How long was Don Revie England manager, and who now manages England?
All told, Donald ‘Don’ Revie was England manager for a total of 1,104 days, or 3 years, 8 days. He was appointed on July 4, 1974, replacing ‘caretaker’ manager Joe Mercer, who had been in charge for seven games following the sacking of Alf Ramsey, which became public knowledge in late April. Revie enjoyed a successful first year, with England winning the British Home Championship in 1974/75 and three of their first four games in European Championship Qualifying. However, a 2-1 defeat by Czechoslovakia in Bratislava in October, 1975, followed by a 1-1 draw with Portugal three weeks later, meant England failed to qualify for the 1976 European Championships.
By the time July, 1977 rolled around, England were in a precarious position in World Cup Qualifying, having already lost 2-0 to Italy in Rome the previous November, and Revie decided to jump ship. The Football Association (FA) refused to accept his resignation so, instead, he made his feelings plain in a paid exclusive with the ‘Daily Mail’ and timed his resignation letter to arrive at Lancaster Gate after the newspaper had been published. It was revealed that Revie had negotiated a contract, worth £1.36 million over four years, to become manager of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and, furthermore, had done so while still England manager. He was promptly sacked – his tenure officially coming to an end on July 11, 1977 – and the FA initially sought to ban him from English football for ten years, although the ruling was subsequently overturned.
Fast forward to the modern day, and England is led by a former player (Gareth Southgate) who has rejuvenated both the national passion for the team and also confidence in the players. Though his own England career had its ups and downs he was capped an impressive 57 times for England which goes some way to informing you of who pivotal he was to the team. Those into football and always searching for different picks for soccer may well have bet on a number of England games led by the man. Always something of a thinker compared to many, it was no surprise when he decided to pursue the role of manager, but I doubt even in his wildest dreams did he realise how close to glory it would take him (and there is still time yet to cement his legacy yet further).
Cutting his teeth in management at Middlesbrough from 2006 – 2009 , Southgate soon moved on to management the England under 21s and it wasn’t until 2016 following the exit of Sam Allardyce (after accusations that he was attempting to use the position for dubious financial gain) that he was given the opportunity to manage the national team. In that position his record speaks for itself; the first manager since Bobby Robson to reach a World Cup semi final with an England squad. Just two years later England reached the final of the Euros. Indeed it was the first final they’ve been in since England’s World Cup winning days of 1966. Some have claimed ‘easy run’, but you still have to beat what is in front of you and that’s far from a formality. A penalty failure while in the England shirt became a painful aspect of his own career, and England left the Euros 2020 final against Italy in the same way, but now Qatar 2022 provides an opportunity for Southgate and a competent England team to impress on the world stage and leave their names in the history books.
While England fans can sometimes be a negative bunch, viewing anything other than a long awaited final win as failure, most reasonable people appreciate the calm, considered and cerebral approach that Southgate has brought to the team and the successes that have come with that. They’re currently 5th in the FIFA World Rankings (behind Brazil, Belgium, France and Argentina). It’s no surprise then that he received the honour of an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the 2019 New Year Honours. Well deserved.