Sir Geoff Hurst labels England fans who want Gareth Southgate sacked ‘ludicrous’ and ‘crazy’ ahead of World Cup


SIR GEOFF HURST has labelled some England fans as “ludicrous” and “crazy” for wanting Gareth Southgate out.

The Three Lions endured a disastrous Nations League campaign last month, failing to score from open-play in four matches, including an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Hungary.


Three Lions legend Sir Geoff Hurst fully backs Gareth Southgate
Southgate has been criticised by England fans after the defeat to Hungary


Southgate has been criticised by England fans after the defeat to HungaryCredit: Alamy

There remains just over four months until the World Cup in Qatar this November, with games against Italy and Germany in September to put things right.

But certain England supporters have already suggested Southgate may not be the man to lead them into that major tournament.

World Cup winner and 1966 hero Hurst has lambasted that section of fans, and even suggests Southgate is the best manager since his old boss Sir Alf Ramsey.

Speaking on behalf of McDonald’s Fun Football, Hurst told SunSport: “I am not, as some people are, jumping up and down thinking Gareth should come under pressure.

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“Ludicrous is a good word. It is crazy that he has come under pressure and the criticism he has faced after what he has done and achieved.

“The semi-final of the World Cup in 2018 and the final of the Euros in 2021. His record in the big tournaments is terrific and better than most other managers since Sir Alf Ramsay’s time.

“To start talking about him being under pressure, or booing him or looking elsewhere, to me it is ridiculous.


“In this crazy world we are living in, we are seeing more and more people come up and do stupid things in their lives and think goodness me what is happening?

“People should sit back and realise where we have been in the last couple of tournaments with the best bunch of young players we have had in the national team for some time.

“The fact is it was not long since players would rather play for their clubs in European football than their country, which is crazy. Those days are gone.

“The players are now showing the pride in representing your country. That has moved forward.

“Prior to Gareth Southgate, as many, many fans were, I was getting quite disillusioned with the national team, not doing well in tournaments.

“I am certainly not in that state of mind right now.”

We could have an advantage in Qatar

Sir Geoff HurstOn England’s World Cup chances

Hurst, 80, remains the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final after helping England to a 4-2 win over West Germany in ’66 at Wembley.

This upcoming winter World Cup will be like no other, but the ex-West Ham striker believes it could play into Southgate’s hands.

Hurst added: “I am looking forward to Qatar as much as any of the other recent tournaments.

“My gut is saying that now it is in November, that possibly could have an advantage.

“Our league is the toughest in the world and there is always an element of players not quite as fit whereas mid-way means they will be ready to go.

“I am very hopeful we will do well.”

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