MEDIAWATCH: England ‘work experience kid’ Kobbie Mainoo is no Lewis Cook, mind…


Bye bye Badwolf
“Who needs changes when it’s all going so well? Obviously.” So says Bad Wolf, less a mailbox contributor and more a sentient collection of generic football opinions (“Spurs have no bottle/Arsenal only want to walk it into the net” etc).

If England win can we get a mailbox break from them and their ilk? If England lose can we get a mailbox break from them and their ilk? I love reading reactive opinions, we’re not experts here, but this team is hard to dislike, the manager and his team obviously know what they’re doing, and I say this as an Irishman for f**k sake.
Bazzzzz (looking forward to the British media asking Gareth why they only beat Spain 1-0 on Sunday night)

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 ‘Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate’ as England fans respond to epic victory
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine