England to play Saka AND Bowen? Or three at the back v Denmark?

Editor F365
Gareth Southgate, Jarrod Bowen and Bukayo Saka.
Gareth Southgate, Jarrod Bowen and Bukayo Saka.

England won on Sunday but there are calls for changes, with suggestions about two out-and-out wingers. Or none at all.

Send your views on England, Euro 2024 and more to theeditor@football365.com


Play Saka AND Bowen
There’s lots of talk about Eze or Gordon taking Fodens place in the left wing. But the stats (goals & assists) show us that the best two English wingers are Saka and Bowen.

So play them both. Saka played left back for England, has played games on the left often in his career….he can do it.

Then we’d have two, ultra mobile, goalscoring wingers stretching the defense. That’s one more runner/ target for Kane when he inevitably drops deep.

And a properly stretched team leaves more time and space for the creative types. Then we could even have young Phil in midfield – where he belongs.
Tom E13. (I just realised I’m middle aged with that last sentence)


Three at the back for England?
Time for a change in formation?

Thoughts please on this:

Gk – Pickford
RCB – Walker
CB – Stone
LCB – Guehi
LWB – Trippier
CM – Rice
CM – Bellingham
10 – Foden
ST – Watkins
ST – Kane

Wingbacks give width and TAA doesn’t need to worry about tracking back as Rice can drop to make a back 4. Utilises Bellingham to give his all action box to box performance with Foden license to roam. Kane to stay up top and let Watkins do what he does best and drift into wide positions and help create space, pulling defenders out of position for Bellingham to run through the midfield.

Just an idea but I think worth a try.

A tweak on this would be to play Bellingham off Kane, drop Watkins and add Gallagher along side Rice for energy he gives in the middle of the park.

Cheers All.

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Credit to Serbia, maybe?
Lots of people seem to be forgetting in their clamour to decide who is most at fault for England not winning 2/3/4/10 – nil that there was an opposition team on the field. Defensively at least, they had a plan and executed it very well. Despite all of that, England found a way to win. Isn’t that meant to be the mark of great teams, that they win even when not playing well?

The plan appeared to be to cut off all routes into Kane’s feet and to force Pickford into playing long. They were very happy to force us into aerial duels, probably because they only had 1 starting player below 6’1″ tall. It is notable that Kane only had the ball into feet a few times, mostly very late on, and every time that happened he either recycled possession or won a foul.

Those criticising Kane for not being involved are probably the same folks who criticise him for dropping deep. Hitting him with the long ball won’t work very often. He’s not terrible in the air but most teams have at least one centre-back who is better than him at that and Serbia had 3. IMO drop-deep-Kane would have been more useful, especially in the long spells where we weren’t holding onto the ball.

Bellingham looked great and earned his goal through sheer drive and determination, but failed to create much, particularly for Foden. Even more than Kane, Foden needs ball-to-feet in forward areas to be effective. I was very impressed by Guehi and Rice defensively. TAA struggled to find the passes he was selected for, mostly down to Serbia’s defensive positional play and aerial prowess.

A ball-carrying player might have suited this opposition better, Mainoo perhaps or even Bellingham alongside Rice and Foden in the free role with Palmer or Bowen starting wide-left.

Good tournament so far though innit?
Thom, Bristol-based Spur


Blame it all on Gareth
England have the strongest team but a sh*t manager ie Gareth Southgate.

He should have been changed long back. Don’t understand why the England management sticks with him.

This English team is capable of winning everything the game has to offer – they have specialists in each position who is a world beater. Still if they struggle to beat teams it is a wonder.
Anurag Kejriwal

Five reasons why England are insufferable
The below 5 reasons, sum up why I cannot stand watching England in a tournament.

1 – The media – “lets build the team up and then knock them down”. Unbridled optimism followed two hours later with scathing criticism. It’s tiresome.

2 – the commentators – I do not give two sh*ts that Southgate no longer wears a waistcoat, in fact I never did. I am not your friend and chum, just commentate.

3 – the exaggeration – Pickford made one save in the game. I would expect any goalkeeper over the age of 13 to have made it. It was not Banks from 1970.

4 – the fans – “England game at 8pm – lets meet at the pub at 12”. There were so many obliterated fans watching the game, using language (in front of children) so despicable that I, and my mates, were embarrassed to be in the same establishment. I would have offered them a thesaurus, but the state they were in, they’d probably have tried to hump it.

5 – the xenophobia – following on from the above point – One national treasure was in the face of a Serbian fan, using the big C word, simply due to him being from Serbia. After his vile outburst he stood proud as peacock basking in the warm glow from his fellow troglodytes’ who applauded this brave act.

I would like any reader of this fine website to try and defend the behaviour that England fans exhibit during a tournament.
Ian H


Ten German Bombers? Not okay
I’ve already written in one to the mailbox today, but after seeing Peter’s email, I had to write in again.

Peter, (and I can’t believe I’m having to explain this) singing “10 German bombers” does not honour the dead. It does not honour those who fought to protect us. In fact, football fans using a war as the basis of a chant to get one over your rivals, is about as offensive to those that fought as you can get.

It’s worth noting that you never heard this chant in 1966. They are more recent. Why? Because people who had actually lived through the war would never dream of being so moronic as to sing about it at a football match. Honestly, watch an interview with a d-day vet where they tearfully talk about lost comrades, then honestly tell me you think those same veterans would enjoy standing on the terraces singing songs about the war.

Consider that the youngest someone who fought in WW2 could possibly be is 95. That’s a 16 year old who lied about his age and served in 1945. It’s therefore very likely that half the people singing these songs don’t even have grandads that fought in the war, let alone fathers. They are so far removed from it that to them WW2 is a game. Something to brag about, rather than a conflict that deserves to be treated with respect.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


…Peter Stone; We know the chants about WW2 are neither racist, nor homophobic etc What they are, are pathetic and embarrassing. As you put it, it was 80 years ago.

Everything you said may be historically true, but this is football, not some world war.

And the German people are no longer governed by Nazis and are our allies and friends on the world stage. Perhaps they don’t want a reminder of their country’s dark past – you’d be the first to moan if other countries chanted about the raping, pilaging and killing of native people in the name of the British Empire.

My own Grandfather was a POW for 5 years in Poland and almost died on the Long March in the winter of 1945 when thousands of POWs were marched west as the Russians advanced. He had no hatred towards the German people and would have been embarrassed to hear chants like “Ten German bombers.”

He actually watched the 1966 World Cup final with Germans in Germany as he was traveling there with my Grandmother and Mother. It was a relaxed and respectful viewing experience with no “banter” and thats the thing – its something that developed in the last 30 years or so (probably a little longer when hooligans started becoming a thing) the people who actually took part in WW2 wouldn’t have even thought to sing songs like that as they actually experienced it. And it wasn’t fun and just a bit of harmless bantz.
John Morgan


Fixture time
So the Premier League fixtures for the 2024/25 season have dropped and it is only right I completely overreact to some dates on a website.

Taking a look at the Premier League fixture list, well it has thrown Chelsea into the lion’s den! In just one month, we’ll be facing Liverpool away, Newcastle at home, Man United away, Arsenal at home, and then Leicester away. It’s as if the league decided to compress all our toughest battles into one epic saga. This stretch is going to test our squad’s mettle to the limit. Based off last season we are either gonna show up or totally flop, I think come October i will be stocked up on stress relief remedies!

The opening fixture against Manchester City is probably the best time to play them, no momentum and no expectation, but i am sure Scotland thought the same when they took on Germany and that didn’t end to well.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod


For Lee…
Lee (yes that one), men are historically crap at this stuff, but if you ever need anything, or just want to talk, I am happy for 365 to give you my email.
Danny P


…Heartbroken for you. Hope you’re being looked after.

All best


…Lee, mate…
Craig Morrison, Athens