The Mailbox reacts to England’s last-16 victory and the looming threat of France. Though not everyone is getting caught up in the Three Lions’ buzz.
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France will be worried
Strong performance, strong finishing. Bit nervy in much of the first half. Decisive moments went England’s way, against the AFCON champions no less, and it seems like the team is together and unified with parts slotting in and out with ease, particularly in fullback and wide midfield.
Bellingham and Foden were both outrageously good, it’s delightful to think they may both be bossing it for England well into the 2030s.
Once again Gareth dealt with the clamour, picked a balanced team that was Very Gareth, and got the results. Gareth knows.
Fair play to Hendo. Who could have guessed that a long-standing Liverpool captain, winner of the premier league, champions league, and everything else at club level, could offer a decent contribution. Who could have guessed. In all seriousness though he clearly brings a nice balance to the team and helps make the most of Bellingham; I’m all for it.
France up next, Mbappe will be a hard test, and perhaps I’m flattering us, but I could really imagine Deschamps is watching that game, and looking at Bellingham, and worrying…
Roger (Southgate, you’re the one), Engurland in London
Postcard from Paris
Oh what a quarter final this is going to be.
As a french guy, hating England is deeply rooted in my genes but I can’t help to have a soft spot for this England team. There’s some kind of France 2018 vibe about them. Out of a dreadful world cup 8 years ago, redeeming themselves a little 4 years later to reach the final of the euro 2 years ago…
Led by an outrageously talented 19 years old, a playmaking centre forward (Griezmann, not Giroud in case you were wondering) and a dull and pragmatic manager that is actually perfect for international tournament football.
It seems a little early to dismiss Portugal, Spain, Argentina or Brazil but the more it goes, the more the winner of this quarter final will look like the favorite. I really hope that MBappé and Dembele will prove too much to handle for Maguire and Stones and that Southgate fails to identify our terrible weakness at right back (don’t read that mail, Gareth).
Anyway, this is going to be a great game and let the best team wins (as long as it is France).
Alex (can’t find anything clever to put in these brackets) Paris
Bellingham > Gerrard
Bellingham is only 19 years old and has already done more for England than Gerrard ever did. What a player.
It could be coming home
After the Euros I predicted that England would win the World Cup. About a year ago I emailed in suggesting that Ramsdale would be coming back with a WC winner’s medal. Seems a bit ridiculous now, I know. But, if, if, IF England beat France… I’ll be looking a lot smarter than I actually am.
Simon, Norf London Gooner
P.S. I can’t stand the England trumpeters. However, should we get to the final and they give us a rendition of “Jingle Bells” I’ll forgive everything. Also, Hendo should actually give Bellingham a kiss next time he scores, to stick it to the hosts.
Enjoy it while it lasts
Very good result, which should be celebrated, however the French are coming.
Aidan, Lfc (Walker is the only one that might not give me kittens against Mbappe)
Where’s the buzz?
What is happening to me? I’ve just watched England win 3-0 in a knockout game in the World Cup and my overriding emotion is one of boredom. Is it me? Is it that the World Cup should not be in the winter (and I’m not outside down the pub celebrating)? Is it an overload of live football these days? Or is it that the majority of teams, and particularly England play incredibly dull football. Whatever it is, I hope it goes away soon, because this is all very odd.
On Mason Mount’s importance for England… What was that you were saying, Will Ford?
Give Sterling space
Great result, and hopefully the press can allow Sterling the privacy he deserves rather than use trauma for clicks. Anyone that references the gun tattoo is the lowest of the low.
Aidan, Lfc (not happening is it?)
I nearly got diabetes following the Argentina game v Australia owing to the massive over-praising of everything Messi did (a theme across all Argentina games). Yes, he’s one of the GOATs but it was OTT.
I get the clamour for him to win the big one but let’s be a bit even-handed eh?
…Many on F365 and twitter discounting Messi’s performance against Aussies and talking about how his goal was keeper error. Messi’s goal was not his only contribution, he literally laid two goals on the plate for Lautaro Martinez and made some amazing runs at the age of 35. Not only he has goal contribution in almost every game he plays, his football is also pleasing on the eye, it is only natural many are always in awe of him including the BBC panel.
…Regarding the last mailbox.“BBC Jizz Launderette.” Another great name for a lost Fall album.
Ghana won’t forgive
The mailbox focus will rightly be on Sunday’s round of 16 results, so I’ll make this reply to Damola, Bremen quick: Ghana has frequently and repeatedly blamed Suarez for their elimination from the 2010 World Cup. They did this as recently as during the pre-match press conference a few days ago, when a Ghanaian journalist (1) called Suarez the devil, (2) asked him whether he would apologize for his actions at the 2010 World Cup and (3) told him Ghana wanted “to retire him”. This is just a recent concrete example. If you’ve been paying attention to football over the last 12 years, you would have seen/read Suarez taking flak for this. Entirely unfairly, in my view.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
One question for Simon on his idea of players who haven’t qualified making up the final “other nations” team. What if they win?