FA backs Gareth Southgate amidst criticism


FA backs Gareth Southgate amidst criticism

FA backs Gareth Southgate amidst criticism


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.

Southgate came in for criticism after a disappointing showing for the Three Lions in their four Nations League earlier this month, culminating in a 4-0 home to Hungary.

The even sparked a debate over whether Southgate should be ahead of the World Cup in which starts in November.

Hewitt Southgate’s role in transforming England’s fortunes on the and instilling a healthy off it, and said she had 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 defeat to Hungary, with the World Cup fast approaching.

‘My opinion on Gareth is that he is, by the facts on the pitch, the most England manager we’ve had for 55 years,’ Hewitt, who took over as FA chair in January, said.

‘The bit people don’t see as much is the Gareth at camp and the 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 we’d read about. The players not getting on.

‘He’s changed that beyond 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 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.

‘That and (are) the two I admire most. There are no slopey shoulders, he doesn’t huff, he’s and that’s what you want in an England manager.’

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Hewitt said Southgate’s response to her reassurances were true to form.

She added: ‘Gareth’s , as in everything to that kind of conversation, is always “it’s my accountability, and there’s always something to learn”.

‘That’s why it’s refreshing working with somebody like that because that openness to learn is quite and quite in any sphere.’

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