Gareth Southgate’s managerial record is heavily scrutinised every time England play in a major tournament.
Pre-tournament, the Southgate haters are out in force saying he’s not the right man for the job. Post-tournament, most fans agree that there’s no one better suited to take the Three Lions into another campaign.
This vicious cycle all comes down to one thing: the lack of silverware in the England head coach’s trophy cabinet.
Despite his critics, Southgate has actually won something as a manager. In 2016, he led England Under-21s to victory in the Toulon Tournament. The squad featured several future England internationals, including Jordan Pickford, Ben Chilwell and Jack Grealish.
The Toulon Tournament took place in France at the end of the 2015-16 season. Only 10 nations participated, meaning the group stage consisted of two groups of five teams.
The final group standings looked like this:
1. France – 12 points
2. Czech Republic – 7 points
3. Mali – 4 points
4. Mexico – 4 points
5. Bulgaria – 1 point
1. England – 12 points
2. Portugal – 9 points
3. Paraguay – 6 points
4. Japan – 3 points
5. Guinea – 0 points
How did England win the 2016 Toulon Tournament?
Gareth Southgate’s men won all four of their group games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just once.
Their Group B results were as follows: England 1-0 Portugal, England 7-1 Guinea, Paraguay 0-4 England, Japan 0-1 England.
Unlike most major competitions, the 2016 Toulon Tournament didn’t feature a knockout stage.
The two group winners, France and England, went straight through to the final. Southgate managed his team to a 2-1 win, with Chelsea midfielders Lewis Baker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek scoring the goals.
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Baker ended the tournament as top scorer with four goals, while Loftus-Cheek found the net three times. Grealish (two goals), Cauley Woodrow (two goals), Nathan Redmond (two goals) and James Ward-Prowse (one goal) were also on target.
England squad at the 2016 Toulon Tournament
Everyone loves to hype up English youngsters, but the players at the Toulon Tournament didn’t have too much buzz around them at the time.
The main reason for that is because a lot of players eligible for the squad had already been called up to Roy Hodgson’s senior team.
Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, John Stones, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley could have played for the Under-21s, but Hodgson selected them for Euro 2016 that summer instead.
Gareth Southgate picked the following 20 players in his squad:
1. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
2. Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
3. Matt Targett (Southampton)
4. Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea)
5. Calum Chambers (Arsenal)
6. Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
7. Duncan Watmore (Sunderland)
8. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
9. Cauley Woodrow (Fulham)
10. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)
11. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City)
12. Lewis Baker (Chelsea)
13. Angus Gunn (Manchester City)
14. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
15. Jack Stephens (Southampton)
16. Matt Grimes (Swansea City)
17. John Swift (Chelsea)
18. Rob Holding (Bolton Wanderers)
19. Kasey Palmer (Chelsea)
20. Ben Chilwell (Leicester City)
Two years later, Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were part of Southgate’s senior squad for the 2018 World Cup. Ben Chilwell and Jack Grealish also became international regulars in the build-up to Euro 2020.
What did Gareth Southgate win as Middlesbrough manager?
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has never been afraid to take a few risks. In 2006, he appointed Gareth Southgate as the club’s boss immediately after he retired as a player.
Southgate didn’t win any trophies as Middlesbrough manager. However, he did pick up the Premier League Manager of the Month Award for August 2008.
Boro got off to a flyer at the start of the 2008-09 season, beating Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City 2-1 at the Riverside in two of their first three games.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan for the rest of the campaign. They won just two of their last 26 matches and ended up finishing 19th.
I attended a few Middlesbrough home games in that relegation season, including the 5-0 battering they took against Chelsea in October 2008. Boro’s recruitment was terrible under Southgate – not that he had much to do with it – and they ultimately paid the price for failing to adequately replace the likes of George Boateng and Yakubu.
Gareth Southgate’s record as England manager
At the 2022 World Cup, Gareth Southgate surpassed Sir Alf Ramsey’s record of eight wins in major tournament matches as England manager.
The Three Lions boss led his country to three wins at the 2018 World Cup, five wins at Euro 2020, and another three wins at the 2022 World Cup. That means he’s racked up 11 major tournament victories in charge of England, three more than 1966 World Cup-winning manager Ramsey.
Southgate’s side were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup at the semi-final stage by Croatia. Three years later, the delayed Euro 2020 tournament ended in penalty heartache against Italy after a 1-1 draw in the final. Most recently, England’s 2022 World Cup dreams were over after a 2-1 quarter-final loss against France.
Many already regard Southgate as the second-best England manager in history. He’ll only be considered a serious contender for the greatest of all time if football finally comes home during his reign.
Has Gareth Southgate won anything as a player?
Yes. In fact, Gareth Southgate won one trophy at every club he played for. His first piece of silverware came in 1993-94 when he won the Football League First Division with Crystal Palace. He also lifted the League Cup with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough in 1995-96 and 2003-04, respectively.
The central defender’s professional playing career spanned 18 years between 1988 and 2006:
- 1988-1995: Crystal Palace – 191 games, 22 goals
- 1995-2001: Aston Villa – 243 games, 8 goals
- 2001-2006: Middlesbrough – 204 games, 4 goals
Southgate could have added to his trophy collection in his last ever club appearance (Middlesbrough v Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup final), but it wasn’t to be. He played the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 loss in Eindhoven.
Why is Gareth Southgate a good leader?
Southgate carries himself as someone players should listen to. Not too strict, not too lenient. Players generally trust his judgement and respect what he has done in the game. The comradery around the England camp drastically improved after Southgate took over, and he can take a lot of credit for that.
Why is Gareth Southgate hated?
Some fans dislike England’s style of play under Southgate. With so many attacking players available, many people think Southgate should stop approaching games in such a cautious manner. For example, he usually starts only two of the following five attacking players: Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.
Will Southgate win a trophy for England?
We’ll find out on July 14, 2024!