Mail firstname.lastname@example.org with some lovely thoughts (you don’t have to pretend you care about England any more)
Stones for DM
Am I the only person thinking Stones could be converted into a world class DM?
I honestly cant think of any negatives… He can become David Luiz 2.0
Martinez if your reading this i don’t even want any (Public) credit for this masterstroke. Especially with Barry due to retire you have his successor already waiting in the wings….
Blame Klopp and Poch
One can only presume that after crediting Klopp and Poch for the win over Germany, Gregory Whitehead is now blaming them for losing to the Dutch reserve team.
GaryB (Is Henderson a real footballer?)
Yet more England musings
I was lucky enough to go to the game last night, a few thoughts;
– Holland didn’t play too well and could probably be best described as a smash and grab. however, despite not qualifying for the Euro’s they are top opposition and if you don’t create and/or take your chances at this level you will be punished. Reminded me a bit of vs France 2004 – 1 nil up then 2 moments later we are losing.
– Their fans are/were amazing! One had a banner which read “Good Luck In France, We Stay At Home” BANTZ!
– To experience the minutes applause on the 14 minute for Johan Cruyff was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. A whole stadium just celebrating one persons contribution to something we all loved was very moving.
– The sense of anticipation whenever Vardy had the ball was almost tangible in the stadium. He seems to already have a connection or affinity with the fans. I would be shocked if he wasn’t in the final 23, starting will depend on the EPL run in.
– Stones’ brain-fart for Hollands first was a shocker. I was literally in line with it where I was sitting and you could see the look on his face as soon as he slipped and failed to recover. That being said, at least 4 separate England players spoke to him before the restart, there seems to be a real togetherness within the squad which could help during the summer.
– Mike Smalling is an absolute BEAST! Just an absolute unit and played really well last night. Vardy’s rise from non-league is focused on more due to the goals he has scored and the Roy of The Rovers script of Leicester going for the league. Smalling himself was playing for Maidstone in 2008 and now is a regular starter for Un*ted and England.
– The best example I saw last night of Sturridge’s injury woes is that he has less caps than Ross Barkley, a player who made his debut in 2013 (20 vs 16).
Jon (You could’ve heard a pin drop during the minutes silence, fantastically observed) Andrews
I didn’t write in following the win in Germany, mainly due to the fact I didn’t want to upset Johnny Nic by being a grump.
However, the game last night highlighted exactly the why I met the win in Germany with the scepticism it deserved. England were 2-0 down to the World Champions at home – even setting aside the heroics, does anyone else genuinely believe that if this were a Euro 2016 Quarter Final that the Germans (of all teams) would surrender a two goal lead with 20 odd minutes to go? (If you do, I’ll have a pint of whatever you’re drinking). Last night, we go 1-0 up against a Dutch team who failed to make it out of a qualifying group containing Iceland and Turkey and contrive to lose 2-1.
To me, the two games highlight, quite clearly, why we won’t be winning anything in the near future – consistency. We can crow about beating the World Champs, but we also beat Spain prior to the last World Cup and remind me how that went? England are one of those teams that can give teams like Germany, Italy, Spain and France a mighty scare, but when it comes down to it we just aren’t good enough to do it consistently, game in game out, at a major tournament. We are the Stoke City of international football – some nice shiny players and capable of beating anyone on our day. It’s just not our day often enough.
Conrad Wiacek, MUFC
So all being fit and well, after the two up and down friendlies is this the England team that will start the Euros:
Decent team I would suggest. I personally would like Stones in for Cahill but its not gonna happen. Also I would love Jonjo Shelvey to come in and sit in CM to spread the ball around for fun in place of the ultimate Average Joe in Henderson but again….not gonna happen.
Rooney wont start will he…………….?
ToonBano (Milner should retire now)
Why pick three keepers?
I haven’t got time to Google the UEFA rules but it seems the ‘done thing’ to select 3 keepers in a tournament squad since as long as I can remember. In any tournament squad (not just England’s), how many times has the 3rd choice keeper has been on the pitch? If Joe Hart is on the plane/Eurostar/ferry but isn’t 100% fit then I could understand the need. But I imagine he will be so why not solve the problem of which striker to leave out (form strikers v Roy’s favourites, you know who’s who) by just taking all 5 and only Hart and Forster.
I’m not sure of the rules but is the remainder of the squad not on the pitch all possible match substitutes or does Roy have to name a matchday squad of say 15 players out of the 23 for each game? If it’s the latter scenario then there’s no point of a 3rd keeper as he’ll never be in a matchday squad anyway barring an unlikely injury/suspension to Hart.
Then again the press would have a field day if England bowed out of the tournament with Rooney playing in goal!
Simon Fitzwilliams (take Rooney as striker/keeper like Jorge Campos, problems solved), Cambridge
In Response Paddy(Ireland beat Germany too) Dublin… I can think of a few obvious omissions to your list: Ryan Betrand, Marcos Rojo and Paul Dummett have all played LB & CB at times this season. The reason there seems to be so many more versatile right sided defenders is because the majority of footballers are right footed, therefore the majority of CBs are right footed and the natural cover positions are on their stronger side.
I’d argue that proportionally speaking left footed CBs are more versatile since there is a greater requirement for them to fill in at LB when competition is often sparse.
Nik, NUFC (hello championship) Liverpool
Answering question from Paddy(Ireland beat Germany too) Dublin regarding versatile Centreback/Left Back, I would like to throw a few names.
1. Jan Verthoghen
Starting centre back for Tottenham, starting left back for Belgium
2. Giorgio Chiellini
Can play both left sided centreback in 4 and 5-man defence for Juventus and also starting left back during EURO 2012 final
3. David Alaba
Admittedly only this season converted as emergency centre back, but he is brilliant in both position
4. David Luiz
Starting left back at Benfica before his transfer to Chelsea
Ahmad Akmal, Malacca, Malaysia
Fat Man Scouse, EFC
Missing the point on Mourinho
I don’t care about Utd, Chelsea or Mourinho so I don’t really know why Im responding to this other than to say that Gavin completely misses the point with Mourinho. People believe that Mourinho doesn’t put much faith in a clubs youth setup and to counter this Gavin gives us the examples of Mikel (signed for 12million), Varane (signed for 10million), Zouma (signed for 12million), Kalou (signed for 9million), Diarra (signed for 1million), Balotelli (signed by Inter pre mourinho after he had finished a trial with Barcelona and had already been involved in the first team before Mourinho joined). This is clearly very different to actually placing any emphasis on bringing players through your youth system and playing them. This is what people say Mourinho doesn’t do and Gavins email as really only strengthened their claims.
James (Kyle Walker is better than Clyne) W
JT and DT
It’s the last day of the season and Leicester are on track to win the Premier League needing only a draw at Stamford Bridge to clinch the title from Man City, (Spurs’ efforts having been dealt a cruel blow by Harry Kane and Dele Ali breaking their metatarsals in a freak Morris dancing accident in early April). With the game standing at 1-1 and the game having fizzled out into a game of keep ball in midfield the nation awaits this most surprising and uplifting of events – a feel good moment that will lift the spirits of a population brow beaten by perpetual awful news. Deep into stoppage time with the game at 1-1 a Chelsea corner ensures a nail biting finish. An innocuous looking cross heads to the edge of the box where John Terry appears from nowhere and hurls himself at the ball and his diving header flies into the top left corner (via the underside of the cross bar and the inside of the post). Chelsea clinch 12th place. Leicester 2nd. Stamford Bridge is silent apart from John Terry who celebrates like a man who has just won a lifetime supply of double deckers and has been invited for a weekend playing FIFA on the X-box with Heather Locklear (c. 1990). The nation stops and starts to cry a little. Then a lot. It then becomes apparent that Jamie Vardy, in stretching to block JT’s header, has fractured his metatarsal. People burn effigies of JT around the country. Claudio Ranieri quits football. Heather Locklear’s solicitor writes to John Terry to say Ms Locklear has no idea what FIFA 2015 is and please stop writing to her (and sending THOSE pictures). Roy Hodgson decides that given his injury crisis in his England squad he needs to bring in some more experience and replaces Vardy with John Terry. A nation is in uproar.
During Euro 2016 John Terry accidentally runs over several ISIS members who are loitering in a disabled parking spot that JT is parking in. He is proclaimed a hero. On the back of that and an impressive display in the 1-1 draw with Slovakia which sees England clinch 3rd place in the group on goal difference JT embarks on a career in politics and is swept to power in the next general election. He forms strong ties with President Trump and somewhat unexpectedly their sheer lack of any sort of moral fibre or understanding of cause and effect sees them eradicate ISIS and bring about world peace. The world salutes him. At the celebration party in Essex’s Faces Nightclub JT tries it on with Melania Trump. Donald finds out and promptly nukes the UK and then Europe and everywhere else “just to make sure”. The world ends. Robbie Savage claims that he predicted that would happen pre-Euro 16.
Nick (Rooney as back up ‘keeper?) McAllester
Love for Xavi
Having just read Daniel Storeys piece on Xavi, I was compelled to write in and say what a good article it was.
I absolutely loved watching Xavi (past tense here, as I stupidly let my subscription to the Qatari league run out), probably more than any other player I’ve seen. I just wish I had gotten to see him live in person.
As Storey mentions, in the era of Messi vs Ronaldo, plus other recent greats such as Iniesta, Ronaldinho & Tony Hibbert, Xavi has largely flown under the radar in terms of personal accolades.
I recall a list compiled by (I think) The Times from around 2004 which was entitled “100 Best players in the world….and Xavi” and it bundled Xavi in with Iniesta as he was clearly nothing without him. If you felt the need to dig this up in a Mediawatch style takedown, I for one would welcome it to put these foolish philistines in their place.
Anyway, what a joy to watch Xavi was/is. Storey didn’t even mention his impeccable through-ball ability, which if I ever watch a compilation on youtube, I often end up making noises that grown men should only make in private, such is the quality and imagination of his passes.