With the World Cup in Qatar only a couple of months away, Gareth Southgate is finding himself under increasing pressure as England manager.
The team have been absolutely dreadful in 2022, with their loss to Italy last night confirming their relegation to 'League B' of the UEFA Nations League. The performance in Milan was awful, with the English failing to score from play for the fifth consecutive game in the group.
It looks as though Southgate is certainly not making the most of the vast amount of talent at his disposal. Despite possessing one of the best squads in international football, he insists on persisting with a dour defensive style, one that has isn't exactly easy on the eye.
The team has not developed at all since their appearance at the 2018 World Cup, with their run in that tournament and Euro 2020 having more than a hint of fortune about it on each occasion.
In short, they seem miles off competing with the best nations at the moment.
Former Arsenal man slams Gareth Southgate
Some felt that the time was right for Gareth Southgate to step away from the England job last summer, believing that they he had taken them as far as he could.
It's difficult not to think that they would be a much better side with a more tactically astute manager in charge, an opinion shared by Stewart Robson.
Speaking on ESPN, the former Arsenal man tore Southgate's managerial credentials to threads.
"He doesn't know how to change things when things are going badly." 👀 pic.twitter.com/otoXEys7nr
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 24, 2022
He doesn't understand the game tactically. When things are going wrong, he doesn't know how to rectify it.
We've seen that in semi-final against Croatia (in the 2018 World Cup), when it was obvious that their wingbacks were getting forward and putting crosses into the box, he had to stop that and change the system, he didn't.
Against Italy in the final of the Euros, when they were 1-0 up and should have dominated the game, they sat back and allowed Italy to dominate possession. He got it wrong then.
He doesn't know how to change things when things are going badly. Today, he should have been saying to Foden and Sterling 'keep spinning in behind'...
He didn't change it. He changed it to a back four when they went 1-0 down, but too late.
He's just not a good manager in my view.
It's difficult to argue with much of that.
Southgate has one approach to games against teams of a similar quality: set up a steady defensive unit and hope to score from a set-piece or moment of magic at the other end of the pitch.
If this doesn't work, he seems to have few other ideas.
He will be hoping that it will all come together ahead of the tournament in Qatar, although the signs have been far from promising.