Joey Barton has called for Gareth Southgate to leave as England manager, claiming that the FA have got to ‘stop rewarding failure’.
Southgate is believed to be pondering his future in the role after the Three Lions heartbreaking exit from the World Cup at the hands of France on Saturday.
The 52-year-old has been in charge of England since 2016, after he took over from Sam Allardyce when the former Bolton and West Ham boss resigned after just one game in charge.
Joey Barton has called for Gareth Southgate to resign as England boss after the World Cup
Since then, Southgate has won 51 of his 81 games in the hot seat, and overseen three positive tournament experiences.
He guided England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, the final of Euro 2020 and the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
England’s exit on Saturday has largely been met with pride, with the general consensus from fans being a desire for Southgate to stick around.
However, Barton, who won a sole England cap against Spain in 2007, and is known for his controversial views, slammed Southgate and believed it was time he left his role.
The now Bristol Rovers manager tweeted: ‘Can’t believe Southgate hasn’t resigned yet. That’s two World Cups and a home European Championship we could/should have won.
‘Stop rewarding failure. Got to go. Time to hire somebody who can win.
‘Pizza Hut advert years ago. Enough said.’
Barton fumed on Twitter and said it was time the FA decided ‘to hire somebody who can win’
The infamous commercial that Barton refers to is when Southgate had missed the crucial penalty for England in the semi-final of Euro 1996.
He appeared in the Pizza Hut advert with Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle – who had both missed penalties as England also lost in the last four to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup.
In the clip, Southgate sat with a paper bag on his head and was mocked by Waddle and Pearce for missing his spot kick.
He then ate a slice of pizza and removed the paper bag, saying to the other two: ‘Thanks a lot boys, I feel much better now,’ in relation to getting over his penalty heartache.
Despite Barton’s comments, Southgate has a contract until the conclusion of Euro 2024 and Sportsmail previously reported the FA will do everything in their power to persuade him to stay on as England boss after he admitted in the aftermath of the France defeat that he is considering his future.
The 52-year-old revealed he would take time to look at his options after England crashed out in Qatar on Saturday night.
He claimed that England have missed a big chance to win the last three major tournaments
‘When I’ve been through the past few tournaments, my emotions have been difficult to really think through properly in the following few weeks,’ he said.
‘It takes so much energy from you and you have so much going through your mind. I want to make the right decision, either way, because it has to be the right one to go again, or the right one not to go again. I don’t think this is the time to make a decision like that. Neither are the next few days, really.
‘I don’t want to be four or five months down the line thinking, “I’ve made the wrong call”. It’s too important a decision to get that wrong.’
Southgate’s comments have amplified concerns at the FA that he is ready to quit. Sportsmail revealed on Saturday that supporter reaction to the 4-0 home defeat by Hungary at Molineux in the summer had shocked the manager.
Barton also insisted that the FA would be ‘rewarding failure’ by keeping Southgate in the role
He was roundly booed after the final whistle, and confessed that the aftermath of that loss had taken him aback. ‘I’ve found large parts of the last 18 months difficult,’ he said.
‘What’s been said and what’s been written, the night at Wolves, there are lots of things in my head that are really conflicted at the moment, so what I want to make sure, if it’s the right thing to say, is that I’ve definitely got the energy to do that.
‘After every tournament I’ve sat with everybody at the FA and talked things through logically and that’s the right process to go through again.’
FA technical director John McDermott will play a key role in those discussions, which will be pivotal to Southgate’s future. McDermott and Southgate have a close relationship and McDermott is eager to secure the manager’s future until at least Euro 2024.
But there is a feeling at the FA that Southgate is seriously pondering calling it quits.