Harry Kane is an England ‘passenger’; Gareth Southgate should ‘crash tackle’ him again

Editor F365
Southgate Kane England
Southgate 'has to play' one England star to help Harry Kane.

We have more fall-out for the England win over Switzerland and there’s a growing clamour for Harry Kane to be dropped.

Send your mails on all subjects – but mostly England – to theeditor@football365.com


​Can we lose the England passengers?
Would you rather have 2024 Kane up front for England ?

Or 2024 Cristiano Ronaldo?

Personally I would take the oily, cheating one. Because he’s only mostly a passenger – not a complete one.

And while we are on the subject, has anyone ever thought to coach Kane to run to the near post for the repeated Saka cut backs ? As opposed to trundling into the back of the box and pointing to a spot behind the opponent who is now in the way ?

I’m enjoying this victory – but let’s not forget there are as many as three total passengers in this England side. Can we please drop them before they are horribly exposed by….”the first half-decent team England meet” ?
Tom E13

👉 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


Euro 2024 has been rotten
This tournament has degenerated rapidly into the worst, most unwatchable football imaginable.

I thought the start of the tournament was really good, with plenty of unfancied sides playing aggressive, fast attacking football and causing upsets. Thinking here of the early Romania, Georgia, and Balkans sides. Lots of nobodies but great footy.

Otherwise only Spain have been really entertaining since. The rest are automatons, way overcoached, overmanaged, cautious, defensive, over-organized. Since the third game of the group stage this has been the case (except Spain). Now, after yet another English ref destroyed the quarter-final game, Spain have key players missing for their France match. France, of course, will shithouse the game playing purely for penalties, a la Deschamps. Then another coin toss of a result.

The tournament structure has also been a disaster, with all four favourites ending up on the same side, while England get the likes of Madagascar, The Falklands, Vatican City and Tibet en route to a finish they’ll still f**k up.

The Euros used to be a much better tournament than the World Cup due to its tightness and quality of participants. But mainly the issue is modern coaching. Now that every manager wants to be Pep but aren’t actually very good (or with the talent needed for that to work at their disposal).

I suggest an award to enliven things: Most Washed-up Player of the Tournament Who the Manager is Afraid Of Dropping. I nominate Ronaldo and Kane.
Scott, LFC, Toronto

PS: Martinez needs to be strung up for his handling of Portugal. He wrecked Belgium, and now this. I dislike Portugal, but what he did to them was a crime. Hopefully he takes over England next. That would mean this tournament actually yielded a positive.


What more could Southgate do exactly?
Southgate WON 3 out of 4 QFs; 3 out of 4 penalty shootouts.
Hodgson: 0 out of 1 QFs, 0 out of 1 shootouts
Sven: 0 out of 3 QFs; 0 out of 2 shootouts
Hoddle: 0 QFs; 0 out of 1 shootouts
Venables: 1 out of 1 QFs; 1 out of 2 shootouts.
Robson: 1 out of 2 QF’s; 0 out of 1 shootouts.

Hodgson, Sven, Hoddle, Venables and Robson combined won 2 out of 7 QFs and 1 out of 7 shootouts.

Capello, McLaren, Taylor, Greenwood and Revie all failed to lead England to a single QF between them.

Southgate’s mission was to completely change the culture of abject failure in our national team. With 3 semi finals in 4 tournaments and transforming our record on penalty shootouts, how can anyone claim he hasn’t achieved this? If we beat Holland (big if) he will be the 1st manager ever to lead England to a major final outside of England.
Ben Teacher


…That was a long email about the England team….perhaps Southgate knows what he’s doing. Into a Semi final for the umpteenth time. I have ideas for what the team can do but I don’t know better. Just enjoy the ride that is England at a tournament.
Sam Essex


Gareth Southgate has strengthened your opinion again
You have to hand it to Gareth Southgate. I’ve never known anyone in any field who can simultaneously reinforce the spectrum of opinions he can with every performance.

For Southgate fans, it’s another semi-final for the most successful English manager since Ramsay. For critics, it’s more awful football and another lucky win. The fans can point to France looking even more turgid (in attack at least) and Portugal having gone home looking little better, the critics can look at an attack of Foden, Bellingham, Kane and Saka and wonder how it’s possible to get so little from so much.

Personally, I’m firmly in the critics camp. I still give Southgate credit for creating a positive environment, but he’s the walking personification of the phrase ‘better to be lucky than good’. It’s impossible to argue getting an equaliser with a 95th-minute overhead kick that is your first shot on target is clever management.

Where you do have to give him full marks is for actively trolling his critics with his tactics these days.

The universal criticism of his approach is that our attack is too compressed. No one runs in behind (don’t worry Gareth, sending runners past Kane has only worked for every manager he’s ever had, there’s no reason for you to try it) and the attack is too narrow, most obviously because there is no width on the left but also because Walker rarely overlaps either. So the response is to move to 3 at the back, moving two more players inside.

So far so good, but at least you can move Trippier back to his natural right side where his delivery is pretty good, and Saka can provide the natural width on the left. But no, Gareth has one more card to play. Obviously he’s going to invert the wing backs, turning the left side of the field into a wasteland. Fair play to Saka for going past his man on the outside to at least give a smidgen of width despite Southgate’s best efforts.

Finally, Gareth had a response to the criticism that he was fiddling while Rome burned in the Slovakia game, famously making one unenforced change in the 90 and that not until the 83th minute. This time, he makes three changes, but as with every time we do make wholesale changes under his management the shape is completely lost as we look like we’ve never prepared for a different approach at all.

I honestly think we’re going to win the tournament now, but Southgate won’t get a top club job because his tactical failings have been so blatantly exposed. It’s the perfect ending to his baffling reign.
Phil, London

👉 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


…Impressive that the fanboys have come out of hibernation – have they not watched England play?

I thought the “play a back three to sort out the Trippier problem at left-back” solution was a doozy…as the Guardian noted ‘Kieran Trippier being rewarded for his deadly attacking threat on the left by being promoted even further up the left.’

The zero shots on target until the 80th minute is obviously the sign of some serious tactical nous, after all, it took until the 95th minute in the last game.

However, my favourite tactic is how we repeatedly respond to going behind…do nothing until it’s far too late and then throw random players onto the pitch – back to the Guardian: ‘England appeared at one point to be playing an asymmetric 5-1-1-2-1.’

Tactics be damned…chaos, chance, and bald-faced luck are working way better so far. Nice penalties, to be fair. If I wanted to be picky, maybe Gareth could crash-tackle his skipper a bit earlier and bring Eze on, as he’s been on the pitch every time we’ve scored a goal lately.
Matthew (ITFC)


Ivan the Great
Ivan Toney refusing to look at the ball and instead staring directly at the Swiss keeper for his peno was incredibly impressive.

He certainly backed himself.

Yours etc.
Mark (An lú Abu) Williamson


Who is this Frank Lampard, next England manager?
That’s the second email during the Euros that you’ve published suggesting Frank Lampard as the next England manager, and I didn’t see any replies just saying “hahahaha”. Is it a different guy to the Chelsea one?

Also, I said after the first game that I was scared of England shithousing their way to the title, I’m now terrified of it. But just imagine how good the nap will be if it’s an England v France final.
Ollie, concerned Scotsman in Bristol


More England conclusions
I have to say that 16 Conclusions, the rest of your coverage, and a lot of Mailbox entries made me feel like I must have been watching a different match. Here are a few things that I took away:

* The Scores365 app showed the starting lineup/formation approximately correctly, but had Trippier on the right and Saka on the left. This made some sense to me, as Trippier is (and was, yesterday) less defensively solid and offensively useful on the left. On the other hand, it would have lessened Saka’s impact. Southgate’s judgment was unerring to that extent. But surely Gordon would have been more effective in the position Trippier was playing?

* Hopefully, Luke Shaw is fit enough to start the semi, but even if he’s not, Trippier needs to sit down for a bit. Surely Joe Gomez is a safer choice at left-back? Let him drop into defense when Walker gets forward, maybe, then bring on Shaw late to make the reverse possible when Walker is tiring.

* Mainoo is a really exciting player. Maybe not Lamine Yamal or Arda Guler exciting, but he looks entirely at home. I hate that Man United have him.

* Harry Kane seems – or acts – like he’s working hard, but there’s so little to show for it. The options to him are worthy ones.

* Foden was better on the right side of a semi-withdrawn pair with Bellingham than he has been on the left, but he wasn’t all that good. If Southgate were to rest him – more on that later — I suspect he’d replace him with Palmer. And Eze certainly seems to be more trusted than Gordon, too.

* I’m starting to believe that Southgate thinks Gordon’s head isn’t in the right place, perhaps over the rumored Liverpool deal. A few months ago, I found a long-form interview with Gordon that I just dropped in on out of curiosity but wound up watching for about 45 minutes. Based on what he revealed about himself there, I doubt Southgate is right about that.

* England were a bit better than they have been for most of this tournament, but I was still unimpressed by how much they created. Southgate showed a little bit of tactical adjustment for the Swiss, but remained loyal to his favorites, and to Mainoo, who has yet to drop a clanker. I think that loyalty – and a deep commitment to defending – is stifling this squad.

* His worst critic would have to admit that Southgate has a certain caginess when it comes to tournaments. England have never really dominated a major-tourney group under his charge, seeming to do the absolute minimum to succeed, which often means winning the group. But get out of groups he does, and his knockout record is impressive. Still, it bothers me how seldom he lets his teams off the leash. There’s so much young talent in the squad that squeaking by Switzerland on pens doesn’t satisfy, even for a mere anglophile. And did that look like a team that will beat the Oranje?

* The facts don’t really support it, but I have the overwhelming sense that Southgate’s biggest talent is failing upward.
Chris C, Toon Army DC

When you can only think of Liverpool…
I actually think the first 20 mins England were an improvement I thought. But Gareth’s real genius moment was when he selected Trent as the 5th penalty taker.

What better way to get all the ‘scouse not English’ fans on board than have Trent taken the decisive penalty. We all willed him to score it just so he didn’t get scapegoated, which was the second part of the genius decision. Had Trent missed the nation could have done what it loves doing and blamed the Scouser.

Worked well for all in the end but it was really a win win scenario for Gareth.


Steady is a disgrace
I’ve just read the first conclusion ‘clickbait’ of the 16 and I’m not reading anymore.

Basically Matt Stead….you are a disgrace! Aren’t white English people allowed any enjoyment anymore bearing in mind Britain fought to end slavery even though it still goes on.

This is a football site but no, you had to bring racism into it. Why not mention the abuse Beckham and his family got for being sent off or indeed Southgate for missing his penalty? Oh….they’re white!

Come to Croydon where I’ve been mugged on more than one occasion by blacks with knifes. However, I still have black mates and there are plenty of white twats.

Anyway, talking about the game I found it slightly more positive but I still saw no way back for England when Switzerland scored. However, who else than Saka rescued us. People said it was an unusual goal. As an Arsenal fan that was a trademark Saka finish. Five absolute spot in penalties to get us through. Looking forward to the next game.
Chris, Croydon

(Pretty sure David Beckham did not get racially abused for being sent off. Or Gareth Southgate for missing a penalty. It’s not the same thing. Oh and ‘blacks with knifes’ is a self-own of lots of things, including poor spelling – Ed)