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  1. Culture
18 July 2018updated 29 Jun 2021 9:43am

Leader: The summer of Southgate

A new sense of hope about what the English experience can be.

By New Statesman

Until the World Cup, Gareth Southgate’s name had long been a byword for disappointment; his strongest claim to a place in the national consciousness was his missed penalty at Euro 96. But having led his young, diverse team to a World Cup semi-final, the England coach is now associated with something different: a new sense of hope about what the English experience can be. He is the anti-Trump: humble, modest, empathetic. The national mood, so often rancorous and gloomy, has been lifted by a glorious World Cup and the heatwave. The England matches attracted the biggest television audiences of the year and gave a polarised country a rare gift: shared national joy.

Articulate, honest and self-critical, Mr Southgate is a model of a kind of masculinity largely absent from a public life dominated by hucksters and strongmen. As the delights of a memorable World Cup campaign fade, the thoughtfulness and decency of the England manager will endure.

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This article appears in the 18 Jul 2018 issue of the New Statesman, The Trump-Putin pact

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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