Where does Gareth Southgate rank among England’s greatest managers?

Being England boss is often described as ‘the impossible job,’ so where does Southgate rank among those who have gone before him?

Matthew Crist

Gareth Southgate will take charge of his 58th match on Tuesday knowing that victory over Germany at Euro 2020 would make him one of the most popular men in the country – but where does he stand compared to previous England managers?  

Since replacing Sam Allardyce in September 2016, Southgate has been seen by many as an overwhelming success.

England cruised through qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, where they would rejuvenate a nation en route to a fourth-place finish following a semi-final defeat to Croatia.

A semi-final appearance of the inaugural Nations League followed while his Three Lions side barely broke a sweat on their way to qualifying for Euro 2020, which was delayed a year by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former England defender’s impact on the national side far exceeds results alone as he’s been credited with transforming the way the side play, but how does his win rate compare to previous England managers?

Roy Hodgson

With a record so far of 36 wins and 11 draws from his 57 games in charge, he ranks higher than almost all of his predecessors.

All that’s really missing in his record is a major tournament win – with only Sir Alf Ramsey, in 1966, having gone one better than Southgate’s semi-final appearance in the 2018 World Cup.

But the former Middlesbrough boss has some way to go to eclipse the achievements of Fabio Capello, who has the best win rate of any England manager, ever, at an impressive 66.7%.

The Italian was arguably the most high-profile appointment in England history, given his stunning CV, and if judged purely on results alone he has to be seen as a huge success.

However, England were so poor at the 2010 World Cup, eventually being dumped out by rivals Germany in the Round of 16, that his image has been somewhat tarnished.

Third in the rankings, one place below Southgate,  is the man who, to date, is the only England manager to deliver silverware – Sir Alf Ramsey – who boasts an impressive 61.1% win ratio; though winning the World Cup in 1966 will surely be seen as a greater achievement than any official stats.

Steve McClaren

Glenn Hoddle is fourth on 60.7%, followed by Ron Greenwood who held the post from 1977 to 1982.

Leading England to two quarter-finals, not to mention a memorable 5-1 thrashing of Germany in 2001 didn’t harm the chances of Sven Goran Eriksson – the first foreign coach to take charge of England, who won 40 of his 67 games which gives him a 59.7% win ratio.

Roy Hodgson’s four-year tenure included a raft of wins – mostly qualifiers – meaning he actually has a better win rate (58.9%) than Southgate despite his England tenure ending in humiliation as England lost to Iceland in the second round of Euro 2016.

As for the worst win rate of any England manager with 10 or more games, that honour goes to Kevin Keegan, who was victorious on just seven occasions during his 18 match stint, giving him a win ratio of 38.9% while Graham Taylor ended his time in charge with a 47.4% win percentage.

Surprisingly, the man who led England to the semi-finals of Euro ’96, Terry Venables, only ranks 12th in the list with a win ratio of just 47.8% from his 23 games in charge.

England’s best managers ranked (10+ games)

1. Fabio Capello, 2008-2012 – 66.7% (42 games)

2. Gareth Southgate, 2016-present – 63.2% (57 games)

3. Alf Ramsey, 1963-1974 – 61.1% (113 games)

4. Glenn Hoddle, 1996-1999 – 60.7% (28 games)

5. Ron Greenwood, 1977-1982 – 60% (55 games)

6. Sven-Goran Eriksson, 2001-2006 – 59.7% (67 games)

7. Roy Hodgson, 2012-2016 – 58.9% (56 games)

8. Walter Winterbottom, 1946-1962 – 56.1% (139 games)

9. Steve McClaren, 2006-2007 – 50% (18 games)

10. Bobby Robson, 1982-1990 – 49.5% (95 games)

11. Don Revie, 1974-1977 – 48.3% (29 games)

12. Terry Venables, 1994-1996 – 47.8% (23 games)

13. Graham Taylor, 1990-1993 – 47.4% (38 games)

14. Kevin Keegan, 1999-2000 – 38.9% win rate (18 games)

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