Keep your mails coming to email@example.com…
Reaction to England’s bore draw
…Watching England tonight is a rerun of the Iceland game. We have a whole slew of really good footballers and a nice mix of experienced pro’s and precocious youngsters. What we also have is a manager who is a nice guy, acceptable as the face of his organisation and F*** All use as a manager of elite players.
When the England squad get together they are coming (mainly) from clubs where their manager has a real track record of success e.g.. Klopp, Pep, Jose, Wilder, Poch, Ancelotti, Rodgers, Bielsa. When they sit in their home dressing rooms they know the tactics they are being told to follow are being delivered by managers who know what they are talking about.
I find it impossible to blame any England player for poor performance when we have saddled them with nice but useless Gareth.
England, just like Man. United will have occasional great results but ultimately will not win a main prize until a manager who actually understands and can implement a sound and fluid tactical plan is appointed.
Until that time, don’t get your hopes up.
…Saw the lineups, didn’t bother watching the game. Result not exactly surprising if you play just three attackers out of 11. Southgate is an absolute joke. And this against the might of Denmark. No disrespect, but they are a side we should be beating and doing it well. Why do people have patience with him?
…Currently halftime in the England match and it patently obvious that Harry Kane is totally unfit and not fit for purpose, Southgate like all managers had his favourites but FFS it’s like playing with the handbrake on with Mr ineffectual up front. This game is crying out for Grealish to show what he is made of, lastly Eric Dier is not a footballer he is a sham, every dangerous Danish attack was set up by an aimless Dier pass, he is bloody awful.
We sent home England’s future let’s hope they get another chance over this lot.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
…Now I don’t watch the National side as much as I should, but after watching both England matches this past week, against Iceland and now Denmark, one question comes to mind that I would love to hear more keen fans who pay more attention than I do opinions on, was the World Cup Semi Final a mixture of good luck and good timing?
England have so much depth in quality across the team and yet I saw some commentate on social media that if they aren’t careful this could be “The Golden Generation Mark II” and I don’t think they meant that in a positive way.
…Well I can’t see anyone managing to convince some girls to come back to the hotel room after that.
Good to see we’ve gone back to being boring to watch. Was a bit worried Southgate was going to turn us into an exciting team.
Dull & disappointing – that’s the England I know & am used to. Watching England is an act of duty It shouldn’t be fun.
That was such a great international performance. Front-foot, quick passing, attacking football, an assured team performance and lots of goals… It’s very satisfying following this Belgium team at the moment.
Kevin DeBruyne, whose wife has just given birth, whose agent has been quizzed by police, and who has won the PFA award, managed to get his head together and had two assists.
But Batshuayi, filling in for Lukaku, stood out for me (as well as the lively Mertens). He’s a splendid striker and you just wish he’d be in a club that played him regularly. If rumours of his joining Palace on loan are true they are going to see the best of him. His second goal, a lovely backheel, was a pleasure to watch.
Paul in Brussels (Belgium beat Denmark too btw)
Is Woohwah right over Sancho?
Anybody else beginning to think that Woodward’s 50 mil mark is more accurate than Dortmund’s 100 plus? Just askin’.
Gary (Ex Pat United fan in Pennsylvania)B
Women supporting women
It seems I found a kindred spirit in Dave, LFC.
I have no problem with women in sports, women writing about men’s sports, being commentators, interviewers, part of the panel on podcasts etc. As long as they can do a decent job, not trot out the stereotypical tripe, add some entertainment and understand the game. This happens on most occasions, except several off the ex-players – so no different to the bulk of the men then. So loving the diversity and looking forward to more of that.
I don’t watch women’s football, league, CL or International games as I don’t find them high quality – the same as watching the C or D level Nations League games – heck most of the recent internationals. I don’t watch League 1 or below for the same reason but these would be a higher quality game.
When my daughter was growing up she played a decent level of football. Kept moving up a level and playing among a pretty good group of girls. They played in the top division, either winning it or coming close and won many weekend tournaments, many in the US. Of course I went to the games, provided copious encouragement, spent time practicing passing, trapping, etc, with her – although it always seemed I was more interested in her doing this…
The interesting thing was that none of them, not a one, watched football. Any football. On the odd occasion my daughter would watch a Liverpool match with me but not necessarily the whole game and certainly not fully invested in it. I live in Canada now, so they have always had a strong women’s sports cultures, fully supported across all levels. Yet most women watch very little sport. Perhaps gymnastics or ice-skating once every 4 years.
I then heard a member of the Canada women’s football team complaining that men were not watching them play and that was the reason they were not paid well and certainly not the same as men. The quandary was that if women did watch women sports in greater numbers, considering that women influence the largest portion of the household budget, they would get significant commercial interest. Men are already being heavily advertised to on men type things at the games men follow closely. Which is frankly a very narrow band of products. So huge potential for women. No point advertising things like female cosmetics, sportswear, cars women might buy, etc, to the men who would go to watch the games
However, when this is raised whenever this discussion comes up with other women it is roundly shouted down. Sexist, misogynistic, typical man, don’t get it, etc, while prepping the supper, setting the table, keeping the wine or Prosecco topped up and possibly missing the Liverpool game…’because you can always watch it later…’ of course the ‘guys’ say nothing as they know nothing of ‘soccer’
So I go on like Dave, LFC, loving women, what they bring to the world but not watching women’s sports. Perhaps all those women who are now turning up on radio, TV and other media might put the word out for other women to get involved?
The point made about not selling the whole kit in adult sizes: please continue to do so. Not due to the fact that I parade around in one in the full catalogue get-up. Perish the thought. More so, that the socks or the shorts are the items I will most likely buy. They’re the cheapest bit, you can wear them a couple of seasons later without feeling like a fashion victim, and on the five a side pitch for years afterwards without sarcy (spelling?) comments. Just don’t tell my club that I wait until the end of season sale before buying them.
That leads me to my main point. High horse alert. Actually Shire bloody horse alert.
Surprise surprise I don’t buy my team shirt. Even if I did, I think wearing it around the house and at the game is the max I’d get from it, definitely not on the beach on holiday proclaiming the lack of variety in my summer wardrobe.
However, I would think about buying one if it didn’t change every season (where did the ‘every other season’ limitation go?!), in fact, yes, I think I’d want to know it was going to last five seasons. Not just to save money but also to retain a known identity with a specific design, which is a nod to the recent mail about England shirts. I’ll back that up.
It’s bad enough that the home shirt designs can be dictated by the fashionistas in the leisure wear industry, let alone mention the abhorrent efforts of away and ‘third’ shirts, which are pushed in to regular service at the slightest hint of the same hue on a sock top being worn by two teams on the pitch at the same time.
As a side note – Have anyone noticed now how close some of the keeper shirts are to the opposition and/or referee shirt colours? How, with all that choice, does that manage to end up happening!?
Anyway, without sounding too old skool, it’d be great if the clubs could strike the right balance between traditional colours, a bit of fashion (but don’t design it for the pub) and something we’d be proud to wear for five seasons. Commit them to the length of time the main sponsor has signed up for.
Second side note – To all the wealthy/popular clubs, what’s all this about changing the font or number styles too for different competitions?? I don’t want a ‘Cup’ shirt and a league shirt. Why should I want the ‘Cup’ one if we get knocked out in the quarter finals and it will change design again next year?
I want one single design that doesn’t make me feel ripped off because there are five other permutations I could have chosen. That’s just this season.
I firmly believe if the choice becomes more stable, shirt sales actually won’t suffer too much, it will actually attract more current ‘non buyers’ like me. I think many who used to buy every season now don’t, as changes happen too frequently. My son, when he was aged 13, got thoroughly fed up with shirts changing every season and six seasons later has only purchased two – home or away – since. Surely he’s exactly the target audience that puma/nike/adidas expected to buy a new one every time, yet was put off?
Side note 3 – And whilst I’m still in the saddle, don’t get me started on player names on shirts. You can’t even rely on them turning up for training, let alone seeing out a contract. There’s just no point in picking your ‘hero’s’ name at £5 per character or whatever it is. How about replaceable letters? Just kidding there, but I may be on to something.
Finally, most importantly; in all of this, we should all be reducing the amount of throwaway crap being made, so clubs could really bang the environmental drum for having a design that’s lasted longer than the other clubs’ offering, say even made from recycled Evian bottles, rather than having the newest, cheapest to make, biggest mark up opportunity model.
Dismounting now. Bet I’m not alone though; similar thoughts must have hit the Mailbox over recent years.
TyA, Essex (pfff ‘match quality’ shirt, my arse)
The null-and-voiders have given up
In response to Brian, Ireland’s email – I still think that football shouldn’t be happening. I also think that schools shouldn’t be going back, and that Brexit is an incredible catastrophe waiting to happen.
But it looks like all of those battles have been lost and people are just ploughing on with all of the above anyway, no matter how bad the news and how many scare stories/warnings occur.
In fairness, it did seem that football had got its act together, and I was happy to admit that I’d possibly been wrong. The recent outbreaks do look more than a little suspect, but hey ho – there’s only so long you can keep fighting the last war before you start to feel like that Japanese soldier in the jungle.
So I’d say that like all of the above and more (the World Cup in Qatar, City/PSG’s ownership etc) people are just resigned to the fact that the issues are apparently settled now and they’ll carry on no matter what people say. Until the next great dividing issue (where it may be possible to have an influence, but I doubt it), you may as well enjoy the games while they’re on, eh?
Dan Wardle (MUFC since 1983)
…I can’t speak for everyone, but I would certainty think it reasonable to suggest that the people who thought null-and-void was the best option to end the season were largely motivated by the fact the country was in the grip of a spiralling pandemic. When case numbers and deaths were increasing day on day, it would seem a good idea to take any available precautions which may have improved matters. Whilst we’re not exactly out of the woods, and worryingly seem to be experiencing a resurgence in cases, we are undoubtedly in a better position than we were in April. The generally lower number of cases, increased testing capacity and emergence of promising, if limited, treatments makes people rightly have far more confidence that any outbreaks associated with football can be contained and managed, without getting out of hand.
Or people might just hate Liverpool I guess?
Is Klopp on to something?
Mike, as you said in your own email, Keita has had time to bed in. He’s been with you for a year and is only now bedded in.
Every season you are going to expect to have a player or two either leave or drop off due to age or injury etc.
You don’t replace players when they’re gone, you get your replacement in a year before so when you really need them, they’re bedded in, they’re acclimatised, they’re ready.
When a snake sheds its skin, it doesn’t live without skin while it grows a new one.
Remember Ronaldo’s first season at Man Utd? Bit of a fancy dan playing cameos.
Second season? Totally different.
You will get the odd player who just hit the ground running, but they are, 90% of the time, forwards. CBs and especially midfielders need time to adjust to the pace.
In summary, no, Klopp isn’t onto something, and if he thinks he is, it could come back to bite him.
…Long, long time reader and follower of f365. I even had an email published on my first go, a few years ago. I’m compelled somewhat to interject on the topic of how apparently stingy Liverpool FC as a combined club are being at present and resting on their laurels and how this could lead to them missing out on the PL title next year. There have been many “arguments” and much discussion over this lack of expenditure on new players and much frustration from fellow Liverpool fans. But, let’s look at it this way, as I’m sure our Jürgen is, the transfer window doesn’t close until October 5th. So, there’s plenty of time to get the business done and y’all know how our club, under Klopp, operates – no chat, or rumours -and then a signing or two, out of nowhere. So, chill out.
Brendy, County Armagh
Carra and Nev too soft
So long time away from these hallowed pages but long time reader and occasional writer (cancer gets in the way, but no soap in the eyes please, recovery strong)
However I only mention the above to bring a human side to the story I’ve just read on F365’s former bosses and the report I just read on Sky Sports of basically two pundits I’ve always…to a point respected (sorry brackets again but messers Neville and Carra, who I use to think were the best bar none!) But ffs I don’t care if Carra did something in his under 21 days! Or Gaz saying ” oh they are young, no one will remember in 6 months never mind 6 years!”
Jeez sorry are we meant to go “oh they are kids” they just forgot !? Whilst probably fooling around .At the same time in Glasgow where I live… yeah 3rd biggest city in UK… whilst some might not care, lockdown is back on. Kids can’t see Grandparents or families cant attend funerals or maybe weddings and I hear these quotes defending extremely rich teenagers like Foden and Greenwood… oh do shut up!! Doesn’t wash. Stop the bus….the pundits have missed the point!
That age group are the selfish ones who are frankly negating the rules because they think themselves invincible but hey go kill your grandfather or wait set you super stars an example of let’s not give a sh*te.
Carra and Nev should be going to town on these guys not defending them. Saying they are young. Young is going to fight in a trench not kicking a ball for umpteen grand a week.
Rant over but hey.