Redknapp: ‘Any manager worth their salt’ could have matched Southgate’s England achievement

Will Ford
Gareth Southgate reacts to a decision in England's defeat to France.

Jamie Redknapp claims ‘any young, English Premier League manager worth their salt’ could have done as well as Gareth Southgate in Qatar.

Southgate has decided to see out his contract with England until after Euro 2024 having taken time to consider his position after the quarter-final defeat to France.

The England boss took the Three Lions to a semi-final and final at the previous two major tournaments and is the most successful national team boss since Sir Alf Ramsey.

But Redknapp insists Southgate has benefited from easy paths at major tournaments and has failed when faced with a “decent team”.

He told Sky Sports: “In the 2018 World Cup we had a lot of byes. We play one good team in Croatia and they beat us. We play a decent team at this World Cup and they beat us. In the last Euros, we beat two decent sides in Denmark and Germany – yet neither got out of their group in this World Cup.”

Southgate has been praised for the atmosphere he’s created among the players at international tournaments and is credited for the uplift in joy experienced by the fans in the stadiums and back home.

But Redknapp reckons plenty of coaches could have matched Southgate’s achievements.

“There will be a lot of good managers who would do an equally good job,” he added. “Any young, English, Premier League manager worth their salt would have gotten England to the quarter-finals, when you look at the teams we’ve played.”

England were arguably the superior team to eventual finalists France in the quarter-final but Redknapp believes England are too “nice” a side to come out on top in the biggest games.

Redknapp added: “France didn’t have Karim Benzema, they didn’t have N’Golo Kante. They had Kylian Mbappe who gave them the X factor. We will never get a bigger chance to beat them than when we played them in the quarter-finals, but the big moments went their way.

“We haven’t got that killer instinct in our team, we’re a nice football team. We have tremendous young players and we have come close, but that’s where the frustration is.”