Mailbox: Big Sam’s first England squad

Date published: Tuesday 23rd August 2016 2:19

Keep those thoughts coming to…


A fresh start
Hi, have we started guessing Sam Allardyce’s first squad yet? Are we even talking about it? Does no one care at England anymore?

I for one am looking forward to Allardyce’s squad and his England team I think he will surprise some people with some of his selections and I would personally love it if he somehow got Kevin Nolan into the team. Anyway my squad….

The squad below is based not on my opinion, but my estimation of Sam Allardyce’s thoughts. Blame him, not me.

GK Hart -c – He will be in the squad and he will start and if Terry doesn’t come back he will be captain
GK Forster – Unlucky bruv, you’re on the bench
GK Heaton – Ditto

DEF Stones – Sam will love working with Stones and teaching him about proper defending
DEF Terry/Shawcross – C – If Terry comes out of retirement (He will and he’ll drag it out) he will be captain
DEF Smalling/Shawcross – I have a feeling that Sam wants a CB that he can really trust and my gut tells me its Shawcross for Sam
DEF Cahill -c –Options at CB are lacking, if not Cahill, then who?
DEF Clyne
DEF Shaw
DEF Rose
DEF Walker – I think the full backs pick themselves nowadays. The Tottenham boys played well enough at the Euros but should never start consecutive games again at a tournament. It’s all too much and will result in a brain fart.

MF Noble – We all know Sam wants to make a statement with his first squad
MF Henderson – He would have to do unspeakable things to be dropped from the squad.
MF Oxlaide-Chamberlin – played well enough in pre-season and thus far to warrant a recall
MF Dier – Because he was in the last squad??
MF Dele Ali – England’s new darling (be careful dude)
MF Drinkwater – Another fan favourite. Missing the Euros may end up a blessing in disguise
MF Lallana – Because who else can do 20 Cruyff turns in a game and gain no adavantage whatsoever?
MF Barkley – Because he kinda looks like Gazza

FW Rooney – But he won’t be captain *chuckle*
FW Vardy – Everyone’s favourite England forward but he is awful, was found out at the Euros and has been pants thus far
FW Kane – aka young Shearer. I hate Spurs but love watching this boy play.
FW Sterling – Big Sam’s new JJ Okocha

Honourable mentions
Andros Townsend – I really do admire this boy’s determination to prove people wrong, yet, very limited
Daniel Sturridge – Easily England’s best forward but, ultimately will be the one to miss out (unfortunately)
Ryan Bertrand – Too many decent full backs about mate
Wilfred Zaha – pants
Fabian Delph – I’d have him in over Dier personally
Nathan Redmond – Not yet, but maybe soon if his form continues
Theo Walcott – Replacing Phil Neville *sad face* time to retire the 40 shirt boys
Peter Kallon


Arsenal have become reactionary
Just a random insert – I am a lifelong Arsenal supporter, holding a season ticket for 12 years. As of late, family commitments etc, I am now a Cardiff City season ticket holder.

Never thought I’d say this 2 years ago, but despite the disarray with Vincent Tan do I see a plan at Cardiff City? Yes.

Do I see a plan at Arsenal? No.

I don’t solely blame Wenger, I don’t blame scouts, I don’t blame Gazidis, Law or the Board…its all of them.

We’ve gone from a tiki taka wannabe side in the 2009 era, with cost cutting but a clear method of play and transfer plan in place, to a club who is solely reactionary. 8 years ago we’d have signed Aumbanyang when he left St Etienne for Dortmund in 2013 because he may just be the answer, same summer we wouldn’t match the cash paid by Napoli for Higuain because his goals return wouldn’t be solely worth it as he had no sell on value….instead we’ve gone from being proactive with either player to signing an injury prone Danny Welbeck a year later as a reaction – plans in place don’t exist anymore.

We write off August each year to get the best deals and play catch up for 8 months.

It’s foolish to think this will alter with a change of manager too. Wenger is to blame to some degree, because if he isn’t on board with all of this, then walk, show the club up for what they are. The day he departs we wont go for a Diego Simeone or forthright manager who will implement change and spending, we will more likely have a Roberto Martinez, even in his current guise.

This is what Arsenal are now, and nothing will change until its done at the very top.

I’m certain if Arsenal had tried to get Mahrez and been successful that we wouldn’t have used him in conjunction with the others…I think it would have led to a sale of Sanchez or Ozil (contract run downs) who have been heavily linked with a move away and are currently in danger of losing value as soon as the transfer window closes.

Arsenal – A Business, not a Club.
Thom, Newport


Lots of sore knees in Liverpool
I’d just like to ask Krys, LFC in this morning’s mailbox how his position in management is coming along? I suspect he’s got a team of dedicated followers with that level of positivity.

In all seriousness, Krys, I hope your view isn’t a reflection of the type of management you’ve had to deal with. Managers and leaders are there to inspire, motivate, and support…amongst a whole raft of other responsibilities, which I won’t go into. There are plenty of ways of achieving honesty while delivering these facets of Jurgen’s role, and I suspect telling the international media and fans that every player on the pitch was sh**e, is probably not it.

Still, there’s nothing quite like having a knee-jerk reaction to a team’s performance in the second game of the season in which the manager of said team, whose first language isn’t English, is trying to make some fairly honest comments, eh? I thought the point he made on decision-making was actually pretty spot on.

Actually, I take it back, there’s nothing quite like a knee-jerk reaction to a knee-jerk reaction email. Dammit.
Phil, London


…Liverpool fans complaining about Klopp already… it actually beggars belief. Well it doesn’t as we’ve the most annoying fans in the world. Lets just lay out some details. We hire one of the best managers in world football, a manager who when you look at his track record is one who develops players rather than just going out and buying a bunch of Galacticos. We do this as we can’t really compete with the biggest boys on the block in the transfer market so we need to approach it in a different way. Yet so many of our fan base expects immediate results and when this doesn’t happen they demand we go back into the market instead of allowing our coach to, you know, coach the players.

People go on about how Geggenpressing won’t work against x or y team when they sit back and invite us on but the simple answer to that is that it shouldn’t need to. We have 11 better players than Burnley out on the pitch. They just need to execute better. No amount of tactics the manager can come up with will do much against such a basic set up. You just need your players to play better, that means Coutinho not belting the ball over the bar 9 times, or Sturridge coming back into his own half to pick up the ball then swerve and lay off a slow pass to Henderson who in turn postures for a few seconds before playing a slow ball back the Klavan, repeat ad nauseam. Do people think that was what Klopp wanted them to do? He already talked about how you need guts to win this league, that’s not just going in for 50/50 balls. It’s also about having courage with the ball at your feet, take on the risky pass. If we lose it so be it, then we have a chance to counter press.

As for Krys, LFC in this mornings mailbox. I’d rather he not say that tbh, his job is also to manage moral and coming out and calling your players sh**e after one bad performance is about as counter-intuitive as you can get.

I hope that the idiotic fans don’t drive him out of the club like they did with Rafa (who was holding it on his shoulders like he was f***ing Atlas) but there’s always the fear that they will. Liverpool fans are the worst… the sense of entitlement is horrific to view.
Ken, Dublin


The Schlupp list
After reading your recent article on players who need to leave their clubs, and the sad situation for the likes of Jeffrey Schlupp, I had another stupid idea to stop players having their careers and development ruined by greedy chairmen and managers.

Basically, it’s FA arbitration for player transfers.

Back in 1995 Mark Bosman won a legal battle to be allowed to move unrestricted at the end of a contract. I would like to suggest extending that.

I haven’t worked out all the details – greater minds in the mailbox can fill them in – but I envisage something like where a manager must agree a certain level of involvement or allow the player permission to enter the ‘Schlupp’ transfer list if they want. Once on it, only the player can remove himself, but critically the players value is set by the FA and any bids at that must be accepted.

It’s a real shame that players can see critical years of their career wasted, because they signed a contract when it looked like they’d be involved. It would also mean there’s less stockpiling of talent by bigger clubs which can only be a good thing for smaller clubs who then get access to more players without being forced to overpay.

Guy S (still won’t help you get rid of mighty Wayne though)


For Evans’ sake
Dear editor,
Look, no-one – maybe not even Jonny Evans – thinks Jonny Evans is worth £25m. But all the guffawing from Arsenal fans leaves a bad taste.
WBA, like a lot of mid-table clubs with huge amounts of TV cash, don’t need money, we need players. We only have four fit centre halves (McAuley is nearly 37, Olsson is 33 and the other two in Pulis’ team of giants are Dawson who plays RB and Evans who’s stuck at LB.) We’d have a week to sign a new CB and replace our best player.

As for value, Jonny Evans has won the Premier League x 3, has Champs League/big tournament experience and is still only 28 and can play at left back/centre back – £25m looks obscene but it’s a safer punt than a £40m Mangala or a £45m Koulibally and WBA know that. It’s actually odd LVG binned him to us for £8m.

Even Gooners would admit Evans is probably better than all bar one (Koscielny) of Arsenal’s current centre halves. If he was French, you’d be wailing on ArsenalTV demanding he signed.

Wenger really should have just signed Ashley Williams and saved us all the stress.


Loyalty is a two-way street
The F365 mailbox does funny things to me.
I’m an avid reader of the mailbox, but an infrequent contributor. I’m a Spurs fan, and I have no great love for Wayne Rooney, yet one of the last times I wrote in, it was in defence of Wayne, when people questioned his legacy. And now today, I’m compelled to write in defence of another player I don’t particularly like – Joe Hart.

Joe Hart has become part of the furniture at Manchester City. Hart was probably the designated club employee who gave the Emirate billionaire owners the stadium tour when they first arrived. Since 2010, Joe Hart has been the one constant in the Man City team while countless superstars have come and gone before his eyes. Even though he was initially a Shrewsbury youth product, Hart is as close to a Man City homegrown success story as the club currently have (Give Iheanacho some time please). However, Guardiola then arrived, and the Great Schemer decided that Joe Hart is now surplus to requirements.

I’m fully aware that Joe Hart is not perfect. He has all the physical tools to be great, but his arrogance and lapses in concentration keep him out of the top tier of goalkeepers. It’s perhaps understandable that Pep may want an upgrade at No.1. However, the thing that disappoints me most, is the complete indifference of the majority of City fans I’ve spoken to on this. The general consensus is: ‘Meh, Pep will get us someone better’. Essentially they feel that the club has outgrown Hart. But how do they feel when the ball is in the other court? Football is business. Now more so than ever. Players are the products, and they are paid so handsomely that they can be quite content in that knowledge. Yet when a footballer like Raheem Sterling decides he has outgrown Liverpool, or when RVP decides he has outgrown Arsenal, fans and club management are outraged, and the player is treated like some sort of greedy mercenary.

How will City fans feel on the day when Sergio Aguero arrives in, and tells them he wants to chase his Champions League ambitions and join Real Madrid or Barcelona? I wonder if the same indifference will last until then.
Andy, Eire (@ThinkSpurs – Spurs blog) 


Sgt Pep’s Lonely Hart Club
If it’s not too late, I’d like to offer a different angle on the Pep/Hart situation. I agree with Ben, MCFC in this morning’s mailbox about it being the correct decision for City as a team and that Pep has been swift and decisive about it; he’s acted like all good managers (whatever the job) do, which is make a hard call and stick to it. The one thing Pep may not have factored in though, being new to English football, is the nature of our gutter press.

Dropping Joe Hart and bringing in a goalkeeper more suited to your desired style of play is all well and good, but this is Joe Hart, England’s number 1 and tabloid media darling who gives the lads down Fleet Street good copy. Most likely Hart will end up at Everton, and from what little you can glean from a public persona, he seems like the sort that will use “I’m going to show that Spanish c**t” as a motivation and play a blinder. If that’s the case, and he’s still in the England team, then Claudio Bravo is going to have to be impeccable. If he takes a few months adjusting to the league, struggles with crosses and physical strikers or drops a couple of clangers then The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Mail et al are going to be on his and Pep’s case, and on it hard. It won’t matter to them that a keeper like Bravo is facilitating the way you play, that he’s made quadruple the amount of short passes etc, if Hart is playing well and keeping clean sheets and Bravo isn’t then Pep will be the Spanish fraud keeping a brave, English lion down.

When has being wrong ever stopped them before?
Lewis, Busby Way


…The real story has been lost in all this Hart talk……Man City are signing Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper. Things don’t normally work this way.

Do Barca want this to happen? Does Bravo want to leave or is he being forced?
Silvio Dante


Just dump us already
So tonight my beloved, 100% record so far this season Hull are away at Exeter in the cup. We’re going to get smashed aren’t we?

If we do win, I might start to get worried. A newly promoted team winning games is like being in a relationship with someone way out of your league – you know it’s going to end, and you kinda wish it would sooner rather than later, because you know the longer it goes on for, the more it’s going to hurt when it does end.

In other news, anyone any news on signings, or a manager, or a takeover? Anything would be nice right now.
Rob (hopefully we’ll do a Leicester 14/15 – survive), Leeds

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