England manager Gareth Southgate, under contract until 2024, was asked by a reporter about the possibility of Thomas Tuchel or Mauricio Pochettino replacing him at his position.
Reports have indicated that Tuchel, sacked by Chelsea on Sept. 7, has privately made it known that he is interested in the job. Meanwhile Mauricio Pochettino, let go by Paris Saint-Germain on July 5, and prior to that, Tottenham Hotspur in November of 2019, has said in public that he is “open” to the idea of someday taking the gig.
World Cup Group Stage England vs Iran FYIs
Kickoff: 7am CST, Mon Nov 21 Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
England Team News, Starting XI Prediction: go here
Current FIFA world ranking: England 5 Iran 20
World Cup titles: England 1 Iran 0
Southgate, who has obviously been much more successful than his two previous predecessors, Sam Allardyce and Roy Hodgson, responded to that query as follows:
“Maybe we’ve made the impossible just look possible. Yeah, look, maybe we’ve made it look possible and its exciting for other people and I can understand that.
“We want England to be competitive for years to come and I believe that our academy system has got that.
“I think there are challenges within that because we’re back to 31 per cent of the league being eligible for England and only four or five exports of a high level so there are still some challenges for us in terms of development of players and opportunity for players.
“But we have also got some good players and we should be competitive for the next six, eight years with this group.”
Good answer. Well played. Great form.
You could easily argue that there is no other team, for club or country, in any sport on Earth, with the scrutiny and expectations of the England national football team. There really is no media quite like the British press, and there is no team they cover quite like the Three Lions.
Gareth Southgate sits at the warmest seat in all of sports. England, who open their 2022 World Cup campaign tomorrow against Iran, are considered among the top four or five teams at this tournament, most likely to win it.
They can boast of a final appearance at their last major tournament (Euro 2020) and reaching a semifinal the tourney before that (2018 World Cup). That said, the many “years of hurt” streak is still alive and kicking.
So as long as the trophy drought is still alive, whomever holds the Three Lions managerial position could always be in danger of getting replaced.
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Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks