Following England’s recent 3-2 defeat to France in a friendly, it appears that some supporters are questioning: Is England manager Gareth Southgate the right man to get the best out of the nation’s best players?
This tweet from one such supporter perhaps sums up concerns amongst some fans:
I still find it incredible that Gareth Southgate is our national manager. What's our identity? What's the plan? Were miles off it!!!
— Keith southern (@southern_keith) June 13, 2017
The defeat to a French side, who played a section of the game with just 10 men following the dismissal of Rafael Varane, ensured that Southgate has a mediocre record of three wins out of his eight games in charge of The Three Lions.
However, England’s team itself is still a fair way away from having the amount of quality that the French have at their disposal, even with both teams being relatively young. This, of course, is not Southgate’s own fault.
This is something that Southgate himself contended. He believes that his team of young players are still developing and have not yet reached their full potential. The 46-year-old former defender fairly bluntly stated: “I am afraid there is no magic wand but we are recognising where we are short, we are recognising where we can exploit teams.”
Perhaps there are indeed others who would be more suitable to manage the national team. However, what this England side need most is stability. A managerial change at this point would only cause further damage and unrest. Southgate can bring this much-needed stability.
It is also too early to sufficiently criticise Southgate, he should be permitted more time to work on his young squad, who he does also indeed command a high amount of respect from.
England’s next upcoming fixture is in September in a World Cup qualifier away at Malta.
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