Being knocked out of a World Cup, while Costa Rica progress and eliminated from a European Championship by Iceland, well that is something else entirely. The loss to Iceland was so devastating, Roy Hodgson resigned from his job as England manager, minutes after the final whistle.
The FA planned to have Hodgson in place until the 2018 World Cup, meaning there is no successor lined up to take his place. This has led to reports of former Middlesbrough manager, Gareth Southgate, being offered the job.
Sure, Southgate has experience of working at international level with England, having been with the Under 21’s team for almost three years. He tasted success with them at the 2016 Toulon tournament but they were very disappointing at the Under 21 European Championship in 2015, finishing bottom of their group.
In terms of club management at the highest level, Southgate’s only job was at Middlesbrough. He was appointed Boro manager in the summer of 2006, when Steve McClaren left to become the England boss. After some debate regarding a lack of coaching qualifications, Southgate settled in to the job and in his first season, the club finished 12th in the Premier League. The following season, Boro flirted with the relegation zone early on but Southgate claimed the manager of the month award in August and the team were up to 8th in the league by November.
However, that’s where the success story ended and a torrid run of results saw Boro slide down the table, with fans calling for his head. Boro were relegated but Southgate vowed to stay on and bring the team back up from the Championship the following season. Southgate lasted until October before chairman, Steve Gibson, decided it was time for a change.
Boro were a well-established Premier League team, prior to the appointment of Southgate. The relegation was very costly and only now have Boro been able to make a return to the Premier League.
Does Southgate have the expertise and experience to lead the England football team? Steve Gibson, who is known to be a very supportive chairman, relieved him of his duties with Boro sitting 4th in the Championship, which is not a good sign of his credentials. So exactly what is it, which has made Southgate a leading contender to be the next England manager? Perhaps it’s the lack of other, big-name English candidates, who are available to take the job.
The list of other potential appointments includes the likes of Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce, Harry Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle. None of these names are particularly inspiring and coupled with the fact Southgate is already involved in the England set-up, this has pushed his name to the top of the list.
Recent reports have suggested Southgate has ruled himself out of the running, perhaps in light of a less than favourable response to his name being linked to the job in the media. His managerial record is not one which inspires confidence, just ask Boro fans and if Southgate is to take his name out of the hat, he may be doing both the country and himself, a huge favour.