We have your mails on Sunday’s football – including thoughts on Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes – while we look ahead to England v Germany. If you want to feature on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
No Virgil? No good
Turns out that if you remove Virgil van Dijk and his first choice central defensive partner from a team that previously looked unbeatable, they worsen drastically – who knew?
The curious case of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes
Has there ever been a case of two supposedly world-class players playing the polar opposite to Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in respect to when they pull on the shirt of Man U and their respective national teams?
Fernandes is talked about as Man U’s most impactful signing for decades, is the most important player in the team, was in the Premier League team of the season and has won four Premier League player of the month awards in his short spell at the club. For Portugal, he’s was poor for two games at the Euros and hence dropped to the bench, then when he came on last night against Belgium again looked really poor.
Pogba on the other hand has been plagued with inconsistency and criticism from virtually everyone who has spent time watching Man U over the last five years. It would probably be unfair to call him a ‘flop’, however he has only played over 30 Premier League games in one of his five seasons and although I am sure injuries have impacted, a lot of the time he has simply not been deemed good enough to get on the pitch. Now, compare this to France where he was one of their key players in winning the World Cup in 2018 and so far in this tournament looks sensational. Although France is blessed with one of the greatest collection of players for a generation Pogba stands out and excels.
I know there are mitigating factors in both cases, Cristiano overshadowing Fernandes for Portugal and Man U not playing to Pogba’s strengths however my point is has there ever been so different examples of two players from the same club in similar positions playing so different for club versus country?
Paul K, London
Talking Belgium, Bruno and Pogba
Belgium are playing with fire, first Denmark outplayed them and now Portugal, what is going on, makes you mock this FIFA rankings.
A quick note on Bruno, he must have created more chances than most of the players who started, and yet people still complain that he misplaced passes, I think he did well in this game and the first one.
But how come when Bruno does not play well, we are told it is Ole’s fault because he refused to rest him and when Pogba play’s well, we are told it is Ole’s fault because his system at United does not fit Pogba. Is this Ole guy that bad in some people’s eyes?
Would England fans be happy with Belgium masterclass?
Do you think the fans and media of Belgium care right now that they played like that and progressed?
It was a rhetorical question.
If England can play like that, they might just be able to go on and win the damn thing.
Anything less is actually not a failure.
(We must start Grealish, Sancho, Foden, Saka, Sterling, Rushford and Kane in order to pose a threat and play like 70’s Brazil)
How many years of hurt again?
Has anyone else ever noticed that England always bang on about the wrong number of “years of hurt”?
Taking the original 1996 version of Football’s Coming Home as an example, England clearly wouldn’t have been hurting in 1966 – the hurt would have started when the World Cup was lost four years later in Mexico. England were world champions until 1970. Or perhaps the third-place finish in Euro 1968 would be a better starting point.
Either way, It sounds daft to continually refer to the time you won your only trophy as also being the genesis of national footballing grief. England was buzzing in the late ’60s by all accounts – a cultural high water mark, even. It definitely doesn’t sound like a time of hurt, especially as world football champions.
As an aside, FCH is probably one of only two good football songs ever (maybe three as I have a soft spot for “This Time” and the 1982 memories of riding my black Strika bicycle around my estate before heading inside to watch England draw yet another game, over a glass or two of full-sugar Ribena).
I don’t care btw – I just wondered if anyone else thinks the same thing every time they hear it. I guess 30 was easier to rhyme or fit into a couplet than 26 or 28.
Bennett, Val Verde (they offered me a hundred grand but when I heard I’d get my hands on Matrix I said I’d do it for free)
It would have been tricky for England anyway
I just want to point out something that it seems nobody has picked up on.
There was plenty of talk about England wanting to not finish top of their group in order to get an ‘easier’ draw for the knockout stages.
But the way things have panned out, if they had finished second, they would have faced Spain in the last 16 (in the harder part of the draw too, along with France, Italy and Belgium).
If England had finished 3rd, they would have faced Netherlands. Certainly no easier than Germany methinks.
So, regardless of where England finished in their group, they would have faced a big name team anyway.
The king of wishful thinking
Good luck to all involved and let’s also hope there’s not a single reference to any world wars. Wouldn’t want politics to get in the way of football right?
Can we please talk about this?
The Japanese public is currently strongly opposed to hosting the Olympics this summer due to Covid rates that are less than 10% of ours.
Last week in the UK we had:
1505 daily Covid in-patients. 14.2% up from previous week.
259 daily patients on ventilation beds. 23.3% up on previous week.
23 daily deaths. 64.3% up on previous week.
119 weekly deaths. 60.8% up on previous week.
And around 18,000 reported infections a day. 80% up from the previous week.
Every 100 C19+ reports for the under 18 age groups result in 1.3 under 18 patients requiring hospitalisation.
The UK has more cases than the entire EU put together.
Can we please talk about why the fuck Wembley will be hosting multiple events with tens of thousands of fans travelling and mingling?
Also if you as a F365 collective could accept that, in fact, Rice does not go with everything that would be top hole.