‘The first time they asked, I said “no thanks”‘: Gareth Southgate reveals he initially REJECTED the England job because of the strain it put on other Three Lions bosses like Bobby Robson and Glenn Hoddle
- Gareth Southgate admitted he turned the England manager’s job down at first
- The former Middlesbrough boss worried about how the stress may affect him
- Southgate changed his mind and has now been in charge more than six years
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Gareth Southgate has admitted he turned down the England manager’s job at first due to the stress he saw the role put on others.
The former Middlesbrough and Three Lions Under-21 manager eventually changed his mind and took over in September 2016, his reign lasting a little more than six years.
And Southgate told French outlet L’Equipe that he had to remind himself to take his own advice to his children about trying new things before eventually accepting the offer from the FA.
Gareth Southgate (above) has admitted he initially turned down the England manager’s job
He referenced difficulties ‘fantastic men’ like Sir Bobby Robson (above) encountered as boss
He said: ‘Growing up, I saw the difficulties some fantastic men encountered in this job, like Sir Bobby Robson, Graham Taylor, and Ron Greenwood. Then, as a player, I saw close-up what the job did to Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle, and Kevin Keegan.
‘That’s why the first time they asked me, I said “No thanks!” Then, I sat down and thought about it, and reminded myself that I told my children that they mustn’t hesitate to go for things in life and try things.
‘In short, it’s a difficult job, but that’s the case for the managers of all countries. Particularly since everyone has an idea of the way that the national team should play and because we have little time to work with the group.
And Southgate added that the clear toll the job took on Glenn Hoddle (above) meant he rejected the opportunity at first before changing his mind and taking over in September 2016
‘Our job consists of putting the best players on the pitch and making them play in a system that gives them the best chance of winning, which sometimes means developing a style of play that isn’t in line with the public’s expectations.’
The 52-year-old, who signed a new contract last year which will keep him as Three Lions boss until December 2024, will lead his country to the Qatar World Cup starting later this month.
Some England fans are calling for Southgate to be sacked despite him leading England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of the European Championship in 2021.
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