4 reasons why England should sack Gareth Southgate 

England v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
4 reasons why England should sack Gareth Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate will have mixed feelings about his side's recent 3-3 draw with Germany, but he will be pleased they did not lose the game.

The 52-year-old has come under widespread criticism over the last year and England's recent relegation to League B of the UEFA Nations League has not gone down well either.

It is time for Southgate to leave the England job

The 52-year-old does have a contract until 2024 but looks out of his depth coaching this coming-of-age team. Hence, it would only be fitting for the two parties to part ways before they experience failure at another major tournament.

On that note, let's take a look at four reasons why England should sack Gareth Southgate.

#4 Poor use of young talents

Bukayo Saka in action against Italy in the UEFA Nations League
Bukayo Saka in action against Italy in the UEFA Nations League

For all his initial belief in making the best use of young players, Southgate is not necessarily the biggest proponent of it anymore.

Over the last five years, England has seen an increase in the number of talented young players like Fikayo Tomori, Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and several others.

However, Southgate has not been successful in making the best use of them by playing them out of position or by not playing to their strengths.

Playing Bukayo Saka as a left wing-back in England's recent 0-1 defeat to Italy depicts the same. Instead of using the pace, guile and energy of some of the younger players, Southgate has suppressed their attacking potential through his defense-minded approach.

#3 Selection on bias rather than merit

Harry Maguire in action against Hungary in the UEFA Nations League
Harry Maguire in action against Hungary in the UEFA Nations League

Southgate, back in February 2017, had said that (Daily Telegraph) he "never picks on reputation." Alas, that is not the case anymore as, over the past couple of years, he has selected people with bias over merit.

Loyalty plays a big role for Southgate, who has continuously selected players who have played well for the Three Lions despite not starting for their respective clubs. Harry Maguire's inclusion in the squad for the current Nations League games is an indication of the same.

Moreover, for all of Mason Mount's achievements, he has not had the best start to the current season, with just one assist in eight games across all competitions. James Maddison, on the other hand, has had four goal involvements in seven games across all competitions.

Similarly, Trent Alexander-Arnold, despite a poor start to the current campaign, is arguably England's most creative defender. Fikayo Tomori won the Serie A title with AC Milan last season and has had a bright start to the season.

However, neither played a single minute in the most recent round of England's Nations League games. Hence, before some players give up their dreams of ever playing for England again, Southgate needs to leave the job.

#2 Sub-par game management

Tyrone Mings in action against the Czech Republic
Tyrone Mings in action against the Czech Republic

Although Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka made the difference off the bench against Germany, that speaks more about their quality than Southgate's.

Over a long period of time, the 52-year-old manager has made reactive substitutions and tactical tweaks rather than adapting to the game from the beginning.

The Three Lions' poor performance after leading Italy in the 2020 European Championship final proved the same. The team took an early lead but then sat back due to a lack of understanding of how to manage the game.

This reflects directly on Southgate, who makes defensive changes when his side is ahead and scrambles to put multiple attackers on the pitch when his side is behind. Moreover, bringing on players like Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker is often seen as a negative change as they rarely affect the team's style of play.

Adapating to a game and churning out victories is a part and parcel of the sport. But it is not something the English manager has learnt despite being in the job for six years.

#1 Lack of an identity

England v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
England v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3

During his six years in the job, Southgate has led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-final and the final of the 2020 European Championship.

However, many will argue that the team reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup due to an easy path. Additionally, they also heavily relied on set-pieces despite having a team capable of playing through many of the teams they faced.

Although their run at the 2020 Euros was slightly tougher, they were rarely very convincing at times. A 4-0 victory against Ukraine in the quarter-finals was arguably the only game the team approached with an attacking mindset.

Regardless, these two tournaments have secured enough goodwill for the former England academy manager.

But the other side of the coin shows that despite being on the job for six years, the team has no real identity. The lack of a clear game plan and the fact that the Three Lions have not won any of their last six games make a strong case for the same.

There is no system in place that each player can follow, nor is there a desire to build one. Moreover, with so much young blood in the team, he could bring about an attractive brand of football.

However, he has not shown any signs of doing the same. Instead, he has continuously opted to place his side in a defensive system, thereby not allowing any of his attackers to completely express themselves.

With the age profile of the current England side and the potential in the ranks, it is high time the Three Lions sacked Southgate. Although it is hard to find alternatives for him at the moment, a change is needed soon.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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