Manager. Leader. Style icon (?). Those are some of the words we’ve come to associate with England boss Gareth Southgate.
But how about ‘Sir’? Too soon for a knighthood? Well not according to one proud England fan who has started an online petition to get Southgate knighted after guiding the Three Lions to their first semi-final since Italia 90.
While it may seem premature, you can’t deny Southgate and the England squad have reinvigorated the country with a sense of national pride not felt since Euro ’96.
It wouldn’t be the first time an England manager has been given a knighthood after nearly taking the national team to the promised land. The late-great Sir Bobby Robson, who managed England all the way to the semi-finals at Italia ’90, was knighted in 2002.
One person who doesn’t think it’s too early to give Gareth Southgate a knighthood is Simon Harris, who started the petition on Change.org.
The description of the campaign reads:
You may think that this petition is premature because at the time of writing the Three Lions have only just beaten Sweden in the quarter-final, but Gareth deserves this prestigious honour NO MATTER WHAT the outcome of the tournament may be.
His various reasons include:
He has single-handedly turned our absolute laughing stock of a national team into something that England can be proud of.
No more pampered prima donnas who only seem to be thinking of their next pay check from the Premier League paymasters.
No more potato-faced geriatric connoisseur idiots screaming into a TV camera because the fans have the audacity to react to a terrible performance by giving the team both barrels.
No more ridiculous scapegoating to cover up crap performances.
No more questionable financial situations and incessant pie-eating.
No more team talks where the players can’t help but take the piss because the boss looks like an owl.
Following The Three Lions’ 2-0 victory over Sweden yesterday in the quarterfinals England is one step closer to getting their hands on that elusive World Cup trophy, which they haven’t won since 1966.
The three Lion’s secured their victory via a Harry Maguire and Dele Alli goal in both halves. The first half started quietly until the 30th minute when Harry Maguire scored a header from a corner. After the first goal, the England team were all over the Swedish side with a lot of opportunities to increase their lead to 2-0 before the end of the first half.
In the second half, England finally grabbed their second, this time coming from Dele Alli who connected with a cross from Jesse Lingard in the 58th minute.
Harris’ petition ends with him thanking the England manager for ‘briefly’ taking the country’s collective mind away from some more tedious thoughts:
Taking our minds away from Brexit, the heatwave and Pat Phelan, and for this you deserve this most prestigious of honours. A true sportsman, a true gentleman.
He’s not wrong there, I haven’t seen the country this harmonious since the 2012 Olympics. While we often bemoan the beautiful game for being tainted by money and behind-the-scenes bureaucracy (I’m looking at you Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter), when you actually focus on the spectacle it can bring a divided nation together for just a brief period.
I mean… if football does ‘actually’ come home, a knighthood is the least we can offer Gareth Southgate.
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