The FA have confirmed that Gareth Southgate will remain as England manager after the World Cup and is expected to lead the Three Lions until at least Euro 2024.
And on Sunday they announced the 52-year-old would stay on for the final two years of his contract, bringing a No more speculation about his future.
Gareth Southgate (pictured) will remain as England manager for at least two years
Southgate had considered his future after England’s World Cup exit in France
In a statement, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “We are delighted to confirm that Gareth Southgate continues as England manager and will lead our Euro 2024 campaign.
“Gareth and Steve Holland have always had our full support, and our planning for the Euros starts now.”
Southgate confirmed after England’s loss to France in the World Cup quarter-finals earlier this month that he is considering his future.
But, just over a week later, and after consulting those close to him – who felt he was moving that way – the England boss decided to see the team through the Euro 2024 campaign.
He is now set to lead England’s Euro 2024 campaign after deciding to stay in the role
Southgate has been credited with transforming England’s fortunes at major tournaments
The news comes as a major boost for the FA, which was desperate for him to stay in control given the great job he has done in transforming England into an elite nation, and there is now no need to start looking for a new manager.
He was heartened that the public mood seemed to have turned in his favour, despite the side’s World Cup elimination to France last weekend.
Southgate was greatly affected by the public reaction to his return to England, feeling the positivity gleaned from the way England played and the nation’s desire to see the team on the front foot.
England’s leading players had also urged him to stay after the France defeat and sent him a message to repeat that. Southgate is likely to think he would let them down if he left now.
However, it’s clear he entered the tournament hoping to quit. He had previously hinted how affected he was by Molineux’s boos last June after the 4-0 defeat to Hungary and the wave of negativity towards him.
Many top players in England have reportedly urged the 52-year-old to stay in charge
According to a Sunday Times report, written by Southgate’s biographer, the manager was close to announcing after the defeat to Hungary that he would be quitting after the World Cup.
His thought was that if the fans knew he was going, it would take the heat out of the situation. His assistant Steve Holland talked him out of it.
Over the past week though, Southgate has noted how balanced the media and public reaction has been to the disappointment of elimination.
Unlike the Euro 2020 final, when the occasion was marred by hooliganism, racist social media attacks on players and anger towards Southgate, it was a more unifying experience.
There was only a very small backlash against Southgate. That means Southgate will be back at the helm in March in a tricky Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy in Naples, followed by a home game at Wembley against Ukraine.
With Euro 2024 only 18 months away and with Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden now establishing themselves as key to the England squad, the temptation to carry on was quite evident.
Southgate memorably helped guide England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals
They also reached the Euro 2020 final under him and he has been widely credited with transforming the nature and atmosphere around playing for England in a hugely positive way.
With France and England now the strongest teams on the continent in terms of squad depth and quality, it would be unusual for Southgate to dodge this challenge.
When the FA sacked Roy Hodgson in 2016, Southgate initially ruled themselves out of the running, which saw Sam Allardyce named.
Southgate quickly regretted this and so came forward when Allardyce was sacked after just 67 days, explaining that he had urged his children to take risks and accept challenges and therefore could not shirk to such a huge opportunity.
Since taking over after Allardyce left, the former defender has overseen significant progress for the Three Lions.
After guiding them to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup – in a tournament in which England fans fell in love with their national team all over again – Southgate then guided the Three Lions to the final of the 2018 World Cup. Euro 2020.
They were beaten on penalties against Italy, before England retired in the quarter-finals in Qatar. In total, he has won 51 of his 81 games in charge.