Yes, you look at the waistcoated wonder right now and think, “this is a man for whom it was clear that success was preordained - that he would be a leader of men and the bringer-home of England’s first World Cup in 52 years”.
But you would be very wrong.
Indeed, ten years ago, there was only one sage footballing man tipping him to manage the national side while most people’s one memory of him was this: missing a penalty in the Euro ‘96 semi-final shoot-out against the Germans.
It was always harsh that that was the primary thing Southgate was known for; after all, he’d played every minute of that hugely successful Euros campaign and in most other circumstances he wouldn’t have taken a penalty - he was the sixth taker for England after the first ten penalties had all gone in. What is more, he had the bottle to put his hand up to take one when others didn’t - a fact not lost on one Liam Gallagher.
But after missing that penalty, he was put in the box along with Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle, his fellow penalty scapegoats. However, rather than get too down about it, the trio decided to at least embrace their maligned status by appearing in a famous advert for Pizza Hut.
The acting all round is absolutely top notch, with Stuart Pearce - who’d put two penalties away successfully in Euro ‘96, including that famous redemptive strike against Spain - leading the way, Chris Waddle mainly just spitting his drink out at Psycho’s hilarious gags, and then Southgate, a complete natural in front of the camera, rounding off the ad.
What are we saying: it’s absolutely, brilliantly cringeworthy.
This YouTube user has a sterling idea:
Come on boys - imagine the amount of free pizza you’ll get if we go all the way…