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England should stick with Kane and Rooney
Forgive me if I’m wrong but England had a pretty good qualifying campaign didn’t we? Additionally over the course of the year some other players earned the right to join the squad too, while others dropped out.
But the problem we always seem to make is changing a winning formula. United of old had a winning formula, and we didn’t deviate too far from it, adding a little, giving ourselves new options. It worked. Chelsea and Arsenal the same.
I know people get excited by the new, and I’m delighted we have Rashford there, as he is unknown, dangerous and can offer a lot of brain. I’m also delighted we go into this tournament with two strikers on blistering form.
However, that doesn’t mean we should suddenly throw out what was working to desperately include all our new favourites. Rooney and Kane have worked well, it’s the right kind of combo and it is balanced. We don’t really want Kane playing deep or wide all game as it’s a waste of him to accommodate Vardy who could be massively dangerous with his direct running from the bench.
Good teams are made by picking the best player in each role, not playing two or three of them just because you have two or three
A straightforward 442 with good players in roles they know is perfect. If we don’t fancy our wingers(?!), some 352 hybrid with attacking wing-backs and a defender stepping out could suit.
But if we want to actually have a shot, let’s not get silly for once, and just play the balanced team with the right players. It’s what works, what the players know and what is relatively proven.
Which does beg the question why we have three strikers who are great options from the bench and only one real winger. Sure as eggs is eggs, one of them is going to spend the tournament out wide, unbalancing the shape by always coming in, and I fear Vardy is that man.
Guy S (it’s okay though, you know who to blame)
Let’s get Rooney sent off…
So, I just watched the Mexico/Uruguay game in the Copa Americas – excusing the fact that the stadium managed to play the Chilean national anthem, rather than the Uruguayan and insult an entire nation – but that aside, Mexico hit on a perfect tactical solution for England in the Euros.
Tied at 1-1 with Uruguay, with Uruguay already playing with ten men, one of the Mexico assistant coaches is ejected for reasons currently unknown. Two minutes later, Mexico’s Guardado is heading for the showers. Mexico proceed to win 3-1. Mexico played a lot better without the ‘versatile midfielder’.
Brilliant! Now, let’s figure out how to engineer Mr. Blobby’s sending off in the the game against Russia (let’s face it, he’s not exactly Mr. Reasonable out there) and get a red for whoever is advising Woy on his tactical substitutions and the English might have a chance. I think we can beat anyone 10-on-11 without Rooney.
Sounds like a plan?
Steve (Thank God Chelsea didn’t want Vardy, I’d be so ashamed) Los Angeles
Arsenal are ONLY option for Vardy
Completely disagree with all the fuss that Vardy to Arsenal isn’t ideal and he would have been better for United or some other club. If I was Vardy, of all the big clubs in the league, Arsenal would be top of my list. Before I explain why, I’d mention why not others.
1. Manchester City – They have Aguero, so I won’t be starting much, plus Pep plays too much tika-taka and he probably doesn’t know who I am so forget it.
2. Spurs – May be a decent choice, but they play with one up top and that guy will be Harry Kane. I’m not interested in being a back-up.
3. United – Look at that midfield. Mourinho is there now, Ibra might be there too, they also have players like Martial and Rashford, who can both do what I can. And plus Mourinho always seems to prefer one big guy up top (Drogba/Ibra). So no no.
4. Liverpool – They have Origi, Sturridge, Ings, Firmino and Benteke and prefer to play one up front. Plus they are not in Europe at all. Although, Klopp might like me and I like him, but I doubt I’ll get regular football with that many strikers and with fewer games.
5. Chelsea – Who is Conte? May be they want a striker like me but may be they’ll sign a bigger name and traditionally they’ve played well with bigger strikers, Drogba, Costa and struggled players like Torres, Remy, Pato…hmmm so this will surely be a gamble, a bit too risky at this stage of my career.
Now Arsenal – Wenger signed Welbeck to have that pace up front but it hasn’t worked and they have Giroud for the holding job. If I sign, I’ll probably be first choice with both of them struggling to be the main man. And boy, LOOK at the MIDFIELD – Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla, Wilshere, Xhaka – Damn. They play possession football but it’s quick and that’s lovely. They want someone like me, and I’ll get at least twice an many chances per game as I used to get at Leicester. If I make intelligent runs which I surely can, they the players will definitely find me. So what are the drawbacks….hmmm can’t think of any. So ya, I am IN.
Khurram Alvi, LFC
Arsenal should have signed Vardy in January
Am I the only one who thinks the Vardy signing (or at least attempted signing) is six months too late. If we had done it in January, we would probably be champions right now. It’s the kind of signing Jose would have made. Weaken your opponents while strengthening yourself mid-season.
Instead we are going to be left wondering for a few months if he was a one-season wonder or not.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Happy ending for Vardy?
Oh well, it’s happening folks.
As a wise man once said ‘If you want a happy ending, that depends of course on where you stop the story’. So long, fella.
PS. Hey Hollywood, if you’re really makin’ a movie about Jamie Vardy, you better end it immediately after the Euros as that would be a perfect fairytale.
Sridhar (DilliyDing DillyDong) Iyer
We are nicking both…
So, do we call this the Leixit or the Leixodus?
Mr. F, Man United
Proud of Ali at Arsenal
Over the weekend the greatest passed away.
You may not think there’s a football link here but in amongst the many individuals and organisations paying tribute to the great man was one Arsenal football club.
I knew of the Arsenal link but had never seen the fight. I went to a well-known video sharing site and watched Muhammad Ali vs Henry Cooper at our old home of Highbury.
It must have been an amazing night at Highbury with the stadium packed to the rafters witnessing the UK’s finest with his lethal left hook against the greatest of all times.
Ali was so much bigger than boxing. His is a life that should be celebrated not mourned and I am so proud of my club’s link to the champ.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Euros IS about money
Sorry to disagree with Mr. Nicholson, but:
1) If international football isn’t a slave to money why are we having a World Cup in Qatar?
2) If the Euros is pure football excitement, why has it been expanded to include more teams for more pointless games in the group stages, if not to simply make more money from it?
3) The list of corporate sponsors include McDonald’s and Coca-Cola (among others) – they hardly scream “Forget money, this is pure football” do they?
4) Money doesn’t count – other than the fact that wealthier countries have better facilities and generally have better teams (and that’s before even examining how countries like Britain gained their wealth in previous centuries)
5) ‘No-one is playing to get a transfer to a better, richer country for ever more ludicrous wages’ – well, they don’t change nationality but a good performance by a player based in say France could see them move to England for ever more ludicrous wages; indeed this will almost definitely happen.
6) ‘As Euro 2016 plays out, no-one needs to wonder how much anyone is being paid, whether they’ll be transferred, whether they’re worth their wages or anything else’ – they don’t, but media outlets will because it helps them sell news and therefore earn money
I’m not trying to be a miserable b*stard (although I am one so that’s how it comes across) and I am genuinely looking forward to the Euros, but don’t be so naïve as to think this tournament would be happening if it didn’t line the pockets of a small group of people who are already fabulously wealthy.
Jack (Someone gag Zlatan) Manchester
A handball warning from Stateside
For those supporting England, Wales, Northern Ireland, or the Republic in the Euros, something important happened on Friday night half a planet away: DeAndre Yedlin, fullback for Spurs and Sunderland, was called for handball in the box while playing for USA against Colombia.
It was important because it was one of those handballs that English referees have repeatedly refused to give: the defender, close but not very close to the shooter, gains an advantage by holding out his arm bent at a 90 degree angle, then turning to give the impression he’s trying to avoid the ball, while the arm stays in a blocking position. Yedlin did it, and the referee quite rightly pointed to the spot immediately.
In other words, defenders might not be able to get away with it in France. Don’t be at all surprised if it costs your side a game.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Gutted to lose honest Ronald
We have experienced a lot of exits over the past few years (you may have noticed) but Koeman’s impending departure is in many ways the most gutting. He is a very good manager but this is not the key reason for the woe. There are other very good managers out there and with our infrastructure, squad and Europe are a more attractive proposition than we ever have been. The key reason for how devastating this feels is that Koeman’s best quality has been his honesty and integrity – A rare attribute in the modern finance driven game. When he said, just two weeks ago that he’ll “100%” be in charge of Southampton next season this seemed a cast-iron guarantee of his intentions. Now nouveau moneybags Everton are offering to make him the sixth-best paid manager in the world with a ‘war chest’ on 100m+ he has seemingly gone back on his word.
The reality is probably not quite as cut and dry as this. One theory is that he wanted to run down his three-year contract and walk away a free agent and into the arms of one of Europe’s elite next summer (something we would have fully accepted) but the Saints board gave him an ultimatum…sign up an extension or go now. He chose to go now and employed an agent who would make this happen. If this is the case then I would be more understanding of his actions.
Whatever the truth (I’m guessing we’ll never know exactly what’s gone on) it feels a kick in the groin. Koeman seemed to transcend the negatives of the Premier league. He was honest, calm, didn’t blame others and did a very good job to boot. I’m disappointed.
Jon Tucker (here we go again…), Southampton