Slovakia to do an Iceland and why England would not improve if Guardiola replaces Southgate

Editor F365
Jurgen Klopp, Gareth Southgate and Pep Guardiola with the England badge
Would Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp do a better job as England manager than Gareth Southgate?

The Mailbox reckons Pep Guardiola would not have more success than Gareth Southgate as England manager but Jurgen Klopp and his vibes might.

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Slovakia to do an Iceland?
A few people have said “Well we weren’t great in the group stage of the last Euros and we reached the final”. No, we weren’t great but we weren’t terrible and we certainly weren’t anywhere near as bad as we have been in the group stage of these Euros.

I see an Iceland style scenario coming against Slovakia. Very plucky underdogs knocking out bunch of very well paid superstars who are playing well below their normal capabilities. I hope I am wrong and it’s at the very least we beat the plucky underdogs then lose in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals to the first good team we face
Dan, London


Pep or Klopp as England boss?
Loads of tripe trope about whether Pep and Klopp would get this England team singing. And maybe they would for a bit but would they be any more successful?

Pep – his teams are successful due to having excellent players including a growth hormone fed Lionel Messi and players on undisclosed side incomes or consultancy projects. Referees may have been bribed. City, all was done within the rules and they don’t have to provide any evidence to prove it. Separately, all those rules, and democracy, are wrong. Also, referees may have had some lovely side hustles in their owner’s country.

He is single handedly responsible for the Philips and Grealish shaped holes in this English squad. His record without Rodri, who keeps Philips out, is far worse than with him despite have a squad of super soldier footballers who is man for man a better pick than every England player. Without Rodri (or a Busquets), Pep does badly with City. My guess, is he’ll do badly with England.

Klopp – is able to turn Divock Origi into a Barcelona toppling goal machine. His infectious positively and personality would have the UK press eating out of his hands. He would demand that the players ran around a lot and got stuck in. It would go very right or very wrong. He would bring glory or glorious failure. And we would love it.

So Pep can’t make a team sing without a Rodri, and he took England’s version in Philips away from us.

Klopp is the living embodiment of the Lightning Seeds Three lions songs. All those years of hurt but it’s a good sing a long.
Alex, South London. An unbiased Liverpool fan.


Clive is the man
I just wanted to echo the sentiments of Harry De Cosemo, who wrote a brilliant article about the departing Clive Tyldesley. I suppose the best and most suitable compliment I can give Clive is that, if I know he’s commentating on a game, it makes me want to watch it even more. And for me Clive, he’s almost done it too well.

I’ll miss him. He’s been a constant voice in football for me, from way back when ITV had Champions League football to pretty much every major International Tournament that’s taken place in my lifetime.

His commentary for ‘that night in Barcelona’, even though it’s now a cliche, was perfect. That ludicrous free kick Ronaldo scored against Arsenal in the 2009 Champions League Final – ‘too far for Ronaldo to think about it…ohhhh!” and his voice as Ronaldinho toe poked it past Petr Cech, I can’t not hear Clive’s voice when I think about those moments.

But you know my absolute favourite? I’m a bit too young to remember this at the time, but when Batistuta scored that outrageous swerving shot against Man United in 1999. I didn’t see it live but I love Batistuta and I love that goal and Clive’s words were brilliant.

“Batistuta…oh what a fantastic hit! Speed of light strike from Gabriel Batistuta!”

I’ll miss him. I’ll miss him and Ally’s chemistry especially. Good luck Clive!
Jack, 30, London


Michael Gun-Yourmyone Oliver
Denmark are not losing to Germany. They’re losing to Michael Oliver and his need to be centre of attention. He’s favouring the home team, mainly cause they’ve an ex city player. Var works, but it’s always at its most controversial when the English referees are there. Why is that?

Denmark maybe wouldn’t have scored but Germany have been helped immensely.

👉 Michael Oliver ‘ruining football’ in predictable, unfounded pile-on of Premier League refs at Euro 2024
👉 Italy and Spalletti embarrassed by the team that will knock England out of Euro 2024


VAR – a new low 
After those two VAR decisions in quick succession against Joachim Andersen I spent most of that Denmark vs Germany game with a face like I just licked a bus seat. I was also angry, not just about that game but what football has become. It feels like it’s been taken over by nerds.

We have a game of football going on, but behind the scenes we have a bunch of eagle eyed assassins staring at 32 monitors in a blacked out van parked just around the corner. And it’s them who have the final say. It’s utterly ridiculous that this is what is now accepted as normal. It’s not normal and it needs to change before the entire world game is infected by this.

It’s damaging the game in real time because I am finding myself becoming less and less interested in watching another VAR cluster f@ck. So whatever organisation, institution or rules committee has the contract for VAR can someone please just rip it up, pay them off, and bin the entire thing and just start from scratch.

As for the offside rule. My suggestion is to use the clear daylight rule which would negate centimetre precision. If we absolutely have to go down the computer analysis route then I would recommend that it should not depend on where your toe, hand, or any other appendage is protruding from. It should be measured from where your centre of gravity is.
Now you might think that sounds like more bollocks, but it’s very easy to figure out where a body’s centre of mass is in this computer age. That should be the anchor point on which you base an offside decision.

Alright… Now if you’ll excuse me I will now meditate before watching the England game to make sure I sit as far away from the TV as possible to mitigate the potential reflex action of my foot going through it.

Cheers then,


Losing is fine if you do it the right way…
I’ve been trying to understand why there is even a discussion about preferring the team a person supports playing nice football vs winning while playing dull football.

I say this considering we’re primarily talking about National sides, rather than a Pep team grinding out wins while playing metronomic passing game. There is still beauty in passing.

We don’t (generally) get to pick our club sides or nationalities. We either inherit them from family or they’re your local side. (It’s what always shocks me when you see kids in the park with PSG or Real shirts on.)

But with that limitation on choice in mind, surely the reason we watch football is to enjoy football for the beauty of the game, those magical moments of skill, not for the win unless the two things are combined?

Would I celebrate England winning the Euros if we played like most of the first three games? No. Be great to have the albatross off the men’s National team’s neck (since apparently the Women’s success hasn’t helped), but aside from that, I’d shrug and forget about it.

I would rather celebrate the team playing football to the quality we should expect from those players, and lose. Then dust yourself off and go again. I enjoyed the second half of the last game more than I did the first, that we won. I remember those moments, the cute pass from Palmer and the pass from Gordon. I remember a couple of runs from Bellingham in the first but the win? Meh.

Only one club or nation can win any tournament at a time, if winning is all that matters, you’re following the wrong sport. Or likely a plastic fan that jumps to the next team.

If Gareth wanted to get the fans on side – and his recent comments suggest he doesn’t really care about that – he’d set us up to go for it, to play good football, play with some style. If we lost to Slovakia or Italy doing that, I’d be ok with it. I’d have had some enjoyment from watching.

But maybe that’s just me.


Never mind the doom and gloom
City fan here.  Well, after watching both games last night I have a genuine question for the F365 glitterati.  Can anybody, ANYBODY, explain how a Southgate team, in THIS tournament, would have beaten any of them had we been in that mix? Oh, and for clarity, I include the Italians, although both poor and a shadow of the team that won the last bash. Because what’s the betting we’d have played a suffocatingly dull 0-0 game until they scored a 89th minute, yet depressingly inevitable, heartbreaker? (Or, worse still, gone to pens). We certainly wouldn’t have beaten the other three.

Anyway, never mind my doom and gloom.  It’s not as though Slovakia will do anything like that is it?
Mark (Of course not.  The thoughts laughable!) MCFC.


I was scanning the Newcastle United socials during SUI-ITA, and they are full of righteous — often self-righteous — indignation and frustration with PSR. And they’re terrified of losing our best players.

I don’t believe Isak is going to be sold for less than £150 million, and Chelsea surely don’t have that kind of headroom. Right? Right? But the Gordon rumors are freaking even me out. Elliott Anderson is also mentioned too often for my comfort. (Don’t sell Anderson, offer a loan-for-fee to a club where he’ll start.)

If nobody else comes in with a big offer for Minteh, whom no Newcastle supporter wants to lose, the club will have some fences to mend. Dubravka has probably played himself into the market at the Euros. Wilson looks to be on his way, and while it makes me sad, it’s the right time for him to move on. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trippier go.

But I’ve heard of no offers for Almiron; will a PIF-associated club eventually step in with an offer that seems a bit low, as with ASM? Nobody will be coming for Lascelles while he’s crocked. It’s hard to imagine who’d want to buy Matt Targett at this point. Sean Longstaff might draw interest, but won’t want to leave for Leeds or Leicester.

There’s also a lot of whining in the socials about City and Chelsea. I have to agree with it to the extent that City have 115 FFP/PSR charges that have been pending and effectively suspended for years, while I’ve long been deeply suspicious that Chelsea’s spending over the last couple of years must surely have included significant violations.

But I figure rules are rules, and I’m very happy that United *haven’t* broken them so far, although right now it’s tempting to say “take the points deduction(s) for next season and let’s watch some awesome footie, maybe win a cup.”

It’s true that the PSR rules as they exist represent the richest clubs pulling the ladder up behind them because of City’s rise to financial dominance in terms of squad value. On the other hand, it’s also true that PSR provides some limits to spending that benefit poorer clubs, if only because they somewhat limit the growth in player prices and salaries.

It’s a complicated issue, but I think a luxury tax might work out well. A good first step is to adjust allowable losses for currency inflation (or even for inflation in player prices). Then, add a rule requiring that a given additional percentage of player purchases in violation of PSR be paid into the league’s prize or pension funds, or toward grass-roots football. It allows rich owners to buy competitiveness, limited by their willingness to pay say, an extra 25% for the privilege, and in a way that benefits everybody else, too.

How about these Swiss geezers, though? 2-0 in the 88th, and it’s been a fantastic performance.
Chris C, Toon Army DC (Gordon would be the most gutting player sale for me since Les Ferdinand.)


Colour me pissed
A note away from the actual football.

Can we finally get rid of co-commentators? The only colour they ever add is sh**t. Danny Murphy in this instance on the Switzerland game.

Removing co-comms would only make watching football games on TV better.
Will (No exceptions)


Fair play to Johnny Brainicked for shoveling the usual horsesh*t into us’new’ content. Very thoughtful of Didier Drogba to getting himself sent off just so public enemy no 1 could indulge himself by taking Drogba’s scheduled penalty. Absolutely no chance it could have been the team captain taking responsibility in the absence of the scheduled taker.
Kirk Howard

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