Laughing at England’s inflated self-worth

Daniel Storey

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Should Arsenal bring back Kolo?
Great question from KC (third on the list is Reina, why did we ever sell him?). My choice would be Kolo Toure.

I think he would add fantastic depth to our central defensive options, and his performances last season prove that. I’m surprised Liverpool haven’t offered him a one year extension. He wouldn’t demand a starting position, but would be a very reliable and experienced back up.

It would enable Calum Chambers to go out on loan for a year as well, which would subsequently give him the much needed game time he requires for his development.

He’d be wasted at Celtic, and surely a season with us is a more attractive proposition for Kolo.
Naz, Gooner


Moses to Palace a perfect fit
KC in the Sunday mailbox (the original name for the disco band) mentioned players possibly returning to Premier League clubs. For Crystal Palace, the first name that came to mind was Victor Moses.

I don’t think he classes as a legend, or even as a cult hero, but there is something about it that would make sense. He’s under contract at Chelsea, but it’s hard to see him playing a major role there this season, and another loan deal to a midtable side – or a side that wants to be midtable – seems inevitable.

Moses originally left Palace in 2010, sold to Wigan for £2.5m in a futile attempt by the club to counteract the administration they had recently entered. That was the side that just escaped relegation on the last day of the season, live on TV. The squad as largely unrecognisable from today – Julian Speroni was in goal, of course; unlikely future European champion Jose Fonte played in defence; Nathaniel Clyne played his first senior season, and a kid called Wilfried Zaha played his first game in the April.

As much as Moses’ upward trajectory has stalled, it’s easy to forget that when he made his debut for Eagles, he was 16, and a genuinely exciting prospect. Now, nine years on, he would still be a good addition for Palace. Moses going out on loan is a recurring trope of transfer windows, and while there hasn’t been any reportage of a possible move to Selhurst Park, I would be very surprised if the club hadn’t made any sort of enquiry about him at all.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven


Success breeds success, failure breeds failure
As an Irishman I obviously take a great interest in watching who England appoint as their manager (Can I take this moment to point out that Ireland turned Roy Hodgson down prior to him becoming England manager?).

Whoever they chose his main job should be to rid the team of the fear that is clearly in them. John Nicholson asked recently are England too thick to win anything, partly based on what happened in the Iceland game. While I agree there is some truth to his assertions (the same could be said for most Irish, Scottish, and Welsh footballers too in fairness), what struck me about England during that game is not that they were too thick to try anything else, it’s that they were terrified.

I read an article, before that Iceland game, which said one of the biggest differences between England and Italy, Germany, France, and Spain is that England want to win games, the others want to win tournaments. That was in response to the backlash against England for daring to qualify for the knock-out stages in second place as opposed to first.

Then English players aren’t immune to that. They knew full well the anger in the media for failing to top their group and win the three games 4 nil or so. So when the sticks were down against Iceland they had that gnawing away at them as well. The longer they didn’t score, the worse it got. They knew that no matter what happened at that stage, even a win, they were going to get slaughtered for it. The younger players might not have experienced it before, but they’ve grown up watching it happen every time England lose. Whereas one of the other countries would have settled things down, England went into panic mode and there was no coming back from that.

There is a saying about the German team that they always do well at international tournaments, because they always do well at international tournaments. I believe a similar saying could be used for England: England always do badly at international tournaments, because they always do badly at international tournaments. Like success breeds success, failure breeds failure.

The new manager, even if it is Big Sam, needs to remove that fear of failure. The first thing he needs to say is “we’re probably not going to win the World Cup, but we’ll give it our best shot.” Then he needs to pick two game plans: one for the minnows and one for the big teams and then pick a squad to suit those game plans. Even Ireland have two different game plans/formations depending on if we’re expecting an easy game or expecting a tough game.
Jerry Ireland


Don’t hold your breath
My verdict on Sam Allardyce lies in the balance. But if the first thing he does is drop Rooney then I’m totally on board.
Adam Corbett



Laughing at inflated self-worth
Have been reading why England will now rule the world of football because they will hire big Sam. What a laugh, why do the English do this to themselves.

Have listened to all the pundits on TV have read all the emails about why England failed at the Euros, however I believe the reason that they fail and consistently fail is very very simple… England are not as good as everyone in England believes they are The players believe it, the fans, the pundits, the journalists, the list is almost endless.

However everyone outside England sees them for what they are…average. Yes they won the World Cup once last century, however teams like Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Iceland… even Australia have moved on and are getting better and better, whereas England keep treading water. Why? Because why should they, they are the bestest and don’t need to prove it to anyone, that is they way that all of England see themselves in a footballing sense.

When I look at the teams in the Euros or World Cup, like most other real football fans I see the possible champions from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Spain the second group of possible includes England, i.e. they should get to quarter finals or semi-finals at best and maybe win the thing if they get the “lucky or easier draw” after the group stages.

However as soon as England qualify for anything the papers are full of why they will win it, this is before the draw for the groups is even performed, then they look at the betting, of course England will be one of the big fancied teams, the silly English punters actually believe they can win and therefore put tons of cash to back their team, therefore reducing the odds on that team and putting them in the favourites bracket.

Please please please keep it up, the laughs and enjoyment I get every two years is well worth it.


Could Jose not build around Schweinsteiger?
I have been meaning to write a long mail explaining why I think Schweinsteiger should and will be the midfielder Mourinho builds the midfield around, so here I go:

Am I the only one who thinks Mourinho will build our midfield around Schweinsteiger?

Sorry, I got two jobs and a girlfriend to try to keep happy.


Breaking: Players are humans too
In response to Anon of Watford, I don’t think Vardy was scared of moving to Arsenal, or will even be too fussed about the fact Kante is now gone.

This is a topic which crops up in every transfer window mailbox: players are people with human emotion and human factors influencing their decisions. Vardy is from Sheffield, has spent his entire career in the north/midlands, has a new wife and appears quite settled.

Additionally, I just don’t think he’s that fussed. According to the nephew of a colleague who has knowledge of these things, Vardy was on the brink of jacking it in and heading back down the leagues when Leicester got promoted to the top flight. He missed training and playing with his mates on a part time basis. Leicester convinced him to stick with it, and the rest is wrist-support wearing history. Sometimes I think a player genuinely fits a club, and a club fits him.
Tom, London, Arsenal.


Lovely young Joe Cole
Just a Joe Cole update. Not too shabby. Get him on the plane!

Adam Corbett


Poor Demba Ba
If anyone hasn’t seen the video of Demba Ba’s leg break yet, don’t. Seriously, it is horrific, wiith his manager since coming out and suggesting that, at 31 years old, this could be the end of his career.

All the best to Demba for his recovery, and while some may regard the Chinese league as early retirement, as top scorer he was making a good go of it.
Adam, LFC, Belfast


We need a Football365 glossary
Am I alone in not having a notion what “washbag culture” is supposed to mean?
Barry S, Dublin


Wenger out
I don’t think Arsenal fans will be happy when Portugal’s Euro formation yields them one win and 9 points from the first 7 games, which is effectively how Portugal would have done if Euro 2016 was a league.
HB (the formation might work though) Iceland