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13th Dec 2022

Does it matter if the next England manager isn’t English?

Callum Boyle

The next England manager is hot on everyone’s lips right now

For the first time in his tenure, it feels like we might be saying goodbye to Gareth Southgate.

The man who woke England up from their slumber and allowed fans to dream that one day football might actually come home has admitted he is pondering his future and may not be the man to lead the Three Lions forward.

After his recent press conference, speculation has begun to mount over who will take over. Some reports have said that England have already named a four-man shortlist ready for the day Southgate does call time.

Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers are all said to be names touted to take on the heavy task that is guiding England to glory, but some are not happy.

Under Southgate, there has been a feeling of pride about the England team. Having a fellow countryman lead you out to battle makes you feel closer to the action and naturally, makes you want to root for them before.

Despite this though, is it always the best option? Right now there seems to be a shortage of top-level English managers that would be widely accepted as a good appointment for England.

Graham Potter would have been most people’s choice but his recent move to Chelsea cancels out that idea. The likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have neither achieved enough in the dugout nor are considered good enough to take over. Appointing someone like Sean Dyche wouldn’t necessarily bring an eye-catching style of football either – something Southgate has previously been criticised for.

It’s easy to understand why England fans would be apprehensive about a non-Englishman taking the role. The scars of Fabio Capello and his rather disastrous reign in charge still haunt those who follow the Three Lions and has put people off going down the same route.

England manager

The fact of the matter is though that any of England’s previous successes across the board in recent times have come thanks to people who weren’t born in England.

Just as recently as this summer, Sarina Wiegman took the England Lionesses all the way to glory at Euro 2022 and captured the hearts of the nation with her exciting brand of football and a squad with a unity like no other. Wiegman isn’t English, she’s Dutch.

England’s Under-17’s lifted the World Cup in 2017 under the guidance of Steve Cooper – a proud Welshman – who was responsible for developing talents such as Jadon Sancho and 2022 World Cup squad member Phil Foden.

For what it’s worth, it shouldn’t matter who takes over Southgate when the time comes. Surely what is most important is that they are the right fit and deliver what so many England fans crave for: silverware.

It doesn’t matter if they were born in England, are partially English or have no affiliation to England at all. What is important is that they galvanise the team and continue building on the foundations that have been set by Southgate and his team since they were first appointed in 2016.

Regardless of who takes charge, England fans must back the successor, no matter the nationality.

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