After England's loss to France in the World Cup quarter-final, it seems the future of Gareth Southgate is very much up in the air.
It is said that the FA would be keen for him to stay on until Euro 2024, with a contract already in place until after that tournament. However, there are reports circulating that Southgate himself is considering stepping away from the role.
How that would affect the team's fortunes moving forward is very much up for debate.
There is no doubt that the spirit within the camp has greatly improved under the current manager, while he also has a major tournament record that no other England boss over the last 50 years can match.
In saying that, there remains some genuine doubts about his ability to help the team take the next step.
Kevin Kilbane sums up Gareth Southgate failings
In the end, the 2022 World Cup was very much the same old story for England under Gareth Southgate. They beat the teams they were expected to, then falling short against the first quality opposition that they faced. It was the same at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.
There is a sense that the manager played a major part in each of those exits.
Southgate very conservative in his approach and is often slow to make in-game changes when they are required. When England were on top against France at the weekend, he did not go for the win and made no substitutions until after they fell behind for a second time.
Their playing style also lacks bravery in attack, especially when you consider the options he has at his disposal. In big games, they go into their shell.
In all, this group should be much further along in their development than is currently the case.
Speaking to Sky Sports, former Ireland star Kevin Kilbane said that there has been very little progression in the England team under Southgate, even if the quality of player has improved.
🗣 "I can't say there's been serious progression."
Kevin Kilbane doesn't feel like much has changed on the pitch for England in the last six years under Gareth Southgate#FIFAWorldCup #ENG pic.twitter.com/aq2xlLzm7H
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 13, 2022
I can't say that there's a real case that there has been real progression, I wouldn't say that.
I think the talented players have come around as a group that has been developed, he has had to nurture those players. I think the goodwill towards the English players is absolutely there now.
The mentality of outsiders looking in at that England side, everything feels totally different. That's solely down to Southgate, his man management and what he has done with that team.
On the pitch, has there been serious progression on what we seen six years ago? I don't necessarily see that.
That's the way I would feel. England probably should have won the Euros. Even going back to four years ago and the semi-final against Croatia, I thought England were in a better position to go and beat Croatia because they had better players than them.
In key moments, they've always failed.
It is difficult to argue with any of that.
England have a very talented and deep squad, something that will get you a long way in international football. However, they seem to be lacking on the sideline when it comes to defining moments on the biggest stage.
Ultimately, Gareth Southgate seems to lack the knowhow when it comes to getting them over the line.