The FA must hold on to Southgate. This cycle is not done. Why walk away now? | Jacob Steinberg

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Despite World Cup heartbreak against France, nobody is better qualified to lead England into Euro 2024 than the current manager

The first thing to say is that Gareth Southgate has not outstayed his welcome. This honourable, dignified, intelligent coach is not to blame for England’s latest heartbreaking World Cup defeat. There can no be recriminations, no anger, no calls for root-and-branch reform; all there is, in the cold light of day, is the bitterness of knowing that England went toe to toe with the world champions, used the right tactics and came up short only because Harry Kane’s nerve betrayed him at the worst possible moment.

It hurts. “Maybe it was because England were very good,” Didier Deschamps said when he was asked why France spent so much of the game on the back foot. The France coach was under no illusions. Deschamps knew how close England had run the defending champions. Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham were irrepressible in attack, Declan Rice outstanding in midfield, Kyle Walker tireless against Kylian Mbappé. This was different from the typical England exit, a world apart from the defeats by Croatia in 2018 and Italy in the Euro 2020 final, and only the most blinkered of Southgate’s critics could possibly try to take this performance apart.

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Written by Jacob Steinberg in Doha
This news first appeared on under the title “The FA must hold on to Southgate. This cycle is not done. Why walk away now? | Jacob Steinberg”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.