Get your mails into email@example.com…
16 very short conclusions
In the interests of brevity – a very quick 16 conclusions from the England Romania game in the run up to the tournament itself:
1. Grealish is now a given for the starting 11
2. Ben White is the right / safe choice as the 26th man
3. Jordan Henderson is so far away from being match fit it is scary
4. Sancho is a better option currently than both Sterling and Rashford
5. Bellingham is way better that any 17 year old has the right to be
6. 4 at the back is England’s best chance of winning the competition
7. Johnstone’s save is a genuine contender for save of the season
8. Shaw probably edges Chillwell for the left back slot
9. Two defensive midfielders / ‘double pivot’ ends up negating England’s genuine attacking strengths
10. Rashford’s penalty was audacious and made me laugh
11. England fans booing taking the knee can just f**k right off
12. Friendlies are never very entertaining
13. Over 50 years since we have beaten Romania is a weird fact
14. Henderson really is rubbish at taking penalties
15. Pretty much every central defender we have is capable of a howler – which is a worry
16. Cant wait for the tournament to start now – properly excited!
MARK T (London)
Southgate clearly has seen that if Maguire is not fit then Mings is not up for starting against Croatia in a 3 man defence. I would back Ben White to start on the left of the three if Maguire isn’t fit.
Does anyone else feel that had the squad been announced later Tyone Mings would not be in the squad and James Ward-Prowse would have been included at this expense. Only issue in the squad for me is JWP. For a team so reliant on set pieces it is a shame to not include the best dead ball player in the country. Would be a perfect 70 minute sub in tight games.
Southgate’s exciting 3-4-3
The title seems mad but maybe just maybe he will do it. As Maguire is out at least for the group stages and expecting he doesn’t try to shoehorn Henderson in, he could name a defensive yet exciting XI.
Walker Stones Shaw
James Bellingham Rice Trippier
Mount Kane Grealish
Lack of Maguire’s defensive presence and his ball carrying abilities will certainly make Southgate go into a 3-4-3. His decision to take more fullbacks than midfielders might be justified after all. He has been playing Trippier a lot on the left as seen in both of these warm-up games and in the Nations League towards the end. Shaw has played in a back 3 before and can with cover of two proper CMs can flourish there with his good range of passing and excellent ball carrying runs. Walker will certainly play at RCB as his pace can take us out of trouble when we inevitably lose easy balls in the midfield. And as Southgate has repeatedly said before he looks for balance which in his terms is 5 defenders and 2 DMs. In Rice and Bellingham duo, we can have that said defensive solidity whilst adding a forward ball carrying and good passing dynamism. 2 wide positions is the one with the most debate right now. He could play Rashford and Sterling again which would take all of the joy out of this squad for me. Sterling has not featured in City’s season consistently and Sancho looked quite rusty yesterday. Rashford has been carrying an injury all season and his end products have left a lot to be desired. Mount is one of Gareth’s favorite players and will certainly start and his combination with James on the right wing could be a bonus as we are a too left flank dependent team for attacks . Between Foden and Grealish is a very tight call but looking at the way Grealish has been influencing these last two games, he definitely has the right to start.
With an adventurous back three, wide attacking full backs, balanced midfield, technical attackers with flair and a world class striker up front what could go wrong?
Beaten in quarterfinals by a Bruno Fernandes penalty then.
Ujwal Basnet, Nepal, MUFC
Why Rashford won’t be top scorer
There is a reason that Rashford is priced at 80-1 to be the Golden Boot winner. He is incredibly unlikely to win it. Rashford is a very good player, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not an out and out goal scorer.
On average the top scorer in a major tournament scores 5-6 goals, or just under a goal a game. Rashford has never had a season where he’s scored more than a goal every 2 games. For England he’s scored 12 in 41.
To be top scorer, England would need to reach at least the semi-finals, Rashford would need to keep his place in the team (not certain), he would have to hit a career best scoring streak (despite being in poor form) and he would need to outscore Kane, despite not playing through the middle or taking penalties. 80-1 is generous.
If you want a steal, lump on 13-2, Scotland to beat England. Easy money.
Mike, LFC, London
In answer to Alex in the Algarve. The reason Marcus Rashford is 80-1 to win the Golden Boot is that he’s not actually that good.
If I was England manager, he definitely wouldn’t be in the starting eleven.
His goal scoring record throughout his career is pretty poor he’s only ever averaged a goal in every 3 games or so.
As England will have seven games IF we get to the final (and that’s a very big IF) it means he may score 2/3 goals throughout the tournament.
The most he’s ever scored for UTD in a season is 17 and six of those were penalties.
If Harry Kane is on the pitch there is no way Rashford is even getting close to taking one.
Neil, LFC, USA
Rating England’s Euro chances
England have a fantastic attacking talent for this Euros but do they have the right mentality to get over ? Usually the mentality of winning comes from the manager or coach who has won in the past, to take the whole squad over the line.
France is a good example, their coach (Didier Deschamps) had won the 1998 WC as a player which helped them to win the WC in 2018.
Does Southgate have that X-factor to take the team over the line ? My gut feeling is , this England side would be a good top-4/6 side rather than a Champion side.
Happy to hear from others…
Arun ( ENG supporter, thinking a lot on if we can deliver)
So I’ve got to the point where I start to dream the impossible and think about England getting out of its group and into the knock-outs and I try to figure out our route to the final.
Our route looks very tricky.
If we win our group, in the last 16 we’d face the runner-up of Group F. That’s the Group of Death with France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary! The first three of these are teams I’d put comfortably within the top 6 teams at the Euros. If we manage to get past one of France, Germany or Portugal, we’d likely face Spain in the quarters.
If we finish runner-up to our group, the last 16 tie doesn’t look quite as bad. We’d face the runner-up of Group E (Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia) – so likely to be either Poland or Sweden. However, if we win this, then we’d likely face the winner of Group F, back to the Group of Death and one of Germany, France or Portugal!
Our group is inextricably linked to the Group of Death so I don’t have high hopes for us getting to the semis, unless we manage to beat a top class team in a knock-out tie for the first time since 1966.
If we finish 3rd in our group, we could still qualify but its incredibly tough to predict who we might face as it’s a bit of a lottery who you’re drawn against. It’d either be the winner of Group B, C or E – likely to be Belgium, Holland or Spain…
Tom C (we’ll probably finish 4th anyway), London.
Every time he opens his mouth Roy Keane shows why he was such an abject failure as a football manager. He genuinely has no understanding of how anyone other than Roy Keane thinks. Why he continues to get media work I’ve no idea, maybe the TV equivalent of click bait.
I know the answer Simon, my useless knowledge paid off
Reading the Mailbox this morning, i got down to the final mail from Simon THFC in regards to which pairing of defenders had played together the most times for club and country, i smiled as i genuinely knew the answer without a google search, the reason was because it was used in a pub quiz (remember when those were a thing?) a while ago and since then it has been stuck in my memory.
The answer is Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta, they played together for AC Milan and Italy a total of 550 times, which is certainly something, still feel to this day that Costacurta is heavily underrated, he never gets the glory the likes of Maldini, Cafu, Nesta etc do, yet was a key part of that Milan side that dominated European football.
It’s coming home…
Fucking great, the Euro’s are here and so are the racists, the virtue signallers, the pound shop managers the FIFA analysts and those with political commentary to place on England and its participation in the competition.
Cannot remember a time when we went into a tournament to enjoy it, unencumbered by expectation, political posturing, colonial commentary or hatred. If ever an occasion shows how disparate and fucked up this ‘England’ really is the Euros gives the perfect platform for all.
I’ll watch England with interest and pride, they have a talented squad, not sure they have a talented manager. Happy to be proved wrong.
Cheer the knee!
Most fans support taking the knee, a few want to boo. So why don’t the supporters cheer? Drown out the boos, support the cause, support the players and the team.
How about a F365 campaign?
Giles, LFC & England
There’s so much discourse about whether the England team should take the knee that it threatens to overshadow the football itself. However there’s one glaring point here. The England team now start every match being booed by their own fans. I should probably leave it there, as that’s really the biggest point to me, and the negative atmosphere that creates doesn’t need explaining.
Obviously, the booers will not lead Gareth Southgate or the FA to back down. Nor will the right leaning ‘intelligentsia’ who all of a sudden are trying to scare middle England into fearing they’re about to be governed by a Marxist ideology. Despite the fact we have the most right leaning government in many years and that will likely be in power for another decade.
So taking the knee will continue. And why will it continue? Because if you ask any player what they’re thinking while taking the knee, they’ll tell you they’re making a statement against racism. And if any of them use the phrase ‘black lives matter’ it’ll be as I’ve put it, in non capitals, as it’s not an organisation they’re supporting but because they truly believe black lives matter.
I’m not going to continue to draw this out as what I personally think of those booing isn’t relevant. But to come back to my first point; the England team will start every match being booed by their own fans. I can’t call them supporters, because what they’re doing is far from supportive.
Michael Gibson LFC
It’s a shame that racists are such utter cowards about their beliefs. Life would be so much more straight forward if they had even the merest hint of a spine and could therefore stand by their feelings. Then we wouldn’t have to waste our lives reading absolute bollocks about Marxism and defunding the police and all the other hypocritical nonsense that was disseminated among them as their latest “I am not racist but” ticksheet.
If you are racist enough to boo an anti-racism gesture then why not be honest about it? The more you argue that it is actually because you fear the impact on the nuclear family, the more pathetic you seem. You give every answer except the honest one.
You keep telling us you’re the silent majority. In which case, open your fucking cowardly mouths and speak your truth. You’re the majority, right? So what the fuck are you so scared of?
You parrot the official line, you swallow the slurry fed to you, and through those shit-stained teeth you splutter out answers that convince nobody. So come on out of your bitter, hateful closets. Show us your faces. Show us who you are.
Listening to working class people boo an anti-racist gesture because of perceived anti-capitalist sentiments, having been goaded into doing so by billionaire-owned media empires, has become too stupid for words. That those same working class people will then round on the “rich” footballers for trying to tell them what to do only adds to the ignorance.
I would not be surprised if there was a distinct overlap with the men’s rights brigade, who only give a fuck about men’s issues when someone dares highlight the male/female equality gap. The world contains so many scared and trembling white guys, all terrified of equality. You do realise how embarrassing that is, right? Dear Lord, how awful it must be to be so genuinely frightened of being put on an equal footing. Maybe you should stop throwing your lot in with billionaires who made their wealth off the back of your effort, and who insist that every problem in your relatively easy life is the fault of someone just like you? Maybe, just maybe, ask yourself if people with a direct financial incentive in keeping racism alive and the people at war with each other are actually trustworthy? Maybe consider doing actual research and not just finding Facebook friends to confirm your opinions? Maybe employ some critical thinking? Maybe, and this probably the toughest of all, stop being a fucking cunt who boos an anti-racist gesture and then pretends it’s out of love for capitalism and the police and all of the other bollocks?
Puzzling for me…
Can someone please consolidate the following 2 statements for me?
Zaha is brave and standing up for what he thinks by not taking the knee.
Fans booing taking the knee are cowards and racists.
It’s really puzzling me what the difference is, unless we are making sweeping assumptions about the booers?
You pay your money you can boo all you like, I never understood the pundits slating fans when they would boo at half-time, they pay their hard earned money so can boo whatever they want.
Now onto the more controversial issue, what is the kneeling for now because it was Colin Kaepernick and the problems in the US, so if it’s to make a stand about racism in England I would need some specifics as I don’t believe England is a racist country, yes there have been some instances in the past decade but we don’t have the past or the problems the US has, we now have Hope united and I’m not clear on what their message is either, is it all about social media racism as that should be directed at social media companies, kneeling won’t do a thing in regards to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Politics is in football but does it have to be, it’s in EVERY silly super hero film, in every pop song and whever you look on social media.
Greg CFC Herts
Meanwhile in Belgium, the national side impressed yesterday while beating Croatia 1-0. It might seem a narrow victory, and Croatia are not as good as they were 3 years ago by the looks of it. But the Belgians looked really comfortable out there. Lukaku stood out most of all. His volley in the six-yard box won the tie, but his chest-swivel&volley move from the edge of the 18 yard box was eye-catching, and canoned off the top of the upright. He is looking unstoppable.
There are quality players in every position, including those who wouldn’t be in the first eleven. You’ve got Carrasco dribbling into the box, Tielemans pulling the strings from midfield, even when KDB is out. And then Eden Hazard steps on to the pitch for his first appearance for the national side since November 2019…
Underestimate them at your peril. Or just sit back and enjoy them. Then again, boring Greece won Euro 2004 in spite of all the teams full of superstars, so what do I know?
Paul in Brussels