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World Cup: Has Gareth Southgate done enough to stay as England boss?

Inevitably following the end of another tournament cycle there are questions over the future of Gareth Southgate, with the 52-year-old not confirming for sure whether he wants to stay on as England manager.

England suffered more heartbreak on the world stage, this time courtesy of World Cup holders France, who secured a 2-1 quarter-final victory.

Aurelien Tchouameni's long-range strike was cancelled out by Harry Kane's penalty before Olivier Giroud nodded in the winner in the second half.

Kane missed another spot-kick which meant England were denied extra-time and potentially a route through to the final four for a second straight World Cup.

The ball is seemingly in Southgate's court right now, but should he stay on as the Three Lions manager to guide them through to the next European Championships in just 18 months' time?

The stats suggest he deserves another crack if he does opt to stay on, with England 7/1 To Win Outright at Euro 2024, with hosts Germany priced at 5/1 and France available at 6/1.

Southgate's record unrivalled in recent times

Following the one-game stint in charge of Sam Allardyce, Southgate was appointed caretaker boss of England then got the job full-time in November 2016.

He had been in charge of the under-21 side for three years prior, winning 27 of his 37 games and the former Middlesbrough boss was regarded as someone who could provide continuity and who knew the FA system well.

Unheralded for the first two years, Southgate won the hearts of the nation in Russia four years ago with a spirited run to the semi-finals before an extra-time loss to Croatia.

Last year, he took his side to the final of Euro 2020 before the familiar agony of penalties downed England against Italy, while this time it took the world champions to knock the Three Lions out.

In terms of major tournaments, Southgate is by some distance the most successful England boss since Sir Alf Ramsey guided them to World Cup glory in 1966 - with an honourable mention to Sir Bobby Robson, who led England to the World Cup quarters in 1986 and the semis four years later

Many have come and gone, some more successful than others, but Southgate has helped develop England from a nation of underachievers to one that believes they can win prior to each tournament.

A core of young players - Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, and Bukayo Saka for example - are still years away from their potential peaks and they can certainly be built upon for the future.

England a well-oiled machine under Southgate

In terms of pure results, Southgate is fifth on the win percentage list (fourth if you discount Allardyce's one-game spell) with 49 wins from 81 matches equating to a record of just over 60 per cent.

Only Fabio Capello, Ramsey, and Glenn Hoddle are above him in the stands in terms of those who have managed at major tournaments.

Ramsey is obviously greatest as he guided England to their finest hour, but Capello and Hoddle - particularly the Italian - were both deemed as failures during their tenures.

Capello's record is perhaps artificially boosted by the fact that England excelled in qualification for tournaments and played plenty of friendlies, but bombed when they got to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.

Hoddle's promising England team in 1998 was beaten on penalties by Argentina, though many believe they could have gone all the way in France if they had beaten their old adversaries.

Southgate has shown consistency in his three tournaments, taking them to at least the quarter-finals in all three, the first time that has happened since 2006 under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

And, the Swede had one fewer round to play in Euro 2004 as it was a 16-team tournament.

Longevity helping Southgate

Southgate is the fourth longest-serving England manager and there is a real sense of calming stability with him in the dugout.

Walter Winterbottom's 16-year spell in charge between 1946 and 1962 tops the list with 139 games, while Ramsey and Robson sit second and third respectively.

That prolonged spell gives England many advantages - he knows the FA system and young players inside out and there has always been a real sense that the players enjoy working under Southgate.

Of his six years in charge, the summer Nations League spell has been the only real negative factor and he still retains large support.

Ultimately, the most sensible decision is probably to stick with what you know, rather than go into the relatively small market pool of managerial talent currently available.

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