Southgate is said to have applied for the Sheffield United manager's job five years ago.
The former Three Lions Under-21s' boss was thrust into the role unexpectedly, after Sam Allardyce was dismissed just a game into his national team reign - although it has to be said that Southgate has so far justified his appointment.
But the 47-year-old's career could have followed an entirely different path, were it not for his good manners.
According to the Sun, Southgate was rejected for the manager's job at Sheffield United, shortly before he was handed a lifeline with the Under-21s in August 2013.
United turned to David Weir instead, and the newspaper claims that when asked for feedback, United told Southgate's representatives he seemed 'too polite' for the role.
Then a League One side - with a young Harry Maguire on the books - the Blades disposed of Weir 13 games later, and went through Nigel Clough and Nigel Adkins before settling on Chris Wilder, the man who eventually led them back to the second tier last year.
And judging by his early England career, had Sheffield United appointed Southgate instead, they may have got there quicker.