We have a bumper Mailbox full of reaction to England’s 0-0 draw against USA with Gareth Southgate’s side now on the verge of qualification from their group. But some fans are far from happy.
Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Not defending Gareth
Those that call for patience and perspective when considering how awful England are generally under Gareth typically say something of the following;
1. We’ve never been good. He’s done better than anyone bar Sir Alf
2. It’s a tournament. Others have been bad in the past and still won it in the end
3. This is how things go. Just stay in it and keep plugging away. Not getting beaten is the main objective at this point
I would respond;
1. We’ve never been as talented in an absolute and a relative sense. A homE Euros and World Cup in December on a neutral continent before all our players get ruined by an EPL full season are the best two chances to copy sir Alf. He blew one and this ain’t looking great.
2. Yea this is true. And fans of those teams were equally mad when they were poor. We don’t have to accept poor performances because it’s what “the thinking person “ would do.
3. My fave. Gary Neville can defend and qualify and put a terrible performance into perspective. So can armchair pundits sitting at home on the couch. Neville is getting paid to be there so he’s not got a downside and the TV fan can go make a cuppa or turn over and watch Wifeswap or some other insultingly low bar entertainment. But this is a WC in Qatar. People paid money to go there and support – and endure everything that entails. Good money. Big money And Gareth and his players have a duty to entertain and excite those people. He will have a go at minnows but as soon as another team presents a challenge he focuses on the negatives, his win ratio and his status. Damn the fans. The fact that he doesn’t see that he has that responsibility is either an insult to fans intelligence (they’ll cheer anything that wins) or it just shows how cozy in his Lancaster Gate job he really is. The boos we well deserved.
Booing England for a draw on match day 2 = fucking morons
Boos FFS. It was dreary, that’s for sure and the US were filled with exuberance which I actually enjoyed watching. England were flat, on a hot and humid Qatar evening, and looked very laboured. Broadly they looked devoid of ideas. It happens. England haven’t failed to qualify, they just drew.
And so the England fans booed at the end. Nice work. Fly 5000 kilometres to watch your team and boo on match day 2 after last week’s professional tonking of Iran…who beat Wales….who drew with USA. Bravo.
It seems that the cost and lack of enthusiasm for the World Cup has lead to an exclusively dedicated audience of twats. The obstacles have filtered out the happy-go-lucky fans, family goers and those seeking a joyful experience and let through the biggest dickheads in our ranks.
The GCC Expat community in region, who will have been the largest group in the fan base, already illustrate a penchant of arseholism.
If you witness they superiority complex displayed by many Western Ex Pats towards the Pakistani taxi drivers or Filipino waiters, and subsequent lack of basic manners it clearly shows a unit of entitled dicks, particularly in the longer-term residents among them. The sad truth is many of these Ex Pats were shit at their jobs in their home nation and moved here to reinvent themselves. When you see their children at waterparks and shopping malls it’s also clear this feeling of being superior and lack of social etiquette has been inculcated to their progeny. No wonder they booed. They boo their cleaners, nannies, water delivery dudes, and anyone else that they consider to have failed to deliver what they believe they are entitled to. Maybe these spoilt twats felt they had paid for tickets and were entitled to more 8 goal entertainment fests.
The booing is part of the sale bullshit attitude displayed by the instagram massive living their bests lives etc etc while in reality knowing they wouldn’t cut it back in the real world. A stadium of instamuppets booing their displeasure because a football match was boring. Morons.
So it appears the World Cup of sins has attracted the fan base it deserves.
Part of the master plan…
The second group game is the perfect time to have your stinker performance. Play badly in your first game and you’re on the back foot in the next two games. Play badly in the third game and you carry no momentum into the knockout rounds. The second game gives you time to recover if you don’t play well, without having to get desperate.
Gareth Southgate is more likely to be over-prepared than under-prepared, so this is clearly part of his master plan.
England squeezing past opposition
“We’ve never looked convincing in a tournament under Southgate bar the 4-0 hammering of Ukraine. We squeezed past Colombia, Denmark, Sweden and Germany in all of our knockout games under him,”
You probably weren’t complaining about that at the time, especially after we squeezed past Denmark last year to reach our first major tournament final in 55 years. Do people with your way of thinking think any team wins or does well at a major tournament like the World Cup or the European Championship by beating every team 3 or 4 nil? Even winners like France or Germany have had to squeeze past lesser opposition on their way to winning the tournament.
Just a ridiculous comment all round.
Bellingham bandwagon derails
Hopefully expectations on England will now temper after the sensationalism at the 6-2 win over a team that didn’t show up for their first match. Six losses in a row doesn’t go away after one match, but three players should go. Mount, Sterling and Bellingham.
That’s right, I’m not on the Bellingham bandwagon and never have been. He’s good going forward but is a headless chicken when we’re defending – always let’s his man get 3 or 4 yards goal side and doesn’t close to remedy that, chasing his tail because he’s almost never in the right defensive position (he was once tonight for a good intercept, but once is nowhere near enough) and it causes huge problems for the defence and structure of the team. Too naïve out of possession to be playing in a world cup team whose defence has been found so badly wanting this year (because we’ve missed Kalvin Phillips so much – see below).
Mount – 10/10 for effort but constantly fluffs his touch in goal-scoring positions and wastes chances, constantly gives the ball away, constantly fouls, creates little at international level (or at Chelsea other than his assists from corners, tap-ins v lower opposition and occasional long shot), and is not fit to lace Grealish or Maddison’s boots. The Athletic’s recent article said he’s undroppable for England and Chelsea – it’s actually exactly the opposite!!
Sterling gives the ball away so often it’s just not funny. Grealish did more in his first minute on the pitch than Sterling did all night. Sterling’s taps ins in the last tournament hid his losing possession practically every time he dribbled with the ball for those that don’t see the wood from the trees.
Kalvin Phillips should be in for Bellingham. Grealish and Maddison should be in for Sterling and Mount. And Harry Kane looks well off it so he shouldn’t be a lock either.
But Southgate out is not the answer. He’s done a brilliant job for the most part.
England vs USA…
Ok, so not to be a knee-jerker, And we are still top of the group, with our destiny very much in our hands. And just today we saw another top- ten ranked nation fail to beat a country they would’ve been expected to win against, (Holland I’m looking at you),
I can’t be the only one that got England v Algeria, Cape Town 2010 vibes from that performance?
RJ Gooner (I actually applauded a Maguire diagonal to Sterling in the first half, there was that little to get behind)
My English friend and I bet the US – England match with the highest stakes imaginable. The loser had to keep James Corden. With a draw, our two nations would come together and throw him in the middle of the ocean. I’ll be configuring the gofundme campaign later this weekend.
This match was very much a reflection of the respective national team managers. This US team, though young and with some dangerous, quality attacking players, was there for the taking. Gareth put the handbrake on and set England up as if we were that 2010 Spain side.
Gregg Berhalter (the extra ‘g’ stands for ‘gee, it should be a red flag when someone misspells his first name’) is blessed with the most talented US team to reach a World Cup and they still often look like a side who’ve never played with each other before.
Given that the Iranians are a short drone flight from the stadium across the straight of Hormuz, the group decider looks like a tough ask as we’ll need to pick up the win to advance. We have attacking talent in depth in every position except striker, so this oughta be fun.
Ian, LFC Hartford, CT USA
That game was terrible. We should have lost to the United States and I wouldn’t have complained. Aside from my ongoing belief that Southgate is too risk averse (but has improved morale and developed a club atmosphere to his credit in his defence) I had the following thoughts:
1. That defence isn’t getting better and TAA will never play regularly. As certain as death and taxes.
2. What does Mason Mount do? I still don’t get the love for him.
3. That game was crying out for Phil Foden, with his obvious class. What’s he gotta do to play more for England?
4. Why do managers play Jack Grealish on the left? He should be in the middle in my opinion as he just stops, plays a few 1-2s and repeats when on the left. Winning free kicks is not a skill. He should be a number 10 behind Kane if he plays.
5. We should have gone out to win that. Playing for a safe point when we could have won that and had a chance to rest players for the third game is bullshit.
6. If we win the thing, this draw can be forgiven ala Germany 2014, Spain 2010 and many other winners who didn’t hit their stride in the group. If we don’t, or if we don’t win the group then it’s not forgiven.
I made a joke suggestion to appoint Bielsa to maximise the attacking talent we have and get some excitement going. After each of these shite performances, that joke becomes more serious.
I’m really not fussed by the draw; wish we’d played with a tad more enterprise but who gives a toss, all that matters is the knockouts. Thought I’d respond to some of the post-match mailbox though.
Firstly, Mat, Leeds. who claims “we’ve never looked convincing in a tournament under Southgate bar the 4-0 hammering of Ukraine. We squeezed past Colombia, Denmark, Sweden and Germany…” Mat, we beat Germany and Sweden 2-0; you’re not gonna win every knockout match by four. And Denmark was the Euros semifinal – squeezing past the opposition is perfectly acceptable. (Incidentally, both Croatia and Italy squeezed past us.)
Peter LFC Namibia – I’m happy for you that you’d rather a Liverpool U18 player win a header than England win the World Cup. It’s hard to overstate how little I care, but I am happy for you. I’m a Crystal Palace fan and I’d rather England won the World Cup / Euros than Palace win the Premier League. Extrapolate from that what you will.
Dion, Arsenal – we think as one. The idea that Southgate is wasting another Golden Generation is ridiculous. He’s benefited from relatively benign draws but we still beat Germany in the Euros. Belgium have managed one WC semifinal over the past decade (under Martinez) and got eliminated by Wales in Euro 2016 (pre Martinez).
Sean, Roseville Ontario – I’m in Malaga and there’s remarkably little buzz. Matches are being shown in bars but nobody seems that fussed. Maybe it’s the host; maybe it’s the group stage; maybe summer is far more integral to the World Cup magic than Fifa assumed. It’s not a perfect analogy but Christmas occurred in June one year, I doubt it would feel very Christmassy.
Max CPFC (Southgate’s still the one – for now)
I’ve said it before and will say it again.England, with a current good crop of players, will not win anything under Gareth Southgate.
From blind loyalty to out of form players, to no clear playing style from Southgate, it is only a matter of when England exit the world cup.
Eddie Howe could have done a better job.
If Guardiola, Arteta, Klopp, Ten Hag were in charge of this team, would we have seen such disjointed display like against the USA. Sorry, three lions, it is not coming home until we replace the clueless man at the helm.
Quite a simple one this.
Southgate is a not a good football manager.
The tournament record is not all it is cracked up to be. On route to our final and semi final, he has only really beaten a pretty depleted German side, and a bunch of teams that had we lost he would have been dragged through the streets. However, he has lost to Croatia, Italy and Belgium (x2)
This whole “pragmatism wins you tournaments” is a myth. Tell that to Brazil, Liverpool and Real Madrid. And the Italy example is a daft one too. Italy don’t play defensively to protect their fragile backlines, they play defensively because their best players are typically defenders. We should be playing to our strengths. I feel we have a much better chance of beating a decent side 3-2 than 1-0.
The only difference between Southgate and say Hoddle, Eriksen, or Capello, is that he has had the good fortune of meeting the top opposition later in tournaments.
Drama – Foden not all that for England
I’m sorry but I disagree with those mainstream pundits shouting Foden. I’ve never seen a standout performance from Foden in an England shirt.
He is undoubtedly a good player and of course will get better but England for sure don’t play anything like City where he often but not always shines. It’s typical of the black and white, nuance free reactions these days.
I could imagine Foden having exactly the same game as Kane or Saka or Sterling against United States. In fact if he’d played and say, not Sterling, the shrieking would’ve been ‘why break up a telepathic understanding’ blah blah blah. I just turned the comments off and went to bed content that a 4-0 loss to Wales ain’t gonna happen , hence we are basically qualified. None of Ecuador , Holland or Senagal look particularly good , that’s not to say they couldn’t win against England on the day.
There were some good signs too . Clearly the defence improved as a unit . Maguire stepped up to the plate and was a shout for motm. That in itself is crucial for this team.
Grealish is a decent impact sub . This is a good base to build from . Six goals scored . Top of the group , weakest team to play against next . And now the defence midfield and attack are all warmed up.
With Argentina off the pace it may even be a favourable route as second from group B to avoid a France quarter final . If US go through second and beat, say Holland, we will have the bitch goddess hindsight pointing at those shrieking pundits on last nights draw.
Peter .( it’s be funny if Duetchland beat Spain eh ) Andalucia .
Here’s Kevin Keegan’s 11
If Southgate were a free spirit and a shit house he might do worse than seeing what the rest of the squad can do in a meaningful match. Kinda reminds me when a Czech B team sent Germany packing in 2004 Euros, while running circles around ze Germans.
Instead of the customary bore fest from England’s A talent, I do believe the similar achievement to that of the Czechs is possible against Wales. Many starters had off afternoons today and Harry needs a rest. There’s no way any England squad loses to this Wales team by 4.
Ramsdale-TAA, White, Maguire, Coady, Shaw-Phillips (fit?), Maddison (fit?), Hendo-Wilson, Foden
Che, Montreal Canadiens hockey club
Points mean prizes
Well that was stressful to say the least!
Whilst I don’t think that result is the end of the world by any stretch, I do think Southgate got it wrong tactically again – just like Scotland in the Euros. From what I could see the USA’s 3 in the middle simply outnumbered our two and pretty much rendered them useless, forcing our play out to our deep lying full backs. There were spells when we pushed up and cut through with ease, the first 25 minutes we looked like we were in control but after that it was a classic England of old, dropping deeper, restricting our own space and giving the opposition the chance to run at our defence. Maguire was tremendous, as was Shaw (the crazy take on the run was worthy of more fanfare than it got) but I think our problem was down the right. Trippier and Saka (despite all the goalz) weren’t great, here or against Iran. Whilst shaw affected the game on the left how many times did we see Trippier get beyond Saka? Would have loved to have seen Foden on the left for a bit more control which might have given Trippier a bit more security. Subs wise Saka would make a better impact sub than Foden, Grielish as a sub seems to work purely because he is able to hold on to the ball until he gets fouled. He needs to do more in play though because it just stops the flow.
He got it wrong, but did any of us really think an unchanged line up was a bad idea? Maybe the formation just needed to be more flexible, Mount could easily have come more central to help free up Bellingham. I can see why Southgate would be relatively happy with a slightly lower tempo performance that yielded a point – just hope we can spark it up again for Wales, because you can be sure they’ll sit deep and look to aggravate. As crap as he has been all Bale needs is one free kick and the gods of spawn will smile down upon him.
As proves with Scotland – better to get the crap performance out of the way in a group game – It’s a point, take it and move on!