And whilst Gareth Southgate has since admitted that he’s now considering his future as manager, pundits and punters across the country have made it clear that they want him to stay and lead the team into the next major tournament: Euro 2024.
Here’s a look at what Twitter users are saying as they look back, but also, ahead:
\u201cThat was nothing like Croatia 2018 or Italy 2021. I thought we were outstanding. Chalk that one up as unlucky and move on to Euro 2024. No need for a post mortem, no need for Southgate to go. The nucleus is there to give it a proper bash in 2024. We just outplayed France.\u201d
\u201cAgreed. Remember when tournaments were full of crap performances, struggling to even get out of the group. Didn\u2019t even qualify for Euro 2008. This team still have room to grow and could win Euro 2024.\u201d
— Andy McKay \ud83d\udd36 (@Andy McKay \ud83d\udd36)
\u201cBeing on the wrong side of the fine margins does not mean failure. I\u2019d back Southgate to lead us to Euro 2024 - I\u2019m in love with that team. Saka, Bellingham, Rice, Stones, Kane and many more. Not just great footballers but great blokes. Proud.\u201d
\u201cSome of you really don\u2019t remember 2016 or 2014 or 2012 or 2010 or 2008, and it shows. On and off the pitch we were a toxic mess. Fully believe the players will recover from this and excited to see us go again in EURO 2024. Come on England! \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc65\udb40\udc6e\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc7f\u201d
Kane, who broke down in tears after missing a crucial penalty in the quarter-finals tie, was quick to stress his desire for Southgate to stay on.
“We love having Gareth as a manager,” he said. “We want him to stay for sure, but that’s his decision. I am sure he will go away and think about that.
“We’ve got a great team, great young players, players coming into their prime and we’ve got a Euros not too far away. As much as this hurts, we have to move on and look forward to that.”
However, the man himself has admitted he's not sure whether it’d be right for him to honour his contract, which runs until December 2024.
Southgate told a post-match press briefing: “I think whenever I’ve finished these tournaments I’ve needed time to make correct decisions because emotionally you go through so many different feelings and the energy that it takes through these tournaments is enormous.
“So I want to make the right decision, whenever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA and I’ve got to be sure whatever the decision I take is the right one. And I think it’s right to take a bit of time to do that because I know in the past how my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of tournaments.
Adding that there was "too much in his head to think logically" right now, he went on: “I wanted to focus totally on this tournament and to approach it in the way we have, we have given a very good account of ourselves to the rest of the world. In the end, only one team wins and we wanted to win. Tonight we have fallen short.”
Well, whatever happens, we can safely say Southgate has done England proud.
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