Not to get carried away, as we have only beaten two nations in the form of Tunisia and Panama, but I think it is a fair comment to make that Gareth Southgate is the best and most likeable England manager is recent memory.
First of all, he is winning football matches, the first thing any manager should be judged on. Under Southgate’s leadership England are unbeaten and are winning by playing good football. Recent displays have shown this current England team are very confident playing it out from the back and then passing forward in a stylish way. England, for the first time in a long time, are entertaining to watch. From set pieces, England are dangerous. Trippier can whip a good ball into the box from any set piece and the aerial threats of Stones and Maguire are the men to aim for. Southgate has a system that he has confidence in and is working and from what we have seen so far, looks like it would provide a very capable test against any team.
Another factor that has contributed to him turning around fan opinion is the players in the squad. He is giving opportunities and putting his faith in young English talent which is paying off. Seeing exciting players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard and Harry Maguire showcasing their abilities on a world stage is great to see and would be difficult to imagine had Allardyce still been in charge. In addition, the positive atmosphere he has created within the England camp helped Danny Rose to come forward and speak about the troubles of being a professional footballer which will have significantly helped him no doubt.
Off the pitch, Southgate comes across as a very likeable man. From engaging and insightful interviews to his raw passion in the celebrations (even with a dislocated shoulder), he is doing all the right things to endear himself to a nation not won over by him at first. Southgate has allowed his players to be themselves and through his enthusiasm as England manager, that has clearly shown through the team who look like they are proud to represent and play for England.
A welcome break from the boring ways of Capello, Hodgson and Allardyce before him, Southgate is a breath of fresh air to a nation long overdue success at a major tournament and who knows, he may just be the man to bring it.
England fans, do you agree that Southgate is the best England manager in recent history? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us at @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF!