Gareth Southgate was initially reluctant to take the England job after Sam Allardyce resigned from his post back in September, but he was eventually lured to the poisoned chalice following a few games in caretaker charge of the Three Lions.
The former Premier League defender, who had previously managed Middlesbrough and the England Under-21 side, was unexpectedly called upon following the scandal that saw Allardyce walk before he was pushed by the Football Association.
But was Southgate too nice to be England manager? This is what many fans were asking themselves before he signed a four-year contract with the FA at the end of November.
Had the FA simply appointed a ‘yes man’ following the Allardyce saga, or was he genuinely the best coach for the vacancy?
Southgate hadn’t done too badly during his first four matches as England’s caretaker manager - a 2-0 win v Malta, a 0-0 draw against Slovenia, a 3-0 victory over Scotland and a 2-2 draw against Spain - but results have been rather inauspicious since.
England were beaten 1-0 by Germany in March and recorded a 2-0 win over minnows Lithuania a few days later.
Southgate’s men were almost beaten by Gordon Strachan’s Scotland on Sunday afternoon - only for Harry Kane to spare England’s blushes with a last-minute equaliser - and on Tuesday night, they lost 3-2 to France.
A France side that played almost the entire second half with 10 men after Raphael Varane was sent off.
Joey Barton tears into Southgate and England
On Twitter, the outspoken Joey Barton was busy racking up the retweets with a series of damning tweets about Southgate and his player.
“Don't think Southgate should have got the job,” Barton tweeted at half-time. “I am already on the record on that. This 45 and the 90 against Scotland only confirm that.”
He continued: “England job is posion chalice ATM. Those who want it, aren't qualified or capable.
“Those who are capable and/or qualified aren't lacking the intelligence to do it.”
Barton's first-half notes
Barton, who hopes to move into coaching after he ends his playing career, then posted his first-half notes…
Barton's second-half notes
And at the end of the match, he posted his second-half notes, which wouldn’t have earned him too many marks in a coaching exam…
He’s got a point, mind.
Barton compares England's display to May's Mexican Wave
Now that's funny
Is Gareth Southgate good enough to manage England? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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