Southgate has led England through a peaceful and prosperous period since taking charge in 2016.
Facing some sort of crisis as an England boss is about as predictable as the British weather, but what we’ve never quite known is just how bad the storm gets.
Jeremy Cross Column: Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood’s behaviour amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Harry Maguire saga was staggeringly selfish and Gareth Southgate is picking up the pieces
But the satellite guiding him appears to have gotten lost in space in recent weeks, unable to detect the moral compasses of certain individuals under his command.
Gareth Southgate knew his turn would come sooner or later.
This might be because the likes of Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden don’t appear to have one.
He has done so much to restore a nation’s belief and faith in the best footballers we have – and their chances of winning something tangible.
In plotting to – and succeeding in – inviting two women to the team hotel to break strict Covid-19 protocols, these two committed football’s cardinal sin. They betrayed the trust of their England manager and left him feeling humiliated.
The despicable duo went rogue in Reykjavik with an act of staggering selfishness that was as senseless as it was stupid just hours after making their Three Lions debuts.
But this isn’t the point. What should and will concern Southgate most is why two players with a combined age of just 38 and the footballing world at their feet would want to do something like this in the first place?
The public inquest has now begun, along with an FA investigation into how it was possible for them to pull-off such a stunt.
We all make mistakes, of course we do and these two are still excitable young men clearly struggling to appreciate the gilded lives they have before them.
Sneaking women into hotel rooms remains one of the biggest cliches in the game. But what they lack in originality, Greenwood and Foden more than made up for in arrogance and brazenness.
But in the case of Foden, let’s not forget that the mother of his Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola actually died earlier in the year of Covid-19.
In the last twelve months Southgate has found himself fielding more questions about things off the pitch than on it, culminating in seeing Harry Maguire spend two nights in a Greek police cell. Now the meltdown in Iceland of two of his brightest young stars has happened.
This was quite a statement from the pair, but now Southgate has to make one of his own because the spotlight is on him like never before as we wait to discover if he is right when insisting he’s not a soft touch.
Would banning them from England for the next round of games be too much? No. Their actions in Iceland were wrong on so many levels and Southgate needs to send the strongest message possible to them – along with the rest of his squad.