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Dear Jimmy, Spain; Deli Alli has only played 8 games for Spurs, but he can also do that. If you can, then yes definitely please join the national team. If not, please allow Roy Hodgson to keep doing his job, it seems to be going ok at the moment.
Rob (62 games for MK Dons, 10 for Spurs according to Wikipedia) Hull fan in Leeds
I had considered pointing out to Jimmy (Might get my boots back out if it’s this easy) Spain that whilst Dele Alli may have made only a few appearances for Spurs, he does have 2 full seasons at MK Dons under his belt (picking up the FL young player award) but I’m not sure I really need to now.
Can the RIPRooney crew please gather together for a short moment. ‘Who are they?’ you might ask. Here are the main criteria.
1 Claim 100% that Wayne has irreversibly lost his powers based on his poor performances for United this season and should be sent to a glue factory.
2 Knowing their experience in armchair analysis and their CV in Football Manager trumps that of those foolish ex-players, pundits and managers, proceeds to mock anyone who has anything at all to say in Rooney’s defence. The heathens!
3 Searches high and low to find new evidence that supports the theory that Rooney is actually the worst footballer to walk the earth and has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the everyday pleb since 2004, but not them.
4 Believes that Rooney has a contract to play and captain every United game for eternity, take every free kick, smoke in the dressing rooms at half-time, and make Van Gaal dance to the Macarena should he say ‘boo’.
Now then, Who was that sharp guy in the no 10 shirt playing for England, beating his man, pinging the ball accurately across the pitch, coolly volleying home one goal and assisting another? That assured, confident player in a team that actually played exciting, attacking football that a striker can get stuck into?
Can’t have been Rooney. He’s spent.
We’re gonna win the Euros!
Does this mean England are really good again?
Sean, CFC, London
…or are we?
Gary Orford is right, isn’t he? We really have only won one knockout game ever in European Championship history. I hadn’t realised that until now. F*** me.
Team > names
I have to say having lost affection for the England national team in recent years, last night finally gave some hope for better times ahead. And no, I am not getting carried away but there were some really interesting questions raised from a performance like that.
- With the top English sides playing a more continental brand of football, these young players have been bred into this and seemed a more natural way for them to play. If we go back to the last World Cup the possession style just didn’t click with our ageing golden generation.
- Gary Neville has been beating the Dortmund style counter attacking drum for a few years now and the setup for the counter attacks last night was spot on. As were the selections.
- Someone in the mailbox questioned how Ali could get in after 8 Premier League starts. I think this can be attributed to the lack of English CM playing at the highest level, injuries and simply he has performed against the big sides in those games. And should we care if he adds something to the side? Or do we look at Tom Cleverly again or Gareth Barry as they have more experience?
- The midfield had a really good balance, Dier was excellent. Ali and Barkley offered outlets and legs. Great to see the midfielders arriving in the box at times.
- Rooney looked half decent. Who would have thought it.
- Sterling produced one great cross but at times his final ball was awful. He does draw defenders though and if he can improve on goals and assists before next summer then happy days.
- Kane’s hold up play was good, as was his awareness. Also offers more movement than Rooney. We need to persevere with him. He has some class.
The final point is a massive question…. When all the household names are back from injury, probably with a lack of Premier League action and no form to play on, will Roy have the balls to pick players that suit the roles or will he pick the names? Should we care how old players are or if they play in Europe etc etc if it produces the most balanced team? This felt like a side that we could get behind and watch develop. Not a Milner/Henderson midfield that pass it sideways and offer nothing else? And have not produced for England at tournaments?
I sincerely hope Roy and Gary are brave and let this team develop, or we go back to the tried and tested formula of square pegs in round holes and watch a one dimensional England stutter through Euro 2016.
Harry Kane was appealing for the corner!
Al LFC – Best England performance for a looong time regardless of the situation. Well done Dele.
Assessing the line-up
Well glad that s done…s in the tournament in my opinion the teams can be grouped as follow
Contenders: Germany France Spain Italy England Belgium Portugal
Wildcards: Russia Ukraine Croatia
Teams based on a game changer or two: Sweden Wales Slovakia
Regularish supporting cast: Switzerland Austria Ireland
Happy to be here: Northern Ireland Albania Romania
Wish they where there: Holland Denmark Bosnia Scotland Greece (ok maybe not Greece
Looking at that list except the Dutch this is a pretty strong lineup there aren t many really weak teams i dare anyone to predict the exact eight teams that will go out in the first round.
It s going to be great
Timi (the premiership is back yessssss) MUFC
The real issue
If we can learn anything from tonight’s game then two things stand out more than any others, there are not enough toilets and fifteen minutes is not long enough. Wayne Rooney has just volleyed England 2-0 up and the goal must have been missed by half of the crowd, despite the stadium being only 70% full. Obviously lots of people were still queuing and many more had not finished their free champagne or canapes, an utter disgrace in the so called best stadium in the world. The F.A. must quickly act to resolve this or I fear we’ll never be awarded a World Cup, unless of course Seb uses his contacts in the IOC.
The latest (and last) on Scholes
As Kevin in Nottingham requested, there is no need to respond with quotes from other professional about Paul Scholes’ qualities; there is a much simpler way to illuminate the inadequacy of his argument that Scholes had been “consistently outperformed” by Gerrard and Lampard in the years leading up to Euro 2004. Let’s go to the history books, i.e. Wikipedia. In the three years prior to Euro 2004—domestic seasons 2001/02 – 2003/4 and international seasons 2001-2003—Gerrard scored 17 in 144 for Liverpool and 3 in 19 for England; Lampard scored 30 in 159 for Chelsea and 1 in 15 for England; Scholes scored 33 in 143 for Manchester United, and 3 in 29 for England.
Gerrard: 20 in 163 = 0.12 goals per match
Lampard: 31 in 174 = 0.17 goals per match
Scholes: 36 in 172 = 0.21 goals per match
Now, if you’d like to argue that goal return provides a limited context for evaluating a player’s contribution to a team, I’ll be right beside you on that wall. And if you think that Gerrard and Lampard were better players in 2004 and constituted a better midfield that Scholes and one other, there are plenty of people who agree with you. All I know is that Paul Scholes would have never played that pass to Zinedine Zidane.
RE: Kevin (please no responses with the quotes again, we’ve all seen them), Nottingham
You’re going to enter a world of pain with that view. Never mind that you’re completely correct, and that Scholes had been incredibly poor for his entire England career apart from a few select games that will be wheeled out by the usual mouth-frothers, don’t you know that he was the greatest English midfielder of that generation (TM)?
Never mind that he missed a chance in 1998 against Argentina that would have given us a 3-1 lead. A chance that I would expect any great player to gobble up.
Never mind that he was completely anonymous in Euro 2000 save for the first (wonderful) 20 minutes against Portugal.
Never mind that he was outshone by Nicky Butt in 2002.
And never mind that in 2004 he looked like a player that couldn’t even be bothered to fackin’ run about a bit, obviously annoyed at being shunted from his preferred position by two players who were obviously in superior form and (I would argue) of greater ability. This is the thing I most hold against him. He just gave up.
Scholes is one of the most confusing players of my time watching football. He could pass, he could affect the tempo and feel of a side, he had a decent shot and he had a good football brain. Yet he was always, with very few exceptions, rotten for the national team. Was he not afforded the cover or support? Was it that he never felt loved? Is it a question of having players like Keane or RVN around that made him more effective?
Great for United. Shocking for England. And that’s a really sad thing. He should be an all time great – the quotes and stats and pundits like Neville (who’s opinion I respect massively) all point to it, but I just don’t see it. I don’t now, and I didn’t when he was playing. A waste.
Please let’s not get drawn into another tedious Scholes, Lampard, Gerrard debate, for f*cks sake, move on already.
The Europa League is worth one Cameron Jerome
The curse of the Europa League (EL) and the dreaded Thursday-Sunday schedule is a timeless classic. Even so, I’m going to attempt to add something new to the debate, using some rudimentary economics to show why competing in the EL really is a burden, and the Champions League (CL) a boon.
Assuming you’ve not seen the word economics and skipped down to the next email on how abject/wonderful England were last night (I’m writing this before the game), then I’m going to run through some quick input/output analysis. Brace yourselves.
Let’s use 2013-14 as an example. For inputs we’re looking only at financial distributions from UEFA for CL and EL (prize money, performance bonus and market pool money) and distributions from the PL (equal share, facility fees, merit payment and equal payments). I’m going to ignore gate receipts because I assume they are relatively constant per match, and ignore commercial income because it’s probably determined largely in advance under multi-year contracts. Output is simply the number of games played.
There were seven PL clubs in Europe in 2013-14, four in the CL and three in the EL. I’m removing Wigan and reducing to six as they were no longer in the PL in 2013-14. The six clubs played an average 9 games in Europe, an increase in output of 25% over the 38-game PL. There was no difference in terms of output between the CL and EL.
Any firm in any industry asked to increase output by 25% would require a commensurate increase to its inputs to avoid a drop in quality, unless it is able to find some pretty sizeable efficiency savings. This is where the difference between the CL and EL really kicks in, and why the latter is a burden for PL clubs. The four PL clubs in 2013-14 received an average of £38m for competing in the CL, compared to an average of £5m for the two competing in the EL. That’s a 41% increase in inputs on top of PL revenue distribution for a CL side, compared to a 6% increase for EL sides.
EL clubs are being asked to finance a 25% increase in outputs with a 6% increase in inputs, whereas CL clubs get 41% more inputs to pay for their 25% extra output. The CL acts a subsidy for teams competing in the PL – they can pay for more players at higher wages in the PL because of the financial windfall. The EL, on the other hand, is a negative externality – the small amount of extra revenue isn’t enough to pay for the additional players and wages required to increase output, so performance in the PL suffers.
This analysis also shows that the EL is literally worth less to PL clubs than the PL. The six clubs received an average of £2.4m per game from PL revenue distributions in 2013-14. Each CL game was worth £3.3m in revenue distribution on average for PL clubs, whereas each EL game was worth just £0.4m on average.
So for me (Clive) it’s not about the number of games or schedule, but the additional money clubs receive to pay for those games. Competing in the EL is like being given a Cameron Jerome and expecting that to make all the improvement required in your squad to play 9 extra matches.
Iain (still only writing in about economics), Brit in Texas
Agger to the heart
Watching my Scandinavian cousins battling it out to join us (Iceland) in the Euros next summer, I realized just how much I miss Agger.
Kristjan, LFC London