Why Chelsea should've appointed Gareth Southgate as Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali sent message

Gareth Southgate, Manager of England men's senior team, acknowledges the fans following the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium on June 07, 2024
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Ryan Pierse - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Wayne Bridge believes Chelsea should have considered Gareth Southgate before replacing Mauricio Pochettino with Enzo Maresca. Earlier this month, the former Leicester City boss penned a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge that includes the option for a further 12 months.

After a thorough process in which multiple candidates were considered, the ownership and sporting directors were unanimous in their decision to appoint Maresca, understands. The 44-year-old will officially begin his role as Chelsea's head coach at the start of next month – two weeks before the Euro 2024 final.

While the Blues board appear to have great trust in Maresca's project, Bridge believes Southgate should have been considered. When asked by Betfred if the Three Lions boss should have been in the running for the Chelsea hot seat, Bridge said: "Probably, although if I was Southgate and I didn’t have the England job anymore, I’d be taking a few years holiday but yes, definitely, 100 per cent.

"There will definitely be people looking at him but it just depends how this tournament goes, we don’t know how this tournament is going to go yet, so that probably would have been a good one for Chelsea, but they just wanted something instantly."

When asked whether Pochettino would be a good replacement for Southgate at Wembley Stadium, Bridge replied: "Not for me because I like an English manager.

"Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good manager but as I’ve said before, I like an English manager so in that case I would say someone like Eddie Howe, but if they weren't going to go for an English manager, then in that case, I’d say yes."

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Bridge added: "Don’t get me wrong, Sven-Göran Eriksson gave me my debut so I was buzzing and no English manager did. I remember Glen Hoddle was pushing my name forward for England and nothing ever came from it, then obviously I managed to get in when Sven was manager but I would like to see an English manager."

Since parting ways with Chelsea, Pochettino has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, replacing Erik ten Hag in the dugout. The former Blues defender said: "I don’t know what happens with Erik Ten Hag after Manchester United won the FA Cup.

"Everyone was just in shock. Again, when I look at Manchester United it’s a bit like Chelsea in the sense that both are very inconsistent and there are the issues with that. There are certain players that didn’t get on with the manager so he had to change things up and then it's looking as if he gets on with the owners so it’s definitely difficult.

"I like Pochettino as a manager and I think he would be good for the young people that come to the club as well, but I wouldn’t want Manchester United to benefit in anyway only because I don’t really like them if I’m being completely honest.

"Everyone was a Manchester United fan when I was growing up. There is a possibility but again, if they are getting rid of Erik Ten Hag, then yes, go and get him because I do think he would be good. However, what I will say about any big club that is going through a bad time is that you’ve got to give your manager time."