Whatever your opinion is on Gareth Southgate as England manager, it doesn’t matter — because it has been confirmed that he’s going to walk away from the role after eight years in charge of the Three Lions, following Euro 2024 in Germany next summer.
The former England defender made the nation fall back in love with the national team due to his largely swell performances at major competitions. There were high hopes again ahead of last year’s World Cup, but it wasn’t to be in Qatar as the Three Lions crashed out against France in the quarter-finals.
Many fans and pundits alike believe Southgate was lucky to survive relegation from League A in the UEFA Nations League, as England picked up just three points from six games. However, the 53-year-old has the Three Lions on the cusp of qualification for Euro 2024 and a win over Italy would all but secure qualification.
The hosts are the favourites for that clash at Wembley on October 17, if you’re looking for an England v Italy bet. But we’re going to jump ahead and assess some of the potential candidates being tipped to succeed Southgate when he ultimately steps aside.
After making a name for himself at Brighton and Hove Albion, it seemed only a matter of time before a member of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ lured Graham Potter away from the Amex Stadium. It was Chelsea who came calling, and off he went to Stamford Bridge, as the Blues’ new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital handpicked the 48-year-old as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement.
Things didn’t work out for Potter in west London, however, and he was sacked in April after just six months in charge of Chelsea. That stint at the Bridge is a major red flag on his CV, but he was previously tipped to be the perfect replacement for Southgate, and if The FA can look beyond his time at Chelsea, then Potter might still be in with a chance of proving himself in a big role.
A name that might not be familiar to everyone, Lee Carsley has been in charge of the England U21s since 2021 and has enjoyed huge success in the role. In fact, the former Republic of Ireland international guided the side to European Under-21 Championship glory earlier this year, beating Spain 1-0 in the final for England’s first victory in the tournament since 1984.
There are plenty of positives to Carsley taking over, most notably that he has a strong understanding of England’s up-and-coming talent. Southgate was promoted to the senior role in 2016 having been the U21 manager for three years, and he has been one of the Three Lions’ most successful managers in decades – so who’s to say Carsley can’t be the next man to take England forward?
Like Potter, Eddie Howe has previously been branded as the perfect replacement for Southgate. However, trying to convince the 45-year-old to take the job now might not be as easy as once could have been when he was at Bournemouth or unemployed.
That is, of course, because Howe is enjoying life at Newcastle United. He guided them to a top-four finish and a League Cup final last season, and the Magpies just keep raising the bar under the guidance of the 45-year-old, having recently beat Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 at St James’ Park. A lot can happen by the time Southgate leaves, but if Howe is still at Newcastle, we can’t see him taking the England job.
Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola is next in line, while other recognisable names like Steve Cooper, Steven Gerrard, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman all feature further down the list.