Mails: A whole lot of fine England reaction

Daniel Storey

Anything to say? Course you do. Mail


Yeah, about that
You know England have the best strikers when they end up drawing 0-0 vs Slovakia
Rachit (Typical England)


Let’s start with some conclusions
Here are a handful of 16 conclusion type thoughts on England:

* There’s no point whatsoever playing Vardy against a team who are going to camp out in their own area.

* Ali is tremendous but he’s knackered. To be fair this is the first time he’s even been a first team regular for an entire season. From bits and pieces of games on loan to 50 Prem and Cup matches and then an International tournament. That’s quite a season.

*…which begs the question, why not give Barkley a go? This season just gone he scored and assisted more than all of the people who played ahead of him tonight. If not tonight then when? Or is he just there in case 8 other midfielders all get injured at the same time?

* Kane looks goosed too. I wouldn’t give him another minute with all these other strikers around. He’s not contributing anything.

* Speaking of which, Hodgson deserved some credit for being bold against Russia but he can’t keep just throwing strikers on at random to see what’ll come off – there has to be a game-plan. It’s like watching Steve McClaren’s UEFA run with Boro. Ok, so that paid off for him but you get my point. It wasn’t exactly a tactical master stroke.

* Sturridge had been great at times but eff me he is selfish!

* Let’s bubble-wrap Eric Dier until the next game, please.


*Yeap, I’m still angry and disappointed. Across all three games we lacked any real invention to create clear cut chances

* Roy was right to make changes before the game, but during the game I thought his substations were poor. Slovakia were posing no threat whatsoever, so why take off 2 attacking players (Lallana and Wilshire). Wilshire was the only player offering something different..

* We used the width so well in the previous games, yet last night Bertrand and Clyne were hesitant. So often they didn’t even try to beat the last man and it made our attack very stale

* Rooney was plain awful last night.

* We know Vardy works in a counter attacking team. Slovakia were never going to push forward really so it was a poor choice for me.I like Vardy but that really wasn’t the game for him and it can only harm his confidence

* Sterling clearly read the mailbox recently and wanted to make sure people realised he wasn’t quite as good as we thought

* Townsend, the Ox. When teams defend like that you need direct players. We have none at the tournament. Walker is the closest thing and that’s why he has taken the headlines. Wilshire is close but he isn’t match fit.

* Dier played well and has the “range of passing” everyone loves Rooney for which was nice to see

* I could go on but mainly it’s disappointing that we couldn’t push on and top the group. The fearlessness is only being shown from a handful of players. In my mind, that’s the manager and captains responsibility to get the team geared up. I only saw that against Wales so I will put that down home national competitive passion

* Congratulations Wales! Played to your strengths and fully deserve top spot. Having a global superstar certainly helps, but everyone is showing up to play for their country
Rob A (we need an Ozil, Silva, Modric, etc.) AFC


If I had a pound…
If I had a pound for every time I heard the words:

“Sturridge has lost it” or “Henderson over hit” during an England game, I wouldn’t be going to Weston-super-mare for my summer holiday this year.


Dier plays like Matthaus
I don’t think this is too much of a knee jerk reaction, but I am starting to see a little of Lothar Matthaus in Dier’s play. The reading of the game, the time on the ball and the consistency of his passing.

I know it’s a bold call for a player (helpfully pointed out by F365) who has only played his role for season or so, but he really does look impressive. As Mattaus garnered around a million caps, there’s a long way for Dier to go, but initial signs are very promising.

I wonder how much of his on field maturity was engendered by his upbringing as a “foreign”?


Henderson fanmail
I’d rather gouge my eyes out with an extremely blunt spoon than watch another Jordan Henderson “performance” for England. Utter sh*te.

That is all.
Andy, Bristol


…Is there a more infuriating player than Jordan Henderson? He is utterly average and I was shocked to hear the 5Live team at half time say he had had a good first 45 minutes.

Willing to learn, however, and determined to be open minded, I sat down to watch the second half and see what I had missed. The answer? Nothing.

He was so bad at corners and free kicks in the first half that he was taken off duty. He runs hard and his movement is more intelligent than I had previously acknowledged, but where is the point in either quality if, when you get the ball, you use it so diabolically?

His passes are rarely positive and even when sideways or backwards they are heavy or a yard or two either side of the ideal position. As a result, his passing statistics are fine, good even, but so many moves lose their momentum because the recipients of his passes have to take another touch or because a player has had to adjust/check their run.

He has no place in a team – at club or international level – aspiring to win competitions because without being bad, he’s equally not good enough.
Eddie F


Actually, Henderson was really good
Read the player ratings on last night’s game and have to say I disagree with the overall assessment regarding a certain J. Henderson. I for one thought he had a great game last night, as mentioned he delivered the great through ball to Vardy (should have been a goal) and helped release Clyne on a number of occasions and also kept the ball ticking. He had a job and he did it well.

He has always been a player that is good as transferring the ball from midfield to attack (attack being more advanced players like marauding clyne etc) and he did this well.

So yes, his set pieces were crap but that was but one aspect of play, a midfielder should be judged on midfielding (a word?) and I thought he did that really well and I think Wayne has to up his game in order to stay in the starting line up. Based on the 3 (overall good performances I though regardless of results) so far, I think a central trio of Alli, Henderson and Dier is the best combo we got.

Anyways, guess I should get some work done (by reading more F365).
Alex (I have met several Icelandic people) – Dublin


But what about Jack?
A major, although not unexpected, disappointment last night was Wilshere. What irks me the most is that when Hodgson was questioned about Wilshere he trotted out the usual ‘looking good in training’ tripe.

There are only two possible ways to look at this. One, Hodgson’s training is sh*te because clearly if someone who played as dismally as Wilshere was considered to look good in training, then training can’t be up to much. Or Hodgson was lying through his back teeth – to give him an excuse to slot in his favoured son.

Just look at the way Eddie Jones has transformed English rugby and made many key decisions, including training that improves the team and player management.

Balance the decision of Hodgson playing Wilshere in the first play and then keeping him on longer than he should compared to Jones playing Burrell.

Luckily the draw should still be kind to England in the next round in this weaker Euro 2016.
Paul McDevitt


A bunch of sideways Sammys
It is the 89th minute and your team desperately needs a goal to win. Many of your players have pushed up so that there are about five players, including centre backs in the opposition’s box.

Do you:
(a) cross it in many times, hoping the numbers and chaos does something for you, or
(b) keep passing it around before the box before taking a horrible long range shot.

If you chose b then congratulations, you’re England and you’re finishing second in your group!
Mohammad Ali Khan, London


You can’t blame Hodgson for the changes
I can’t believe the stick Roy is getting over his changes. We have so-called experts saying it’s those that caused England to fail last night when after the Wales game the same “experts” were clamouring for changes to the starting eleven. I’m no fan of Roy but fail to see why this time he’s getting grief.

Vardy for Sterling – No brainer – Sterling is lacking form and confidence

Sturridge for Kane – Again no brainer – After his winning goal and Kane’s impression of a man in quicksand

Wilshere for Alli – Alli looked knackered against Wales with little creativity though Wilshere didn’t offer much else and was peak Arsenal against Slovakia.

Henderson for Rooney – Hendo created 3 very credible chances and his pass for Vardy was sublime – not sure of Rooney’s ability to open a packed defence though and looked lost when he came on.

The full backs – Clyne was as good as Walker to the point where Slovakia had to change tactically to cope with Him Weiss and Hamsik were doing double time to keep him at bay. Bertrand was less offensive than Rose but you couldn’t see anything lacking really in either position. Anyway Pochettino rotates his full backs and he’s considered astute when he does this so why is Roy getting it in the neck? In this system the fullbacks go through so much work to provide the width, you have to be careful with overcooking them hence the changes I believe.

The only change that could be questioned really is Hendo/Rooney given Wazza wasn’t tired or ineffective previously but the others – I don’t see the fuss.

The previous incumbents hardly smashed Russia and Wales out the park did they? We have utterly dominated all three games at a major championship, albeit without finishing it off, but when was the last time we did that? And still we moan.

It really is the impossible job.
John Morris


Wild shots are so frustrating
I thought England’s first half performance was miles better than the second half. The finishing was lacking in the first half but the play was ok. In the second half and particularly the last 20 minutes the performance was one of a collection of individuals trying to win the game. Incredibly unprofessional performance. Far too many players thinking they were Beckham vs Greece 2001. We had wild shots from long range, players dribbling at 3 or 4 men and inevitably losing it. England need to learn to be smarter and have more patience.

But for the last minute Sturridge goal vs the Welsh England would be 3rd in the group and facing a nervous wait to ensure we go through. It wasn’t down to the changes, yes Walker and Rooney have been our best players so far but Clyne was the most dangerous player in the first half.

When you look at the make-up of England’s squad, plenty of spurs players, Liverpool players and Vardy up top perhaps it will suit England to play teams who come and attack us so we can press and counter. Either way England need to learn to play as a team not a bunch of glory hunters and improve their finishing.
Rich, London


As was the speed of play
It’s sometimes astonishing watching football. And frustrating (especially with England). The stupidity is often astounding. Now I’m no great sports star, but…

When you’ve broken down their attack and are on the break, you run. You don’t amble slowly. You run, you take advantage of your numbers. There were times when our players walked.

Also when you have an opponent under pressure you maintain it. You don’t relieve the pressure by taking utterly stupid shots, especially in the last few minutes. And when you have time left enough for one considered attack you don’t just hoof the ball forward, you make the passes count.

For some it’s just naivety, like it was for Deli, he’s still a young lad. But Henderson, Sturridge and Kane among others have enough miles under their belts to know better, know enough to play more intelligently. Argg just so predictable after we decided to give Slovakia a chance by making the defence and midfield worse. As if you do that in a tournament.

One last thing, I’ll just throw out there. Some teams (Spain, Italy, Germany) and players are able to control a game and maintain pressure without panicking, pulling the trigger too soon and wasting position. England have never been good at it, and maybe that’s not helped by having a squad of players not used to bossing games.
Guy S (at least the midfield debate is put to bed now)


Ten men behind the ball is nothing new, really
There’s been a lot of anger around England’s performance yesterday but I wanted to pick up on something I saw a few times last night. Some people are claiming that England had to deal with 11 men behind the ball last night and that no other team has had to deal with that?

Sorry what? Have these people only watched England games? The whole sodding tournament has been like that! It’s been the most negative and boring tournament I have ever seen. After sitting through a whole season of Van Gaal’s Man United I was really looking forward to this tournament but alas every game has been like a Van Gaal Man Utd match.

One team puts every player behind the ball whilst the other team keep passing and passing looking for an opening before finally giving it to a full back who either hits the first man with his cross or over hits it and out for a throw. It’s no co-incidence that a lot of big name exciting players haven’t performed. You just can’t play against these walls.

It will get to the point where a 0-0 means no points for either team so basically unless you score a goal you achieve nothing.
Bradley Kirrage


Why did Russia defend so well vs England?
Not too much to be negative about our performance, Slovakia simply parked the bus and filled it with concrete one they heard the Russia score at half time. On that subject, why did Russia play so abysmally awful against Wales and yet defend like titans against England? Almost as if Russia’s sole purpose for being at this tournament was to screw England over as much as possible.

Henderson’s corners made me wish Harry Kane was taking them again, someone needs to tell him that you don’t have to hit the first man every time. It’s sad that Lallana is seen as a safe pair of hands by Hodgson, since he so obviously lacks any composure or finishing ability around the penalty area. Clyne showed Kyle Walker a thing or two about actually crossing the ball and Wilshere fluffed his lines.
Alan Ewens
(MC – Maybe England are just easier to defend against?)


Why didn’t Slovakia go for it?
Surely at half time, they must have realised that Wales were 2-0 up and cruising. Surely, it must have been clear to them that this rubbish Russia side needed to score 3 to knock them out. And surely, they must have realised that a draw and a loss would therefore have the exact same result: third place, and the virtual death sentence of a match-up against Germany or Spain in the second round.

So, why did they not chase the game? Slovakia were in a rare position of luxury, where the consequences of a loss would have been negligible but the benefits of a win would have been an easy(ish) route to the quarter finals. And yet they defended with 11 men, and brought on a defender for a striker. And yet, they celebrated like drunken Vikings once the final whistle blew.

I can’t wrap my head around it, to be honest.
Joe (you were right about Townsend) FFC
(MC – Because a draw took them through with four points. A loss (and three points) might not have done).


Wales conclusions
Some thoughts about Monday night’s football:

*I decided to watch the Wales match because I had an inkling the England game wouldn’t be very good. I stand by my choice.

*Well done to Wales for topping their group. However, England coming second is not the disaster it could have been. They’ll face the runner-up from Group F – so Hungary, Iceland, or Portugal. I don’t think England will walk it, but they can face any of those teams with the belief that they can be beaten.

*Wales’ team spirit was talked up before the tournament, and shining brightly last night, with three team goals – several players touched the ball but positioning and work of all instrumental as well.

*Gareth Bale’s reputation is for being a superstar on the one hand, but on the other, he’s just one of the lads. He didn’t play with a superstar attitude, and Wales’s least successful attacks where Bale trying to go it alone.

He is in that highest echelon of European attackers, joined only by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, yet he shows more willingness to put his superstardom to one side. That isn’t to say the others don’t work hard – Ronaldo certainly does – just that Bale is better and blending in – regardless of what’s happening, you always know where Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are on the field.
*Part of why Bale can take the occasional back seat is that Aaron Ramsey is so willing to drive the play forward. He was also excellent.

*Wayne Hennessey had a quiet night, but was solid when called upon. As an ever present in qualifying, conceded a miserly 4 goals. That’s fewer than all bar 3 teams (Romania 2, England and Spain 3, while Ukraine also conceded 4), so he’s better between the Welsh sticks than you would ever imagine seeing him play for Crystal Palace.

*Neil Taylor couldn’t have been more alone at a meeting of the Ann Widdecombe fan club, as the great Mike Carlson used to say.

*Joe Allen and Joe Ledley worked their ar$e$ off. For a player still not fully fit, Ledley had a tremendous game, winning the ball back for the first goal, and protecting the Welsh defence; Allen also played very well defensively and as a passer.

*Tony Pulis is renowned for being safety first at all times. He seemed to refer to every Turkey player as “the lad” the other day, and avoided slip-ups in this one by simply not mentioning the names of any Russian players.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven


Oh yes
Gary Speed would be so proud.

And really, that’s all there is to say about that.
Stu AFC Wrexham