SOUTHGATE SACK: ENGLAND BOSSES TOLD AXE MUST FALL WITH BBC PUNDIT NAMED AS ‘PERFECT’ UPGRADE

Under-fire Gareth Southgate has been told he should have quit after the country’s last European Championships failure with one former Three Lions star naming a Euro 2024 pundit working for the BBC as the perfect next England manager.

The Three Lions will guarantee top spot in Group C with a win over Slovenia on Tuesday and secure themselves a last-16  clash against one of the third-placed nations in a 5pm showdown on Sunday. However, despite taking four points from their opening two games so far, the negativity surrounding Southgate and England has arguably never been louder throughout his tenure.

Indeed, with arguably the best England squad at his disposal in years and blessed with a vast array of attacking talent, England are, quite rightly, regarded as one of the favourites to win the competition and with it end 58 years of hurt for the nation.

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However, the manner of their displays seen so far against firstly Serbia and then in drawing with Denmark has suggested anything but glory for England, with the team unable to get out of second gear and putting in two disjointed performances so far.

That has led to widespread criticism of Southgate, especially with two of the Premier League’s best players of last season – Cole Palmer and Anthony Gordon – failing to play a single minute of action so far and another in Ollie Watkins, managing just 21 minutes against the Danes.

And with many observers offering advice to Southgate on his team selections – the determination to play with Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield and then the subsequent admission that the Liverpool man is ‘an experiment’ – have not gone down well at all, with Ian Wright among those strongly condemning the England coach.

Southgate: Euro 2024 probably my last tournament with England

Southgate’s contract with the FA is due to expire at the end of the calendar year and the 53-year-old has already admitted he will likely leave once this summer’s competition comes to an end.

“If we don’t win, I probably won’t be here anymore. Therefore, it might be the last chance,” Southgate said ahead of the competition.

“I think around half the national coaches leave after a tournament – that’s the nature of international football.

“I’ve been here for almost eight years now and we’ve come close. You can’t constantly put yourself in front of the public and say, ‘A little more please’, because at some point people lose faith.

“If we want to be a great team and I want to be a top coach, you must deliver in big moments.”

Asked if he had the option to extend his deal, Southgate added: “No. The reason is that there would have been more criticism, which would have put more pressure on the team.

“England did that once before with Fabio Capello [before the 2010 World Cup] and there was a big drama before the tournament.

“It’s better to check yourself after the tournament,” he concluded.

As a result, speculation has already begun on whom might step into Southgate’s shoes with one recently-departed Premier League boss already touted as a would-be replacement for the England job.

England boring to watch under frustrating Southgate

There have even been some maniacal suggestions that Southgate should be sacked mid-tournament with an upgrade parachuted in, having seen Ivory Coast do exactly that in the African Cup of Nations earlier this year before going on to claim success.

And while that sounds extreme, former England international Alan Hudson has told our sister site Football365 why he thinks former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard would be the ideal successor and that the Three Lions under Southgate are a frustrating watch.

“As l wrote earlier today in reply to someone calling for the England coach’s head: He should have went after he himself let Italy off the hook at Wembley with the first piece of silverware since 1966 in touching distance.

“I sat with my pal Donald Shanks (former QPR, Luton, Fulham and Brighton) watching the team get an incredible start inside the first five minutes at Wembley and we agreed right then with the Italians rocking that he should unleash all of his best players sitting next to him on the bench.

“Against Denmark with a 1-0 lead l looked at Ivan Toney, Ollie Watkins and Cole Palmer and the same thoughts went through my head, after all we were now through unless going down that same negative Southgate Safety Route.

“We watched England before watching the elegance of Spain who attacked a fast improving Italian team since we handed them that trophy which seems an eternity ago.

But time stood still once more as Denmark slowly crept back into the match thanks to the early probing of Christian Erikson who showed England that, “Simplicity is genius!

“Yeah, you know him, the wonderful Dane who not only collapsed in such a competition but almost lost his life, yeah that brilliant Dane!

“However, we complicate a sport that l grew up loving and playing my best football when keeping it simple for Stoke City under Tony Waddington and against world champions West Germany way back in 1975.”

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Hudson feels current BBC pundit Lampard would play a more adventurous style and help lead this England side to glory, despite admitting the former Blues boss does have obvious flaws.

“The camera zooming onto Palmer showed a picture which painted a thousand and one words, and the one word was, “Please”. We are the only nation that have the best players on our bench throughout every tournament under this leadership.

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“My good friend Frank Lampard was on the panel and it hit me that although he messed up at Chelsea – messing with old team-mates – he would be the perfect man for the England job as he has made it clear at Derby County that he trusts young talent and wouldn’t think twice about going down the route of Spain who have the excellence of a 16-year-old (Lamine Yamal) teasing his seniors in Italian shirts.

“That was the difference and Southgate who should have gone after the last Euros. He will take our game back further if he remains….. It really is that simple and you know what they say about simplicity……”

Since taking charge of England back in September 2016, Southgate has overseen 59 wins from 97 matches in charge, giving him a win percentage rate of 60.82%.

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