England lack mental strength and you want Wenger? Really?

Date published: Wednesday 29th June 2016 2:36

Here you go. Mail theeditor@football365.com with any views that aren’t just ‘England need to accept that they aren’t any good…’


The English Football team process:
– pretend to review previous managers failings
– hire new manager based on fan opinion
– claim new manager will revolutionise the system
– win every game in qualifying including beating a powerhouse team in a friendly
– announce in your final tournament squad the latest hot players and the newest 16-18 old who has barely played a league game
– on the eve of your first game, completely change your system and shoehorn the players into a team
– struggle to qualify from the group but play well for 30 minutes to remind people that you could be favourites
– lose in the knockout stages in some hilarious way
– scapegoat a player
– blame the manager
– players blame the manager
– blame the FA and the youth system
– blame the foreigners
– fire manager
– rinse and repeat.
Peter-Michael Murphy


Wenger? Not f***ing Wenger
I can’t help but sympathise with ‘Arry’s sentiments about how suspect the decision making with the English FA is. It was quite obvious to me that England would gain nothing from appointing Hodgson as boss.

He had no clear-cut plan as to how his team should play. No philosophy, no belief in his own techniques and ultimately that reflected in the lack of confidence under pressure on the field. Hodgson did NOT know the job and I insist that Redknapp would have and would still be the right choice for England manager. Appointing Southgate as interim manager would only be a wasting valuable time. But it’s a good idea be cause it will give them time to go under the table and get someone good. Anyone good. English or Not. Mourinho is the perfect man for the job. I hate his guts, but that’s the job he could do quite well. I don’t think he will succeed as united manager but at least he has already archived a lifelong dream which is to manage United. He’d have to be insane to think he could Ever match Fergie. Let him have one season at United while Southgate tries his hands on the job. You never know what might happen. He would gain some experience and it might come to his aid in the future.

I really don’t know why Redknapp is mocked so much by English fans.

I think he has a proven track record that’s better than all the other names being thrown around bar Wenger and Mou.

Which brings me to the point of this mail.

Wenger would be a bad idea.

Not because he is not a good manager, Not because he does not have a good track record, but simply because Wenger and Hodgson have the wrong things in common.

They are both idealists and they both lack the ruthless edge that a manager needs and it shows when you watch their teams play. Mental weakness is a term that has been used to accuse Wenger’s teams in recent past. They play well and get results when there is little pressure but buckle when the heat is on. No one has ever accused Mou of a lack of mental edge over most of his opponents and at this time, that is exactly what England need.

Also I fear that Wenger would repeat the same mistakes that Hodgson has made. Maybe with slightly better results but he would struggle to replicate his Arsenal performances. He has little international experience and he’s is another sort of gamble.

And he is reaaaaally good at making excuses for not Winning when it counts. Even Arsenal Fans are sick of him.

Let’s not forget that he turned down France. It’s pretty balsy to think he would accept England. Ranieri did very poorly with …Greece? But came back to win the Prem with Leicester.

Wenger to England seems good on paper. It’s a bad idea in my opinion.

Paul (CFC)


…The English FA are tired of their exorbitantly resourced team regularly qualifying for elite tournaments only to fail miserably as soon as they reach the knockout stages.

So to put a stop to this trend they’re considering hiring Arsène Wenger?

Yeah. Sure. That’ll do it.
John (Seriously, Wenger?!), Galway


…Apologies if somebody has already mentioned this in an earlier mailbox…but why on earth is Arsene Wenger being touted as a potential successor to Hodgson? His greatest weakness is his (famed) lack of ability in instilling mental toughness in the minds of his players whilst his greatest strength is arguably scouting non-English talent from overseas. The former is the most important task facing any future England manager, the latter has no relevance. Expect the FA to appoint him shortly.
Anthony Brooks


What about Arteta?
I would like to recommend an ideal candidate for the position of England manager.

Mikel Arteta.

Have you stopped laughing? Good.

England needs someone who is inexperienced, untainted and capable to start with a blank sheet of paper.

Arteta has league experience. He is a nationalised option. And, more importantly, he ain’t stupid.

Experienced coaches have failed with England, so why go with same route again?

People will have no opinion on someone who is starting his coaching career and so potentially media/fans could give him the luxury to experiment and create a foundation that England badly needs.
Honhaar Goonda


I don’t like defending Glenn Hoddle but his “what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts” quote makes perfect sense, and was an appropriate point to make given the opponents and the pattern of the game.

He was discussing the Wilshere/Dier substitution and was making the point that whilst England may be a bit more creative with Wilshere, they would also likely be weaker at set pieces. Swings and roundabouts, you see. We all know that phrase.

He must not be given the England job though. Can we have Bielsa please?
Naz, Gooner


Gerrard and/or Scholes for England?
Just ask yourself, what really is the downside? I’d take either or both together working as a team.

Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Scholes became of the great students of the game. He was blessed with a remarkable footballing brain that was very very un-English. You can’t tell me that he wouldn’t have a better grasp of the tactics required now in the modern game compared to aging behemoths like Hodgson or Southgate? And I’d wager his understanding of the game rivals that of some of the top managers as well.

As for Gerrard, he was a force of nature, who grew in stature and learnt from some of the best footballing minds like Houllier and Benitez. His hunger, desire and never say die attitude is undeniably infectious, and raised the level of of his entire team. Dont believe me, just ask all the players who ever played alongside him.

Gerrard and Scholes were the cream of the English generation, and carried their teams to amazing experiences at the highest level, with some great managers. Either one would be a great choice in my opinion, but together they could be great.

Give it a shot FA. Don’t think logically on this one. Its a decision that should come from the heart. After all, heart is what the English game is all about.

Nimal D. Sirimanne, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Howe about Eddie?
So England need a new manager/coach to take England into a bright new future.

Eddie Howe is the best English manager/coach right now with the brightest future.


2 + 2 = 4 right? Or has that changed as well over the past week…?



Bring back Sven
This is what Ian Wright said regarding the new England manager…

“I think we’ve done the foreign manager and as good as they’ve been in the previous jobs they’ve done, they’ve done nothing for us.”

Capello fair enough that didn’t work but Eriksson? Here’s England’s tournament record in the four tournaments before Sven and the four after Sven….

(Game that went to penalties counts as a draw)

Euro 92, Euro 96, World Cup 98, Euro 2000 – P15, W5, D6, L4

World Cup 2010, Euro 2012, World Cup 2014, Euro 2016 – P15, W4, D7, L4

Now the three tournaments when Sven was the manager…

World Cup 2002, Euro 2004, World Cup 2006 – P14, W7, D5, L2

Sven only lost two games and they were to Brazil and France. In fact the France game should have been a win but for a few mess-ups.

So quite frankly as usual Ian Wright is talking rubbish and Sven was the best manager we’ve had in the last 25 years. I say get Sven and Tord back.
Bradley Kirrage


Mr Roy’s biggest crime…
…has been to make some people think Harry Redknapp should get the England job.

Think about that. To be reduced to the realms of a published fantasist whose main goal is the pursuit of running about on the pitch over all else. Will Tim Sherwood join him and take that gillet on a European/world tour?

Just a shame they couldn’t play a Conte-managed Italy side…that might be a scene of comedy only surpassed by the Iceland game.
Matt ‘Gareth Southgate will defo inspire the team and nation to new levels*’ Hanchett

* I didn’t say high or low mind…
Actually, Roy was very dignified
Now it’s the fashion for everyone to bash Roy Hodgson not only for England’s failure but his conduct thereafter. Even the players, who so badly let him down, have now leaked it that they were unhappy with his training methods, selections and tactics; and many people have professed disgust at his handling of the post-match press conferences. It now seems that everyone knew he was rubbish all along.

Had Roy been more media-savvy, he would have come out after the match and blubbed all over the place, much in the way Michael Vaughan did when resigning the English cricket captaincy. This would immediately have gone viral and at least Roy’s reputation for being a good, decent, caring guy would have been confirmed to the world.

Instead, being of a certain age to remember a better way of doing things, he fell on his sword and thought that was the last the world wanted to hear of him. He had presided over an unmitigated disaster, hit an iceberg and gone down with his ship. He had resigned; he’d gone; he could do no more. I personally find that laudable and the best thing he could have done. Indeed, it might have served as an inspiration to a few others to do the same, not least the captain and the hapless goalkeeper, or even the one-footed winger who can’t pass, cross, shoot, head or tackle, but runs fast.

We must also ask that no one who appointed him should remain in any kind of F.A. post. His appointment was, as I recall, one of the greatest shocks in recent sporting history. Every newspaper was certain that Harry Redknapp had the job, Spurs were looking for another manager and the bookies were no longer taking bets. Then, suddenly, accusations of financial irregularities resurfaced against the favourite, the F.A. went into panic and appointed a man with a track record to suggest limited ability. But a man indisputably safe, steady, solid, talked well and the blazer fit him – in the way it could never have fit Brian Clough or Sam Allardyce, managers who do not come off the peg.

Gareth Southgate has the perfect dimensions for that blazer, by the way, and is now being seriously mentioned in FA circles. Wonderful, marvellous, fantastic!

May I also offer my own apology for regrettably and culpably not having managed to intrduce the s-asterisk- word. What was I thinking about!
Maurice Jackson


Seriously, blame the players
Roy Hodgson is a limited manager from the evidence I’ve seen and I think if we had gone through to play France that would have been brutally exposed, however to blame him for the loss to Iceland is absurd. If the players had not collectively shat themselves we would have beaten Iceland. What can the manager do when players can’t control a ball or pass it five yards? All his substitutions make sense (you might not agree with them but who cares?), Wilshere on for Dier because we needed to try and control the ball better not make tackles, Vardy on for Sterling for obvious reasons, and I’d guess that he probably thought that right up to the last couple of minutes he wouldn’t have to bring on an 18-yr-old with bugger all experience to try and grab an equaliser when Sturidge, Kane and Vardy were already on the pitch.

England have had some decent managers in the past 30 years, Roy’s not the best (Robson or El Tel), he’s not the worst (Turnip Head). He will, however, go the way of the other poor souls that have tried to pull this sh*t storm together. The job has broken pretty much every one of them. The players are fully at fault this time and it’s not even down to lack of technique or poor coaching, it’s down to cacking themselves and that’s pretty embarrassing.
Matt, AFC


Steven Gerrard touched on it and it seems to be widely reported that the media coverage and the knowledge of how they would be pilloried for their defeat affected the English team and I’ve often bought into this with the coverage of English media we receive in Ireland. However I think this is further evidence of the “we’re special” attitude that holds England back in football (and indeed lead to Brexit). Every nation’s media will heavily criticise their national team for any perceived failure. Look no further than three times champions Spain:

‘Spain return home after Euro 2016 disaster’ Marca (English edition)
‘La Floja’ (the weak) El Mundo Deportivo
‘Spain were the orchestra on the Titanic’ AS
‘Failures’ Sport

Any footballer that is worried at half time about the headlines in the following days paper has a mentality problem that cannot be blamed exclusively on the media, it just suggests that they are more concerned with their public profile than their playing performance. While I’d agree that the media feeds into the creation of that mentality ultimately the buck stops with the players.
Rory, Galway


Who can bring back the love?
Having read/watched/listened to pundits considerably more qualified than myself for the reasons for England’s exit, I am truthfully dismayed.

Having played sports with limited success, I would not consider myself an expert but one thing I do know is, sport is played best when there is a level of enjoyment involved.

If I can use one of England’s main ‘disappointments’ this tournament – Harry Kane, when Harry first start kicking a ball 20 years ago as young boy he did so because he enjoyed it…he probably would have played for his local club/school because he enjoyed it…ending up excelling with Spurs in an environment that supports a level of enjoyment. While I appreciate that there are levels of pressure involved in playing professional football, the teams that do it best bring it back to basics and ‘tap in’ to that enjoyment that have been with their players since their formative years.

England need a manager that can recognise this, and instil this enjoyment over fear in a tournament.

1) I am dismayed when I hear ex-pros saying they players are not technically good enough, Kane/Vardy/Sturridge (and many more) would walk on to any team left in the competition.

2) I am dismayed when I hear England were tactically inept are of course, the best tactics/plan cannot be implemented be players gripped with fear.

3) I am dismayed when I hear too many foreigners in Premiership, there were four Englishmen in the top 10 scorers this year.

4) I am dismayed when I hear excuses about coaching, see points 1 and 3.

5) I am dismayed when I hear that the players are too pampered and don’t care enough, if they didn’t care they would not be there.

The only England player to come out with his reputation intact is Rashford, why? Because he is still only a kid doing what he enjoys and does best – playing football. But without a manager that can preserve this attitude, Rashford will go the way of all the other England players before and fear tournament football.

England need a manager that can bring back the love!
John (dismayed in Ireland).


Where was JWP in that list?
A glaring emission from the six likely new England caps is James Ward-Prowse. For those unfamiliar, he’s a 21-year-old graduate of the Southampton youth system who already has 107 senior appearances at club level. Admittedly 14 starts (19 subs) last season; but at only 21 and with Wanyama leaving I fully expect him to cement a starting position this season.

He’s also played at all youth levels with England and currently captains the England U21’s leading them to victory in the Toulon Tournament earlier this year. (Not the most important trophy, but can England really complain about international success at any level?)

He can play anywhere across the midfielder (perhaps filling a Rooney-shaped hole?) and is deemed to be a bit of a se- piece specialist, with his corners being particularly good. Another glaring skill shortage in the team filled.

Having said all that, he’s still got a huge amount of development to go. Particularly in terms of actually scoring goals as he tends to get into good positions and then look to pass rather than backing himself. That’s something that should come with confidence and once the first goals go in. I really see him breaking through into the national awareness over the world cup qualifying campaign.

Having joined the club at eight and then spent 14-15 years developing him, hopefully he won’t then leave to Liverpool…
Tom Saints (Mane for £35m is a win win all round – talented but lazy player who has huge potential but often goes missing in a lot of games. Klopp could really take him to the next level).


And Pickford?
Having read Daniel Storey’s piece on who will get the next six England caps, there was one shocking name missing.

After Joe Hart’s impersonation of a Sunday league GK, how did Jordan Pickford not make the list. Already Head and Shoulders (may not be just the #1 jersey Pickford is after) any other young English goalkeepers (see Toulon where Pickford got the big games), and expected to be Sunderland’s #1 next year (so will get plenty of shots to save), his admission from the EURO squad was also questionable. The decision to take Rashford instead of Defoe, was apparently because Rashford will be around the team in the future unlike Defoe, does the same not count against Heaton? (nothing against Burnley, but Pickford had a better clean sheet per game record in the Championship last year, for a team lower in the leauge than Burnley) Pickford, the stand-out player in the U21s, should have went, to get that old chestnut of ‘tournament experience’. Look at Pickford’s distribution and you can see why he should be one of England’s next six newcomers.
Lloyd (Sunderland fan, who would have expected to beat Iceland with the dog and duck) Thompson


Readers’ wives
My wife thinks that Glenn Hoddle looks like Michael Palin, I wonder if any other readers’ wives think that Glenn Hoddle looks like Michael Palin?
Rocky Foreshore


…My wife says that when he’s finished ‘fronting up’ she thinks that Joe Hart should make a mental note to try to swear a bit less before games when holding the hand of a small child. I wonder if any other readers’ wives think this?
Rocky Foreshore

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