‘We shouldn’t be thinking that there isn’t anyone else out there’: Jamie Redknapp questions England’s decision to stick with Gareth Southgate after their World Cup quarter-final exit

Jamie Redknapp has criticised England‘s World Cup showing – saying that he felt they should have done better with the depth of squad at their disposal. 

England were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by then-reigning world champions France, though received praise for their level of performance having appeared to have pinned their opponents back for much of the game.

Were it not for a Harry Kane missed penalty, England might have taken France to extra-time and could have advanced. 

Jamie Redknapp said England could - and should - have done better than they did in Qatar

Jamie Redknapp said England could – and should – have done better than they did in Qatar

Breaking with convention somewhat, Redknapp said that ‘any manager’ could have done what Gareth Southgate had managed and that there are ‘a lot’ of coaches out there who could do an ‘equally good job’. 

‘I don’t subscribe to this feeling that England had a really good World Cup,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘Getting to the quarter-finals wasn’t a big achievement and I don’t think we should be celebrating it. 

England were eliminated by the then-reigning champions France in an agonising defeat

England were eliminated by the then-reigning champions France in an agonising defeat

‘When I look at France and Argentina in the World Cup final, you think it could have been us. Argentina are a very good side but not out of this world. Lionel Messi gave them a point of difference and was the reason they won. 

‘If you looked at the French team, it was one of the weakest France sides we’ve seen. When I played them in 1998, they had Zinedine Zidane, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and Didier Deschamps as their captain – these were players who could turn the game. 

‘France didn’t have Karim Benzema, they didn’t have N’Golo Kante. They had Kylian Mbappe who gave them the X factor.’

He added that he felt England would ‘never have a better chance’ of beating them than the opportunity that emerged at the quarter-final stage in Qatar.

Redknapp (L) said that England's talented squad was a match for the two eventual finalists

Redknapp (L) said that England’s talented squad was a match for the two eventual finalists

‘We have tremendous young players and we have come close, but that’s where the frustration is. I look at the two teams who got to the final, we’re every bit as good as them,’ he added.

Meanwhile, speaking about Southgate, Redknapp seemingly criticised his in-game decisions – something he has been lambasted for in the past – and alluded to the fact that there could be other English coaches out there who could do an equal, or perhaps even better, job to the one he has done.  

‘He has done a decent job, Gareth Southgate. But we shouldn’t be thinking that there isn’t anyone else out there. There will be a lot of good managers who would do an equally good job,’ he said.

The former England midfielder praised the talent about the youthful members of Southgate's squad

The former England midfielder praised the talent about the youthful members of Southgate’s squad

‘Any young, English, Premier League manager worth their salt would have gotten England to the quarter-finals, when you look at the teams we’ve played.

‘If you looked at the candidates right now, you’d see Graham Potter at Chelsea, Eddie Howe is doing a great job at Newcastle. Frank Lampard, who has a great history of playing for England, is at Everton. It didn’t work out for Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, but any of these could have done as good a job as Southgate.’

It was announced on Sunday by the Football Association in a statement that Southgate would be continuing in his role, with his current contract taking him to the end of Euro 2024. 

It had been thought by some that he would depart.  

Having agreed to stay Redknapp said Southgate must now 'make the most' of the talent at his disposal

Having agreed to stay Redknapp said Southgate must now ‘make the most’ of the talent at his disposal 

Redknapp encouraged Southgate to ‘make the most’ of the opportunity he’s been given – or earned – and harness the talent in the squad to go beyond the quarter-final stage at the next major tournament. 

‘Gareth isn’t silly, he knows there’s a Euros we have a great chance of winning and we’re going to get better and better – so why hand over the baton and give someone else that chance? 

‘Now Gareth has been given this opportunity again – make the most of it. Let’s not be happy finishing in the quarter-finals, we should expect more.’



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