Keane, Neville, Rice back Gareth Southgate to remain as England manager despite World Cup exit

England manager Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate | Photo Credit: IMAGO

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has urged Gareth Southgate to stay on as England manager after the England man said he needed time to decide on his future.

The 52-year-old led the Three Lions to the quarterfinal of the World Cup but they were beaten by defending champions France.

This World Cup is his third major tournament in charge of the side, and he was able to reach at least the semi-finals in each tournament.

Speaking after the game, Southgate admitted he may step down from his role when his side return from Qatar.

“Emotionally, you go through so many different feelings. The energy that it takes to get through these tournaments is enormous.

“I want to make the right decision, whatever that is — for the team, for England, for the FA. And I’ve got to be sure that whatever decision I make is the right one.

“I think it’s right to take a bit of time to do that. I know in the past how my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of tournaments.”

However, Rice has pleaded with his manager to stay in charge despite England’s early exit this winter.

Speaking after the World Cup exit via The Athletic, the 23-year-old said;

“He has taken us so, so far, further than people can expect. 

“Tonight he got everything spot on and it’s not on him.

“The tactics were right, we played the right way, we were aggressive, and we stopped [Kylian] Mbappe, who was quiet. It was two goals against the run of play and that’s not down to the manager, it’s up to us on the pitch.

“I really hope he stays because the core group that we’ve got and what he has made for us is so special and I love playing for him and I love playing for England.”

Meanwhile, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has also backed Southgate to remain as England boss despite the loss to France 

Speaking to ITV via Sportsmail, Neville said: “I would love Gareth to stay on for another two years. I’d love him to stay on beyond that, whether it be actually as the coach or whether it be in a role in the FA in the future. 

“England in the last 10 years have won youth tournaments. We’ve won a women’s tournament in the summer. We’ve got to the men’s final in the Euros. We’re playing really well. 

“We’ve got a good team of technical players. England is in a pretty good place. Let’s be clear about that. 

“We’ve been out of tournaments in disgrace in the last 25 years, thinking, what the hell is that? What is the future? We’ve got a great future, and he is a big part of that.”

Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright also agreed with Neville’s comments calling Southgate one of the country’s most successful managers

“I have to agree with Gary with his leadership skills and what he has done. He is our most successful manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. I would like to see him still doing it. 

“If he’s not going to coach in some role in terms of the team. It’s very disappointing. I’ve said we’ve came back twice a few times as I fully expected Harry Kane to score it.”

Meanwhile, ITV pundit Roy Keane also agreed that Southgate should remain as boss ahead of Euro 2024 but respects that the 52-year-old may want time to consider his options.

“You’d fully expect Gareth to stay on for the Euros, of course. He’ll have an exit plan in his head. Is he still up for it? The players will be making big decisions over the next few months, some of the older players. 

“I agree with absolutely everything everyone has said about Gareth, but he’ll have to look at his future and talk to his family. He’s done a fantastic job. Does he want to give it a couple more years? Hopefully, he does.”