How Gareth Southgate created a culture England players enjoyed 😃 | Making a Manager

By | November 15, 2022

As part of our documentary Gareth Southgate: Making A Manager, we take a look back at the England manager's tournament experience so far.



In the modern world leader in any Business it's got to have different Approaches people don't just do what the Boss says anymore because he says it They'll respect the authority but then You've got to get people to buy into What you're trying to do different Approaches flexible approach to Leadership is really important Our Southgate is about And only sir Alf Ramsay has a better Record but it's Southgate the man to end 56 years of hurt we've spoken to the People who've shaped his journey through Football Foreign ERS to you know chasing a dream of where We're going to get to in our careers There was a trip in Italy and I was Always a little bit Lively and a little Bit polar opposite from Gareth and he Was always a bit quiet and probably a Little bit more intelligent the rest of The group that we was just paired up Together in a room the rest as our Friendship's history he was focused Worried about other people good with his Teammates and he'd just been released From Southampton so he was on a little Bit of a Down But met his mum and dad And we thought a palace we were taking Players that had been released from Chelsea's Southampton other clubs Because we just started Our Youth System

And Gareth was one of the early entras I Know that his parents were really really Big with him going to uh staying on at School maybe going to University I think They saw the pitfalls and the reality of How hard it is to make it as a Professional footballer but I think it Was quite realistic his parents at that Time he's super intelligent back in the Day at the training room we had a quiz Machine brought in you could win 20 Pounds which packed it was like a week's Wages to us he'd be on every day at the End of training and he'd be taking the 20 pounder literally every day in the End they took it out because he was Making no money It was such a tough environment we were A South London club we took a lot of Players from non-league we had people Like Andy Gray and Wright Mark bright I Could go on Jeff Thomas John Pemberton It was a tough group and if you couldn't Survive in that and Gauss described it Sometimes as a bear pit and it was cold Showers running up hills training was Hard it was a real test of whether you Could survive we went and played the British Army and we lost three nil a Gallon of Captain the team he was around About 17. and we haven't quite decided I Had by the way but we hadn't quite Decided as a club whether we were going To take him on and after the game and I

Looked out and I had the players back in I said well where's galaf and I was just About to give everybody a rollerkin when I looked at it he was shaking hands with Everybody And he came in about five minutes later I said careful Where Have You Been he Said look the army guys have invited us Back for a quick drink let's go and have Something to eat and a beer and I wanna I wanted to say congratulations you know Thanks for that in a state of Fury I got Him in the next day he needed toughening Up he didn't really see the you know the Hardness of being a professional I just Sat him down I was quite tearful he Thought I was going to give him the Bullet as well I think and I actually Just said to him at the time Gareth do Yourself a favor become a travel agent Because you've got no chance of making It as a footballer he was my my best Power and if I wasn't pulling my weight Or I wasn't doing my job properly as Much as we was mates he would tell me Not good enough I'm not accepting that And that was as much as a friend trying To say up your game as it was a captain I think his road has been quite strange As we're sitting in this house now he's Been back here he's grown up when he was 16 he'd come back and with other players And and do jobs in the garden to make up Their Whitehead less money I don't think

They realize the long route he's had to Actually get where where he has when I Got released from Crystal Palace it was Literally like the last two or three Days of the Season it was very difficult For me to get a club or go and troll but A week after that Exeter City had a Couple of games and the season finished Carver just lifted the championship Trophy to get to the Premiership and He'd come in the week after to work with Me on my own to make sure I was ready to Go and travel to Exeter and that for me Always sort of sums him up if you'd have Said to me when we was younger do you Think you'd be England manager no but I Definitely thought you'd be a manager For sure I had an idea of of what type of player I'd be looking for in the long term for Arsenal and that would be someone who'd Played for the under-21 international Sides someone who had a 100 or more League games under his belt Gareth it's Stuck in my mind even as a Midfield Player I'd obviously knew then on that He played right back a few times as well So he was genuinely one of the targets One of the first targets that AI Identified for Villa signed him Predominantly thinking yeah he would Play in Midfield I'm not sure how or why He ended up going back December back I Know he played center back in one of the

Games and Alan Evans John Gregory and Myself just looked at each other and Went whoa that'll do and In fairness to Gareth he played with the man himself Paul McGrath who was you know just Brilliant Yugo God bless him who was a Wonderful football player we played Gareth on the left side of the three and He just settled in Villa finished fourth in southgate's First season and they won The League Cup One led to an England debut on Camp Southgate for his first cap South Gate Becomes the 40th player used by Terry Venables and a place in the squad for Euro 96 . Ironically the day of the game I Remember Sandra was a joke cover me There's like 20 million people relying On you tonight and said yeah no pressure Cheers mate and then off to the game and I went to the game that night with Obviously then it went to penalties and I just remember his wife said oh no Tara's taking one I didn't feel like He'd miss I've got to be honest I didn't I didn't even think he was There's no question that the things that You go through in life shape your Character Someone said to me a long while ago what Doesn't destroy you completely only Makes you stronger you'll find that

Except someone's got a week to cry and He's got to get back in the game again I Saw him stay after and he literally Faced every interview and he said look I'm not going to shy away from your Homework I'm gonna you know make sure I Speak to every journalist State mode you Know I'm standing there and and I'm Going to front you up and he did I know It hurt him while you know it would hurt Anyone and I think the way he dealt with It it was really really good we was on Holiday and it would be people pointing And wherever he went you know it was Like a shadow around him for a little While but you know calf being careful Kind of just dug deep and then that's What makes me laugh when people say you Know has he got the steel yeah you can't Come through there and not have still we Didn't have to dwell on it at all no he Really knuckled down straight away to What we needed to do it's an event that That he's handled unbelievably well Southgate put that Miss behind him Yeah He made an FA Cup Final with Villa in 2000 before leaving the next year I want to come and improve myself as a Player and I believe with the coaching Staff here that will certainly be the Case he was given the captain's armband Pretty much straight away when he first Arrived he could see and then he walked

In that he was someone that was a real Thinker somebody who was very thoughtful Very considered when he spoke what Walked in was a leader but he's not a Leader that Shelton screens for your Corks could you all do whatever's needed To try and get the best out of the People as people and as players I think They were the traits that Steve McLaren Paid for I mean it was a decent a decent Fee at the time but I think when you Look back it was money very well spent Southgate won The League Cup again in 2004 after 128 years And in 2006 after 638 Club games his Final appearance came in the UEFA Cup Final defeat to Sevilla but his next Move came as a shock I sat on holiday And he phoned me and I didn't take about Convincing to make that decision can you Tell us whereabouts you are with your Coaching qualifications a shame for me That obviously that's overshadowing Everything I'm committed to getting the Qualifications as quickly as I can Surprise like we knew obviously that Steamer fan was going it was at the World cup 2006. I got a call from from Steve Gibson the gem to say that he was Going to give the job to to Gareth and What did you think and well like if You're going to give it to anyone at a Club that's existing he's you know he's A player that wanted to get into

Management he's the the perfect choice The mark of the man is that the players The players talked to it was never going To be easy because you're going from When you walk out on a train and Pitch Every day and everything's laid out and You've got the organization and the Manager speaks and tells you how the Session is going to look and you're Going from receiving that information to Have to give that information I think in The initial instance was just a manager Of men and that didn't change I think The relationship from leaving the Dressing room is really difficult Because once you leave the dressing room You are detached from that but you were Only there a week ago maybe looking back At Personnel changes too quick too soon But I think he took it all in his stride And he did the best he possibly he could With the experience or limited Experience he had for a large part of it I think he did it very very well I Remember talking to him about it years Afterwards and in saying that in Hindsight I wish I'd played another year Fulfilled my players contract and he Goes the problem is the job offer was Too big to turn down he's thinking well If I don't take it now will I ever be Offered this job ever again he had the Sacrifice that Years playing to go into Management after two mid-table finishes

Southgate suffered a setback Middlesbrough were relegated from the Premier League I remember a conversation with Steve Gibson at the end of the season and Obviously Steve was was pretty angry and Rightly so there was myself Gareth Gordon McQueen was still on the staff at That particular time he said I've got I've got three sent a half sat around This table and we can't keep the ball Out of our goal from from set players And we kind of looked and and you can Only look at the chairman and go yeah You're right at that particular Point Some of the players that come in weren't Good enough it became a big struggle to Lose that Premier League status and I Really hurt he kept his job but in October with the team a point off top Spot Southgate was sacked it was a Massive shock I was driving home and I Have to stop the car I was like really It had been a really tough decision for Steve because I know how highly Steve Regards go things like that hurt he'd Given up his career his football career Which could have lasted until 40 no Problem to do it to have a go and that Had been agreed so that's fine so that Door closes this door opens and you and You you carry on with that we all have To succeed but yeah I know it hurt him I Hurt him a lot

In January 2011 Southgate made his next Move he was appointed head of Elite Developments by the fa we had a real Report and I said would you be Interested in helping us out with the Academies because he was a face they all Knew with England and whatever and so he Did a lot of good work and helped me With that and that's when you know we Thought can we get the teams the english Team playing that way he knew what we Wanted to do and he said that's the only Way we're going to get the England teams Over The Line He left that role in 2012 but a year Later Southgate was back in the fa as England under-21's manager the Saint George's Park era was just beginning and Southgate would play a crucial role in Shaping England's DNA we're in Ireland That has certain attributes which some Of the rest of the world look at With Envy but we've also got to recognize That we've got to look elsewhere for Certain skills and look at not just Different countries but different sports He said hakka ever imagined that he had Managed to get this and he said it's Fantastic it is just what is needed so So I think it is going to be but we need The right people here and I said I think And the 20 ones downwards you get Everyone playing that way and you're Helping bring in the coaches and

Whatever the whole philosophy appealed To him and I knew he would make a Success of it I got a call asking Whether I would be interested in Assisting Gareth for the first of his on The 21 matches one game then became yeah I suppose the rest is history if you Like we are friends it's gone beyond I Mean the experiences we've had we've Share forever I think first and foremost The relationship works on on the on the Football point of view Gareth is a guy Who has amazing strengths but one of the Great strengths he has is his Understanding of his weaknesses also Because nobody's perfect and um I think We we balance quite well in that respect And uh I'm fortunate enough to have you Know a head coach who's intelligent Enough and also not with not a as big an Ego to identify that he's got a link and A Unity with players that I don't think Any England manager has had ever because They spell of doing the Ambush for Anyone's downwards he got to know him Well and now he can ring up I think any Of them because they have a rapport with Him and they trust him and they they Enjoy working with him In the summer of 2016 the landscape of English football looked Bleak Iceland Knocked them out of the European Championships Sam allardyce lasted just One game as manager after an off-field

Scandal the fa turned to Southgate as Interim boss Things happen so quickly it was a moment To step up and and put myself forward as The leader of this group so why didn't Gareth throw his hat in the ring I think Was at the time I think he just felt That the he might not have been ready And saw the once again the poisonous Atmosphere but I think generally itself You know from is a self-critical Individual I just thought he felt maybe I'm not right maybe maybe it's not quite Right for me yet and was happy to stay On his under-21 manager and then events Unraveled and we needed a New England Manager after about 40 days of a point In Sam we persuaded in this time that he Would be you know he is the right Candidate Um I think he'd seen a bit of how the England team had been organized probably Felt we could bring something to it and We offered it to him on an interim basis Which is sort of Never Never the Conversation you quite want if you're a Manager I was felt was the right person With the job initially really pleased That we could persuade him to do it and It was the starting point of a you know I think a really successful Journey that He's been on for himself and the country Gareth felt the responsibility of he was The 21s coach with experience in

Management I think he felt it was Definitely the right thing to do to help To try to navigate that period so four Games it was originally across those Four games you could see him gradually I Think starting to feel that yeah this Was something that I would like to do I Don't think he would have done that Automatically at the start of that Period Had he not been you know really clear on How how that was going to look because At the time frankly it wasn't perhaps as Attractive a proposition as perhaps it Would look to some coaches now I don't think any job is impossible some Jobs are more difficult than others some Are more complex this is certainly one Of those there's great it's an interest For everybody that comes with great Responsibility but I'm ready to embrace That He has a great relationship with us all The best thing about it is well I played Through every age of 16 17 18 19 20 21s To the seniors or the pathways there and If you say the squad now the pathways It's always open for people to come up And I think that gives that the the Younger age groups motivation and to see That and that end product of being in England seeing you set up and I think The manager has done brilliant by having That open pathway we were trying to

Build a system At St George's Park to make sure that England played men and women teams Played better in tournaments Consistently harness all the best that Was in English football of which there's A lot but I have to do things a bit Differently and we wanted someone that You know if that's to be successful to Both be successful in their own right But also pass it on eventually because They all go to a successor who's got a Whole history of here's how things get Done here's what we've learned whereas What it used to be with the England Management sort of Merry-Go-Round was Sort of they never learned off one Another they get fired always and it was Starting starting from ground zero and That wasn't what a lot of the other Successful World Cup winning countries Did so it was very important that we had A builder in Gareth it's interesting his His contract when we gave it to him he Didn't need to qualify for the World Cup So we're quite deliberate about that Saying look we want you to build for the Future so if you're going to invest in Youth we need to give you the freedom to Experiment get a few things wrong I Thought you managed that transition Really well We've been going into tournaments Worrying about what might happen a

Little bit I think sometimes as players We've forgotten about actually going to Try and win That night against Colombia was that Some exercising of the demon I think It's fair to say probably there was We've done quite a bit of work within The organization anyway on this looking Beyond not just the kick but everything That the penalty shootout was about how Long it was from the final whistle till The first penalty for example which Which half of the pitch which position On the pitch so many different parts to That that Create a familiarity and a confidence Because it's an unusual set of Circumstances it's not a position that Players are in often I cannot Escape With Southgate Mania in full swing back Home England saw off Sweden in the Quarterfinals but they fell short Against Croatia Um remarkably proud of a group of Players that have really Advanced I Think the reaction of the supporters to Them at the end compared to two years Ago tells them experiences with England Can be positive if you think about the Shift in sentiment from Iceland in 2016 To Russia 18. it was not just the Results about Russia it was the way the Team showed up turned up communicated

With the public and the fans etc etc so It wasn't just about Gareth Gareth is The totemic face of it and or more than That but it was more of a total Rebuilding project about building belief In the national team having players that Wanted to play and uh yeah for the Country and and saw value in it the Environment that he creates in general Around the players does help to for them To want to come it's bizarre because Normally we have a scenario where a lot Of the uh players play better for the Clubs than they do for the country but In actual fact there are some examples At the moment where perhaps that is the Other way around it's a consequence of Work of a lot of people frankly that That are in the support team but also I Think when you're talking about culture You know the leader is so important in That Gareth 24 7 365 just behaviors and Decisions I think set that culture that That the players enjoy being part of I Love growing away with a lot of nothing Into you have great time winning games Is even better but that that team spirit That togetherness we have around around The building the managers got that Environment where he wants to enjoy it When we're having downtime we'll like to Enjoy it but when we'll work we work Properly I think he said that in Interviews and I think we do that really

Well as a group after Russia came a Nations League semi-final before England Turned their attentions to the pandemic Delayed Euro 2020. There's always a chance to make history That's the challenge for us as a group Of Staff but especially for the players They shouldn't be burdened by that we Know it's been a long time since England Have had that sort of success We're in a final and we're here to win Now we want to go and bring the trophy Hunt for everybody Foreign The players have had an incredible Togetherness and spirit which I think Has brought so many parts of our country Together they should be and I think they Are incredibly proud of what they've Done He was the ideal person to be the Manager that day because of what he'd Been through in his own football life Nobody could have done that better than Go but I still think that was another Learning curve if you knew Gareth well Enough you'd probably say yeah that was Going to happen it has been an Extraordinary period in our football History I think it will be when he's Dead when uh three more have had a go in 20 years whatever before this period is Reflected on probably with you know the Way that it should

Southgate's tournament record is Outstanding but his ability to talk Candidly on sensitive topics has one in Many admirers For some of them to be abused is Unforgivable really they are the visible Face of the Football Association so the Values of that individual have got to be Strong and they've got to be consistent And they've got to be things that you Know values that both Inspire but also Also make you feel that you can totally Rely on them character and personality You know because it was a very important Criteria Gareth was able to demonstrate Through his his trap record his history His his demeanor to be able to do that Since reaching that final England and The south gate have hit a rocky patch It's six games without a win going into The world cup and a four mil home defeat To Hungary brought chance of you don't Know what you're doing I've got to Accept there's going to be a huge amount Of noise there has been around Individual selections team selections But if I'm going to be a wishy-washy Change my mind not stick to what I think Is right and gives us the best chance of Winning then it's it's pointless me Doing it the first blip you've had in Six years isn't it where you've six Games without a win yeah we're not Enjoying it if you've gone a few games

Without a win when you're the England National team it's fair to expect Criticism I don't think any of us have An issue with that this has been Different the calendar is the calendar Now there are no friendlies in this Period it's Nations League it's the top Eight teams in Europe so the context to That line of not one in six is a little Bit different to normal he's the only England manager that's played Nations League games for start we've made a Decision in the summer that players have Had a long season we don't play players That we don't think we should play Because there's a physical issue Gareth Felt that we needed to share those Minutes across the games it's a really Fine balancing act so we have some Pressure now as a consequence of those Matches we have to manage that and we Will when we lose we analyze ourselves First and foremost I haven't worked with Anybody who does that more than he does We want to win we know we've gone close Semi-final final it's pretty clear the Next challenge England's now heads to the Middle East With a manager whose determination and Optimism have shaped his own footballing Journey I think if you're a coach it's a Bit like being a parent you've gone past The moment where it's about you and it's About what you pass on to others when

You're the England manager you have the Opportunity to bring happiness to so Many millions of people you have the Opportunity to do the opposite as well By the way but you do have the Opportunity to make people create Memories and most importantly for your Players to try to create the best Version of them as a group and the best Of them individually that they can hope To have