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Start Vardy and Rooney; bench Kane
I am not English. I do not support England for the Euros. I do not care much who wins it, I just want to be entertained.
Being an ardent observer of the sport and the Premier League, I have what might be viewed as a controversial opinion and I think it’s worth something because I have the benefit of what you might call an outsider’s perspective.
It’s very simple. Start with Rooney and VARDY.
I know lots of English (Tottenham) fans will want to choke me but hear me out.
A lot has been made of how exciting this English team is and that qualification from that group can be taken for granted. To that I say pffft.
Let me be the first to burst that bubble. It seems ubiquitous that Kane should start but I disagree. Kane has benefited from a kind of football that England cannot successfully replicate and Vardy has more assists 8/6 to Kane’s 1/1. Kane is much too selfish (I mean that in a good way).
This English team is reminiscent of the statue in the bible with gold, silver, bronze and iron head, torso and legs but clay feet. Heavy on the attacking end and light on the defensive end. I should think that adopting an extremely pragmatic approach to this competition would be more realistic. Smalling has thrived in a conservative set-up and Stones’ strong point is playing the ball out of a tight defense, which is why Mourinho wanted him. In layman terms, it is better to copy Leicester and win than to copy Tottenham and lose. Forget Drinkwater. I for one would never have taken Wilshere ahead of Noble. Noble is the closest thing England have to a midfield boss and Roy opted for Hendo/Wilshere. All or both of which do not have enough experience and are likely to break if England were to go far.
In summary, play a conservative game, reduce risks of injuries or getting killed on the break. Let Rooney play a 3/4 foward (catenaccio) role if he must play. Start with Vardy who can do well on his own up front. Should England find themselves chasing the game, introduce Barkley and Kane with Sturridge/Sterling out wide.
Paul (I have a son now) (don’t start with your plan B unless the A has not worked)
To City? For lots of money? I hope Barkley also goes somewhere for big money.
Not so much for football’s sake but to see how F365 writers handle players they don’t rate (but most other people do, including big clubs) going expensively on to better things.
Stu (maybe John Nic can write the same column he always writes, eh) London
I might explode here!
The Euros lads, the bloody Euros! They are here, and I cannot wait. Both Ireland and Norn Iron in the same tournament for the first time ever, Robbie Keane on the last leg of a record-breaking Ireland career, MON and Keano have new contracts in the back pocket and a bigger (and much discussed) Euros format than before. There is something in the water. It’s been a sporting season of surprises. Leicester are champions of England and Connaught Rugby won the Pro 12, two underdogs reaching the pinnacle of their sports. Connaught Rugby was almost disbanded a few years ago due to being crap.
Zlatan, Hazard and Motta stand in our way. If we can pick up a win and a draw, we stand a good shout of a third-place qualification spot, where our likely opponents will be Spain or France, beat them chumps and it’s Poland or England, after that it’s either Belgium again or Germany in the semis and then a final against the other! Easy.
These things come in threes, Ireland will win the Euros. Put the house on it.
Mark (Remember Italia ’90, COYBIG!) Ireland
Pogba v Sissoko
Paul Pogba’s League record, as a deep lying/central midfielder: 8 goals, 12 assists, 3.5 shots per game, 1.5 key passes per game, 3 successful dribbles per game, pass completion rate of 83.4%
Moussa Sissoko’s League record, as an attacking/central midfielder: 1 goal, 7 assists, 1 shot per game, 1.5 key passes per game, 2 successful dribbles per game, pass completion rate of 76.0%
(All data courtesy of whoscored.com, of course)
Also, the difference in successful long-ball passes and through balls is incredible – Pogba makes three times as many of both as Sissoko. Pogba is also three years younger than Sissoko, and frankly the entire footballing world doesn’t flip its collective sh*t over a player that is only about as good as Moussa friggin’ Sissoko.
In summary, Jazgooner, No. No, no, no. F*ck no. Sissoko is nowhere near as good as Pogba. Pogba would tear up the Premier League. Sissoko wouldn’t make much of an impact in Serie A. You must know this, unless you’re trolling us all. To be fair, if you are trolling you’ve done the job well, and I salute your effort. However, you could simply be a braindead moron who’s swallowed too much of the ‘best league in the world’ talk.
So are you a deliberate troll or a braindead moron, Jaz? I don’t know. What I do know is F365 must be desperate for more mails if they’re posting your tripe to provoke responses like this.
Matt (Is mailbait a word now?) LFC
…’Pogba. Is he really all that?…would he really be better than the similarly built Sissoko if he were in the Premier League?’
This goes some way to explain why the gooners kept on thinking Diaby was the new Vieira. They are similarly built, after all. And apparently that’s all that matters. Just ask Wenger. F**k technique, it’s all about physique.
…Yes, yes he would be better.
Pogba and Sissoko are only similar in the same way and a Ferrari and a Renault Megane are similar because they have four wheels and an engine.
Fair play to Sissoko’s agent for using an alias though.
24 teams? That’s not enough
As a Dutchman I feel even 24 isn’t enough.
In absence of my team I will be supporting the Three Lions.
I feel Roy and Rooney might give me the same feeling of what could have been the Dutch has been providing for the past few decade.
Stijn (I wish Casillas didn’t have toes) Amsterdam
Nah, it should have been 20
The problem with having 24 teams is not really to do with quality: a subjective measure, in any case. The issue is a question of symmetry: with 24 teams and six groups, it’s really clumsy having some third placed teams qualify for the second round. Only 8 drop out at the first hurdle, rendering it almost pointless. This is what afflicted the Champions League, too, in the late 1990s as it started to expand when there were – if I remember rightly – six groups of four teams as well for a while.
Surely a balance could have been struck between growth and quality dilution by expanding the tournament to 20 with four groups of five teams. You would simply have an extra game in first round before going directly to the quarters with the top two in each qualifying as per usual.
This would keep things symmetrical, but it would also spice things up: many groups would be more open and they would go right to the wire as a couple of bad results early on could be salvaged with two big wins. Indeed, the group stage would arguably be far more exciting as teams would have more to play for, and it would still end with a fairly short and sharp knockout stage, meaning the tournament wouldn’t drag on for nearly a month.
Matt Bishop (currently in Haiti cheering them on at the Copa America)
…A lot of chatter in the mailbox about the move to include 24 teams in the Euro this year. Terry Hall makes a good point about the quality of teams that would have qualified (if it would have been 16) and the teams that have qualified being essentially the same.
I do disagree with Terry in that I don’t feel the move to 24 is a good thing. My major issue with the 24 teams isn’t with the quality of teams or the mismatches that could happen. My issue is with the fact that 16 teams out of 24 will qualify for the knockout rounds. That’s just wrong. If you finish third in your group, you still have to just hope that there are at least two teams that finish third and do worse than you to be A-OK.
The fact is (and some of you will stomp your feet about this, but it’s still true) that the knockout stages of any Euro/WC are actually quite dull. The teams are cagey and afraid to be the ones to make the first mistake (which leads to a dull match). The group stages are where the fun really happens. Teams are still finding their feet and they have three matches to do that as well as finish in the top two. Any established team that suffers a freak loss will suddenly find themselves on a very slippery slope. And with this new system of 16 out of 24, the risk of any ‘big team’ failing to qualify for the knockouts has essentially been reduced to nothing.
If France lose to Croatia, will they feel the same pressure they felt when they lost to Senegal in 2002. NO. The stakes are just not that high in this situation. And that just spoils the tournament for me.
Ankur (Gooner) Ghosh
Lukaku to Arsenal?
Am I the only person who can see the sense in this move? Romelu Lukaku is one of the best young strikers in Europe, he has Premier League experience, scored loads of goals and he wants to leave Everton for Champions league football.
Arsenal need a top quality striker with pace and strength, who can lead the line and is eager and hungry for success.
The only stumbling block will be the fee – but the reported £60mil or so should be within Arsenals’ reach. Would it be better to spend that amount on Lukaku or £50mil on a player like Alvaro Morata who is talented – but surely would be considered more of a risk because of his lack of Premier League experience and games played to goals scored ratio?
In all the gossip columns I have read I have not yet seen the player linked to Arsenal. I feel it would be a tremendous move for both parties. Rather than dicking about with Jamie Vardy, Arsene, go all out and land Lukaku.
Matt (just me then) AFC in Essex
The BBC montage song…
Since the moment I heard it, I’ve felt certain ‘Superheated’ by New Order should be this year’s montage song. It’s got penalty defeat in the quarters written all over it:
‘Sometimes I wake up as angry as hell, I feel deserted, I feel unwell
But it’s not your fault, no not at all, I was the reason for our downfall’
and ends ‘now that it’s over, it’s over, it’s over’.
I implore to listen to it and not imagine a tearful Chris Smalling being consoled by Hodgson. Go on, give it try:
James Swyer, Bournemouth
…In response to Simon (do you think the BBC ever plan for a England tournament winning montage song?) Fitzwilliams, Cambridge from the last mailbox and his question about BBC’s choice of montage song for when England exists the tournament: I would think that it would be a toss-up between two Pink Floyd classics: Time (…hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way) or simply Comfortably Numb…
Mediawatch should have crushed
You can normally rely on Mediawatch to appropriately comment on the indiscretions of the English media, however I really don’t think the reaction to the Daily Star’s headline was anywhere close to what was warranted.
As someone who was very close to the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai, the way Boateng’s honest words are treated by the Daily Star is very hurtful. When you’re that close to an attack, you find yourself unable to resume your normal life and act like everything is just the way it was before. I found it very difficult to board a train in my city, the city I grew up in, for a very long time.
Boateng’s instinct to protect his family is not something everyone will be doing, but is completely understandable. The words of the Daily Star are callous and they belittle the impact that such an event can have on those unlucky few that witnessed it firsthand. Boateng, in my opinion should be praised for speaking frankly about the way this event has affected him, something that isn’t very easy to do.
It’s especially difficult for me to understand how a newspaper can print such words when their country has felt the impact of such an attack as recently as 2005. Are the clicks and the sales really worth that much?
Gunner in Mumbai