Southgate sack: England boss ‘finished’ as Shearer demands three changes v Switzerland, names Guehi replacement

Alan Shearer has had his say on Gareth Southgate's England future

Alan Shearer has had his say on Gareth Southgate's England future

Alan Shearer wants England to ring the changes in their Euro 2024 quarter-final tie against Switzerland, with three players drafted into the starting line-up, including Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, while a fellow pundit believes Gareth Southgate has showed why he is “finished” as a top-level manager amid ongoing talk he soon faces the sack.

The Three Lions are through to the last eight of the European Championships – the fourth time in a row under Southgate they have reached the quarter-finals of a major competition. However, their quest to end 58 years of hurt out in Germany has been anything but smooth sailing, with only an incredible 95th-minute equaliser from Jude Bellingham preventing their exit in their last-16 tie against Slovakia on Sunday.

A goal from Harry Kane less than 90 seconds into extra-time saw England ultimaely edge a 2-1 win but criticism of their performances so far has been rife, with few able to get behind Southgate’s stubborness to either change his line-up and his slow reaction to bringing on substitutes in the wake of their lacklustre displays.

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Until Bellingham’s acrobatic overhead kick on Sunday, England had failed to muster a single shot on goal and the growing frustration in the stands, punditry studios and across social media was palpable. Indeed, that one moment was a bolt out the blue, which had that not occured, would have seen England packing their bags rather than dreaming of potentially going all the way.

Nonetheless, BBC pundit Shearer is adamant Southgate has some serious lessons to learn and cannot afford not to mix up his side against the Swiss if England are to advance any further in the competition.

England news: Shearer demands three changes v Switzerland

One change will be forced upon them with Marc Guehi picking up a second caution of the tournament and forced to sit out through a one-match suspension.

To that end, England can pick from Lewis Dunk, Ezri Konsa and Joe Gomez to come into the side, with Shearer selecting which of the three he believes will get the nod.

However, Shearer wants Southgate to be more ruthless than that and is also calling on the England boss to also draft in Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer, with Phil Foden just one of their under-performing stars likely to have to make way.


“I would keep Palmer in I would bring Gordon in. I would keep [Kobbie] Mainoo in because he’s done enough,” Shearer told The Rest is Football podcast.

Addressing who comes in for Guehi, Shearer continued: “I would go with Konsa. He is the one who has been involved a little bit more so I would bring him in.’

His co-podder Gary Lineker also wonders about what best to do about left-back, recognising the lack of balance down the flank costing England dear.

However, Lineker believes that the game will still come too soon for Manchester United man Luke Shaw, despite the fact he was back on the subs bench on Sunday.

“Left-back, that’s another problem,” Gary Lineker said. “He [Shaw] won’t be able to play, he didn’t even come on for a few minutes again., he can’t start, he hasn’t played for months.

“So it again comes down to that decision not to bring another back up left-back. We saw [Bukayo] Saka play there for a bit so it is possible. It would be a bit odd but he can play there.”

Southgate sack: Pundit claims England boss is finished as a top-tier coach

By pretty much all who witnessed Sunday’s performance, England can consider themselves hugely fortunate to still be in the competition and the lack of changes made by personnel by the manager have driven one observer to despair.

And Jamie O’Hara, speaking to Grosvenor Sport, reckons Bellingham’s incredible goal has saved Southgate’s career for now, though reckons his stubborness also shows why he’s finished as a top-level coach and amid claims he would have faced the sack had England been dumped out.

“Jude Bellingham has probably saved Gareth Southgate’s managerial career,” he said. “Before that goal, it almost looked like Southgate was finished as a top-level manager –  there’s possibly reason to think he wouldn’t have landed a job in the Premier League after that. He has looked miles off it – the team sheet was all wrong and the substitutions weren’t good either.

“He isn’t learning from other tournaments – as a manager you’re meant to develop and learn from your mistakes, but I don’t see anything different from Southgate from any of the previous tournaments. If anything, he’s become worse and more stubborn. He doesn’t make substitutions – we said after the last game that we wanted to see earlier changes and more proactivity, but there was nothing of the sort from Southgate on Sunday.

“I feel like screaming down the television at him every time I watch England, it’s so bad. It was a disaster of a performance again. They were miles off it once again.”

Bellingham comes in for strong criticism

O’Hara has also been left less than impressed by Bellingham and feels, before the stunning goal, the Real Madrid man had only put in way-below standard performance.

“From zero minutes to 94 minutes, Jude Bellingham was about a three out of 10,” he said. “He looked dead on his feet and as if he hadn’t rested for a while. He had a really bad game.

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“However, the goal he scored was unbelievable – it was a destiny moment for him and written in the stars that it was going to happen. It was as if it was manifested years ago that it was going to happen for him. It’s one of the best goals ever scored in an England shirt.”

On England’s left-back dilemma, the former Tottenham man is adamant Saka has to be deployed there against the Swiss in Dusseldorf.

“You could see that Kieran Trippier was killing England at left back and has been doing so all tournament,” he said. “He’s constantly going backwards and it destroys any momentum they have with the ball. I feel sorry for him because he isn’t a left-back. Against Slovakia I’d give him a three out of 10 – he just gives England nothing.

“I would start Bukayo Saka at left back. Luke Shaw clearly isn’t fit. If you play Joe Gomez there you have the same issue as Trippier – he’s just going to come inside and we’ll have no width. Truthfully, Saka on the right has been poor – he was non-existent against Slovakia. He hasn’t really made anything happen since he got that assist against Serbia, so you may as well play him at left back.

“It’s not ideal and it’s an emergency situation, but at least it keeps Saka on the pitch.”