Pep, Howe Or…? Assessing five candidates to succeed Gareth Southgate


According to report this week, it was claimed that Gareth Southgate could step down as England boss after Euro 2024, reports.

But who are the candidates to replace the waist-coated one? Let’s find out.

Pep Guardiola

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When all’s said and done, there simply isn’t a better coach anywhere in world football.

Pep Guardiola has been at the top of the game for 15 years now and continues to make every single player he coaches a better one.

Having already spent seven years living in Manchester, it’s clear that the Catalan coach has a fondness for England and his views on his homeland’s independence could also play into the Three Lions being a national team of choice instead.

Simply put, Guardiola is the outstanding candidate for the job and would be the ultimate coup for the FA.

One big question hangs over Guardiola’s potential appointment and that’s whether he would have the same impact on players if only given a third of the training time?

It’s clear that the Manchester City boss is a training ground coach and thrives on the repeat nature that comes with working alongside players every day.

Would a week of sessions ever four months sate his appetite and could it be a case of information overload for the squad?

Eddie Howe

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Up until the end of last season (more on that later) Howe was likely the in-form English candidate to replace Southgate.

Newcastle reached the Champions League for the first time in over decades with one of the most impressive defensive records in the Premier League.

Howe made Newcastle hard to beat and turned St James’ Park into a fortress.

There’s every indication that the former Bournemouth man could do something similar at Wembley.

It’s early days, but Newcastle’s form has fallen off a cliff since the first game of the new season.

The Magpies have struggled to recapture last season’s excellence so far this term with Howe seeming like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

If that’s his demeanour after three defeats on the bounce in the north east, you could argue that perhaps the national team job is a step too far at this moment.

Sarina Wiegman

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The way in which Wiegman turned a talented but underachieving Lionesses side into European champions and World Cup finalists is remarkable.

England looked to be going nowhere fast at the tail end of Phil Neville’s tenure but Wiegman’s tactical nous and man-management skills have inspired a nation.

There’s really no telling the heights the men’s side could reach under the Dutch coach’s tutelage.

As has been said elsewhere however, if the women’s game is to be given parity — in England and elsewhere — it cannot be seen as a stepping stone to the men’s game.

The 53-year-old is already at the peak of her career and shouldn’t be patronised enough to feel like the England men’s side is in any way a bigger challenge or a greater leap than the Lionesses.

Lee Carsley

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The FA have, since the inception of training base St George’s Park, been keen to play up the idea of Team England.

The theory behind it is that the national team should act in the same way as any side in the Premier League when it comes to player pathways and a general sense of camaraderie.

If players who impress at youth level can earn a spot with the senior side though, so should coaches.

And in Lee Carsley, England could have a ready-made replacement for Southgate already in the system.

Carsley has been with England under-20s and, for the past two years, the under-21s where he helped the Young Lions to European Championship glory this past summer.

Could the FA really give the top job to a coach who has 24 games of senior management on his CV?

Carsley has been working in player development for almost a decade now with his last experience with full on professionals coming with a short-term stint at Brentford back in 2015.

It’s not the experience you’d ideally want an England manager to have, especially if they go into the 2026 World Cup as one of the favourites.

Graham Potter

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Graham Potter is most bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Southgate and, pre-Chelsea, it would have been very easy to see why.

The 48-year-old was on a steady curve up the football ladder, having impressed with Swansea and then Brighton.

Potter’s side always play a progressive, all-action style and it doesn’t take a stretch to imagine the one-time York City defender leading out the Three Lions at Wembley.

But then there’s the elephant in the room.

That seven month spell in charge of Chelsea has knocked his career back enormously.

Potter looked lost at times in west London and, much like with Howe, if the challenge of a big club side seemed too much then it stands to reason that England would be too.

Of course, given Chelsea’s current predicament under Mauricio Pochettino, perhaps we shouldn’t judge Potter too harshly on his time at Stamford Bridge.

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