Gareth Southgate has achieved more than any England manager in the last 50 years, although there is still a sense that they may regret letting the opportunities presented at the last couple of major tournaments pass them by.
It is certainly fair to say that his team received very favourable draws in both the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, reaching the latter stages on both occasions. They would lose to Croatia in the semi-final in Russia, before losing on penalties to Italy last summer.
In both tournaments, England largely managed to avoid playing most of the other top teams in the knockout stages. They beat an out of form Germany at the Euros, with their other victories coming against Colombia (on penalties), Sweden, Ukraine, and Denmark (after extra-time).
Considering the draws they received, have Gareth Southgate's achievements been overblown? Simon Jordan believes so.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the former Crystal Palace chairman made the argument that England have actually underperformed in those tournaments considering how things fell for them.
🤦♂️ “We should have won the Euros and we should have beaten Croatia!”
👊 “I think with the opportunities he has had he should have done better.”
❌ “We shouldn’t be patting on the back due to others underachieving.”
Simon Jordan is yet to be impressed by Gareth Southgate! 🏴 pic.twitter.com/oHcn9TvIwp
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 30, 2022
Let's just look at what we didn't win. We lost in the World Cup when we had a passage through it that nobody believed we would get, we missed an opportunity.
We did the same thing in the European Championships, we should have won that European Championships. The selection of putting players on the pitch that hadn't even kicked a ball to take penalties was poor.
While I absolutely applaud that we have done more with this guy than other managers, that is because we had the opportunity to. We will never get draws in World Cups and European Championships like we got in this particular set of tournaments, so he was entitled to get to finals and semi-finals.
I think with the opportunities he's had, he should and could have done better. We should have won the European Championships, we should and could have beaten the Croatians. Because of his ineptitude at the time, he didn't have the ability to overcome the Croatians in that semi-final.
We got a draw that people would have prayed for in a World Cup, nobody could have gotten a better draw than we did. We got where we got because we should have got there. We beat everyone we should beat, and then we come up against somebody we might not be able to beat, we lose.
I don't necessarily think we should be patting him on the back for that just because other people have underachieved in the past.
This is not an uncommon opinion. A number of onlookers, especially outside of England, have shared this sentiment in the past.
After seeing what happened to Italy last night I wonder whether last years runner up spot is still deemed a success for England. Golden opportunity missed but still OBE‘s given out like smarties
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) March 25, 2022
England will have the opportunity to dispel any such criticisms at the World Cup later this year, although they won't want to count on receiving a handy draw for a third consecutive tournament.