Gareth Southgate Not Ruling Out 2026 World Cup Tilt

Gareth Southgate Not Ruling Out 2026 World Cup Tilt
Gareth Southgate Not Ruling Out 2026 World Cup Tilt
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Gareth Southgate, the England national football team manager, stands at a career crossroads as his contract is set to expire in December 2024. Amidst intense speculation about his future, Southgate has not committed to an extended tenure with the Three Lions, leaving open the possibility of his departure after the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament.

The Football Association is reportedly eager for Southgate to continue, hoping he will guide the team into the 2026 World Cup, which promises to be a groundbreaking event with its expansion to 48 teams and venues across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Southgate himself has acknowledged the allure of the 2026 World Cup, noting the unique challenges it would present, from extensive travel to diverse climatic conditions. “I think ’26 will be an amazing World Cup,” Southgate remarked, reflecting on the tournament’s scale and complexity.

“But you know that any sporting event the U.S. are involved in hosting – and clearly Mexico ’86 I also remember – that will be an amazing tournament, which will be a different sort of challenge.”

“If you think about the travel and the time zones compared to the last World Cup, it couldn’t be more different. Temperature changes, altitude and everything else that you could face. So that would also be an amazing tournament.”

However, Southgate’s immediate focus remains on Euro 2024, with his current tenure overshadowed by the disappointments of the 2022 World Cup quarterfinal exit. This summer’s performance could dictate his decisions about continuing in his role. “That will depend on playing well, getting results and wanting to stay. Any number of things would be wrapped up in that. But that’s for after this summer, really.”

Adding to the intrigue, Southgate has been mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United should the club decide to make a change. This speculation places Southgate in a high-stakes position, balancing national team responsibilities with the temptations of club management. Despite the rumours, Southgate has expressed his frustration at the timing of such discussions, deeming them “completely disrespectful” and reiterating his commitment to England through the European Championship.

As Euro 2024 approaches, Southgate remains dedicated to his role, with a clear goal in sight. “I don’t have any vision of what next year will look like because everything for me depends on this summer. Everything is geared towards, ‘How do we win this tournament?’

“We’re clearly one of the teams that can win it. There’s big expectation, which is completely understandable given what we’ve done over the last five, six years. We’re very comfortable with that expectation. It’s brilliant that our supporters are excited about the team, but it’s pointless to me looking beyond that, really,” he concluded.

Gareth Southgate’s future as England’s manager hangs in the balance, influenced by upcoming tournament outcomes, personal aspirations, and emerging opportunities in club football. As the Euro 2024 tournament looms, all eyes will be on Southgate as he attempts to bring football home, again.

Image courtesy Deposit Photos.

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