It’s been almost 56 years since Sir Alf Ramsey guided England to their sole major tournament win at the 1966 World Cup. Since that famous victory, nobody has come closer to repeating that success than current Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
The former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender led England to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in 2018 when they were edged out by Croatia in extra-time.
The 51-year-old went one better last summer, guiding England to the Euro 2020 final on home soil. On that occasion, his side were cruelly denied on penalties by Italy after the two teams couldn’t be separated over 120 minutes of action at Wembley.
Despite not being able to get England over the line on either occasion, Southgate was recently voted the second greatest Three Lions manager of all time (behind only World Cup winner Ramsey) – and has also been awarded an MBE for his services to English football.
One man who has not been as impressed with Southgate’s accomplishments, however, is talkSPORT analyst Simon Jordan.
The former Crystal Palace chairman launched a scathing assessment of Southgate’s reign following England’s 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday evening, arguing that the nation should have secured at least one piece of silverware over the last four years.
“Let’s just look at what we didn’t win,” insisted Jordan. “We lost in the World Cup when we had a passage through it that no one believed we were going to get and we missed an opportunity – we did the same in the European Championship.
“We should’ve won that European Championship and putting players on the pitch that hadn’t even kicked a ball to take penalties (in the Euro 2020 final) was poor,” Jordan said of Southgate’s call to bring on Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho late in extra-time against Italy. Both men went on to miss their spot-kicks.
“While I absolutely applaud the fact we’ve done more with this guy than other managers, that’s because we had the b****y opportunity to.
“We will never get draws in World Cups or a European Championship like we got in this particular set of tournaments so he was entitled to finals and semi-finals.
“I still think with the opportunities he has had he should have done better. We got where we got because we should’ve got there and got beat.
“We could – and should – have won the European Championships. We could – and should – have beaten the Croatians. Because of his ineptitude at the time, we didn’t.
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“We beat everyone we should beat and then when we come up against someone we might not be able to beat, we lose.
“You can’t pat him on the back for it just because others have underachieved in the past!”
You can check out Jordan’s passionate critique of Southgate below.
Watch: Simon Jordan bashes the record of Southgate as England boss
🤦♂️ “We should have won the Euros and we should have beaten Croatia!”— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 30, 2022
👊 “I think with the opportunities he has had he should have done better.”
❌ “We shouldn’t be patting on the back due to others underachieving.”
Simon Jordan is yet to be impressed by Gareth Southgate! 🏴 pic.twitter.com/oHcn9TvIwp
In knockout matches at major tournaments under Southgate, England have overcome Colombia, Sweden, Germany and Ukraine. Each are decent sides in their own right, but Jordan is correct in pointing out that it’s hardly the most fearsome list of international opponents you could put together.
Regardless of whether Southgate has benefitted from favourable draws, getting to the last-four of two consecutive international tournaments is a considerable achievement and it’s tough to begrudge him recognition for it.
England are currently third favourites to land the World Cup in Qatar later this year where Southgate will be hoping to prove his credentials and lead England to victory.
The draw for the group stages of the competition takes place on Friday evening. It remains to be seen if the Three Lions can turn in another strong performance on the world stage.
Harry Maguire booing outrage (Reaction via The Football Terrace)