Gareth Southgate has the “unwavering” support of the Football Association to continue as the England manager until the Qatar World Cup at the end of next year no matter how his team fare against Germany on Tuesday in the last 16 of Euro 2020. Southgate is under contract until the World Cup and the FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, says he would like him to extend until the 2024 European Championship in Germany.
Southgate’s team finished on top of Group D at this tournament to set up the Germany tie at Wembley with seven points and three clean sheets out of three. They managed two goals, firing only sporadically to attract accusations of an unimaginative style.
“Am I enjoying the football? Yes, I am,” Bullingham said. “Gareth has done a brilliant job, finishing top of the group, with a really solid defence. He’s done really well on and off the pitch in every aspect. Our support is unwavering, 100% unwavering. We want him to carry on, regardless of Tuesday. Absolutely. Regardless of the group stage of this tournament, we would have wanted him to carry on.
“The 2022 World Cup is an incentive, the fact it’s only 18 months away is exciting and then you look at Germany [in 2024] after that … it’s only 18 months after that. It’s going to be a really exciting three years coming up. Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him, that we’d like him to carry on. We would love him to carry on, for sure, beyond this contract.”
Bullingham was asked how the FA could consider offering Southgate a deal to take him beyond Qatar if he did not win either this championship or the World Cup. “I think he’s doing a brilliant job,” Bullingham said. “I haven’t said that we’ve offered him a new contract. But on the basis of everything we’ve seen so far he’s doing a great job and we’d like him to carry on doing that. We’ll get into that formal conversation after this tournament. But if you ask me now I’d say yes, we’d like him to carry on [after Qatar].”
Bullingham said it was “very clear at the moment” that Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell would train on their own as they serve their period of isolation until midnight on Monday after a Covid breach. The FA has investigated whether it might be possible for them to take some part in socially distanced outdoor work with the squad.
Bullingham also spoke of his disappointment at losing the England Under-21 international Jamal Musiala to Germany. The 18-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder, born in Stuttgart but raised in the London area from the age of seven to 16, starred as a substitute in Germany’s 2-2 draw with Hungary on Wednesday.
“We definitely didn’t want to lose him and it was definitely a regret that he did go,” Bullingham said. “You can probably look back and say that the pandemic was unhelpful because there were not [England] age-group games going on and certainly the influences around him were his Bayern teammates and representatives from the DFB [German FA]. He played for the England Under-21s last year and there were lots of ongoing conversations. He was definitely in everyone’s minds.”