Will Jadon Sancho be another Nicolas Pepe?

Date published: Thursday 1st July 2021 8:25 - Editor F365


We have some mails on Jadon Sancho while the debates rumble on about England and style. Send your views to theeditor@football365.com


Underwhelmed by Sancho signing
As a Man United fan, I’m in agreement with the Neviller that the Sancho signing feels a bit ‘meh’. I’m not sure if its because it’s been dragged out for over a year or because I cant think of too many Bundesliga players that came to United and set the Premier League alight, in fact the opposite – Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, Schweinsteiger. In the grand scheme of things its hit and miss, for every Son or De Bruyne there’s a Werner or Keita.

I hope I’m wrong but Sancho feels like the type of player that needs the exact type of players around him to flourish. Let’s face it he’s not done much for England. For £73m I’d want a player that has done it for over a season at two different clubs to show he can do it anywhere

Saying all that – Kepa and Pepe were £73m so he could be the bargain of the century.


Man United are ten years behind
I am sure you will be inundated with emails about Sancho and United today. I think he will be a great signing but I hope the media and fans will not do what they did to Pogba. If Pogba doesn’t score a goal and assist a game then he is rubbish. Sancho is 21 yrs old, he is going to play in a new league but let’s keep expectations real. 10+ goals with 10+ assists would be a serious return in his first season. Yes it was a big money signing but he was a couple of mill more expensive than Pepe, I think Pepe will do well next season mind.

Anyways my point is that United’s recruitment is 10 years behind… Sancho is essentially Nani/Valencia’s replacement. How has it taken them that long to replace a player? It is not just at right-wing, you could argue they have not replaced Van Persie yet. How long did it take to replace Gary Neville, Raphael was decent and then we had Young/Valencia and finally, they signed a fullback.
Paul, Dublin


Why let contracts run down?
Can someone explain to me a club’s thoughts on contracts because I don’t get it.

So Pogba and Mbappe have about a year left on their contracts at which point they can leave for FREE. Negotiations on contracts tend to start with two years left of their deal. So there’s been a year of negotiations, still neither have signed and yet still the club are paying them 300k+ a week? SURELY, you give it 6months of negotiations, then it’s a set deadline, your best contract offer and if they cant sign that – up for sale they go.

You’ve got two players clearly not bothered about the club, HUGELY depreciating assets and still they’re holding on to them and quite accepting of the fact they will lose millions. Toughen up clubs, this player power thing is all your own doing!!!


England 21 v England 96
One of the most English of English qualities is to show utter contempt for the present and a borderline delusional romanticising of the past. So it is with this current England football team in comparison to its predecessors from Euro 96.

I almost had to spit out my cornflakes when reading a recent mail claiming that England 96 ‘thrilled the world’ with our performances. I mean, you’d honestly think we were playing like Brazil ’70. So ask yourself this, what other nation adopted England’s tactics after that tournament, what other nation even remembers that team? I mean most of the jokes about England’s boring, long-ball tactics come from that era.

The truth is, that you were just younger then, happier then, and you’re miserable now. I dare you to go back and watch that tournament, see if you can stomach it. Yes, Netherlands was an exciting match. But good lord it was the outlier and not the norm. Go back and watch the 1-1 with Switzerland, the 2-0 against Scotland, the 0-0 against Spain, and the first 90 minutes of the 1-1 vs Germany, I dare you.

England played that tournament the way they always played tournaments. Try and grab a goal from a penalty or set-piece then stick eleven behind the ball and hoof it forward. Spain absolutely battered us in the first round and were it not for a wrongfully disallowed offside goal and two clear penalties ruled out we would have gone home then. The accumulated xG against the Germans was 0.5 in the first 90mins. The first half against Scotland was a snooze-fest and we didn’t even have a shot for over 20 minutes in the second. The less said about Switzerland the better.

Now I don’t want to piss on anyone’s chips. It’s brilliant to have warm memories and to relive that joy. The problem is when you attach some imaginary tangible to those feelings (England playing scintillating football, for example) and then use that as a bar to judge the present. In my opinion, England 2021 has done more to garner the respect of opposing nations this year than we have in any previous period. And that’s through intelligent, tactical, and, dare I say it, continental-style football.
Liam Gabriel Hoskins (Now let’s go and thump Ukraine) AFC


Well done Gareth but…
I have read some lovely discussions on the ‘new England’, led by the highly personable Gareth Southgate. He has a plan, he isn’t afraid of egos and he has the team playing for him. I agree, but he’s not going to get a job managing a ‘big club’, is he? How many fans of larger clubs would be delighted to see him being wheeled out as their new manager? That’s the problem with football and, in turn, all of us.
Nicholas Luthwood


Is it okay to park the bus now?
To all the people saying that anyone who complains about England being boring and dull to watch are wrong, and ask “what else do these people want”… remember this the next time you are complaining about watching a team play your side who are “parking the bus” and sitting back and making no attempt to score in the hope they can grab a goal on a set piece or on the counter and endlessly pontificate that the Jose style “anti football” is scandalous and awful to watch.

Picking a team and playing to get a result at 90 mins (surely the job of a manager of any team at any level) is apparently acceptable to people who are now falling over themselves to justify it when its England…but its not ok when a team plays the same way in the premier league against your side.

Can’t have it both ways.
James. Godalming


…Based on the mails published in the earlier mailbox, everyone is a pragmatic defensive first “do whatever it takes to win” Jose fan all of a sudden.

After all, that’s been spectacularly successful recently, so you can understand why.

And apparently anyone wanting to have a reasonable balance between attack and defensive is worthy of scorn.

But I guess that’s liberals and Woke365 for you, where any other view is ridiculed.

I just hope Southgate is actually the manager you think he is and will learn from the last game about what is successful, what gets the best from the players… and yes, that does mean a creative player like Grealish on the left.


…I do worry. In general, but that’s not something you need to concern yourselves with.

Sorry Lee. More opinions on the football I’m not keeping to myself. Whoops.

Football isn’t about joy. It isn’t about glory, or entertainment or fun. It’s a mechanical process of winning.

That’s the basic argument of Lee and Ibby this morning.

I don’t really support a national team, so have no dog in this fight, but I love football and while winning is better than losing, winning beautifully is better than winning ugly.

England fans can want a team to play beautiful football. It’s allowed. In fact, from most fans, it is not only allowed but desired. Give me Barca 2009 over José’s Inter Milan every day of the week. And Barca spanked my team regularly during that time.

But Barca and Inter sum up this issue for me

Winning well is a privilege. Win and you are a good team. But win well and you can be a great one.

When you don’t win often you can happily sacrifice style, beauty, artistry for a 1-0, but most people prefer winning playing lovely stuff to winning playing dull dross.

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high.

England have a squad of players capable of winning playing well. As they progress through the tournament, I’d not be surprised to see them start winning well. That is often what good teams who are well managed will do.

And wanting to play entertaining football isn’t the naïve, childish dream of idiots. It’s natural, desirable and something people are perfectly entitled to want.

A bit of beauty, a touch of colour, a splash of delight. Not everything is functional.

Instead of suggesting people naff off to watch Netflix and don’t rudely interrupt the adults with their opinions, I’d suggest those only interested in winning need a little more joy in their lives. Or maybe a hug.
Andreas, St Albans


Whatever happens now, it’s alright
Just a quick note that I thought we played pretty well against the Germans, I didn’t think it was dull, I thought we had constant attacking intent with the confidence the defence gave us. I didn’t think it was dull at all. At this level the oppo are always going to have chances but we had plenty that we also didn’t capitalise on.

Next time we are criticised for deploying (possibly unsuccessfully) a new formatting in a friendly rather that playing full strength, just remember this game to see why it’s so important.

Win or lose on Saturday, that’s just the way it goes and why it’s a game we all love. Well done fellas, it’s been ace but please keep it going.
Steve (THFC)


…As England fans we’ve experienced glorious failure, abject failure, embarrassing failure, unexpected failure, expected failure, qualification failure, goal scoring failure, goalkeeping failure, red card-related failure and penalty failure. Can we please just enjoy this rare slice of success.


…The clamour (glad it now has a term) this tournament for Foden, Grealish, Sancho has reminded me of an old NFL term. The most popular guy on a team is the back-up quarterback. If you’re losing, everyone says to swap in the guy on the bench, because that will solve all your problems. So if England play mediocre it will always be because they didn’t play someone they should have. Do people not remember Hodgson? He shoehorned in Rooney wide of a middle three in 2016, long past his best. Sven was guilty of trying to squeeze all his best players into a starting 11 like he was playing FIFA.

The easiest thing a manager can do is play his ‘best players and throw his hands up when it goes wrong. And looking at this England team, with more attacking flair than I can remember, you can see how hard it is to leave anybody out for the sake of the greater whole. Southgate knows that playing pragmatic, tough football is how finals are made and tournaments are won. He could be weak and play Mount and Grealish behind Sancho, Saka and Kane, but its not the right move. Everyone seems to think Southgate is mentally weak, or cowardly, but he’s actually being far braver in not playing these players. He’s sticking to a plan and England are executing it very well.
Keith. Worthing


Making it easy to want England to fail again
All of this ‘Gareth Knows’ nonsense and overreaction to beating Germany is making it incredibly easy to want England to fail again.

I realize this was England’s first ever win in a European Championship knockout round fixture (lol), but if you think The Clamour (cringe) is going to end because you didn’t shit the bed against a team you were favorites to beat, while playing at home, good grief. Luckily Mediawatch won’t call you up it, though, because arrogant op-eds are only worth citing if they come from other websites right?
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva, Switzerland


The alternative view of the Euros so far
Picture Quality: BBC’s presentation of 4K UHD via iPlayer has been superb. They lose one point for trying to simulcast Wimbledon and the ENG/GER game in 4K and having the latter crash for most of the first half (boooo). But otherwise, it’s been no competition on this side.

Sound Quality: BBC iPlayer, despite all it’s improvements on picture, still haven’t bothered to pass a basic 5.1 soundtrack which should really be the baseline. So your choices are either watching standard HD with 5.1 via Freeview or Sky, or 4K UHD and 2.0. ITV continue to not give much credence to picture/sound issues, and for all the brilliant things they do, this remains a glaring oversight.

Montage: BBC will likely always win out here, but the ending of ENG/GER in particular was superb.

Podcast: Max Rushden a runaway winner here with The Guardian’s Football Weekly. Following AC Jimbo was always going to be a tough ask, but they’ve finally come into their own, with Barry Glendenning excellent as ever. P. Auclaire has been a bit…mawkish at times, and I have absolutely no idea what Cark Anka seems to be watching. But Lars Sivertsen and Daniel Storey in particular have been excellent at distilling technical concepts into easy ways to understand and capturing the general feel of games. The Athletic have made an error by not having Jimbo present the group stages, and are just playing catchup now. Final point on The Football Ramble. Don’t want to be too harsh because it was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to, and it’s still solid enough, but does feel they venture a bit much into #bants territory at times.

Tweet: There’s been some excellent efforts here, so full marks all around. Honourable mention to “Ctrl-Alt-De’Ligt”. But it’s hard to see anyone topping Trevor Sinclair’s request for either Idris Elba or Ray Winstone to give the pre-match team talk ahead of Tuesday. As another tweeter astutely observed, nothing quite says you’ve got things in hand more than asking Stringer Bell to gee up the troops.

Moment: Avoiding the usual goals, limb celebrations, etc; it feels like even if we win the whole thing, it’s going to be hard to top Gareth Southgate on the post match interview talking about seeing David Seaman on the big screen and reliving ’96. Just a really genuinely poignant and beautiful moment. What a man.
Sandeep (Worst hairstyle has got to go to Pickford – looks like he’s auditioning for 5ive).

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