Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kane over Vardy. Obviously
I cannot believe what I am reading!
People actually saying that they would pick Vardy over Kane and that Kane could become Jimmy Greaves to Vardy’s Geoff Hurst.
Start with Vardy. He is a one trick pony. Very fast but little control doesn’t hold the ball up well and can’t bring other players into the game. An ideal substitute when the defenders are tiring or we need a goal. Someone said he is a clinical finisher. Really?
Kane. Phenomenal goalscorer. Only criticism of that is that he makes others lazy by doing their scoring for them. His control strength and awareness have been his main gains in past year. He is a cert to start in Russia.
On the subject of Alli. I still maintain that he is a better player than Lingard but Lingard has become teacher’s pet while Alli is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a matter of form and Lingard is on form right now but that may not last.
Alan (THFC, of course)
Lingard over Alli? Why not?
I think I fell out of love with International football a good 10 years ago. There were various reasons for this but, just like a very attractive ex-girlfriend, you cannot help but notice them when they pop up……there is always some kind of interest regardless of how superficial it is.
Anyhow, upon reading your player ratings for the England match last night I was surprised to read that us Spurs fans may be annoyed or displeased at the suggestion of Lingard being ahead of Deli at the moment. Quite the contrary. Whilst, ultimately, I don’t really care how England do I still like to see the right calls made as it’s what the players have earned. If we all relied on past glories we’d still have Gary Lineker up top making a mug of the meanest defences.
I’ll be honest, I’d take Lingard in the Spurs team right now over Deli. I think he hampers us more than anything and, whilst I hope I am wrong with my prediction, I believe Deli is another prime example of a modern/young/English footballer who has believed his hype a bit too much and won’t amount to this £150m world beater. Deli at Real Madrid? Turn it in. Give me Eriksen, Moura and Sonny behind Kane please.
If anyone offers near the £100m mark, take that cash and run….laughing….to the bank.
Anyway, good luck England.
Glen….bored at work
The realisation sets in
I am sure I am not even close to bringing any shocks here…but have just run the WC last 16 and quarters plan..
We play one of Columbia (most likely), Japan, Poland and Sengal in the last 16. Assuming we come unscathed past Tunisia and Panama of course..
Then If we manage to dispatch them, we get to play EITHER Germany or Brazil… in the quarters.. FFS!
I have already stopped hoping..!
Although that means Belgium will play whoever of those 2 that we dont and either way that s surely one hell of a game to watch..!!
I was quietly enjoying the Southgate mentality and lack of giving a sh*t about what the press said too. If you aint good enough you aint playing. simples. Well done Gareth..
Maybe we can have the confidence and team ethic to beat one of these 2.. and then who knows.. but lets not be silly..
Al ‘Bloody hell’ them again……. Bring on the weekend for some competitive football….
Gareth negated the winter break
Amongst the usual discussions that crops up in the year or so before a tournament is the question of whether the Premier League should initiate a winter break to aid the England team. Gareth Southgate has possibly negated the need for one.
Both games during this international break showed an England team that was prepared to dictate play by keeping the ball and running the clock. There was none of the usual harried and/or wasteful running on show across both games, with England being at lot more measured (if a little blunt) in attack. Players using less energy to control games means they should be somewhat fresher and more comfortable with the team dynamic when the World Cup gets going.
And because it is not wholly different from how teams are playing at the top end of the Premier League, the other thing that was most telling among the players was that everyone looked relaxed, particularly with the ball. This has been missing from an England team for as long as I can remember.
We may not beat the big boys, but for once we may go to a tournament with a philosophy that the majority of the squad (and the watching public) can get behind and execute as opposed to the usual panic that seems to descend on the side at the sound of the first whistle.
James F, BCFC KRO (not confident of our chances per se, just pleased we looked like a team rather than individuals)
More England thoughts
I’ll try not to repeat the comments that have been put out there so far…
– Whilst Tripper wasn’t creating endless chances, I’ve found it surprising people have been suggesting he didn’t do himself any favours. In both games he was left without many options a lot of the time, so I seem to recall quite a few instances where he ended up passing back. Against the Netherlands, particularly, Rose had acres of space on quite a few occasions.
– At the same time, I feel that the two wing-backs didn’t really get the opportunities they deserved. With Rashford against the Netherlands, it didn’t feel like he was playing sufficiently through the middle to give either Rose or Trippier an opportunity to put balls in the middle. It felt the same against Italy with Vardy. I suspect this could be different with Kane as he presents a stronger case for headed goals. In both games, England seemed to dominate possession, so having two historically-defensively-trained (is that even good English?!) as WBs will limit the opportunities they create. It’s unsurprising that Young was quite effective on the left in that WB role as he’s spent the majority of his career playing further forward.
– No idea how Southgate will pick a GK. Both Pickford and Butland put in pretty strong performances. Southgate had celebrated the desire to focus on distribution and that came across. It definitely makes you think about the systems in which those keepers play and whether their skills are being fully utilised – I’m looking at you Stoke City!
Robbo over Jens would have been madness
Paul Robinson over Jens?!
No way. Yes, he got sent off in the Champions League final but I think he kept something like 10 clean sheets in a row en route to the final so I think we can let him off with that one.
He was also a key part of the Invincibles in that team had a competitive drive the likes of which I have never seen. The only time I ever wished my team would calm down was the battle of Old Trafford of 2003 – these days I would love this lot to show just a 10th of that competitive spirit.
And also we would never have got his sarcastic time wasting when he lampooned Chris Kirkland by throwing the ball against the advertising hoardings and getting booked for his trouble.
So no thanks. Paul Robinson was what he was – an average English goalkeeper, who found his level.
Mad Jens of North London, on the other hand, and yes I bought the splendid F365 t-shirt, was a legend.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Evo-Stik Premier Division Midweek Winners & Losers
Hopefully there’s room for this despite not containing any discussion on whether or not David Beckham is or was overrated or underrated. Also fails to mention the England team.
The Evo-Stik Premier Division had almost a full programme of midweek fixtures as teams look to make up for lost time after all the problems with the weather. Here are some winners and losers. There are more winners because I’m trying to be nice.
Increased the gap at the top to six points. They haven’t quite got one hand on the trophy but it’s not far from their fingertips.
The Yeltz are now six points clear of the drop thanks to a 3-2 win away at Witton Albion. The decisive goal came in the 90th minute from controversial former WBA striker Lee Hughes.
Scored in the fourth minute of their game against Ashton United (having conceded in the second minute), and capped a 4-2 win with a goal in the last minute. Across all games there were 33 goals, of which exactly one-third came in either the first or last five minutes of either half.
Brace enthusiasts will have been pleased to see three players – Jordan Hulme (Altrincham), Robert Thompson-Brown (Stafford Rangers) and Andrew Dales (Mickleover Sports) all scored twice. Also, Liam Hardy scored twice on Saturday and was honoured last night as the second was his 100th for Buxton, so congratulations to him.
The good news is they ended a run of four games without scoring and were actually level at half-time. The bad news is their first game with Chris Willcock in charge saw them thumped by Altrincham 5-1. They do still have to face several of their playoff rivals before the end of the season, so if they can arrest the slide they’ve plenty of opportunities to stage a seasonally-appropriate resurrection.
Most teams in playoff contention
The only teams to start the day in the top half of the table and win were Altrincham and Grantham Town; not everyone played, but in addition to Shaw Lane, Ashton United, Barwell and Witton lost, while Warrington Town drew with Workington. The playoff picture is far from concrete but there are some teams who are running out of time to get themselves back into the frame.
This was fun to write, at least.
Although I am sure I missed some scintillating international football, I elected to attend Altrincham’s game with Shaw Lane instead yesterday, where 805 people saw Alty run out 5-1 winners in the Evostik Premier. Not bad for a very chilly evening when the national side were on terrestrial telly. Ed’s Monday mail listed Alty atop the winners and Shaw Lane top of the losers of this league at the weekend, and should the feature be resurrected, it would likely be the same outcome. Shaw Lane, who roughly a month ago were Alty’s main challengers (especially using the count-games-in-hand-as-wins measure) now sit outside of the playoff places, having since lost five straight, changed manager, and suffered a point deduction for fielding an ineligible player. Meanwhile, Warrington only managed a draw with Workington, allowing the Robins to extend their lead at the top of the table to six points. It should also be noted that Altrincham’s first and second goals were fantastic efforts, and performance across the board in the the second half was magnificent.
The point of all this, really, is to say that there’s a great deal of enjoyment to be had further down the pyramid, as has already been noted this week in the mailbox. Makes a welcome distraction from the mails about hooligans and the entertainment served up by Eric Dier the international level central midfielder anyway.
Chris (Zigger Zagger), formerly SAF Stand, now Moss Lane pie shop
More from Planet Sport:
Top 10 tennis scandals: from choking an opponent to match-fixing (Tennis365)
Of course they cheated: they’re Australians (Golf365)