There he is. The man of the hour. The man on the touchline who actually looks comfortable and authoritative in his role and clearly knows what he's doing. Our England Manager.

Gareth Southgate's appointment in 2016 was greeted rather mildly, but we ultimately had to be optimistic after too many years of underwhelming performances as a footballing nation. He's since gone on to not only prove his credentials - undefeated in World Cup qualifying not too shabby and we only went and won a penalty shootout on the big stage - but he has also simply turned England into an exciting, genuinely threatening team with a new generation of talent finding their feet at just the right time.

On to the grooming form and in the broader context of football manager standards, Gareth doesn't half impress. Sharp-suited come rain or shine and a nice natural sweep to the hair make for respectable standards. It's the beard that he's been sporting since 2015 that we're focusing on here though. A touchline trend honed by the likes of Pep, Roy Keane and never forgetting Phil Brown's goatee before him. Allow our Head Barber Miles to dissect the craft behind Southgate's now-signature facial hair...

 

What is it:

A strong beard shaped in by nice, natural lines

How has he achieved it:

Gareth has worked with his natural growth to create a sharp, tidy but not overly-pruned looking beard. He’s not taken the line too high, which keeps it from looking less fake and stuck on which is an easy trap to fall into.

How do you recreate it:

It's super simple! Ask you barber to go in with a grade 2 and take the weight off the moustache. Working with the natural lines of your facial hair growth is the key.

Best products to use:

This style is better suited to Beard Moisturiser because it’s quite short and we want to maintain that tidy, natural look. Beard Oil would leave this surface a little too shiny as it's not the thickest hair to be able to absorb fully.

What does a beard give to a football manager:

No matter what your career path, a good beard can portray a strong sense of conviction in a man. There's no escaping the patience and willpower required to grow one and to then step up to maintain it takes confidence, gravitas and reflects wisdom. It's worked a treat for GS so far and is enough to convince me that this year it's definitely coming home!