SWANNY'S WORLD OF SPORT: Even May would do as well as Southgate
Gareth Southgate should take his absurd Â£250k bonus for managing England to World Cup Finals qualification, laugh his way to to a bank, and jog off into the sunset.
This is as good as it will get for this England coach. England will get pasted by any half-competent side in Russia meaning Southgate will have to fall on his sword anyway before taking a different clipboard carrying job as one of over-promoted FA technical director Dan Ashworth’s loyal ‘yes’ men.
England should play an innovative card and ask a manager who’s achieved success in the game to take over at the actual tournament. Who would you trust to prepare/organise/inspire a squad, Southgate, or Carlo Ancelotti? The latter just happens to be seeking employment right now.
In fact that should be the way forward for England at every major tournament. Let’s face it spluttering Prime Minister Theresa May would have found it impossible to not reach Russia from their qualification group.
Southgate didn’t even have to manage the toughest match as England won in Slovakia under Sam Allardyce.
It will be the easiest £250k any football man will have earned in the history of the game. The laziest, money-grabbing agents have to work harder for their ill-gotten gains.
Laughably, after qualification for Russia was confirmed with a last-gasp win over Slovenia at Wembley, Southgate suggested it was unreasonable to expect England to play like Spain in eight months time.
Does that mean he thinks one day England might be able to pass the ball forward with precision and pace at any time under his care? If so the man who relegated Middlesbrough is deluded.
Southgate then confirmed his lack of imagination by suggesting injury-prone Arsenal reserve Jack Wilshere might ride to the rescue - surely the last act of a desperate man?
Southgate is such an instinctively negative coach, he’s managed to turn England into a more boring team than they were under hopeless Roy Hodgson.
In fact Kyle Walker shooting at goal from set-pieces as he did the other night is as bonkers as the Hodgson tactic of Harry Kane taking corners.
There was nothing on Southgate’s CV to suggest he was capable of leading a Championship football club to success, never mind becoming a winner of hard games at international level.
And sadly so it has proved.
I am old enough to remember when reaching the World Cup Finals was a source of national pride and great excitement.
But at Wembley last week there was a mere shrug of the shoulders. Most football fans are smart enough to know an expanded World Cup Finals makes qualification failure almost impossible. They also know what lies in store.
It’s no surprise club football is now king in England. Premier League clubs aren’t forced to pick the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain because of a dearth of talent.