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I was thinking about what success or failure would be like for Scotland at the Euros. Success has pretty much already been achieved, so we won’t ask for much. A draw would be good, a win even better and the last 16 would be fantastic. Beating England would be best of all. The only way I’d call the tournament a disappointment would be if we lost all our games. Even then though, we have to acknowledge our opponents will be favourites in all our matches.
It got me thinking of England. What is success? What is failure? What would get Southgate sacked?
Winning the tournament is clearly the goal, and I think a run to the semi-finals would be met with praise. Is anything less than that a disappointment? Or a failure? The draw makes it complicated. England could win all 3 group games, play brilliantly against Germany but draw, then lose on penalties. Is that a failure? People were keen to point out that the run to the semi finals in 2018 was helped by an easy draw. Will they be generous enough to go easy on Southgate and co if a tough draw sees them going home early?
And what would it take for Southgate to lose his job? Group stage exit? Finishing 2nd in the group, then going out in the last 16?
I’d be interested to hear what England fans think. What does success or failure look like to you in this tournament?
Mike, LFC, London
— Planet Sport (@PlanetSportcom) June 10, 2021
Fair play, Palace
Talks between Crystal Palace and Nuno Espirito Santo appear to have broken down, and reading between the lines the sticking point appears to be Nuno’s relationship with Jorge Mendes.
While Nuno is as fine a calibre of manager as the Eagles are likely to get, imagine how much better football would be if all clubs followed Palace’s lead and told unnecessarily high profile agents to get f***ed.
Racism and America
Sorry Oliver, but things aren’t near as bad in America as you’d like everyone to believe. And for reference, I’ve lived 54 years out of my 54 years here. People like you exacerbate the problem by making it sound like there is racism lurking on every street corner. Well, it isn’t. The media and the race based grievance hustlers like Sharpton and Jackson would love for you to believe that or they wouldn’t get paid. I too have friends who have been subjected to racism, some of the stories were downright shocking (shocking in that they could still happen in this day and time.) I’ve been around various ethnicities my entire life. The county I live in is the MOST diverse county in the nation. I’m probably the only white guy you know that played on an all-African soccer team (they were damn good, I don’t know why they let me play with them.) I tell you this because it’s already clear where many people’s assumptions lie and I didn’t want you getting yours out of order before you read the rest.
You mentioned Ferguson MO. as part of your diatribe but failed to mention the final outcome, in that Michael Brown, the “victim” of the police, attempted to grab the gun from the officer. I don’t care what color you are, if you do something like that, there are consequences. It wasn’t a racism issue, it was a “not obeying the cops” issue which IS becoming more and more of a problem in this country. You also mentioned Colin Kapernick. Kapernick thought it would be cool to wear socks that depicted cops as “pigs” and disparaged the vast majority of our law enforcement who put themselves in harm’s way for a very meager paycheck. That didn’t play well with the majority of the country and is one of many reasons he no longer plays football (other than not being a very good quarterback.) Did nothing to help the anti-racism cause though.
And the statement “I support the goals of BLM but not the ideology?” That doesn’t fly. BLM goal without the ideology is simply “eradicate racism” which is something we all are behind. We’ve had a black president, many of our top paid athletes are black, there are black success stories everywhere, from Hollywood to corporate America. This simply does not happen in a “racist country.” For me, eradicating racism starts in the home. You teach your children the evils of racism and give examples, and tell them in no uncertain terms that they will not participate in something as abhorrent as such or there will be consequences. Children taught to live with people who don’t look like them don’t give it a second thought when their with people that don’t look like them, talk like them, or act like them. It must start in the home if we really want to change perceptions and attitudes (as well as stereotypes) on race.
Once last comment to Aston Taylor who’s contribution to this was well thought out. You say that “we can legitimately support some goals of their cause without supporting their ideology…” Well I supported many of Donald Trump’s goals on unemployment, job creation, taxes, small business support, etc, etc…. and was told over and over again, that I was a “racist and homophobe” for supporting those goals, simply because they came from the Trump administration. That’s the textbook definition of hypocrisy.
TX Bill, EFC
…Tried to avoid football completely in my post-Gdansk quarantine/funk, but even a quick daily glance at the mailbox has led to my annoyance – sorry interest – building to the point I have to do something about it (same with doctors and illness/injury – need at least three before I’ll go).
I’ve seen a fair bit about whether England should go gung-ho at the Euros. Grealish and Foden are in-form superb talents. Kane is top scorer of everything no matter how he plays. After that… there’s the ghosts of Sterling and our eternally injured Marcus? I really don’t see that Portugal squad quaking. Declan Rice and the dozen wingbacks have strong shouts at being the best players in their position in the tournament if Kante gets injured/suspended/knocked out early. Start with that and hope Grealish wins the game like he seems to have done the last two friendlies I didn’t watch.
England fans and the racism… Now, as a United fan I have never had any interest in the England team.
They have those flags, don’t they?
You know, the ones with “Hartlepool”, “Wycombe” or “Portsmouth”* in the middle of the St George’s cross.
It’s never “Arsenal”, “United”, “Liverpool” or “Chels…” okay, it’s sometimes Chelsea. It’s always seemed to me that England is a big day out for blokes whose teams will probably never play a big European match – and, presumably due to cost/complexity of travel… you only get the worst of them at Wembley? The same coachloads of chunky bigots with bad tattoos that head over to the continent and appear in hilarious videos being banjoed by a Russian MMA fighter.
Just my uninformed impression, mind – and know I’ll be wrong about the flag thing.
Lastly, and probably the reason I wrote in, Plato – MUFC “Marcus has been able to achieve all of this in the UK and in a society which surely cannot be fundamentally racist (I think we are very different to the US)”.
Is that the US which had a black president until 4 years ago? The US where Michael Jordan is the biggest sports star they’ve ever had, Floyd Mayweather and Tiger Woods the richest… all before mentioning their most famous sports activist, Colin Kaepernick?
You can google institutional racism and save me a job explaining why Rashford’s success doesn’t make everything hunky-dory the UK – but, in a land with a much higher percentage of black athletes, I don’t see monkey chant headlines like Rio had in the VERY LAST LEAGUE GAME WE PLAYED? And at least they pretended to boo the knee because it coincided with the National Anthem, not just because they live in Wolverhampton and have like two white players in their entire squad.
So I’d argue our societies aren’t “very different” – in sport alone, we seem to have a bigger problem?
Simon (*yes, we remember AC Milan) MUFC
Racism and kneeling
…Can we stop pretending people are booing footballers who take the knee because it’s “Marxist”? At best this is being used as an excuse, and I highly doubt any of them could even tell you what Marxism is (Petty, but I’m not sorry about insulting the intelligence of racists)
They boo because they disagree with the message and, I suspect, largely because it’s shining a light on their own thoughts and behaviour. They do not agree with racial equality, and they do not want their viewing of the England team (or any football, this happens in other countries and in league football as well) to be interrupted by a reminder of that fact
I would have been happy to see taking the knee discontinued at the end of last season and replaced with more meaningful action, but now I want footballers to keep doing it as every boo and jeer serves as a reminder of how far there is to go in the fight against racism and who we’re fighting against
Jamie Smith, LUFC
…After reading a few mails that I found funny, I thought I’d weigh in.
For those who say ‘what’s the point in taking the knee’ , I can imagine you are one of those proud poppy wearing Englishmen. Or one of those breast cancer ribbon wearing ladies. It’s about awareness. When James McClean didn’t wear the poppy so many were furious at a man not taking part in a ritual made for awareness and respect. But chastised he must be. Those boo-ers of the non poppy wearing Irishman are probably the same boo-ers as the taking the knee crowd, ironically forgetting black and Irish people fought for Britain too. You’re boo’d if you do and you’re boo’d if you don’t.
I find it funny too when someone says ‘All lives matter’. Like, do you show up at breast cancer awareness events and start shouting ‘all cancers matter’ or do you shut up and support it because it’s painfully obvious that more research and support is needed for those suffering with it?
To fix a problem you must first recognize there is a problem. This is what taking the knee is about. It’s awareness that there is a problem and that we should do something about it.
The problem to me is that we have too much hate in the world. Some of it is just, but most of it is vitriol stirred up by those who’d rather us mad at some innocent person who can’t defend themselves rather than those in/with power who know they didn’t play fair to get there. This has turned ignorant people into racists and cowards- racist because of what they do/say, cowards because they only do it when/because they know they can get away with it.
The answer in my opinion? Love! Love for our game, love for our neighbor, love for our country, love for humanity and most importantly, love for yourself.
You do yourself and your country a disservice by claiming love where you act with hate. To love is to be critical and accepting, to hate is to be loyal to ignorance.
(Being a United fan, in the past ten years, I’ve gone from an ignorant loyalist to a critical and accepting fan, with my love for the club being greater than my need for it’s need to win everything)
…So the mailbox suggestions from people now are
“Kneeling is pointless, we should stop doing it because it doesn’t change anything”
Leaving aside the fact that if we stop the kneeling then what were effectively saying is that booing works, there is an element of truth here, racists are still racist. And nothing will ever stop them being racist, it’s a belief system.
So instead we just have to make sure they never express their racism. The way to do this is to take away the thing they supposedly came for – the football. I’d say the FA, uefa and FIFA need to take a much harder stance against it.
I think the kneeling should continue, and when people boo. The game is immediately cancelled. It isn’t rescheduled, just wiped out the calender. If it’s a league game then the points for that game are lost. If it’s a national game in the group stage same thing, Knockout stage both teams are knocked out.
Is this harsh? Yes. But they’ve demonstrated that smaller actions are ineffective.
Not only will it maybe stop people booing or chanting racist things by effect it has the side effect that the people around the people who boo might tell them to shut up and stop booing or they’ve just thrown money down the drain.
I know immediately a bunch of people will disagree with this but honestly those are the same people who say kneeling doesn’t do anything, so let’s do something which does.
By the way to the guy who asked about Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation you don’t pronounce an R at the start of names as a H it’s just specific words but generally speaking r is pronounced like a H.
…When I first heard the booing at England’s warm-up game against Austria, I was upset, but then the crowd spontaneously started clapping to show their support of the players’ (admittedly trivial) act. I cheered.
This same situation was replicated at the second warm-up game. The people clapping vastly outnumbered those booing. I haven’t seen this fact mentioned once in any of my readings on the subject. Hello, blinkered and biased media!
It’s up to us to be aware of and work out social justice for all, in our daily actions. It would be nice if the media had the same outlook but what the footballers are showing is a great big F U to the hierarchy/establishment.
I’m normally an optimist but this England team isn’t going to magically become a cohesive unit overnight. I’ll still be kicking every ball though.
After watching Cristiano Ronaldo step up and take one of the worst free kicks of all time in Portugal’s win over Israel it had me wondering, what are some of the worst free kicks you have seen?
Stand back, Bruno. Ronny’s got this 😎pic.twitter.com/lpCpLLOWT9
— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) June 10, 2021
Felt it would be a nice question to break up the Mailbox that has been full of England squad and Knee mails.
1-0 to the Liverpool?
Only a short and incredibly nit-picky reply to James, Galway.
When Liverpool won the league in 2020 they had precisely four 1-0 victories over the entire season. Maybe it’s just me, but I wish people would stop inventing statistics because they’re too lazy to spend two minutes on Google before writing stuff. Actually, no Premier League winner had conceded more goals since Man City in 2013/14.
Maybe he was talking about the 90/90 season, but they only won 3 games 1-0 then. Who knows?
Dave (BLM, people are sleeping on Italy to win the Euros), Galicia.
I have had all of these football thoughts brewing in my head for sometime and thought I’d share it with you all, bit random, bit behind, but here we go:
Nuno has left Wolves and looks to be heading to Palace. Can someone explain why this is? I feel like he did a great job and built a great team who were unfortunate to have a key player injured?
Henderson has said he fully supports Pickford as England No.1, that attitude would have been nice at United.
Jack Grealish is the absolute titz. I feel like he may go down the Harry Kane road though, of always being priced out of a move and everyone thinking he is not quite that until it’s another year and he does it all again. He always seems to be worth just more than what people are willing to pay.
I feel super bad for J Lingz, don’t want him at United but if the England manager says you should do a move to improve your chances, you do and you outperform everyone but Kane and still miss out to the 4th choice right back and then again to the 5th choice CB.
AWB gets a hard time and it’s kind of silly as to why. His attacking isn’t the best but it’s definitely improving. What is never mentioned is how stupidly often he is very good. He is your classic 7/10 every week player. He is always solid and rarely makes a mistake, his recoveries are next level and there is no better 1v1 in the league. Aparently he is being retrained as a cb and that is great news. He was the league’s second highest rated defender after Cancelo according to whoscored. Eat that Dias.
I took one of the writers(LFC fan) advice and watched the Fergie documentary. He was right, and it was very good. I never knew some of those things about Fergie, especially the Rangers days. Also, the commentators also said United were Britain’s greatest team- despite it being the era of Liverpool and us having less titles. If they can admit it then, you probably should now 🙂
I always felt Chelsea had an immensely strong and high potential team, just in need of a good coach. My god they have it, one good transfer window and we will be looking at the new favorites.
Another strong team with immense potential in need of a good manager is England. A writer said there is nothing wrong with a 1-0 and perhaps he is right. You all got a lot of enjoyment out of beating Sweden, Panama and Tunisia in the last tournament. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be wiser(& a lot more fun) to just go all balls to the wall like the good Liverpool? The English attack is outrageously good and flooded with options and combinations. The midfield has enough to supply it and in Rice enough to shield a weak defense, which also has 4/5 very good attacking fullbacks. From the keeper to Mings to even Maguire, nothing about this teams yells ‘yeah, best we go for the 1-0’.
My dark horses for this one is the Italians. They have a great mix of youth and experience and quality all around… and they’re on sh*t hot form. (Now go watch England beat Italy 1-0)
You mentioned the Sancho to United being underwhelming, perhaps, but that should only be down to him being less exciting than last season, and the news and details of the move being more or less obvious. Seeing him in red will most certainly not be. Another significant signing that’s looking good might be Rafael Varane. If Ole can get those two in, Trippier and a good DM, we will probably looking at our most successful transfer window since, dare I say, the January arrivals of Vidic and Evra. If you exclude impact and just transfer excitement this may be the most exiting of them all in the premiership years.
This one has irked me for ages but I won’t feel better until I get an answer, but how was Moreno not sent off for head butting McTomz in the Europa league final. Way way way behind I know but absolutely nobody anywhere mentioned it and he floored him, with the ball being nowhere near. It’s a head injury and the ref let’s play go on and they nearly score. Then Cavani gets booked. I am just shocked that nobody noticed.
Euro 2020 is finally here – and what better way to celebrate than with a preview show to mark the launch of our new multi-sport website Planet Sport?