We have more of your England reaction as Euro 2020 kicks into second gear. Keep your mails coming to email@example.com…
Boring, boring Spain
Things more boring than watching Spain: nothing. They should be forced to play 2-3-5 for the next two tournaments to make up for all the time lost in boring everyone. Even when they won their trophies they were still boring. France bored their way to the last World Cup as well until the final. Any team involved in a tournament 0-0 should be forced to play their next game with 10 men.
Rich (can’t believe I sat through that), Cambridge
I’ve been saying this for ages but can people stop getting carried away with this idea that Raheem Sterling is useless and past it. He got 10 goals and 7 assists in 28 starts this season. He’s been fine. The guy literally got 30+ goals in 19-20 and 25 the season before that where he was running VVD close for POTY. The fickleness in football is so frustrating. People change their opinions far too easily. Do people think it’s impossible for him to ever reach that level again? That he’s not allowed to have a decent season in comparison to his previously top class seasons.
There is this idea that people have that Gareth should start his best players aka players in the best form. That’s so stupid. Youre meant to get these players to become cohesive and gel together. You don’t just throw as many form players into one team. Sterling has proven how good he has been over the last 5 years. He has a good relationship with Kane. It shouldn’t be a big deal that Sterling starts for England. It wouldn’t have been a question 12 months ago and now people think he’s not good enough. I understand Sterlings frustration in the post match interview when he was asked something along the lines of whether he proved that he deserved to be in the team. I never thought Foden and Grealish would both start. England have such great options with their pace and creative players like Kane, Foden, Mount, Grealish will be looking for runners. That for me justifies using Sterling. He was everywhere. He stretched their defenders and created space for others. Even his movement to take the ball for Foden’s shot that hit the post wasn’t something that most other players would do.
Also can people stop being so miserable? There’s no harm in giving Phillips a nickname because of his performance (even though he’s had it for years). It’s not a uniquely English thing. You hear this in every single country. Wes Hoolahan was called Wessi and you will hear stuff like this everywhere. Another one off the top of my head was Ninis being called The Greek Messi. So stop acting it’s just an arrogant thing the English do. It’s a international competition. There’s no harm in people getting giddy over it. Just because their run to 2018 WC semi finals was easy doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. This is a country that repeatedly fails in tournament’s. For once, it looks like there is genuine support of these players and an actual cohesive team put together for Southgate. People just love being miserable and complain about everything.
Why so miserable?
Pretty amazed at yesterday’s mailbox. I’m sure it gets more clicks to publish mails from people complaining about Southgate than mails saying ‘good games lads, and Gareth? Nice job’ but still…
The amount of people who want to teach Southgate his job, after a comfortable win, is just baffling. My favorite, Mr Laurie Cole on Southgate being, quoting, ‘clearly unable to appreciate who are the best players in the squad and who clearly are not’. Honorable mention to Matthew (ITFC), from the morning mailbox, revisiting all Southgate’s game management as a mistake. Matt would have done so much better bringing in all the youth.
I really wonder if people do realize that this is not a video game. Football is not about just piling up the players with the highest FUT ranking at their respective position.
So many people asking for Shaw instead of Trippier, Sancho or Grealish for Sterling. Bring on Bellingham earlier, play James instead of Walker !!! Ok i understand England have a young and exciting team but maybe, just maybe, Trippier and Sterling where there for a reason, namely bringing a little tournament experience to a team composed of:
Mings: 0 games in a tournament
Phillips: 0 games in a tournament
Rice: 0 games in a tournament
Mount: 0 games in a tournament
Foden: 0 games in a tournament
I’m not 100% sure that adding to that team
Sancho: 0 games in a tournament
James: 0 games in a tournament
Grealish: 0 games in a tournament
Shaw: 9 caps altogether (too lazy to look for the number of times he actually played in 2018)
would have produced a better result.
There are senior players in that team, players with an ego. You just can’t get rid of players that reached the semi-final of the last world cup and introduce 8 players with zero experience of major tournaments in the starting line-up. That is not how man management works, that is not how football works.
You need to find a good balance between youth and experience, creativity and sh*thousery.
And so far Southgate has done an excellent job so please, at least, don’t pretend that you know better than the man in charge.
Alex (and as a French, trust me, it hurts to acknowledge the brilliance of this generation) Paris
Not getting carried away
Like others here, pleased with England’s single-goal win, not especially enthralled by their performance, and just a bit put off by those over-reacting as if England have already won the cup. They’ll probably win the group, but unless they improve, it’s hard to see this England team making it past the likes of France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Italy. The latter two have already shown that they mean business.
Ebrahim, MUFC, Seattle
…A lot of debate about Southgate in the mailbox.
However, it breaks down into 2 points.
Firstly, England were the favourites to win against a reduced Croatian side and won, which is extremely good, especially given our history.
The second point is now more important. In 2018, England lost against all the “good” teams they played – specifically Belgium and Croatia. This time around, it’s likely that we’ll be playing a “good” team in the second round (a battle-hardened team from the Group of Death).
The 4-2-3-1 structure looks reasonable, defensively solid, but England are not creating many chances and Kane is isolated. So what is the best personnel, do we need defensive fullbacks to cover deficiencies in our centre backs as opposed to supporting our attack, and is two defensive midfielders (even if one is deployed further forward) the correct decision when our offensive transitions are laboured and largely ineffective. These are the questions Southgate has to answer if we are going to beat the big boys.
Bottom line – England have two games (one against Scottish hoof ball) to bed down their best team. If Tripper is the best option on the left, he needs to play the next two games…same with Sterling and Walker. Southgate also needs to hone Plan B and his subs who he didn’t use very well in the heat at Wembley.
Congrats on beating Croatia, but with this squad we want to win something.
MAW, LA Gooner: As a Leeds fan I can tell you the media haven’t given Kalvin Phillips a new nickname in an attempt to build him up and knock him down.
Leeds fans have been singing about the Yorkshire Pirlo since the championship and even the BBC have used the name this year, the wider media have picked up on it now but that is not because they think he is the best player even if he is flavour of the week.
DJM (Obviously the sun does shine out of our Kalvin and the comparison is completely reasonable)
In all the years I’ve supported England the FA have always made the ‘safe’ decision on who should manage England with one exception.
Sadly Southgate is a ‘safe’ option; no success as a club manager but a Yes man. His team set ups are tame and predictable with the inevitable outcome; failure at the final couple of hurdles.
Years ago Clough was over looked and more recently Redknapp. They were the best man managers of their respective times. But the jobsworths at the FA were scared stiff of baggage attached to both. Venables was the nearest to a risky choice.
Southgate’s naivety was highlighted when England lost to Croatia in the World Cup by not closing down Modric and the other playmakers in midfield.
The 2021 Euros will find Southgate out once England come up against the top teams though I can see Scotland, who will be playing with passion against the old enemy, causing problems.
I just wish the FA would push the boat out and go for flair and an innovative approach in choosing the next manager.
It wasn’t to be yesterday. I managed to half watch the game while at work. There wasn’t really too much between the two teams. The Czechs were clinical for the first goal then had a wonder strike for the second. Scotland had chances too and will definitely be left with a feeling of ‘what if?’.
Still, onwards and upwards. We’re at a major tournament and I’m going to enjoy every second of it. The England game is still a mouth watering prospect. They are overwhelming favourites but you never know. I’ve a table booked at a pub with a group of mates, 3 of us are Scottish, 3 English. Whatever the result, we’ll have a brilliant night and I intend to enjoy our matches as long as there is still a glimmer of hope of qualifying.
Mike, LFC, London
…Wow, an F365 opinion piece on a Scotland game! What times we live in. While I agree with Will Ford that Shick was very good and Dykes was very poor, bringing their transfer fees into it is the sort of reductive tabloid nonsense that you are constantly skewering in Mediawatch. To take an obvious counter-example from another game played today, Alvaro Morata has moved for transfer fees vastly more than those of Shick, but if we’d had the Spaniard up front instead of Dykes we would still have lost 2-0.
Lauro (Clarke does need to replace Dykes with Adams for the England game though), KFC
I note that YouGov demonstrated more people oppose taking the knee in Scotland than in England (42% vs 39%) and fewer people support it (49% vs 54%).
I also note that the Scottish show of solidarity (standing, arms around shoulders on the touch line) in support of equality and anti-racism before their match with the Czech Republic was roundly cheered and applauded.
Could it possibly be that people’s issue with taking the knee is purely with the gesture, and its existing associations, than with the message of anti-racism?
Football at work
Yesterday we witnessed Patrik Schick score an absolute Xabi Alonso-esque like goal against Scotland, lovely vision and finish but my question is how many people watched from their office desk at work and pretended they were working hard on spreadsheets when the boss walked round haha!
Special mention to Emma Hayes on the commentary team for ITV for the Poland v Slovakia clash, she was fantastic, showed her knowledge, experience and it was refreshing to hear a new voice than the same ones we all know and some we have grown to loathe.
Mikey, CFC (Group of Death starts today!)
I wonder if it’s time to end the limit on the number of substitutions on a football game. Maybe the Eriksen injury and and the NBA injuries may have prompted this, but deep down, I have always felt football should do away with the 3 substitute rule. In my opinion, they should even be allowed to come back. There elements UEFA or the FA can borrow from American sports, the youth draft is never going to happen but I think salary cap is doable. What the EPL have done with monetary distribution between teams is commendable.
There are elements in the game where it feels like change would help. Messi plays for 25 minutes, comes out for 10, gets a breather and returns. How much more would he have won? I’m struggling to think of an active sport that has this restrictions on it’s athletes, Rugby doesn’t, NBA doesn’t, NFL doesn’t, cricket and baseball aren’t that active.
Based on the games we have seen so far in the tournament, perhaps it’s time to admit that VAR like most of us imagined before it got implemented actually works and it’s the nitwits at Stockley Park who messed it up with their ridiculous interpretations of the offside and handball rules?
Omar (really looking forward to the thicker lines discussion next season)
Best of Ireland
While watching the Poland v Slovakia game, I had the mildly entertaining thought about how different international teams have good, if not great, players at different times in their history. Ground breaking, I know, but it made me think of an interesting (or add your own adjective) game of sorts for the mailbox.
If you could pick a best eleven for your – or any, I don’t really care – country out of every player to have pulled on the shirt; who would it be?
My take for Ireland is the following (4-2-3-1);
S Coleman, P McGrath, D O’Leary, D Irwin;
R Keane, J Giles;
R Houghtan, L Brady, D Duff;
Subs; P Bonner, I Harte, M Lawrenson, R Whelan, T Cascarino, N Quinn, W Hoolahan
I think we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of unbelievable players throughout our past (although none quite now), so if this lot got together at the top of their games, I think we’d have a strong shout for a trophy. Mind, if they were able to do it, then we’d be up against the best of 5 World Cup winning Brazilian teams etc. so we’d probably go out in the round of 16!