Gareth Southgate, the manager of England, discusses how criticism from the public and the media led him to consider leaving.
Gareth Southgate has spoken candidly about the reasons he thought about leaving his position as England manager after the 2022 World Cup.
Although Southgate claims he needed some time to reflect after England was defeated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar, it was their dismal Nations League campaign that caused him to consider his options.
England struggled mightily in the Nations League, losing all six of their games—including a 4-0 loss to Hungary—and was demoted from League A to League B as a result.
“I was concerned that the team might be impacted by the narrative surrounding the manager’s future after that game, and we were a little bit on edge going into the games in September,” he told BBC Sport.
“At Wembley against Germany the crowd weren’t against their team but they were waiting to see what happened.
“I’ve been in teams where it can hinder performance, and the last thing a manager wants is for their presence to be contentious and hinder productivity.
“There are more important issues facing England than just [that], so I knew I had the support of the players and [the FA].
“My main worry was that the team may suffer if there appears to be a conflict between what the fans desire and where I may have stood. I was aware of this going into the World Cup.
“I thought we had excellent support, but I was worried about what would happen later.”
The Three Lions’ performances were significantly better even though England only advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals, where they were defeated by France by a score of 2-1.
After the European Championship in Germany, Southgate, whose contract is valid until 2024, was “conflicted” about continuing in his role as manager.
“I believe that when emotions are high, it’s easier to hurry things, and frequently you need to get a little more sleep to make the appropriate decisions.”