The F365 Mailbox picks the England XI for the Switzerland clash

Editor F365
Gareth Southgate, Kane, Foden and Trent with the England badge
Gareth Southgate, Kane, Foden and Trent with the England badge

Gareth Southgate has helped Labour sweep to power and now he can take the England handbrake off. But what team should he play?

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Thank you Gareth Southgate
How good of Gareth Southgate to dampen the English mood these last few weeks to ensure the Tory government didn’t benefit from any potential feel good factor. Now that a new Labour government has been confirmed I look forward to the handbrake coming off and a joyous new dawn for England on and off the field. Possibly.
Chris, Brisbane


Bringing you the F365 Mailbox Clamour XI
Following on from the suggestion that the English public should choose the England team – a fantastic idea btw, the English voting public ALWAYS get it right, I took a look at who the F365 community (and we are a community) think should dropped/started based on just the mailboxes after our last match.

England definitely should drop:

Foden (Badwolf, mailbox July 3rd)

Walker (Tom, Mailbox July 1st)

Trippier (Tom, Mailbox July 1st)

Kane (Peter O Hanraha Hanrahan, Comments Jul 1st)

Rice (Simon, Comments Jul 1st)

One of Stones or Guehi, wasn’t specified (Roger, Mailbox July 1st)

Stones (Bill Brough, Mailbox July 2nd)

Shaw (Someone in the comments, can’t remember who, on the basis that he’s not played in 5 months)

England definitely should play:

Gordon (everyone)

Dier (Barry Fox)


Heskey (me)

Based on the above, your F365 mailbox starting line up for the quarter finals of actual Euro 2024 is:

GK – Pickford (all the people worried about him pre-tournament seem more worried about other players now)

LB – Gomez

CB – Konsa

CB – Dunk

RB – Alexander-Arnold

CM – Bellingham

CM – Mainoo

RW – Saka (Some complaints about form, but no serious suggestions to drop him in the last week)

LW – Gordon (He will save us all)

FW – Watkins

FW – Toney

Acceptable substitutes:



Some might say that defence and midfield reeks of a 5-2 defeat, but I trust the F365 contributors implicitly. Your move Southgate.
Jeremy (will change my name to Tom if it’s easier for everyone) Aves

The Famous F365 Friday Quiz returns! Test your England knowledge credentials here


The Mailboxers have no idea
I often think that most of the mailbox could do a better job than Southgate is. And then sometimes I read the mailbox and see people saying they’d pick Foden over Bellingham for their team and that Mbappe is overrated and realise that it’s definitely not true (it’s just a few of us).


It’s the system, stupid
Interesting to hear what Foden was saying in the media yesterday about the players taking responsibility to help Southgate. ‘We work on the press all the time’ but who are they pressing? Are they actually targeting anyone? It does not look like there is a trigger like you see with City, Arsenal or Liverpool. I can think of one situation where we sprung a co-ordinated press. In 4 games.

It looks like we have no real plan of how to press and when, just that we should press. Also, what is the point in winning the ball back high up the pitch if all we want to do is pass it around a bit and sink back into position?

Now pundits (ex-pros) are coming out with the ‘don’t just pick your best players and squeeze them into the system’ trope. I think the Beeb’s coverage is miles better than ITV but they do have some awful pundits, Dion Dublin, Matthew Upson and Martin Keown drive me up the Wall, they almost seem to do no research whatsoever and just say whatever pops into their heads. It’s not going to magically change by swapping a few players out here and there and sticking with the same processes.

They are not working, bring Gordon in and he is going to need someone to hit him on the run. Not going to happen. That great pass he hit (whichever dull fest it was in) did not come from wide up the pitch, it came from the half way line. Gordon looked pretty good early doors vs Iceland but he had no end product. Foden has created more than most and deserves his starting place.

Palmer looks like and can do it on his own so would be a good shout over Saka – or is it working with Saka softening them up for Palmer to have more influence? Saka hasn’t done anything wrong I don’t think, same with Foden. Dropping them would be harsh and will not reap the rewards that people seem to think it will.

It’s the system. It doesn’t work because, as much as he has done for England, our man Gareth is not as clever as Jurgen Klopp or Ralph Rangnick.

All that said, we can get to the semis! My money is on an England France final when both teams will flick the switch and play out a final for the ages.

Which we will lose on pens!

👉 Bellingham ban a ‘blessing for Southgate’ as pundit digs up Dortmund example to condemn England star
👉 Gareth Southgate has hindered every England player at Euro 2024 and here’s the proof…
👉 England’s starters ranked on likelihood of missing out on Gareth Southgate’s first XI for Switzerland

They CAN play a back three
This mail made me laugh because Gomez has played in a back three a few times. Walker and Stones effectively play in a back three where the three rotates as one of Walker or Stones steps into midfield.

I dunno about Guehi but you could pick the three I’ve listed and have three players who have all played a back three before.

Also throughout a game players don’t just stay in the same formation, it changes dependent on the situation (a lot less so with safeguard but still) so the idea players are incapable of changing positions is a little false.


How much worse can international football get?
Changing the narrative based on the outcome or the winner writes history is more evident in football reporting than anywhere else.

How many people have said that Bellingham and Kane should have been subbed off much earlier in the game because they weren’t contributing? Then after Bell-End’s wonder goal and Kanes winner, reverted? It was more likely that Gordon and Toney replacing those two and sticking Foden in his favoured central role would have won the game long before the 94th minute or at least equalized.

We obviously can’t know what would happen but 93 minutes of dross with the ‘preferred’ line up surely show almost any other (sane) combination would do better.

Another I read yesterday was about how entertaining the Euros have been. Starved of any other decent football and, to be fair, great crowds, and one 1970s style FA Cup game aka Austria vs Turkey got people crowing. Even likening ‘The Save’ with that of Banks’ against Pele. On that save: the ball was chest high and only a few feet to his right, Banks’ save was to the far right bottom of the goal and he managed to make it go up and over the bar. No real comparison. How much did the rain contribute to the absolute chaos of that game. But while Austria showed a lot of huff and puff they really didn’t create a lot until the last few minutes.

And it’s not just the Euros. The Copa America has been worse.

With a Covid delayed Euro 2020 taking place in 2021, the WC splitting the last season and causing the leagues to run earlier and later, the addition of the Europa Conference League (so teams further down the leagues have more games to play) players have been dealing with more injuries this last season and look truly burnt out with little respite. In the past, they would get one summer with less stress to deal with every other year.

And now FIFA in all its Wenger-inspired glory, is going to add how many more games to the Calendar with its revamped ‘World’ Club competition?

If we think the Euros have been a little sh*te, imagine what the basket case of a revamp the next World Cup will be. How many non-games are we likely to get in these 3 team groups? Even the rumoured change to 4 team groups that would mean 8 of the best 3rd place teams will not necessarily fix things as we saw many poor last group games and no one had a clue as to what the next round was going to be. Especially if it means changing venues for teams across the vastness of the entire North America.

Frying pan or fire? To fit all the games in they are compressing the time from end of league season to start of the WC, increasing the time flying from venue to venue and we wonder why these guys are exhausted.

UEFA and FIFA (and probably Concacaf, Afcon, etc) are the real cause of all these poor quality international matches. And to make it worse, we are paying more to watch this dross than ever before.

Will we fans ever learn?
Paul McDevitt

👉 Bellingham ban a ‘blessing for Southgate’ as pundit digs up Dortmund example to condemn England star
👉 Gareth Southgate has hindered every England player at Euro 2024 and here’s the proof…
👉 England’s starters ranked on likelihood of missing out on Gareth Southgate’s first XI for Switzerland


Referees are an issue
We hear people complaining of the Copa America 2024 referees. Whatever happens against Brazil, in any match, people run to X (formerly Twitter) to complain, and claim that those decisions are designed to help Messi and Argentina win the tournament.

My take is, look at all the EURO 2024 games’ decisions. Everything there is aimed at helping the favourites, at the expense of the underdogs.
T.C, Durban