David Seaman tells fans and media to lay off England boss Gareth Southgate for one big reason

Gareth Southgate watching an England training session

David Seaman says he is “frustrated” by calls to sack England manager Gareth Southgate and believes the under-fire Three Lions boss has enough “credit” in the bank to survive regardless of what happens in Qatar.

Southgate is expected to pick a full-strength side on Monday as England look to end a run of three games without a goal. The recent defeat in Italy has piled the pressure on Southgate with the World Cup less than two months away.

Monday’s date with Germany at Wembley will be Southgate’s last dress rehearsal before the November date with Iran in Group B. And he knows that, despite having a contract until 2024, a poor World Cup will see him at risk of the sack.

“I am not foolish,” Southgate said. “My sole focus at the moment is to get the team right for tomorrow. Then we are focusing on a good performance and a good result. I know ultimately I will be judged on what happens at that World Cup.”

Seaman though believes Southgate, whom he played with for England, has done enough in recent years to warrant more support.

“He keeps his job [whatever happens] because he’s got credit,” Seaman told the Daily Express. “He’s got to the semi-final of a World Cup and the final of a Euros. It frustrates me like mad when people talk about us not playing well in the lead-up to a tournament.

“Germany never play well up to a tournament, then it’s like boom and they’re in on it when it happens. Let’s judge him after the tournament. Quarter-final or semi-final isn’t a guarantee but we’re good enough for that.

“After that, it’s all about luck and whichever team turns up on the day. We’ve seen it happen before, big teams going out early on and there’s a surprise team that goes to the final. [Let’s] leave him alone, let him get on with it, he’s proven that he can do it in tournaments.”

Southgate opted to start Harry Maguire in Milan, despite his lack of first-team action at Manchester United. And Maguire is expected to partner John Stones against the Germans.

Southgate ‘the perfect guy’

It’s a big call considering the criticism Maguire has been subjected to at Old Trafford. 

Seaman though believes Southgate remains the best person for the England job.

“People say get rid of him, but who are we going to put in? It’ll upset everything England have done over the past five or ten years. Changing your manager doesn’t always work so we’ve got to stick with Gareth. For me, he’s the perfect guy to do it. We’ve seen it, it’s just that one step further,” added Seaman.

Southgate’s tournament record with England is a good one. The Three Lions made the World Cup semi-finals in Russia before an extra-time defeat against Croatia. While they made it to the final of Euro 2020 before agonisingly losing on penalties to Italy.

Anything less than a last four place in Qatar will most probably be seen as a failure. It will be the nature of the performances then that determine whether the FA pull the trigger on the 52-year-old.