With England now out of the 2022 World Cup and current head coach Gareth Southgate apparently considering his position, now is a good time to look at some reasons why the England job is currently such a coveted position in world soccer.
The England job has for so long been regarded as something of a poisoned chalice. The impossible job. No one really wanted it too badly, and for a number of reasons. Media intrusion, disputes with Premier League clubs over player availability, abuse from fans, inferior pay to club management, and for a long time, inferior players.
And when you’re up against sides of the caliber of France, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain you would want to be going into any World Cup armed with a squad of quality players.
A new era of English football talent
This era is different for Gareth Southgate or any prospective new England head coach. At the start of Qatar 2022, Brazil were the favorites at 3/1, and plenty of World Cup tips and predictions backed Brazil, Argentina, and France. But there was also plenty talking up England’s chances, and this is because of the list of quality footballers the Southgate had at his disposal.
As well as the seemingly endless list of talented players coming through the English system, there is also a batch of more experienced players – Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, and Raheem Sterling – who are just coming into their prime, and with the 2024 European Championship in Germany just over 18 months away, now is surely a great time to be in charge of those players.
Plenty of options should Southgate move on
Should Southgate decide it’s not for him, there will no doubt be a long list of managers beating down the door to take the job. One candidate, Graham Potter, has just taken over at Chelsea and may have eyes on a longer-term project. But for another prospect, Eddie Howe of Newcastle, it might just be the perfect time.
Howe isn’t going to be in a position to win major honors at Newcastle for a couple of years at the very least. The project there is still in its infancy, and a lot can go wrong in that time. The new Newcastle owners may also be casting their net across Europe for a big name to lead their project. Howe leaving to manage England could be the perfect outcome for all concerned.
And whether it be Eddie Howe, or even still Gareth Southgate that leads England at Euro 2024, the chances of success will still be high. They will all be another 18 months wiser, and with only Jordan Henderson of Liverpool arguably past his peak, the rest of the squad will be made up of the core of players who were in Qatar.
The average age of the England squad in Qatar was 26.4, and players are said to be in their prime in their late twenties. So, the head coach who will lead England in the 2024 European Championship in Germany may well be in the right place at the right time.