With the Euro 2024 tournament fast approaching, the future of England boss Gareth Southgate is growing uncertain. There are real concerns within the Football Association (FA) that Southgate could walk away after next summer’s European Championships in Germany.
Southgate’s contract expires in 2024, and the lack of clarity has forced FA officials to consider potential replacements seriously. Names like Eddie Howe, Graham Potter, and Mauricio Pochettino have all been discussed previously.
The dream target for some at the FA is Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola. With Guardiola’s City deal expiring in 2025, the FA is interested in exploring a potential move for the Spanish manager after Euro 2024.
Luring Guardiola would be extremely difficult and expensive for the FA. But his strong advocacy for Catalan independence may rule out the Spain job, leaving the England post as an intriguing option.
The FA has shown a willingness to appoint a non-English manager, as evidenced by the previous interest in Pochettino. Guardiola’s pedigree and style of play check many boxes for the FA in a post-Southgate world.
Southgate’s Decision After Qatar 2022
Last winter, FA officials met to draw up a shortlist of candidates in case Southgate departed after the World Cup. But after reaching the quarterfinals in Qatar, Southgate opted to stay on through Euro 2024.
Yet there is a sense the England set-up needs refreshing beyond next summer. The core squad has remained static under Southgate, and new blood may be required.
For his part, Southgate has reveled in leading the Three Lions’ resurgence, taking them to a World Cup semis and Euro final. But the grind of the job may cause him to pursue new challenges after the Euro 2024 tournament.
The expectations will be massive next summer, with anything short of a finals appearance seen as underachievement. The pressure and scrutiny will be intense on Southgate.
At 53 years old, Southgate may relish a break or change of scenery after such an intense tenure. However, he has not ruled out staying for the 2026 World Cup cycle either.