Southgate out, Lampard in? Kane was ‘worse than Ronaldo’ but England can win the whole thing

Editor F365
England duo Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane
Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane with Frank Lampard and Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2024.

One Mailboxer is ‘getting next England manager vibes’ from Frank Lampard as Gareth Southgate gets criticism and praise. Plus, Harry Kane’s performance was ‘worse’ than Cristiano Ronaldo’s, the Three Lions can win Euro 2024 playing like that and more post-Switzerland reaction…

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Mmm, hats taste nice
Fair-play Gareth, fair bloody play. You played that perfectly. Could have done with a bit more thrust in the area but that was what we needed. Spirit, composure, he got everyone in the game. Foden was great, Bellingham dropped deep and got on the ball, Saka did Saka things and we dominated a team that looked so good in previous games. The only time we looked in trouble was when we sank back, we invited that goal but hit back with a beauty. Play like that and we can win the thing.

Southgate also has to take credit for those pens, each player looked confident and calm.

What we all forget is that 95% of England at tournaments is absolute dirge, we dont normally progress. Southgate now has 3 semis, a quarter and a final one his belt. He may not win it but we have never had it so good.  If that’s Germany it a famous knack of getting through tournaments.
Tom, Maybe he has a plan after all!


England are through
I don’t know how it’s going to turn out for England in the rest of this tournament. Maybe we’ll get to the final, maybe we’ll win it. Maybe we’ll get embarrassed in our next game.

I’ve been following England since 1990. I’ve experienced some amazing highs, and some horrible lows.

We’ve just won another quarter final, and this one on penalties. I’m not joking when I say that prior to 2018, I honestly questioned if I’d ever see England get to another semi final after 96. I thought we’d never win another shootout. I still don’t feel I’ll see us win a tournament in my lifetime.

But the past few years have given me hope.

However bad we’re playing, and however much we might not like the manager’s style of play (and yes, it could be better), I just want to thank him for the memories. The past few tournaments have been a ride.
Phil, Manchester


Pre-match: so back to the old school “I don’t trust my defence even though it’s not been a problem”. Positives, no more Foden out wide.

He might have waited 5 games, all of qualifying and the warm-ups to try it with half the team unfamiliar with it, but on paper it makes sense if you want to include all your favourite players. Heart goes out to Trent and Gordon. No excuses now Foden.

Side point, listening to Lampard in the pre-match… I’m getting next England manager vibes. Would be an upgrade tbh. Odds, anyone?

First half:
Kick off straight back to keeper, keeper boots it long and off lol.

Saka really hates being on the left, swapped with Trippier… So bye bye width. Immediately demonstrated when Saka had the ball with no one in front of him, and his man inside. Immediately cut back inside. Rinse and repeat. Arghhhh!

Foden also moved to the right side so everyone will be cutting in-field. Why god, why? There’s no space for all of you.

Defence moving the ball so slowly, so when there is space made, by the time it gets there it’s too late. Konsa doing well mind.

Some attacks with potential but, so far nothing yet. A few nice bits from Mainoo and Bellingham with a couple of driving runs each, Rice doing some bits, but does not like the ball on the turn at all. Foden trying to do something but mostly ineffectual and deep. Need Palmer on instead.

Saka and Trippier look at sea in their respective positions when the Swiss have the ball.

And they look dangerous. Gotten round our left a few times already. How’s that 6 man defence working, Gareth? All good?

Saka finally drives to the line and puts a lovely ball in to… the inevitable empty space where our striker should be. And then a few more. Good lad! I just wish he’d not always want to come on to his left, he loses a second of time to beat his man when he hesitates. He’s our main threat, yet again.

What is Kane? Why is Kane?

Classic England: corner on about 30m, within a few passes and a miscontrol from Walker, it’s back to our keeper lol

What is Walker? Why is Walker? Every time he gets the ball he turns back in field rather than looking forward.

Overall, some bright moments and yet more of the same crap from the usual suspects.

Second half thoughts:
A bit more positive initially but then returns to more of the same.

Kane just never in position in the danger area. Never. Hopeless. Absolute passenger, just wandering about, only noticed when he occasionally fouls someone.

They always look dangerous on the break, just lacking a clinical moment.

They make changes and then, without surprise, they score as Walker lets his man behind him (while trying to rugby tackle him). Fuck that guy. Honestly, fuck Walker.

Finally, Gareth makes changes, with 12 minutes left. After a little injected energy, Saka finally gives up trying to play in his absent striker and scores the belter he’s deserved as the only serious threat. Good lad! Cracking goal! Is that his first actual shot in 4 and a half games?

Palmer looking lively, as expected, and running at his player. Tripper finally off for an actual attacking player and… Wait, who’s that swinging in a left footed cross from the by-line?! Yes, Mr Shaw! Seems finally Bellingham is next to Rice.

Extra part 1:
And now we seem to be back to pedestrian football. A few bright moments from Palmer and a run from Eze. Nice shot from Rice. Kane still doing Kane stuff, with additional falling over. Surely Toney will come on before long as we play for penalties.

I’m starting to wonder if I’ve overrated Foden. He just seems ineffectual, all neat touches that lead nowhere.

Extra part 2:
Kane tackles Southgate before getting subbed for Toney. Lolz, we took our main penalty taker off? Sure, he couldn’t run but that’s not new. Is he dodging blame? Odd.

Foden off for Trent? I didn’t imagine him for pens. Shakira almost scores from the corner.

Here goes pens then…

Well that was unusually painless. Great save from shouty. So we’re through! In as uninspiring a way as possible.

Not a great performance, many of the same problems remain as with all previous games but maybe… maybe it was a bit better? In flashes? No, it was definitely better, just still little end product other than a single wonderful individual moment. Mind you, with no striker, what do we expect. And now Shaw is back so no more Trippier on left. That’s a win.

Also, next game we go in with about 5 key players on yellow cards so that should be fun!


Defence to authority positions
Is it a cultural thing whereby the England captain is immune from criticism?A deferential attitude to authority? Why, how, did Kane stay on the pitch?

A genuinely worse performance than Ronaldo yet nobody called him out. Shearer alluded to it several times but just didn’t have the courage to say it.

As for being substituted due to clattering into the dugout, he’d been pretending to hobble around the pitch for a while beforehand. He wasn’t injured. He was afraid of the reputational damage if he missed. Just like Mbappe protecting his brand/image the previous evening.

I’m actually happy for all the English players that did step up and score as it provides no opportunity for the media and “supporters” to tear them apart.
Eoin (particularly delighted for Saka) Ireland


I sacked off Twitter a couple of years ago because it was ruinous for my mental health, but I assume that this evening it’s been full of people taking time out from celebrating Reform’s election ‘victory’ to praise the penalty-taking prowess of Bellingham, Saka, Toney and Trent?
Bill Handley, Gloucester


Now that millions of people have been able to successfully Kickstart their hearts again, I have to ask this question… does anyone actually enjoy penalties?

It just has that American “bottom of the ninth, two out” artificially created tension feel to it, doesn’t it Maybe the TV companies like it but I’m pretty sure fans don’t like it and I know the players hate it.

It just seems so random and unfair. One team can dominate a game with chance after chance, whilst the other side defends en masse and then squeaks through on penalties. It doesn’t reward the team showing initiative. In addition, players are drained after another 30 minutes of playing and needless bookings add to the chaos. There must be better ways to decide the game.

I have three suggestions:
1. Counting the number of keeper touches (either just hands or all touches). This will cut down on those needless back passes.
2. Corners won. I’ll admit that this could be “gamed” by teams trying to rack up the numbers but at least the ball is in the oppositions half.
3. Shots on target. The beauty of this idea is that this data is usually already captured and with current technology, easy to determine.  Can you imagine the excitement of the last 10 minutes of a game (assuming Ronaldo has retired by the time it’s implemented). Even goalkeepers can get in on the fun.

Or do people really like hiding behind their sofas biting their nails?
Adidasmufc (Substittuing players on just for penalties smacks of American Football specialization that I think no one wants to see)


Saka Remontada
Does anyone wanna bench Saka now?
MAW, LA Gooner (Was totally rooting against England – then Saka scored. Funny old game.)


Southgate sorry?
Can the SouthgateOut brigade please  apologise or at the least shut up? He’s the most successful English manager ever of the last 50 years. At what point do you start to pay the guy some respect?

Ian, LFC, Belgium


England are my second team, and I always support them at major tournaments unless they play my home side (which has happened twice in my lifetime). So I follow them closely, and since I’m not English, I hopefully have a slight measure of objectivity about Gareth Southgate.

Coming into this tournament, all the evidence, and it doesn’t need to be spelled out again, suggested that Southgate has been a useful manager, who has shown that with good fortune in the draw he can take a team deep in a tournament, but not win one.

So people could reasonably expect that England would show the same prowess under Southgate at Euro 2024 as they had in the past. Except for one thing: national team managers usually grow stale after a few tournaments. This happens all over the world. Simply put, Southgate had grown stale, which is clear in all the tactical difficulties they’ve had in the tournament.

For that reason, before the tournament I predicted that England would be knocked out in the round of 16. My first mistake was in thinking they’d used up so much luck in prior tournaments that they wouldn’t get much this time around. But they drew Slovakia, where it could easily have been the Netherlands, and scraped through.

So I expected England to lose to Switzerland in the quarterfinals, not because Southgate is a horrible manager, but because he’s had his chances and is past his prime.

But I was wrong again. Lo and behold, Southgate has recovered his mojo, not with any tactical nous, but with the strengths he’s always brought, in man management, confidence creation, and squad togetherness. Make no mistake: those five brilliant English penalties—and they were absolutely brilliant—only happen when a squad knows they can be winners. That’s Southgate’s doing.

So we’re back to where we were before the start of the tournament. Southgate is a useful manager who with good fortune (yet another kind bracket draw) can take a team deep into a tournament but not win one.

I certainly hope I’m wrong about that last. Come on England!
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA (international tournaments are the best)


4 Tournaments
3 Semi Finals

Imagine what Big Sam would have done…
Brian BRFC


Pickford & England
Congrats to England on progressing to the semi-finals and well done to your England #1, Jordan Pickford.  Never ever a doubt about him at the international level.  Never will be.
TX Bill, EFC


The big Mo
Is there a chance that Southgates just about got this international management lark alot more sorted than any of the denizens of the esteemed mailbox?

We still look absolute trash but we also made the swiss look the same.

In the immortal words of Josh Lynam, “weve got the big Mo, baby!”
TGWolf(Kane needs taking out behind the sheds)THFC


In-game reaction…
So only 30mins into the England v Switzerland game and already it’s clear nothing has actually changed. Sure Gareth has changed the formation but once again he’s picked his favourites and just show-horned them into the set up.

Trippier and Walker are both finished at this level. Wonderful servants but their dash is done. It’s bordering on criminal negligence that the only actually left back that Gareth picked for the tournament hasn’t played since 1993. He’s picked a right back and then only played him in midfield and he’s taken the Premier League player of the season and just bunged him out wide when everyone can see that it makes England too narrow and poor Phil will just continue to cut inside.

He clearly hasn’t got the stones to make the changes nor the tactical clout to set up this amazing squad of players to maximise their immense potential. Not too sure what Gordon or Palmer need to do to get a game – it seems the more and more fans clamour for their inclusion the more Southgate just doubles down with more of the same. England look laboured, predictable and one dimensional and it’s much too cold and early (4.30am here in New Zealand) to watch another England quarter final exit. Sorry boys, I’m rolling over and going back to sleep.
Peter, Auckland.


I’m unconvinced the solution to Kane, Bellingham and Foden playing far too close together is to play them closer together.

I’m equally unconvinced the solution to the lack of width caused by not playing a left back or left sided forward is to play a right sided forward.

In defence.

However, this should be better than the Slovakia game as at least we aren’t set up to take ‘advantage’ of Foden on the left.

The Swiss are favourites because we’ve been so bad but I do at least feel like this formation could potentially work at least slightly for England, which the 433 including Foden could never.

Let’s go boys
Tim Sutton (oh God no Saka starts on the right ffs)


My 18 month nephew and I dozed off while watching the first half of England vs. Switzerland.

Harry Kane is like a broken clock. Mainoo and Saka best players along with Bellingham (except his dice to get Schar yellow carded was shameful).

WTF is England about? Boring… Slow… Innocuous.


Have time of extra time. The point has amplified. Kane has lead in his boots. Are we saving him for penalties? Because I remember his last major tournament penalty. Plus Toney is a penalty taker.
Michael J