‘I hope he stays’: Rice and Maguire back Gareth Southgate to stay with England | England

Gareth Southgate was backed to continue as England manager by Declan Rice and Harry Maguire, as the side tried to build anticipation after the shocking 2-1 World Cup quarter-final. defeat against France.

The feeling in the locker room was that England were the better team and deserved to qualify for a semi-final against Morocco, but the key moments went against them – the most obvious being Harry Kane’s 84th-minute penalty miss for 2-2.

Southgate’s future is unclear after just over six years on the job, despite being under contract until December 2024. He intends to take stock in the coming days before he decides whether to continue or not.

Quick Guide

Qatar: beyond football


It’s a World Cup like no other. For the past 12 years, the Guardian has reported on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is brought together on our dedicated site Qatar: Beyond Football homepage for those who want to delve deeper into issues beyond the field.

The goalkeepers’ reporting goes far beyond what is happening on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

Photography: Caspar Benson

Thank you for your opinion.

“I hope he stays,” Rice said. “Obviously, I don’t know. There’s a lot of discussion around that. He was brilliant for us. There are a lot of criticisms that are not deserved. He took us so far. Farther than people might expect.

“He put everything back in place [against France]. It’s not about him at all. We played the right way. I really hope he stays because the hard core that we have and what he has done for us is so special to be part of. I love playing under him and I love playing for England.

The Football Association remains firmly behind Southgate. Chief executive Mark Bullingham released a statement on Sunday morning, praising Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland for preparing the team “exceptionally well throughout the tournament”. Bullingham remarked that they were a young side, suggesting the future was bright.

“We are incredibly proud of Gareth, the players, the coaches and the support team and appreciate all the hard work they have put in,” Bullingham said.

Maguire warmed to the theme. The centre-back has always felt Southgate’s support, especially in the last 18 or so months when he has struggled for form.

“Gareth has been amazing with myself,” Maguire said. “Amazing with every player. I’m sure if you asked every player…they couldn’t say enough about him. His man-management. The way this team has been built and developed over time. He’s managing really well everything and tactically he makes all the right decisions and he has proven that again in this tournament.

Rice added, “I think sometimes the negativity around us will go away once we win something again…there will always be that pressure on us. But I feel like it’s starting to swing that way; we return to a level where people believe in us and the country supports us.

Maguire described a desolate dressing room scene after the game, heavy with introspection. “It was pretty quiet,” he said. “A lot of guys were sitting there thinking, disappointed. Gareth said a few words, Steve Holland said a few words and that was it, really. Gareth mentioned how proud he was of us.

Gareth Southgate consoles Harry Maguire after the quarter-final loss to France.
Gareth Southgate consoles Harry Maguire after the quarter-final loss to France. Photography: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

“She’s the most disappointed I’ve been and that’s because we thought we would win Tournament. It’s the first tournament I’ve been to where going through and losing in the semi-finals or finals wouldn’t have been enough for us. It’s good for the long term that the mentality has changed in the group. This team is really talented and there will be other opportunities for them and for us.

Rice said England had “dominated the game”, limiting France to a few clear chances. “In my opinion, the best team lost and that shows how far we’ve come,” he said.

Maguire said: “We created the most chances, we had more pressure, we dominated the ball. These are great times at great times. We didn’t take ours, they took theirs. They are world champions for a reason. And the reason is that they’re clinical, they’re ruthless, they’re experienced.

“I know we lost, but it’s probably the best performance we’ve had against a big team. I have the impression that France will continue to lift the cup. And, to be completely honest, we were much better than them in many areas. The only thing I would say about this group of guys, which has been proven again, is that we belong in this scene now.

Leave a Reply