England manager for World Cup 2022: Everything you need to know about Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate reacts as he leads a training session of the England's football team at the St George's Park stadium in Burton-upon-Trent on May 30, 2022 as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming UEFA Nations League.
(Image credit: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate will lead England as manager at World Cup 2022, where he will be looking to go all the way after coming agonisingly close to major tournament glory last summer. 

The former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender was put in charge of the national team after Sam Allardyce resigned because of a scandal just one game into his tenure.

Southgate’s interim role was soon made permanent, and he led his country to the 2018 World Cup with minimal fuss. England unexpectedly reached the semi-finals in Russia, beating Colombia and Sweden in the knockout rounds before losing to Croatia. 

Despite the disappointment of falling short of a first major final since 1966, England and Southgate returned home with their reputations enhanced.   

Three years later, at a Covid-delayed Euro 2020, he led the Three Lions through a thrilling campaign that ended in heartbreak. 

England topped their group ahead of Croatia, Czech Republic and Scotland, before overcoming Germany, Ukraine and Denmark in the knockout stages.

That set up a Wembley final against surprise packages Italy, where Luke Shaw's early goal was cancelled out by a Leonardo Bonucci strike. The game ultimately went to penalties, ever England's major tournament downfall, and the Azzurri triumphed 3-2. 

A runners-up finish was another step in the right direction, though, and England once again cruised through qualifying to seal their spot in Qatar. 

There were plenty of doubts about Southgate when he was first appointed, as his only previous managerial job in senior football had resulted in Middlesbrough being relegated from the Premier League.

Gareth Southgate was the club captain and a highly respected figure at the Riverside when he took charge in the summer of 2006, after Steve McClaren was awarded the England job.

He managed Middlesbrough for just over three years but was sacked with the club competing for promotion from the Championship. After a spell out of football, Southgate was appointed as the England Under-21s manager in August 2013, taking over from Stuart Pearce.

Praised for his work readying young players to step up to the senior squad, and his empathetic managerial style, Southgate was seen as a prime candidate for the top job.

He has been able to draw on his experience of the pressures of playing for England, having won 57 caps and been part of the squad at several major tournaments.

England are in Group B in Qatar, where they will face Iran, the United States and Wales. 

With Gareth Southgate as manager, England will be expecting another strong showing at the Qatar World Cup. It won't all be plain sailing, though, and the intense scrutiny will start as soon as Southgate selects his first England World Cup squad

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.