An impressive Three Lions campaign came to a heartbreaking halt at Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday night after harry kane Surprisingly, he blazed in a late penalty opportunity to restore equality against defending champions France.
The England captain had earlier struck from the penalty spot to equal Wayne Rooney’s all-time scoring record for his country and canceled out Aurelien Tchouameni’s long-range arrow shot, but was unable to repeat that feat after the header Olivier Giroud in a painful defeat in Al Khor. .
Attention will now quickly turn to Southgate’s future, with the boss leaving it uncertain in his post-match interview.
“I think after every tournament we sit down and review and reflect,” Southgate told ITV Sport. “That needs a little bit of time to make sure everyone makes the right decision.”
Southgate is under contract with the Football Association (FA) until December 2024 after an extension signed last November and led another impressive run at a major tournament that included impressive wins over Senegal, Wales and Iran.
He also led England to the Euro 2020 final on home soil last summer and to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia four years ago in a run unprecedented in major competitions, but Southgate’s stock among fans fell markedly between tournaments with a disastrous run of form and embarrassing Nations League campaign.
The likes of Luke Shaw had spoken of his desire to see Southgate stay in place regardless of the result against France, thoughts that were quickly echoed by Kane, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker after the final whistle.
“It’s up to him,” Kane said of the coach’s future. “We love having him as a coach, I think he’s been amazing. When you see where he’s taken us from to where we are now, it’s an incredible leap. I think we all hope he stays, but it’s his decision.
“Obviously he’s going to go and look at that, before we know it we’ll be ready for the Euros.”
“The players love Gareth,” said Maguire, who came very close to scoring himself in the second half against France with a header that just missed the post. “From one to 11, the players absolutely love Gareth.
“He has been amazing with each and every one of us, his people management skills, the way he prepares us. I know a lot of people have different views because he is the manager of England and when he picks the team there are always players who shouldn’t be there and players who need to be there.
“And then when he picks his starting XI, he again gets a lot of suit. Those are the privileges of being England manager. But you can see how far this team has come during this management period. He knows what it takes to win these big games.”
Walker, who said he would now have to review his own international future, added: “It’s not for me to discuss it. For me personally he is fantastic, a great man and a great coach. He has a great group of players.
“Whatever he feels is the right decision, that’s up to him. But the guys are completely behind him.” .