What happens when there’s no football…

Date published: Friday 24th June 2016 9:38

Come on. Cheer us up. Mail theeditor@football365.com


Why we should never have rest days
You see what happens when we stop playing football for a couple of days…
Stephen, THFC


Brexit talk
I’m sitting on the other side of the world watching the British vote to leave the EU. I know it hasn’t taken effect yet but I’m interested in the likely implications for the football clubs of Britain. Will this make signing players from Europe tougher? What about youngsters that were previously covered under European labour laws? And transfers between EU and Non-EU clubs?

I’d love someone at F365 or even one of the regular Mailbox contributors to detail the potential implications for football.
George (also because I’m sick of hearing about the political side) AFC, Wellington, NZ


Oh, here you go…
Well, it’s the most depressing day in recent memory but we may as well discuss it. Brexit implications on football. I’ve no professional knowledge on EU or employment law, but here are some thoughts.

1. Teams may be wishing they got business done early. The pound has already plummeted which will obviously make buying players from abroad more expensive. Foreign teams may fancy snatching up some cheap deals from UK teams.

2. Players thinking about coming to the UK may think again. If they’re comparing their wages to Euros they will look significantly lower than they would have yesterday.

3. The future is impossible to predict in terms of what regulations on foreign workers will be applied. We almost certainly will not agree to freedom of movement. If the same system we use now for non-eu players applies for EU players, we’ll see a big impact. At the moment, players have to play in a certain percentage of their national teams matches to get a work permit. If the same rules were applied, more than 100 current players in the premier league would not have got one, including Kante and Payet. No one knows what will happen for sure, but there will definitely be some changes.

4. How this affects managers, I’m not sure, but the principle still applies. It’s possible we’d see more British managers (Big Sam will be happy).

5. A rule about a quota of English players has always been against EU law. Not a problem now. If the FA chairman wanted to bring this in, it’s now an option. Whether you think that’s good or bad is another story.

I’m sure people more knowledgeable than me will know more impacts. I’m off for a nap and a cry.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


All the Premier League clubs who’ve made their offers for players in Euros must be feeling a bit sick this morning.
Al McBoro


We go again. The ties that bind us…
“We said we’d do a job for everyone that came out here today and we did it, we are into the last 16. We made history and now We Go Again.”

This defiant declaration came from an emotional and adrenaline pumped Robbie Brady in the immediate aftermath of his winning goal against the Italians. No one who witnessed the display of those players, and the scenes at the final whistle could doubt their passion and love for their country. Patriotism and pride were the order of the night, on the pitch, in the stands, and in the RTE studio…

And yet, those last three words struck me. On one of our greatest footballing nights, our hero was channelling the words of Stevie G, as naturally as breathing. One of our Auld Enemy’s greatest heroes was obviously one of our inspirations too..

And why not? This version of the Euros has given our islands an opportunity to show how far we have come. To show that the while the nations of our Isles all have our own identity, we have a common bind, and a shared history that entwines us culturally. It is a history that has been bloody and brutal but it is our shared history nonetheless…and we are closer in terms of our sporting culture, our passion and a combative will to give it everything when the chips are down than any other group of countries in Europe.

Hopefully it is a sign of our growing maturity as neighbours in these Isles that we can embrace this and support each other in future tournaments.

Some great examples of this that I’ve seen in Euro 2016…

Rep. Of Ireland fans singing Stand up For the Ulster Men in tribute to Darren Rodgers.

Welsh and English fans joining together….

Rep Of Ireland fans serenading England fans to “please don’t start a riot” and getting banter back in spades..

Norn Iron fans bringing colour humour and confidence everywhere they go..

So how interconnected are we then?

Well, the RoI manager was a Northern Ireland legend…two of our best players against Italy are from Derry in the North.

One of Northern Ireland’s heroes Niall Mcginn is from a staunch Gaelic Athletic Association background.

Wayne Rooney could qualify for the RoI if he scratched a granny hard enough….

And one of our leading lights in this tournament, Jeff Hendrick, has a name suspiciously more Anglo than Celtic…

As for the Welsh, as a dyed in the wool Liverpool fan, I want to see Allen prove how good he is on the international stage.

Wales v Norn Iron is going to be savage…and if we can somehow beat France an epic battle with England may be on the cards.

We will be channelling the spirit of Stevie G for that one…. We Go Again…
Rob, Droighead Nua


Sick of the Irish love-in
Congratulations to Ireland for the deserved win. And it was pleasant to view a side and fans just happy to embrace the moment, regardless of what happens next.

But will the whole Irish are the best supporters in the world thing, please just pipe down.

If you’re not saving babies from ravines, or declaring victory over Isis through Craic alone, your then forcing me to watch videos, memes and news coverage of it all the time.

You’re great people, but so is the vast majority of every country.

Ya being the teacher’s pet, doing everything possible to be noticed telling your classmates to shhhhh.

It’s annoying.

Chuck a chair or something.
Sean McKeown


Why we love the Euros…
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been a great tournament so far. Too few goals, too much bus-parking, a lot of mediocrity, relatively few standout performers. A few memorable games, some very good defense, a few great goals, but mostly pretty average stuff.

But I’ve loved every minute of it, and after immersing myself in the Premier League for the past two years, it’s reminded me why international football was my first love, and why international tournaments are the best thing going.

* Atmosphere. The home side excepted, all the support is traveling support, with all the intensity that brings. Add in the anthems — who doesn’t love watching the Italians belt it out? — and the lovely unsponsored kits, and you’ve got something special no matter what happens on the pitch.

* Importance. The club season, and even the Champions League, is a long slog, and the games tend to blur after a while. But in a short tournament, everything is magnified. Robbie Brady’s goal, Arnor Traustason’s goal, Armando Sadiku’s goal, all were far more important than anything you can find short of a cup final. The ensuing most glorious celebrations showed exactly how much they meant.

* Unpredictability. This is a function of the shorter tournament, and is mostly confined to the group stages, but still a source of joy. Wales finishing ahead of England, Iceland finishing ahead of Portugal, Croatia finishing ahead of Spain, and so on.

* Degree of Difficulty. International football is a lot harder than club football, because the players have relatively little time together. It also takes an unusual kind of coach. A great national team performance is almost always more special than a great club performance.

* Money Can’t Buy You The Title. I realize this is a relative matter; wealthier nations, with better football infrastructure, almost always win. But compared to the deadening club practice of vacuuming up the best talent and best coaches available, you’ve got a much more morally palatable competition.

So I’ve loved it all, and can’t wait for the knockouts. Oh, and I agree with the other mailboxers: player of the tournament so far is Ivan Perisic. He was good at Brazil 2014, but he’s really ratcheted up his game. Pace, tactical intelligence, excellent technique with both feet, finishing ability. I’d love to see him and Modric take the team all the way.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA


England need to get back to basics
First of all, congrats to Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Lovely to see all the teams from the Isles make it into the next round. It warms the cockles.

I don’t want to be negative about England, it’s not as if they go in wanting to do badly, and the team do appear to have good camaraderie and effort in abundance. I also don’t believe Hodgson is a terrible manager either but I do think he has been heavily influenced by the media, pundits and general public’s desire to play attractive, attacking football, so much so that it is pushing him to create line-ups that go against common sense.

If the notion is that to be more attacking means throwing on more forwards, we shouldn’t have bothered bringing any central defenders and defensive midfielders. We should have brought Carroll and then Hodgson could have Kane, Vardy, Sturridge, Carroll, Rashford, etc, all up front at the same time.

The reality is that because everyone has said England should walk the group, England should thrash Russia, thrash Slovakia, we have put out a team that is completely unbalanced. I am not going to say it should be Wilshere or Barkley or whomever, but the team needs to be balanced. Playing a 4-2-3-1 would probably have got us more goals than playing 4-1-5, which is what we have ended up with in the last two games. We would likely have broken them down earlier in the game and not needed a last gasp throw everything and the kitchen sink at them approach.

We are going into a game with Iceland that has even lower possession stats than Russia or Slovakia and can counter-attack. Do we think lining up basically 4-1-5 is going to get us to score goals or playing a balanced team with one out and out forward and a midfield that can break down the two banks of five.

Personally I don’t think it should be Vardy, but either Kane or Sturbridge – or even Rooney on their own ‘up front’ with a properly assembled midfield. I use the term ‘up front’ in quotes as there will be no real ‘up front’ in a game when we will likely have 70%+ possession and be camped around their goal area.

Playing proper football, with proper football tactics is what will win the game – not playing some daft Football Manager game with 11 forwards on the field.

We need to get back to football basics and forget all this stupid media brouhaha about having five great forwards. They are all getting in each other’s way and preventing real goalscoring opportunities being created. 29 attempts and scoring no goals versus six quality attempts and scoring 3 goals is what we should be thinking about.
Paul McDevitt


Mailbox winners and losers from Thursday
Adam, Belfast. You hit the nail on the head regarding England ‘fans’. Hit the nail on the head. England fans moaning despite not losing a game yet and being in the second round.

Shortly after Adam’s wonderful mail came Will O’Doherty putting England in his ‘losers’ column. THEY HAVENT LOST A GAME WILL!!! Will deduces in the end of his weird slant on England that ‘a semi-final appearance looks like a real achievement!’. Yes Will, yes it would be, as stated before the tournament by pundits, players, Greg Dyke and pretty much everyone!

Then comes William from Leicester who states ‘regardless of how far England progress in the Euro’s it(is) obvious Hodgson has to go’. Is it? Is it really? He has breezed through qualification, has a 60% win record, and is through the group stages of a tournament. Your reasons for it being clear to go…

‘He is getting desperate under media pressure’ – Well just imagine that pressure was not there!!! England are not entitled to win 27-0 every game. This pressure you say he cannot cope with is because of un realistic expectations by ‘fans’ who refuse to see the England team as a normal football team who may win, lose, or draw!

‘we are not as technically gifted as Spain, Germany, et al’ – Then what is giving you the opinion that we are entitled to win every game then?

And Sam Allardyce. F***ing hell no! Like you say, at least Roy is likeable!
Ben, Aylesbury


Actually, we can and we will celebrate
Adam, LFC, Belfast.

You are wrong about England fans. After the goal against Wales, we went absolutely nuts. One of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time.

The problem is that a draw against Slovakia is nothing to get excited about. if you’d been here when we beat Scotland in 1996, Germany in 2000, Argentina in 2002, Denmark in 2002, Ecuador in 2006, you’d have seen just as much partying. The problem is it’s always followed up by disappointment on a much bigger scale. Regardless of what ROI, NI, Wales and Iceland do now, they’ve had a great time. England have qualified more often, so it’s not the same excitement to just qualify, we need to win a game to get excited. I guarentee that if we beat Iceland, there will be a big party, regardless of how the opposition are perceived. If Wales had been all but through going in to the last game and played out a dull draw with Russia to go through, they’d have been pleased, but I’m certain the celebrations would have been less so.

I am jealous of the mentioned teams, but not because we can’t have those moments, just because we haven’t this time. I’m fairly certain Portugal fans, and Turkey, Sweden, Dutch and Danish fans are far more jealous right now.
Paul, TUFC

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