Gareth Southgate is considering leaving his job as England manager.
England were knocked out of the World Cup by France on Saturday and Southgate wants time and space to make sure he makes the right decision.
Southgate has never hidden the fact he wants to return to club management one day and if he were to leave England there is an expectation he would manage a top Champions League club in England or Europe.
The FA and England players want Southgate to stay until at least the European Championships in Germany in 2024.
Last year, Southgate signed a two-year contract extension which expires after Euro 2024.
Southgate led England to a first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in Russia in 2018, going out in extra-time to Croatia, before a Euro 2020 final defeat on penalties to Italy in the summer of 2021.
What next for Southgate? Here’s what happened to his predecessors…
- Sven-Goran Eriksson – A year after leaving England, Eriksson was appointed as Man City boss but only lasted a season. Went on to manage Mexico, Ivory Coast, Leicester and clubs in China before most recently managing the Philippines
- Steve McClaren – Won the Dutch league with Twente and had spells in the Championship with Nottingham Forest, Derby (twice) and QPR. Lasted less than a season with Newcastle in the Premier League and is now an assistant at Man Utd
- Fabio Capello – Led Russia to the 2014 World Cup before being sacked during qualifying for Euro 2016. Last coaching job in China, now a pundit in Italy
- Roy Hodgson – After the disaster of Euro 2016, restored his reputation across four seasons at Crystal Palace before an unsuccessful final Premier League stint with Watford
- Sam Allardyce – Following his one-game tenure in charge of England, Allardyce steered Palace to Premier League survival and took Everton to 8th place but suffered his first and only Premier League relegation with West Brom in 2021
Analysis: Southgate has restored Three Lions’ pride
Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:
“We’ve got credibility now. The rest of the world believe that England are competitive.” Gareth Southgate’s words ahead of what could prove to be his final game in charge of his country are a fitting tribute to his legacy.
In the end, there was no trophy. France proved too strong, and football still hasn’t come home. But the triumph of the Southgate era has been to transform a national team on and off the pitch, in how it is regarded at home and abroad.
When criticism of Southgate’s style was flying around during a dip in performances and results earlier this year it was easy to forget just where he had taken this team from.
England, remember, had been embarrassed in consecutive tournaments when he took up the reins. They had finished bottom of their group and winless at the 2014 World Cup before the humiliation of Iceland at Euro 2016 two years later.
Since then, there’s been a World Cup semi-final, a Euros final and now this quarter-final exit to defending world champions France. It’s a level of consistency that only Sir Alf Ramsey among Southgate’s predecessors ever achieved.
Throughout his time in charge, there were calls for him to cut loose and take off the handbrake. But through his considered approach to each major tournament test and inspirational leadership around the big issues away from the field, Southgate fashioned a side that delivered great moments for its supporters, with players held in greater affection than many who had gone before them. The connection between the players and the fans in the stands has been restored.
Southgate’s England broke records, smashed through glass ceilings, and united the nation behind the Three Lions crest.
They were a penalty kick away from silverware at Wembley last summer. That first major title since 1966 remains elusive but as Southgate says, England have been restored to the elite level under his watch.
In the painful aftermath of defeat to France, that is a legacy to be proud of – and a fantastic platform for his successor to build on.
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