World Cup 2022 LIVE: England squad land in UK as Gareth Southgate ‘conflicted’ about future

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England squad touches down in UK after World Cup quarter-final defeat to France

England have landed back in the UK from Qatar with their World Cup 2022 dream over, following Saturday night’s 2-1 quarter-final defeat to France.

After three major tournaments in charge, manager Gareth Southgate is now considering his own future – stopping short of clarifying his plans in the immediate aftermath of defeat and then admitting he is ‘conflicted’ about whether to stay on or call it quits and wary of making ‘the wrong call’.

England exited the World Cup in heartbreaking fashion, as captain Harry Kane scored one penalty to equalise after Aurelien Tchouameni’s opener but, after Olivier Giroud put Les Bleus back in front, Kane spurned his second chance from the spot to send the Three Lions crashing out at the quarter-final stage and claimed afterwards that the exit was his fault.

Meanwhile, the referee’s performance was criticised and fans of the England team appeared to alter his Wikipedia page in response to his performance.

Follow updates on Southgate’s future and reaction to England’s World Cup exit, as well as all the latest news from Qatar 2022 below:

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England squad land back in the UK after World Cup exit

An average audience of 20.4 million TV viewers watched Les Bleus crush the Three Lions’ tournament dreams, winning 2-1 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar on Saturday evening.

The players were greeted with applause as they left Birmingham Airport on Sunday, 11 December. Footage shows Jude Bellingham’s car slowing down so the midfielder could high-five a young fan.

Watch England landing back in the UK:

England squad touches down in UK after World Cup quarter-final defeat to France

Luke Baker12 December 2022 08:22

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Gareth Southgate wary of making ‘wrong call’ over England future after World Cup exit against France

The 52-year-old said he has found “large parts of the last 18 months difficult”, particularly noting criticism and the boos at Molineux during the 4-0 defeat by Hungary in June.

While Southgate said he has loved most of the last few weeks in Qatar, and doesn’t have any regrets given the nature of the performance against France, he revealed he still hasn’t gotten over the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy and wants to be certain that he has the “energy” for another campaign.

The England manager said he wouldn’t make any decision in the immediate future as he wants to do so with a clear head and not regret it either way, at which point he will sit down with the Football Association (FA) and talk it through.

Read exactly what Southgate had to say on his future as he ponders his position:

Luke Baker12 December 2022 08:19

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England exit World Cup at quarter-final stage to France

Like so many times before but, really, in a totally different way. England ultimately go out of an international tournament after a missed penalty from a star, but this wasn’t a shoot-out, and it wasn’t a case of Gareth Southgate’s side getting outclassed in midfield. It wasn’t even a player of Kylian Mbappe’s class scorching them.

Instead, England were arguably the superior side in this 2-1 defeat to the French, who still remain world champions. Southgate’s team had chances that were as good. They had some of the better play.

They just didn’t have much luck, or – if you want to be harsh on the referee, which many will – some of the core decisions.

And that meant that the biggest chance of all – the opportunity to eliminate the highest class of side in a key game – wasn’t taken either. The reassurance will be that England made them look far inferior to that in a fine performance. The reality that matters most is that they again went out at the quarter-final stage.

Saturday night’s match report from Miguel Delaney in Doha:

Luke Baker12 December 2022 08:12

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Harry Kane takes responsibility for World Cup exit

The Tottenham Hotspur forward similarly added that he would take the second penalty again and took full responsibility for his miss – which saw England squander a second chance to equalise – saying it was his fault and that it came “purely down to execution”.

“I’m someone who prepares to take one or two penalties in the same game,” he added. “So I can’t blame my preparation.

“I felt as confident in the second as in the first, but it was 100% the execution. It’s my fault. Obviously it hurts now and it will hurt for a while, but it’s part of being the captain and leader of the team. You have to take responsibility and I take it today.”

More from Kane here on his penalty – and on the England manager Gareth Southgate:

Luke Baker12 December 2022 08:10

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World Cup 2022 LIVE: England squad land in UK as Gareth Southgate ‘conflicted’ about future

Good morning and welcome to the Independent’s World Cup reaction live blog as the England squad land in the UK and Gareth Southgate continues his future as manager.

The Three Lions were beaten at the quarter-final stage by France on Saturday night, leaving Didier Deschamps’ side to progress to face Morocco in the semi-finals, with Argentina against Croatia the other fixture in the last four.

We’ve got all the news and latest updates.

Luke Baker12 December 2022 08:05

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