Gareth Southgate has issued the clearest indication that he may leave his role as the England manager following their World Cup disappointment.
There was a good feeling among the manager, players and fans that the Three Lions could go all the way in Qatar after their performance in the group stage.
They were one of only five teams to emerge from the opening phase undefeated, and their performance against Senegal in the last 16 only furthered belief that it could ‘come home’ this year.
However, hearts were broken when France emerged 2-1 winners over England in the quarter-final, and there are now questions about Southgate’s future.
The 52-year-old has admitted that he is ‘conflicted’ about carrying on after enduring criticism over the last 18 months, including being booed by his own supporters at Molineux back in June.
“I’ve found large parts of the last 18 months difficult,” said Southgate via the Telegraph. “For everything that I’ve loved about the last few weeks, I still have how things have been for 18 months.
“What’s been said and what’s been written, the night at Wolves – there are lots of things in my head that’s really conflicted at the moment.
“So what I want to do is to make sure, if it’s the right thing to stay, that I’ve definitely got the energy to do that. I don’t want to be four or five months down the line thinking I’ve made the wrong call. It’s too important for everybody to get that wrong.”
Before making his statement, several England players, including captain Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice, have publicly declared backing for Southgate, insisting they want him to carry on with his job.
The English Football Association has also declared that they want him to continue.
Southgate, who has been in charge of the national team for six years, leading them to the World Cup semi-final, quarter-final and European Championship final, has two years left on his contract.
However, he now has the whole of England on their toes as they await his final decision on whether he will take charge of the team for the Euro 2024 campaign, which starts in March with qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.
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