Mails: It is time for Rashford (and Barkley)

Date published: Wednesday 22nd June 2016 10:07 - Matthew Stead

Mail with good things.


Here’s what you could have won
Germany, Italy, Spain, England, and France are competing for the same place in a semi-final. Poland, Switzerland, Wales, and Croatia are competing for the other one.

It seems like Vardy’s miss was even more costly than everyone initially thought…


It is time for Rashford
For the first time in donkey’s, we are actually creating chances and dominating games but we still lack a real goal threat to finish them.

So, what does England need from a striker? In my view we need someone fast, who has a sharp shot but can link up with others and bring them in to play, has good movement and game intelligence to run the channels. Maybe add a bit of excitement, freshness and cutting edge to our attacks.

So far all of Kane, Sturridge and Vardy have messed up their lines, the latter two demonstrating their potential as impact subs but not much else.

We do, however, have a man who exactly foots the bill and his name is Marcus Rashford.

The time come, the platform has been set, for the youngest player to light up the tournament, to do an Owen or a Rooney and give us what we’re missing. Though I don’t want to see us put pressure on him, he has shown he can absolutely take it.

Please can we start banging the Rashford drum now? Impact sub next game, starting the one after along side Kane (the next best and perfect partner).

Come on F365, make it so.
Guy S


England are Tottenham, sans Dembele
So many gripes and complaints about England, and I don’t really understand why. Changes needed to be made because players need to be kept fresh for the next round(s). We didn’t lose. We were the better side. We qualified for the next round. That’s all pretty good news. Yet still there is moaning, wishes that the manager would go, and hand-wringing over squad selection. It’s f**king grim. This is why people think we have a sense of entitlement when it comes to the England team; it’s not that we all claim we’re going to win, it’s that we act like such pricks when we don’t maul every side that comes our way.

If we’re going to use Bilic’s quotes to prove that Hodgson is a failure, why not also mention that he followed up by saying that we would probably have more success in front of goal against better sides, as they won’t be defending deep in large numbers? Because it’s true. And it is a concept that is relevant when considering Vardy’s place in the squad. He has one particular trick up his sleeve, and that requires space behind the defence – which is more likely to exist in the later rounds, against the more aggressive sides.

And Kane isn’t tired, because everyone else has played a full season too? I’d be interested to know exactly how many other attacking players had as many minutes as he did. Not sure if you noticed, but Spurs have no other strikers. None. We have attacking players who can fill in, to an extent, but he had basically no cover and played pretty much every single game as a result. So yeah, he’s f**king shattered. His fitness levels are incredible, but he’s still feeling the effects of an intense season. As a result, he lacks the sharpness and graft that makes him so effective.

But no, f**k that. Sean says professional athletes don’t get tired. That’s why other sports run all year round, day in, day out.

Look, this is how it is: England are Spurs now. Unfortunately we don’t have a Dembele. That makes quite the difference.

As an aside, I just want to say how happy Rose and Walker’s performances have made me. Walker has improved massively and seems to have reacted really well to the pressure of Trippier’s signing (as has Rose with Davies arrival). He has developed his game to be more than just pace after calamity, and I applaud him for it. But it’s Danny that makes me smile the most. I f**king love Danny Rose. It’s the way he tackles people like his life depends on it, his perpetual look of seething rage, and his absolute commitment to EVERYTHING. I know he isn’t exactly the most popular Spurs player, or England player for that matter, and that Shaw is expected to walk straight back into the side, but I think that would be a mistake. Danny is a goddamn hero.


Roy ain’t good enough (Redknapp is better)
Simple as that.

This started out In the comments section but it was getting a bit too much so I decided to take a shot at the mailbox. I realize I might not get printed but few people will be inclined to agree with me anyways so no big loss. Any optimism for this England team is misplaced.
I will try to outline my reasons so I don’t loose track of my own argument.

– Roy got his team selection wrong.
When selecting a team of players for a tournament, few countries in Europe are as spoilt for choice as England are this year. That does not make the managers job easier. It makes it harder. Filling up your teamlist with star names and luxury footballers will only make opponents fear to play openly against you. That’s how wales topped the group. Roy needed to select a number of low profile hard workers and a handful of high profile players who have won something. Wilshere, Henderson, Rashford, Lallana, should have been replaced by Drinkwater, Noble, Carroll and Barkley should be starting and Rooney and Kane should be on the bench. The names are underwhelming but that’s the point. It will make the team less fearsome but no less dangerous and solid and make games easier to win. His team selection has no strategy behind it. It seems like he is trying to compensate for a lack of tactical nous by fielding a team of young players with big names but not much else.

– players missing chances is the managers fault (in this case). Roy selected vardy and Kane as England’s main CFs. Which is fine. But opted to start with Kane which was naive to the point of insanity. Playing them together when goals are needed is an even worse idea. It chokes the box and makes clear cut chances hard to create. A good manager should have a realistic grasp of his players strong points and try to maximize their advantages. But it seems like his reason for picking Kane ahead of vardy was simply because Kane scored more in the league but I always knew that Kane would suffer if England are unable to supply the opportunities.

I would have started vardy alone upfront. Played Barkley in a free role and parked the bus with walker and rose ready to bomb foward.

With the team England have they can only play the same tactics over and over again albeit with different players. It results in lots of sterile possession against weak teams who setup to defend and Saying England would benefit from stronger opponents is silly. Stronger teams can still setup to nullify possession and furthermore they can make you pay for loosing the ball in vital areas of the pitch. England are not scoring because they are not creating enough clear cut chances and that’s the managers fault. Sterlings miss against wales cannot be blamed on him. I actually think he should be commended for making any contact with the ball. To drive home my point, Giroud alone has missed more chances than the entire England team and France still won their first two games.
Players miss chances. Nothing new about that.

– which brings me to my final point. Roy seems to believe that it exonerates him that England are playing well and lots of England fans agree with him and would have him continue as manager.

The purpose of playing is not just to play well but to win and a good manager knows that sometimes, especially in cup competitions you have to sacrifice playing well on the alter of winning.

If there is any one player who has epitomized England’s national team, it’s Adam Lallana who (shocker) has started every game.

Lots of fancy stuff, looks good on the ball but ultimately plays for the other team.

Drop Lallana, start Barkley, drop all players deep and direct play to the flanks. That’s where pace can be deployed with ease. Concede some possession in midfield and England will be able to conserve energy for fast breaks.

Better still just fire Roy. he lacks tactical know how, Lacks game management, lacks balls.
He is a dinosaur from a long gone age in football.
Wiki him if you don’t believe me.
Paul(CFC) (Redknapp would be better)


Compare and contrast
This week, one of the teams participating in Euro 2016 went into a game which would ultimately decide whether or not they won their group, or finished second. The manager made bold and sweeping changes to his starting eleven, including leaving out a talismanic central midfielder who had been hailed for his performances in the first two games, and whose substitution had heralded a late collapse in an earlier group game.

The following day, of course, the media coverage was in rare agreement in their verdict on the game.

Hats off to Croatia, proper job!
Terry Hall, Switzerland


So, Hodgson is criticised for rotating his players after they played 3 games within 10 days after a long season and they finished second.

Spain look tired playing the third game in 10 days after a long season and lose to finish second in the group. Manager criticised.

When will people accept that the ‘lesser’ teams are better than they were? Croatia looked good for their win. Slovakia and Wales defended resolutely.

England will do better in the last 16 and Spain vs Italy looks like a tasty tie!


See Roy? See what happens when you don’t change your team? Del Bosque knew his team, trusted their fitness and Spain march on imperiously.
Will (Only saw the first 44 minutes, but that was more than enough to know I’m right) O’Doherty


Don’t blame UEFA
Matt Stead in his article about N.IRE insinuates that we are witnessing a glut of 0-) draws because of the weakness of the smaller clubs allowed into the tournament because of the expansion.

I just want to point out that those scoreless games where Germany/Poland Portugal/Austria Switzerland/France and England/Slovakia only Slovakia from that list could be accused of being in France because of the expansion,And after their first two performance can you actually begrudge Slovakia for parking the bus against an English team who underestimated them enough to drop six players.

In actual fact the expansion and the fact teams know they have a good chance of qualifying with three points has made some unexpected matches and teams improve (see turkey and albania’s last games and hungary in their first two). There have also been fewer dead rubbers as teams can still qualify after two bad resuts. And lest we forget Hungary,Slovakia Wales Albania and Romania who have all benefited from the expansion have provided some great entertainment in this tournament the obviously besides the aforementioned draw between Slovakia and England. The So called big teams have not yet set the tournament on fire only Wales average 2 goals a game from group A- D.

The biggest disappointments so far have been teams that have been habitual qualifiers who no longer have the quality players that made them capable of going far such as Russia Ukraine and Czech Republic and some of the dark-horses like Austria .

So stop blaming the new teams they’ve contributed more than most
( The five former World Champs are now on one side of the draw WTAF)


The problem with Euro 2016 and the approach teams are taking, I feel, has nothing to do with the quality of the 17th through 24th-ranked teams that have been admitted.

Instead, it has been severely negatively affected by the fact that third-placed teams qualify. The idea that a team can lose two games and win a third to qualify is preposterous. The fact that four teams finish first and play a third-placed team, while Italy finished first and play second-placed Spain, is even more so.

I was talking to a non-football-watching colleague of mine about this, and he came up with the proposal to have 8 groups of 3 teams, with only the top 2 going through. You could then choose between having a second group stage (unlikely) or moving straight into the round of 16. Or, you could make it so that only the top team in each group qualify, and go straight into the quarter-final stage.

Either way, I hope they continue to invite 24 teams, as the variety has been fun to watch. But I also hope they fix the tournament structure. It’s a joke.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


Wales are favourites now
As all we’ve heard from Welsh fans is that by topping the group it’s their greatest achievement (rightly so) and they don’t care what happens now I have a genuine question for them.

As you play a 3rd place team which could be Northern Ireland or another poor team that’s benefitted from the revised format, would you still be happy if you lost to them even though you were group winners and probably have a better team on paper than them?

The pressure will be on Wales now as they’ll be favourites and the expectations of the team will change as people back home will jump on the bandwagon inc politicians who thought Sam Warburton is the Wales captain.

This is what the England team and supporters go through every tournament. Dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t (win 3-0 every game)
Simon Fitzwilliams (winning your group is overrated, just ask Italy), Cambridge


Third-place permutations
I’ve not read anything on third place permutations this tournament, probably because it’s a bit convoluted (or more likely just not very interesting). Basically there were originally 15 different combinations of 3rd place teams that could go through. This has now been whittled down to 4 possible cominations: ABCD, BCDE, BCDF, BCEF. Each of these combinations leads to a different draw.

I’ve used betting odds to estimate how likely each of these combinations are and what those match ups would look like:

5% France v Northern Ireland, Wales vs Turkey, Germany vs Albania, Croatia vs Slovakia
4% France vs Northern Ireland, Wales vs Turkey, Germany vs Slovakia, Croaita vs 3E
52% France vs Northern Ireland, Wales vs Turkey, Germany vs Slovakia, Croaita vs 3F
39% France vs 3E, Wales vs Northern Ireland, Germany vs Slovakia, Croaita vs 3F

In terms of opponents this works out as:

France vs
61% Northern Ireland
27% Republic of Ireland
12% Belgium

Wales vs
61% Turkey
39% Northern Ireland

Germany vs
95% Slovakia
5% Albania

Croatia vs
32% Austria
23% Iceland
19% Portugal
17% Hungary
5% Slovakia
3% Republic of Ireland
1% Belgium

So France should play an Irish team, Germany will play Slovakia and Croatia could play anybody. Insight.
Dr Otter (What you’re looking at is the masterplan)


The latest from Japan
Monday’s most eagerly anticipated match saw Zweigen Kanazawa take on Fagiano Okayama. After a brief dalliance with the dizzy heights of 21st place, Zweigen were back in last going into this game after conceding 8 goals in two losses to fellow strugglers in their previous two matches. Okayama, meanwhile, were in fourth and boasted J2’s second most prolific attack.

The opening 15 minutes were fairly even and both teams had decent possession and chances. An injury to Zweigen’s North Korean international striker, An Byong Jun, saw a short stoppage while he was stretchered off. Okayama then took control of the match and dominated for the next 20 minutes but couldn’t score. Zweigen actually took the lead – a rarity – 13 seconds into the second half with a well-taken shot from the edge of the area into the bottom right corner. It was then Zweigen’s turn to dominate but, as with Okayama in the first half, they couldn’t increase the lead. With 20 minutes left, Okayama ventured into the Zweigen box for the first time in the half and won a penalty: the keeper needlessly threw himself at the feet of a striker who was running away from goal. The penalty was converted and Zweigen had to hang on to get the draw. They remain bottom, two points behind the team in 21st, due to their infuriating habit of taking points from top teams and losing to teams near the relegation zone.

The biggest news in football this week (at one point it was one of the top stories on the Guardian website) was 49-year old Kazuyoshi Miura scoring for Yokohama FC in a 2-1 loss to FC Gifu. By doing so extended his own record as the J-League’s oldest goalscorer. Some readers may have seen an article about him by Justin McCurry in an issue of When Saturday Comes a while back. Truly a story that gives hope to all middle-aged men.

James T, Kanazawa, Japan

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