When Southgate inherited the managerial reigns at Wembley Stadium in 2016, not even the most diehard of England fans could have foreseen the success that he would bring to this English side.
The signs of improvement were evident early doors, as Southgate guided the Three Lions to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He then took England to third place in the inaugural UEFA Nations League. England would go on to reach the semi-finals in Russia, losing out to Croatia.
The English were disappointingly beaten by rivals France in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, so England’s long wait to get their hands back on the trophy is extended for at least another four years. However, there is still a lot to play for in Qatar and England certainly mustn’t be too disappointed in losing to a side as strong as France, with it being clear that World Cup betting tips point to France being one of the favourites.
Southgate picked a young squad in Qatar, but England looked strong from the first whistle. They eased out of their group with seven points after wins over Iran and Wales and a draw with the United States. The English then beat Senegal in the Round of 16 before narrowly losing to Deschamps’ men in the last eight.
Southgate took England to the UEFA Euro 2020 final last year, and the nation were extremely unlucky not to have lifted the trophy on home soil. The final went to penalties at Wembley, with Italy edging out the home side to win their second crown.
After such a gut-wrenching World Cup exit, Southgate could decide to leave his England post. However, many would love to see the England manager stay on and guide the country to Euro 2024.
Southgate would not be shy of suitors if he does indeed opt to leave the England job. However, the 52-year-old has only previously managed Middlesbrough and England’s U21 team.
He had a decent time during his three-year managerial stint at the Riverside Stadium, though he did suffer relegation to the EFL Championship. During his Boro playing days, Southgate won the League Cup and reached a UEFA Cup final.
After his England heroics, Southgate certainly deserves another crack at Premier League management. Of course, managing a national team is completely different, but Southgate could be ready for a club challenge.
For the time being, though, Southgate has unfinished business with this England team. In the last three major tournaments, the Three Lions have reached a semi-final, final and quarter-final, and they will fancy their chances of going far in the 2024 Euros.
Southgate is certainly up there as England’s greatest ever manager, but will he still be in charge when the Euros get underway in the summer of 2024?