Gareth Southgate has been coy on his England future since the Three Lions' World Cup quarter-final exit to France; the 51-year-old will be given time by the FA to decompress and gather his thoughts before making a decision in the New Year; Southgate has a contract with England until 2024
Saturday 17 December 2022 20:36, UK
Gareth Southgate will discuss his England future with the FA in early January.
The England manager was very clear in his post-match comments following defeat to France in the World Cup quarter-final last Saturday that he wanted time to consider whether or not he would stay on in the role.
Both the FA and Southgate will use the Christmas period to take stock of the situation then it will be reviewed together, by both parties, early in the New Year.
There has been no comment from either side about Southgate's future, but Sky Sports News understands the FA will give Southgate the whole of the Christmas period to "decompress". However, after that period, the FA needs some clarity.
Southgate has a contract with England until the end of the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany. If he is not going to honour that deal, the FA will need to move pretty quickly to find a successor
England's next game is a European Championships qualifier against Italy in March 2023.
This is a delicate balancing act for the FA, who want to give Southgate the time and mental space to make up his own mind about his future.
But the FA also need a resolution as soon as possible, so that they can move forward and the England players can have some clarity.
Gary Neville says Southgate should remain as England manager and then be kept on by the Football Association to help shape the future of the game in this country.
"I actually hope he doesn't go back into club management," he told the Sky Sports World Cup podcast. "I look at him and think there's no English person alive who has got more experience at major tournaments, junior tournaments and playing for his country.
"He has seen it all and I think he should be kept within the system to design the future. He has been there for 10 years, we've had great success with the women's teams, with the younger teams, and I think we've had really good success with the men's team, and I feel like he has seen that improvement in performance and culture over 10 years. I would like him to stay with the FA beyond his coaching role."
However, Neville does think Southgate needs to make a decision quickly and not let things drag on too far into the new year, with England playing Italy in Naples in March in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
"There will be those who are listening, who say, 'You've got to have someone who gets us over the line, you've got to have someone who has a winning mentality, you've got to change the manager,'" Neville said.
"I get that, it sounds beautiful and wonderful, but I remember us getting rid of Bobby Robson in 1990. I remember us getting rid of Terry Venables in 1996. It didn't go particularly well straight after those tournaments and I think Gareth is doing a very good job and one more tournament for me feels right.
"Hopefully, this team can stick together and evolve. I think it evolved in this tournament. We were more progressive, more positive in matches, and we go for it again.
"Gareth is an honest man with great integrity who will make the decision that is right for him and the FA. It feels to me like 18 months is right and Gareth doing this next tournament, maybe knowing there's a succession plan in place, would feel right to me."
Speaking after England's quarter-final exit, Southgate said: "These tournaments take a lot out of you, and I need time to reflect. We've done that after every tournament and that's the right thing to do."
He added: "I don't want to be four, five months down the line thinking I've made the wrong call. It's too important for everybody to get that wrong."
Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett in Qatar:
"An awful lot has happened since England left Qatar. After those post-match comments from Southgate, we told you that Southgate is actively considering leaving his contract and his position as England manager. We know he has aspirations in club management, he's never made that secret but the question is when he wants to do that.
"Is that time now, after this World Cup? Or does he want to go again until the 2024 European Championships?
"But a few days ago there were some clues or suggestions that he might want to stay on. I discovered that he had spoken to a number of the fringe players before they left Qatar to reassure them that, while they didn't play much in this tournament, they are still in his England plans going forward.
"If he has England plans going forward, does that suggest that he wants to stay on?
"A lot of that are ifs, buts and maybes, provisos and reading between the lines. But this announcement does give clarity in the short-term - that there won't be a decision in the short-term.
"Gareth Southgate will be given time over Christmas to reflect with his family, decompress and have a think about what he wants to do going forward in his career, before he sits down with his FA bosses to decide what's next for both sides."