Gareth Southgate ‘state of statis’ is weird way to ‘get behind’ England manager

Editor F365
Backing England with Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane
Backing England with Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane

The Daily Mail have made a big old deal of BACKING ENGLAND, but some are clearly being dragged kicking and screaming…

 

WE’RE (RELUCTANTLY) BACKING ENGLAND
The Daily Mail have been running a ‘WE’RE BACKING ENGLAND’ campaign throughout Euro 2024 because nobody backs England quite like the newspaper held up by Nigel Farage on election day.

The whole concept of having a little logo to declare you are ‘BACKING ENGLAND’ is utterly bizarre; who else would an English newspaper be backing, exactly? It feels like the football media equivalent of putting ‘loyal husband’ in your social media bio.

It also feels like Mail Football Editor Ian Ladyman has been dragged into this kicking and screaming.

The headline – not written by him – is on message…

Gareth Southgate is inflexible and predictable, but he can’t stop WINNING! After taking England to more semi-finals than in the previous 50 years combined, it’s time to get behind the manager

…but this is a man who wrote literally a week ago that ‘Gareth Southgate is tied up in knots by his safety-first ideology… he must change NOW if England are to win Euro 2024’.

And then that ‘the stark truth of England’s journey through Euro 2024 is that the key tenets of Gareth Southgate’s time as manager have gone missing’.

And then that England have been ‘unfathomably bad’ at Euro 2024.

Even after reaching the semi-finals, Ladyman was writing on Sunday that ‘if England are to push for the ultimate glory in Berlin next Sunday, they are going to have to do it without an awful lot of in-game help from their manager’.

And now, presumably after being reminded that the Mail are actually ‘BACKING ENGLAND’, we’re supposed to believe that ‘it’s time to get behind the manager’.

The problem? Ladyman clearly just doesn’t believe it.

The manager that ‘can’t stop WINNING’ in the headline soon gives way to the fact that ‘they have only won one game in regulation time, against Serbia, and have been fortunate to come through two knockout matches that could easily have been lost’.

Ladyman writes that ‘Southgate has shown himself to be inflexible and predictable in terms of his selections. He has, to a degree, been shown up by some of the tournament’s other managers.’

He also writes that ‘his tactical and in-game state of stasis has been mirrored by the largely moribund nature of England’s football’.

And that’s ‘getting behind the manager’? We’d hate to see them turn on the manager.

He tries to end with a note of optimism but just farts out this: ‘Southgate is one win away from a second tournament final in three summers. It may just be time to put the reservations to one side and pray for progress.’

‘Praying’ is not quite the same as ‘getting behind’, is it?

Mediawatch will join you all in wide-eyed shock when the ‘WE’RE BACKING ENGLAND’ logo is deleted the second that England lose.

MORE ON ENGLAND FROM F365:
👉 16 Conclusions on England beating Switzerland: drop Foden and Kane, Southgate subs, Saka phenomenal
👉 Gary Lineker is now the story and we must learn to disagree with him
👉 Southgate out, Lampard in? Kane was ‘worse than Ronaldo’ but England can win the whole thing

 

A HANDBAG WATER BOTTLE?
‘JORDAN PICKFORD’S penalty heroics were aided by a shoot-out cheat sheet on his WATER BOTTLE’ – The Sun.

His WATER BOTTLE? You mean the same place pretty much every goalkeeper has penalty-kick information? Oh and it’s not a ‘cheat sheet’ because it’s not bloody cheating.

And Pickford in particular has form. But don’t listen to us, check out The Sun, who are still shocked into CAPITALS almost six years later…

‘England keeper Jordan Pickford’s cheeky penalty tactics revealed during win over USA’ – November 2018.

‘Jordan Pickford at it again with Croatia stars’ penalty habits written on his water bottle’ – November 2018.

‘England keeper Jordan Pickford repeats World Cup 2018 water bottle penalty hack for Euro 2020 shootout’ – July 2021.

‘Jordan Pickford had penalty cheat sheet written on water bottle ahead of Everton’s Premier League clash against West Ham’ – October 2021.

‘Jordan Pickford’s penalty cheat sheet leaked on water bottle which shows West Ham penalty takers tactics against Everton’ – October 2021.

‘Jordan Pickford’s penalty cheat sheet on water bottle spotted as Everton keeper has Liverpool stars’ spot-kick secrets’ – February 2023.

‘Jordan Pickford’s penalty cheat sheet on water bottle spotted as eagle-eyed fans see how he stopped Maddison’s spot-kick’ – May 2023.

‘TNT Sports cameras zoom in on Pickford’s penalty cheat sheet on water bottle… moments before Salah scores from spot’ – October 2023.

And yet here we are in 2024 with The Sun apparently astonished by this technique, revealing that ‘it wasn’t mere guesswork from the Everton stopper’.

Because with all the advancements in sports science and psychology, we presumed that the England goalkeeper would approach every game like Fat Jimmy who plays for the Dog and Puddle.

And there’s a breathless update to this story on Monday morning: ‘GARY LINEKER has insisted that Jordan Pickford must DITCH his water bottle cheat sheet for the remainder of Euro 2024.’

And he really has ‘insisted’; Pickford is now powerless.

What’s amusing about this obsession with the WATER BOTTLE and Pickford’s apparently refusal to just ‘guess’ is that elsewhere, The Sun produce what counts for them as a deep dive as they take us ‘inside England’s perfect penalty shootout against Switzerland that was six years in the making and result of master plan’.

And yet they remain shocked by the idea that you can print instructions on a water bottle.

 

Kane and able
‘STILL UNDROPPABLE?’ Southgate offers verdict on captain Kane amid England struggles and drops hint on how Three Lions could line up in semi-final clash’ is an enticing headline atop the Mirror football site.

But you know as well as we do that Southgate has done no such sodding thing.

But we do have some sympathy on this occasion as they have been provided with a hospital pass from their main football man in Germany:

‘Harry Kane is still an “immense” player for England, according to Gareth Southgate.’

No sh*t.

Oh and the ‘hint’ about the semi-final line-up? Southgate has praised the staff that got Luke Shaw back onto the pitch. FFS.

MORE ON ENGLAND FROM F365:
👉 16 Conclusions on England beating Switzerland: drop Foden and Kane, Southgate subs, Saka phenomenal
👉 Gary Lineker is now the story and we must learn to disagree with him
👉 Southgate out, Lampard in? Kane was ‘worse than Ronaldo’ but England can win the whole thing