Southgate learns fate as FA make sack decision ahead of England vs France clash

Date published: Thursday 8th December 2022 8:29 - Joe Williams

England boss Gareth Southgate watches his side train

Gareth Southgate won’t get sacked by the Football Association even if England lose to France on Saturday night, according to reports.

The Three Lions boss has once again done a brilliant job to guide England to a World Cup quarter-final against Les Bleus at the weekend.

England comfortably won Group B, beating Iran and Wales and drawing with USA, before going on to overcome Senegal 3-0 in their last-16 clash.

Getting to the quarter-finals was the minimum expected from this group of players but they now face a France side with Kylian Mbappe on top form.

It’s a complete flip of coin as to who goes through on Saturday and the Daily Mail claims that the FA ‘want Southgate to continue’ as England boss ‘regardless of Saturday’s result’.

There was an overreaction from some to England’s 0-0 draw against USA in the group stage with some supporters calling for a more adventurous manager to replace Southgate after the World Cup.

He has drawn criticism for taking Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to the World Cup, despite the centre-back becoming one of their best performers at the tournament, while he has come under pressure to play Phil Foden.

But the FA want to do anything but sack Southgate with the Daily Mail adding:

‘There is a growing feeling within football circles that this will be Southgate’s final tournament in charge of the national team as he plots a potential return to club management’.

‘However, the FA are aiming to keep Southgate – who is England’s most successful manager since World Cup winning coach Sir Alf Ramsey – in charge for the next European Championship in 2024 and will ask the 52-year-old to see out the remaining two years of his deal if it transpires he would prefer to walk away from the job.

‘The sense of uncertainty with regards to Southgate’s post-World Cup future is something FA executives are aware of, though they are hopeful of convincing the head coach of staying in the job.

‘There is no clear succession plan should Southgate decide to leave; another factor behind the organisation’s ambition to ensure their current boss stays in situ after the tournament.

‘The only way Southgate is not England manager heading in the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign is if he decides to walk away from the position.

‘Southgate and the FA will hold a post-tournament debrief during which the manager’s future will become clearer.

‘There is a clear feeling within the FA’s top-brass that Southgate has earned the right to dictate his future due to the successful work his completed in turning a team that was the laughing stock of world football into one of the planet’s elite teams.’

And England defender Maguire reckons it could be an incredibly successful tournament for Southgate and his squad with the Man Utd captain convinced the team has the ability to win the World Cup.

Maguire said on Wednesday: “I think that’s the one thing I’d say that’s a lot different from the 2018 squad to this squad – I think we really believe that it is possible.

“I played in 2018 and we got to the semi-final and I think a lot of the lads were happy. You were happy to be part of the semi-final.

“You know that whatever happened in that semi-final that you’d go home and be classed as a hero and everyone would be patting you on the back.

“I think now there’s a belief that we’ve got to win this tournament. It is a good change in the mentality.

“Of course, we know how tough it is going to be. I think there are probably five or six teams with the same belief.

“But in 2018, we probably weren’t one of those teams that had that belief. Now there’s five or six who have that belief and we’re one of them.”

READ MORE: Top ten greatest England finals performances of our lifetime (we are quite old but not *that* old)


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