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Four-man shortlist revealed as future of England manager Gareth Southgate remains uncertain

The Three Lions crashed out in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to holders France and falling short of their World Cup performance of four years ago, leaving Southgate’s future in question


The future of England on the international stage could look very different when the Three Lions begin their qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 on 23 March when they once again lock horns with Italy in a matchup of the recent UEFA Nations League cycle.

But England could look very different three months from now after the future of manager Gareth Southgate remains uncertain on the back of the national team’s failure to equal - or better - their campaign in Russia four years ago, with England crashing out of the tournament in the quarterfinals after a narrow 2-1 loss to holders France.

Despite posting one of the best records of any man to lead England on the international stage, including winning six of the nation’s twelve total knockout stage wins at major tournaments since 1966, one question remains; is Southgate still the right man for England moving forward?

According to reports in the Telegraph (relayed by Sport Bible), a four-man shortlist has been drawn up should the former Middlesbrough and England defender decide to step down from the top post in English football.

Former Chelsea boss and Champions League winner Thomas Tuchel, former Southampton, Tottenham, and Paris Saint-Germain tactician Mauricio Pochettino, current Leicester City headmaster Brendan Rodgers, and current England assistant Steve Holland are the four men touted as Southgate’s possible successor.

For base value, all four men know the player pool well, especially Holland, Tuchel, and Rodgers, with Pochettino still quite familiar with the bulk of the players in the talent pool, which would offer some necessary continuity. Questions on whether Holland being the named successor and possibly offering too similar a situation to the current lay of the land would surely come up, but there is certainly experience in spades in the bunch.

Recently speaking on his future with ITV, Southgate stated “I think after every tournament we have sat and reviewed and reflected. It needs a bit of time to make sure everybody makes the right decisions.”

Former national teammate and Premier League colleague Gary Neville remains in support of Southgate of well when he commented “I would love Gareth to stay on for another two years and I would love him to stay on beyond that, whether it’s as the coach or in another role the FA design. In the last 10 years we’ve won youth tournaments, we’ve won a women’s tournament, we’ve got to a men’s final, we’re playing really well and have got good technical players.”

“England is in a pretty good place. We have gone out of tournaments in the past 25 years in disgrace but we’ve got a great future and he is a big part of that.”

Though the English FA are reportedly pleased with Southgate and are prepared to give him their full backing should he decide to remain in charge, at the very least, it is certainly a positive to see plans being put in place should change be necessary.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.


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