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The England fan club
We’re gonna win the Euros.
Things England will now win..
1. The European Championships
2. The World Cup
3. The F.A. Cup
4. Celebrity Big Brother
If you lot want to do anything remotely successful in this tournament then Rooney needs to be nowhere near this starting XI.
Robbie DFC ( Eire took 4 points off the Germans in Qualifying)
Wow- winning 3-2 against the world champions.
Now just imagine how much better we’re gonna be at the Euros when we add back in Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, James Milner, Theo Walcott, Phil Jagielka, and Michael Carrick!
Ben B, MCFC
Well done England, not only did you beat the world champions, not only did you do it convincingly, not only did you stage a huge comeback, but you have made me like you again. Massive kudos to Hodgson for turning what was an annoying circus of thugs and wags and egos (with a couple of good eggs admittedly), into a young, exciting and emminently likeable team that stand a good chance this Summer. No Terry, no Rooney, no problem.
Goalscorers Dier, Vardy and Kane, Alli pulling srings and bossing… looks like the top two Prem teams aren’t there by accident. Lets hope this is the beginning of something beautiful…
Alay (..and lets hope Spurs can’t keep their best players. What? Just saying..), N15 Gooner
Wow! Sitting here feeling a bit strange! For the first time in a very long time I actually enjoyed watching England play.
Inventive, passionate, skilful and, most importantly, deserving of the victory.
Alli was excellent, Kane and Vardy’s goals superb and whilst we looked pretty flimsy at the back we created a number of other great chances (Henderson & Alli both should have scored).
Great to see them come back from 2-0 down also.
Well done boys
Adam Reep (proud of our football team for once)
The spirit dampeners
Just to clarify, it was a friendly win wasn’t it? Or did I sleep for 2 years and woke up after the World Cup Final?
Peak England. One great friendly result, and now “we can win it”!
I hate to burst the bubble but this is how it goes….
A fat Scouse striker returns from injury (you’d forgotten about him hadn’t you) to take his rightful place, and stinks up the place. James Milner runs a lot.
England scrape through the group stage. England lose in the second round. On penalties. Because there isn’t enough fackin’ passion.
That’s just the way it is.
Adam Whitemore (it’s the hope that will kill you all) Newcastle, Australia
Oh, and if a very exciting young Australian team beats England in the upcoming friendly, can we claim ourselves favourites for the next WC?
On behalf of The Fun Police, I’d like to release a statement.
Firstly, we all enjoyed the match on Saturday night. If you can’t enjoy that match, stop watching football.
Secondly, this Germany team are not what they were two years ago:
1) Captain Phillip Lahm retired after WC.
2) Replacement Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger has seriously regressed in the past two years.
3) Mario Gotze, who scored the winning goal to secure the World Cup two years ago has had big injury problems and started only 5 league games this season.
4) They couldn’t beat Ireland in two attempts in qualifying and lost 2 v 0 to Poland.
5) They are still giving playing time to Lucas Podolski.
In the last 13 tournaments major tournaments, England have failed to qualify twice, failed to get out of the group stage a further three times and won a knock out fixture in 90 minutes only twice, against Denmark in 2002 and Ecuador in 2006.
Yes, this is a likeable team, and yes there is some potential to be better than in recent years. But, the liklihood is that, should England perform to their maximum potential, a valiant Quarter Final exit would be the realistic expectation.
What is even more likely is that an unfit Wayne Rooney is shoe horned back in to the team, at the expense of better players and at the expense of better balance for the team, and we don’t even get that far.
I’d like to add, in wholehearted agreement, to Daniel Storey’s article on supporting England. There are basically three (admittedly broad) clusters of international teams, to my reckoning:
1) The Constant Contender: e.g. Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina. These teams have always, in my lifetime, been ‘expected’ by their fans to win or be close to winning international tournaments. Argentina never actually seem to win anything but they are still firmly in this group. Failure to emerge victorious, or to at least to be valiantly beaten in the semis or beyond, leads to much grinding of teeth, buring of managerial effigies, and / or root and branch inquisitions of footballing structure post-tournament. There are always at least two solidly competent players for every position, and barring occasional dearths, a smattering of world class stars available for selection.
2) The Colourful Chancer: e.g. Scotland, Ireland (and about 600 other teams around the world.) No expectations whatsoever, never have won a tournament and probably never will. Sometimes, they do win them e.g. Greece and Denmark, which is very, very painful for those fans who reside in group three… The taking part is what counts. As well as getting really, really drunk painting yourself blue and / or dressing up as a banana or something similar, obviously. Usually have a team full of cloggers with the occassional world class outlier, often of the maverick variety.
3) The Hopefull Dead: e.g. England, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, France. Except for once (or twice) in a generation (or two) perfect storms, these teams have always got squads almost full of players who should be good enough to be genuine contenders. They usually have the odd world class player to pin their hopes on too. Often more than one for certain positions… Sadly, they also normally have at least one vital position for which there are not any genuinely suitable options at all, leading them to either settle for filling the space with a willing but inevitably compromising clogger / shoehorn in someone who is otherwise competent, but hopelessly out of position.
Fans in group one only really enjoy it when they win the tournament. Victories up until then are pleasant, and goals are celebrated, but really, they weren’t expecting any less. Getting knocked out is either a travesty or an outrage, egos are dented, but expectation remains. Next time it will be different – people who are still alive can remeber when it was after all. Winning reinforces the ego, and can be celebrated, new teeshirts can be printed with world cup trophies and numbers on them, without any need to reference things like World Wars or anything like that to make it less pathetic.
There is no room for that golden tide of hope here, there is no walking out into the fuzzy sunshine after the game with that cathartic, drunken realisation that you never really had a hope in hell anyway.
Fans in group two can really enjoy the tournament. But it is a hollow enjoyment, full of gallows humour, silly songs, semi-offensive outfits, convivially supporting other adopted teams after you’ve been knocked out, dancing in fountains etc.
We in group three experience a dream like delusional rollercoaster ride once every two years. We get that glorious golden hope that slowly builds, sleepless nights dreaming of formations and selections that could lead us to victory. Every goal and victory along the way feels like another step on a fateful, religiously ordained journey. Every setback exposes the truth briefly, but then only serves to reinforce that hopeful dream.
Then the cold hard mathematical reality hits. The fat lady sings. The bucket (or lampost / cat) is kicked. We walk out into the summer sun, in a drunken haze. The birds are singing but it is a melancholy sound now. A mournful serenade, but somehow comforting.
Yes, it gets bitter, we vilify a player of two, we name the manager after a suitable inanimate object and we say never again. Preseasons starts soon anyway.
But once in a generation we actually win the fucker. We actually win it.
There are street parties, with bunting. Sausage rolls / paella / frogs legs are given out. National honours are bestowed on otherwise undeserving fellows.
And it is wonderful (I assume…)
Ben (this is our year, the defence will be fine!) MCFC, Manchester.
The elephant in the Roon
One of many knee jerk reactions to the England win but there is one comparison I’ve been thinking about since the build up to the Euros began and wanted to share. Ten years ago, Spain were preparing for another tournament of disappointment despite their talent. When the squad came to be announced the elderly coach, Luis Aragones, had a surprise in store with the exclusion of Raul.
Cue outrage in the press. Raul had done it all at club level for the nations biggest side, but he had never done anything of note at international level. Spain had a dynamic new front line in two blokes called Fernando Torres and David Villa (then of a rag tag Atletí and transitional Valencia, respectively) and there was no space in the squad for a player, who despite his wealth of experience, medals won and massive pay check, did not work in the national side.
Spain did OK in Germany at that tournament, a 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine a highlight, and we know what they did in the subsequent 6 years on the international stage.
I’m not suggesting that England will win the next three tournaments by dropping Rooney or that Kane and Vardy are the new Villa and Torres. However, I do think it’s an interesting comparison and, nothing personal against Rooney, he is the last of the ‘golden generation’, of Cashley, of Fat Frank, of Stevie Me, of Goldenballs, of @ferdy5 (look at those nicknames!!!), who won nothing despite their fame.
England look to have a vibrant, young side who all seem to play like Rooney himself did in 2004: fearlessly. I just hope Roy shows the same attitude when it comes to dropping his captain and symbol of 12 years of underachievement.
Matt, EFC, Honduras
Please, Roy, don’t let Wayne anywhere near this side of wonderful young men.
Pace, commitment, technique…I think I just got excited for England’s chances this summer. I really like the strong Tottenham and Liverpool influence, they didn’t play at all like a Hodgson team.
Then I remembered Rooney will probably end up being shoehorned into the team somewhere at the expense of someone more deserving and able. I don’t really see the benefit of him even being in the squad now. Kane and Vardy have to go, Welbeck offers versatility. Rooney or Sturridge?
Joel Bradley, London
Please, please, please never pick Rooney again.
Roy’s massive balls
Apologies in advance, as I am sure nobody wants this particular image, but how big are Roy Hodgson’s balls?
England’s tournament chances for this summer hang on those old, wrinkly balls – and on dropping Wayne Rooney like the sack of potatoes he so unfortunately resembles.
There’s an argument for sticking with the style that served England so well through qualification – but there’s also an argument that playing our “qualification style” at tournaments has been pretty much a total disaster.
For the first time since Sven was in charge, Rooney shouldn’t be the first name on the team sheet – and he shouldn’t even make the squad. Kane, Welbeck and Sturridge should go (if fit, cough, Sturridge, cough) and Vardy should too. Despite not fitting the template, the Leicester forward showed what an effect his energy and determination can have. Imagine what an absolute terror he would be coming on late in a quarter final and harrying and running off defenders in extra time…
I would rather watch a tournament and hope, and know that we’ll be better at the next World Cup, than watch the same old drivel again, just because it’s familiar.
Chris (it’ll only happen if Rooney’s injured), Manc
England: A fusion of Klopp and Poch
…Now, before I begin let me be clear I have no love whatsoever for London F.C. and am firmly in the Andy Murray camp when it comes to English International football. The only time it has ever changed was briefly when Our Michael Owen scored that goal against the Argies or when Liverpool beat Germany 5-1 in Munich.
I grew up in Germany for five years so you can only imagine I was hoping for a resounding home win. Add in the fact I still remember how wretched Roy was when almost taking us down!
But do you know what? Shorn of the fat Scouser in the wig I was impressed! Mightily impressed. Not just in the manner of the almost Istanbul-esque comeback but in their performance over 90minutes! It was the best of KloppMeister’s Geggenpress and Poch’s equally high press, quick transition stuff. Mesmerising as a combination.
It ought to spell the end of Rooney too. I can genuinely state that if they leave him at home to do volunteer work at residential homes in the Chester area then England are to be considered one of the favourites if they play anywhere near that level. Indeed, comfortably England’s worst performer was Smalling so just leave behind all United players and I shall be very, very worried indeed!
In fact is there anybody other than the ever mental and clueless Guy Shrimpton who thinks Rooney should ever pull on the once famous 3Lions ever again…?
Last night upset me greatly. No higher accolade can be player to the Tottenham and Liverpool heavy squad in Berlin than that.
England fans should for once think they might just win the thing…
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
More England conclusions
Bloody hell, I enjoyed that. In spite of missing Hart, Sterling, Sturridge, Wilshire and (pretending for a second that his ability even remotely matches his reputation) Rooney, we’ve beaten the world champions on their own patch. I’ll nail my colours to the mast and admit I’m a Spurs fan, so the fact that this was built on a platform of Spurs players is especially pleasing.
Positives to take from the game
* Delle Alli gives me a funny feeling in my tummy. I’m getting married in May, but I’ve warned the future Mrs B, that if Alli were to proposition me in the mean time, I could be turned. Seriously, though, what a talent! He could go on to be one of the best midfield players in Europe.
* Harry Kane doing what Harry Kane does best. His shooting accuracy is just scary good. Superb footwork. Great feet for… no, I’m not going to do it.
* I don’t like Jamie Vardy’s “political” views, but his goal and 20 minute cameo were enjoyable – if for no other reason that it gave me the briefest of hopes that Wayne Rooney might, just possibly, miss out on the 23… I know, I know; but let me dream.
* Are those two starters from tonight now our first choice fullbacks? I’d be perfectly happy if they were, and the options of Walker, Cresswell, Bertrand, Baines (??) in reserve as very strong backup gives me great confidence. Danny Rose’s development from distinctly average winger to top-drawer fullback has been one of the more astonishing things to watch over the last couple of years. Clearly a very switched-on footballer with a great football brain. I’ll be honest; I had never expected him to make the grade.
* Sad, though it was, to see Butland injure himself, I’ve rated Forster as England’s number 2 for a while. Expect him to stake his claim this week and maybe push Hart close before June.
* In addition to the absentees mentioned above, we were also able to pull a player of the calibre of Ross Barkley from the bench as a genuine game changer. The days of Peter Crouch as “plan B” seem like an eternity ago.
* What does Jordan Henderson do?? Seriously, there was some sh*t on here recently about him as an “enabler”, which is a word I only previously related to alcoholism or addiction… well I can confirm that he drives me to drink. Cowardly in possession. Positionally indisciplined. Lacking creativity, technical skill or goal threat. I could forgive if he were just a midfield spoiler, but for some reason, he thinks he is more than that (see: repeated, overhit set-pieces). Can we not find someone better?? This is a rhetorical question, as the answer is obviously; “Yes, Mark Noble, Michael Carrick, Danny Drinkwater, Jonjo Shelvey…”
* And onto Hendo’s deep-lying midfield partner, I’m just not sure whether Eric Dier fits perfectly into this England system. Don’t get me wrong; I love to bits what he does for Spurs, but he is effectively an auxiliary centre half with freedom to press in front of the back four. But in a 3-man midfield, I suggest the holding player needs just a little more mobility and a little bit more technically than Dier has offer. I’ll be interested to see how Drinkwater performs. That’s not to be unduly critical of young Dier, who might have a future in England’s back line, which brings me to…
* Smalling and Cahill. We’re just not going to win anything with these two as our central defensive pairing, are we?? I wish I had a smart solution, but until John Stones gets a lot more game time and Phil Jones ever starts to realise his potential, we are stuck with these two nervous-looking centre halves who are always prone to losing a striker or some other major balls-up at least once a game. They give me no confidence at all.
* Why did Jack Butland not just kick the ball out and seek treatment? On such moments of shonky decision-making are reputations destroyed.
* If fit, Rooney starts. Or even just half-fit.
* This was “just” a friendly.
Still had a lot of fun this evening, though, and the positives hugely outweigh the negatives. For the first time in as long as I can remember, it is really enjoyable to be a Spurs and England fan, even if neither side actually go on to win anything in 2016.
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames
OK first the positives;
– Harry Kane. Yes Alli was good, but Kane was the real star. I’d go as far as saying Germany and Spain would be crying out for a striker of his calibre.
– Energy. For years I’ve felt England have failed in the big tournaments through lack of legs (Uruguay game this was particularly apparent). This team really has legs, Henderson and Dier might not be the most fluent or slick base, but it’s very solid and can run all day.
– To add to that the energy of the front 3 behind Kane is really what allowed such a fluid and direct style. Welbeck is really growing into his potential and in a competitive game would’ve got a number of German players booked.
– And when the energy started to wane… We turned to Vardy and Barkley. Even more legs and energy (and indeed a fair bit of class). When you think about an English style of high aggressive pressing and quick direct play this energy is absolutely vital – much more so than technical ability actually.
– We’ve not even thought about Rooney (I’m sure others will cover the required discussion on him), Sterling and Sturridge. 3 of our 4 starters in Brazil.
Now for the less positive;
– That wasn’t full throttle Germany. If that game was in France they’d have another 20% intensity and we should be ready for that.
– What’s more I think the greatest teams do this somewhat deliberately. Certainly Italy have a proven track record of not turning up for friendlies and are a different proposition in the tournament. Why would they give England a free taster of the level needed to break into the top 3 in Europe?
– For this reason the defence becomes an even bigger concern, we were 2-0 down and in a tournament that game could easily have become a 4-0 beating. Caution and deep thought required Mr Hodgson. Game management will be key.
– Roy Hodgson. You’re a classy man Roy, a likeable fellow, and loyalty is an admirable trait, but we have something going here. A wealth of attacking talent like never before and a group of players who are getting used to winning games. Be brave. Pick the team you consider the best right now. Don’t pick the team you consider the best on average over the last 2 years (the 2 are clearly very different).
I’ll end on a positive. The final and most important point is yet to receive much air play, and that’s the draw- it’s a dream. England have a reasonable group I’m sure everyone will agree. Finish top we play a third placed team. Finish second we play the second placed team from a group containing Portugal, Iceland, Austria and Hungary. To be clear, quarters isn’t success, it’s bare minimum.
Dan Cunnington, Greenwich
Starting off with a couple from my girlfriend:
* Joachim Low looks like a German Brian Cox
* Jamie Vardy looks like a speed addict
*Where is Danny Rose now on the ladder? What a performance! When Clyne was guilty of not stepping up for the dodgy offside call on Gomez I was chomping at the bit for Walker to be given a chance at half time (I am a Spurs fan) but Clyne recovered and had a tidy game, but surely with Shaw out Rose has to be first choice on the left?
* There were some lovely interchanges in attacking play, great to watch, and boding well for France. The link up play between Welbeck, Kane, Alli and the over-lapping Rose was fantastic to watch, Welbeck seemed to really be tuned in to that telepathy between the Spurs boys.
* How many of those starters tonight will become the first 11 in France? I’m still not convinced by Henderson, Lallana or Smalling (and obviously Hart is No. 1- but maybe not by so much anymore…), but other than that, that might have been our best 11; maybe field that line up with Sterling (or Vardy?) on the right, plus Delph and Stones in a friendly and see how they do?
* When Alli missed his sitter I said, “one of the Spurs lads will bail him out”, sure enough, in steams Dier.
*With the injury arguably to blame for the first goal nothing can really be taken away from Butland, who played well, I can’t recall a time when we had three keepers of this quality.
*This is as excited for England as I have been since World Cup 02/Euro’s 04….
Jerome, THFC, Bristol
England need John Stones
England’s victory shows that we are on the cusp of having a team that can compete in Championships. Timing never seems to be quite there for the team. What we would give for a Terry and Stones axis in central defence. Too late for the former and too far for the latter. It was said at the start of the season that Martinez was not the manager to bring John Stones forward. His ability to produce attractive football and attacking teams was there to be seen, however it was clear that his capability to organise a structured defence was taxing. Stones now languishes on the bench, at the start of last season he was tipped to emulate Bobby Moore John Terry heck even Maldini.
Instead he now sits on the bench too difficult a problem for Martinez, his lack of defensive coaching ability is there to be seen. Rather than work hard with stones on the pitch and in the team he’s gone for the easier option and brought in Funes. Its time for John Stones to realise the only way to resurrect his career and to become that England regular is to move from Everton. For all of Martinez rhetoric he has failed Stones, yes the lad hasn’t helped, but to go from a supposed £40 million player to bench warmer stands testament to the lack of coaching and capability of this manager.
If only Martinez’s coaching was as good as his self publicity. What a shame for England what a shame for John Stones.
The Walcott conundrum
If you remember ten years back, everybody was wondering what was Sven thinking when he picks up a certain 17 year old for the World Cup, ahead of more suitable candidates.
Fast forward to date, everybody still wondering what was Uncle Woy thinking when he picks up a certain 27 year old for the England squad, ahead of more suitable candidates.
I guess its safe to say if your selection still casts doubts after 10 years of top level professional experience, probably international tournaments are not best suited or you. And oh, you are also just an average footballer.
Syfq Amr, a bias Gooner
Monday’s mini Mediawatch
So the very end of the Beeb’s player ratings is as follows:
“Jamie Vardy (on for Welbeck 70 minutes) 7
What an IMPACT. Brilliant flick brought England level and set up Alli for a chance he should have scored.
Ross Barkley (for Lallana 70 minutes) 5
One or two nice touches but little time to make a serious impact.”
BUT. YOU. JUST. SAID…
Al, ‘That single match should guarantee a brisk trade in patrol station forecourt England flags this summer’, Nottingham
James Milner is evolving!……..
Your Milner evolved into…..
An Adam Lallana……
Loving Englands win regardless
Lothar Matthaus is scary.