The sad Three Lions were beaten 4-0 at Molineux to record their worst home defeat since 1928 and the worst result of any kind for 12 years.
A shocking performance sums up a terrible start to the new Nations League campaign for England, who are in serious danger of being relegated from the top tier of UEFA competition.
A run of four games without a win in 10 days at the end of the grueling domestic season in which they failed to score in open play also sparked a lot of panic in the World Cup with just two games – against the Italy and Germany in September – now remaining ahead of their Group B opener against Iran in Qatar in mid-November.
Despite leading England to their first grand final since 1966 on home soil in the delayed European Championship last summer and the semi-finals of the last World Cup in Russia, Southgate drew the ire of supporters disgruntled English in Molineux, with boos raining down from the stands with chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’.
And although he took responsibility for the result and the terrible form of the Nations League while accepting that such criticism was an integral part of the job, many players and pundits were quick to come to his defense, including captain Harry Kane.
Former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also fought for Southgate on social media, writing on Twitter: ‘You don’t know what you are doing’ shut up clowns. This manager has brought the country in two tournaments to the best positions since 1966.
“Also this idea that Southgate is holding this group back is nonsense, this team is no better than 2004/6, 1996/98. Southgate exceeded expectations but with favorable draws. Rest easy boys and return to your normal level.
Southgate also received support from triumphant counterpart Marco Rossi, who guided surprise Group A3 champions Hungary to their first England win in 60 years, just seven days after beating the same opposition 1-0 in Budapest.
“I also think the English press, everyone needs to be aware that sometimes these kinds of results can happen,” Rossi told reporters, adding that he planned to celebrate a momentous win by attending a Red Hot Chili concert. Peppers at Puskas Arena on Wednesday.
“In this game they did a lot. They maintained, I think, 65% or more ball possession, they create several options to score goals.
“I know that losing 4-0 at home against Hungary (it’s hard to take) not against Brazil or Argentina. Even then it would be for the English it would be the same because losing at home 4-0 is difficult to accept by the public, by the press, by everyone.
“But I think Southgate has already proven himself to be a very good manager. He has built a pretty solid team. Tonight everything went wrong for them, but they are still at the top level.
“They just have to follow the track that they have been following until now, that they have been following until now, because I am convinced that they will give you a lot of joy at the next world championship. I’m sure of it.