Gareth Southgate has been given a ringing endorsement from Football Association chair Debbie Hewitt, who said the England manager’s IQ and emotional intelligence would make him a chief executive in any sector.
Hewitt hailed Southgate’s role in transforming England’s fortunes on the pitch and instilling a healthy culture off it, and said she had spoken to the England boss after the Hungary defeat to reassure him of how highly regarded he still is at the FA.
The England feel-good factor is gone after a shock defeat to Hungary, with the World Cup fast approaching.
‘The bit people don’t see as much is the Gareth at camp and the culture he’s created.
‘Certainly prior to Gareth being the manager of England, there was not the pride of wearing the England shirt. There were the club rivalries we’d read about. The players not getting on.
‘He’s changed that beyond recognition and I’ve seen that first hand.
‘I’d also say that I don’t just work in football, I work in business and I’ve worked with a lot of chief executives and Gareth’s skills his high IQ and high EQ – would make him a chief exec in any sphere.
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Hewitt said Southgate’s response to her reassurances were true to form.
She added: ‘Gareth’s reaction, as in everything to that kind of conversation, is always “it’s my accountability, and there’s always something to learn”.