A World Cup semi-final in Russia in 2018 and Euro 2020 final at Wembley represented marked major steps forward, but Southgate needed to be persuaded to stay on following England’s quarter-final exit to France at Qatar 2022.
Mail Sport reported that the FA are beginning succession planning should Southgate decide to leave at the end of his contract after Euro 2024, although the 53-year-old could yet decide to have one last crack at the World Cup.
Here, Mail Sport examines the contenders to succeed Southgate should he walk away.
Gareth Southgate is expected to end his spell as England manager following Euro 2024
Guardiola has been viewed as a ‘dream’ appointment by some at the FA, with the governing body open to exploring the possibility.
It would be foolish if the FA did not investigate the possibility of securing a coach who has won 36 major honours.
Guardiola has previously admitted he views international management as his next step after Man City, with Brazil and the Dutch FAs having reportedly been interested in his services in the past.
‘A national team, yes. Next step will be a national team, if there is a possibility. A national team is the next step,’ Guardiola said in an interview in 2021. ‘I would like to train for a European Championship, a Copa America, a World Cup.’
Pep Guardiola would be the dream pick and has spoken of a desire to manage a national team
Returning home to take up the Spanish national team job would make sense to fulfill that ambition, but his public support for Catalan independence has been viewed as a potential barrier.
Prising Guardiola away from Man City’s winning machine will be no easy task, with the Spaniard having previously set departure dates, only to be extend his spell at the Etihad.
Among the challenges for the FA would be Guardiola’s existing Man City contract, which currently runs until 2025 – 12 months after Euro 2024. The 52-year-old’s reported £20m-a-year wages would also be a major obstacle. By comparison, Southgate currently earns £6m-a-year in his role as Three Lions boss.
Another clear upside of a potential Guardiola appointment would be his work with several members of the current Three Lions set-up. Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips are regular members of Southgate’s England squads.
Guardiola has helped to develop their games at club level – although Phillips has struggled for game time. With the exception of Walker at 33, his English crop of Man City stars should be in their prime.
Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are among the England stars to have thrived under Guardiola at Man City
While the FA are open to appointing a foreign manager, Eddie Howe would be the obvious candidate should they prefer an English candidate.
Howe had previously been considered after Hodgson’s departure back in 2016.
The then-Bournemouth boss had admitted the previous year that he would be keen on the role in the future.
‘I’m very patriotic and it would be the ultimate honour,’ Howe said. ‘I would love to be thought of as good enough in the future.’
Howe’s stock has only risen further since taking over as Newcastle boss, with the 45-year-old overseeing their transformation from a relegation threatened outfit to Champions League participants.
Unsurprisingly Howe’s name came up last year, amid speculation Southgate could step down after Qatar 2022 World Cup. The Newcastle boss was quick to quash links.
Eddie Howe is the outstanding English coach but pushed against talk of succeeding Southgate
Howe has spoken about his enjoyment of day-to-day coaching of his Newcastle squad
‘I never say never, never say, “No, it won’t be something I am interested in”,’ Howe said last September. ‘But in the short term it is not on my radar at all. It is all Newcastle and trying to make this team better.
‘I have always said I love the day-to-day coaching, love being with the players on the training ground. International football you get that taken away for long periods.
‘At this moment in my life, that is not something I want to do.’
The prospect of Howe leaving Newcastle for England currently appears remote following qualification to the Champions League.
Howe insisted at the end of last season that there was no offer for which he would quit St James’ Park. The Newcastle boss signed a long-term contract at the start of last season, while his family are settled on Tyneside.
The speed and demands of the Newcastle project under their Saudi Arabia backed ownership might be the only factor that could change the situation.
Howe has rightly been heralded to date, but could the situation change if the Magpies fail to live up to the high expectations this season.
One manager who knows how quickly fortunes can change is Graham Potter.
The 48-year-old was hot property just 12 months ago, with Chelsea agreeing to pay a £15m release clause to secure his services from Brighton last September.
Potter’s miserable spell with the Blues lasted less than seven months having struggled to manage the revolving door of players at Stamford Bridge.
The FA were known to have identified Potter as a leading candidate to succeed Southgate prior to his appointment as manager last year.
Potter’s clear philosophy with a focus on delivering an attractive style of play would count in his favor, with England possessing a young crop of technical players with the likes of Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden.
While his star has fallen somewhat after a bruising spell at Chelsea, Potter is not the first to have struggled in the churn at Stamford Bridge.
His current availability would likely make Potter easier to secure than other candidates, although he would expect to have options as the Premier League season develops.
Graham Potter would ensure the Three Lions would pursue an attractive style of play
Potter’s star has fallen after a bruising seven-month spell as Chelsea boss last season
The current incumbent at Stamford Bridge had previously talked up the prospect of taking over as England manager last year.
‘Of course, my relationship with England has always been very good,’ Pochettino had told The Athletic.
‘We have a very good relationship with the academies, trying to develop young players for the national team.
‘I feel so comfortable here. You never know what happens. I am open to everything.’
The key difference is that Pochettino had been speaking while he was still seeking another job after leaving PSG last summer.
His recent appointment as Chelsea boss would likely make the England job a distant prospect in the Argentine’s mind.
Mauricio Pochettino previously talked up becoming England boss but the Argentine has since taken charge as Chelsea
Pochettino had played a crucial role in turning the likes of Dele Alli into England stars at Spurs
Pochettino signed a two-year deal until 2025 when he was named as Chelsea head coach, with the Blues having an option to extend for a further year.
In theory, Pochettino would be unattainable as a result but the 51-year-old will have to provide stability in the Chelsea dugout by overseeing significant progress at Stamford Bridge following the club’s huge investment in players.
Pochettino had previously worked with FA technical director John McDermott at Tottenham, which would likely increase his chances of becoming Three Lions boss should he retain an interest.
During his time at Tottenham, Pochettino was also credited with turning Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Eric Dier into regulars within the England set-up.
The Northern Irishman was reportedly among the names under consideration last year when Southgate’s future was unclear.
Rodgers would be the first non-Englishman to take the role since Fabio Capello in 2008 should he succeed Southgate.
The 50-year-old has developed a reputation for playing attractive and attacking football at each of the teams he has managed.
Rodgers has also demonstrated his ability to cope with the intense spotlight that would greet an England manager during his spells as Liverpool and Celtic boss.
A further positive in Rodgers favour would be his record in delivering silverware, having won seven trophies in his first spell at Celtic, as well as lifting the FA Cup with Leicester in 2021.
Leicester’s decline and Rodgers eventual departure last season will have likely led to him dropping down the list of possible candidates, as will his recent return to Celtic.
Brendan Rodgers has successfully worked under pressure at Celtic and Livepool in his career