• Information about the new forum home page: here.

European Championships England v Malta/Macedonia

Yep utter dross.

Them players don’t play like that for the club they play for. It’s coached in to them by Southgate. I’d be very surprised if a premier Lge club appointed him. If they did he wouldn’t last long.
 
So the Golden Generation would be, what, roughly 2006? After Rooney had emerged on the scene but before Beckham/Neville/Campbell were past it?

I would take the entire 2006 back four (Neville, Cole plus two from Terry/Ferdinand/Campbell) and one of Scholes/Lampard/Gerrard to play in the middle alongside Declan Rice (that era England had too many good attacking CMs and lacked the outstanding defensive player).
Bellingham and Kane are shoe-ins, plus whichever one of the current forwards you want to play on the left (because the mid-2000s side could never sort that position out). Then probably Saka rather than Beckham on the right because in the modern game you need someone with more pace and drive, rather than just the glorious right peg.

So five and five.....with keeper being a toss up because I don't think either side had anyone great.

The mashup would be an amazing team though!

Lacked the DM or were just so wedded to 4-4-2 that they overlooked them?

Michael Carrick played that unfashionable position for a long time before Claude Makelele made it so essential for Chelsea. England, always behind the curve, didn’t adopt a proper DM until Scott Parker played there for the build up and finals at the Euros in 2012.
 
Lacked the DM or were just so wedded to 4-4-2 that they overlooked them?

Michael Carrick played that unfashionable position for a long time before Claude Makelele made it so essential for Chelsea. England, always behind the curve, didn’t adopt a proper DM until Scott Parker played there for the build up and finals at the Euros in 2012.

Though I would argue that Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira were the two of the greatest DMs of my lifetime.
It's not as if the English game didn't get to see quality defensive midfield play in the late 90s and early 00s.....they just didn't get to see it played by Englishmen......
 
So the Golden Generation would be, what, roughly 2006? After Rooney had emerged on the scene but before Beckham/Neville/Campbell were past it?

I would take the entire 2006 back four (Neville, Cole plus two from Terry/Ferdinand/Campbell) and one of Scholes/Lampard/Gerrard to play in the middle alongside Declan Rice (that era England had too many good attacking CMs and lacked the outstanding defensive player).
Bellingham and Kane are shoe-ins, plus whichever one of the current forwards you want to play on the left (because the mid-2000s side could never sort that position out). Then probably Saka rather than Beckham on the right because in the modern game you need someone with more pace and drive, rather than just the glorious right peg.

So five and five.....with keeper being a toss up because I don't think either side had anyone great.

The mashup would be an amazing team though!
Saka instead of Beckham?? SAKA INSTEAD OF BECKHAM?!?

😦MY. GOD.
 
Though I would argue that Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira were the two of the greatest DMs of my lifetime.
It's not as if the English game didn't get to see quality defensive midfield play in the late 90s and early 00s.....they just didn't get to see it played by Englishmen......

Ince and Batty under Venables and Hoddle were both defensive midfielders were they not, pre the golden generation as well? So it was not a new idea to English football. Sven just lacked the balls (which you wouldn’t be able to say about him in other facets of his life) to pick the best team not just the best players.
 
So the Golden Generation would be, what, roughly 2006? After Rooney had emerged on the scene but before Beckham/Neville/Campbell were past it?

I would take the entire 2006 back four (Neville, Cole plus two from Terry/Ferdinand/Campbell) and one of Scholes/Lampard/Gerrard to play in the middle alongside Declan Rice (that era England had too many good attacking CMs and lacked the outstanding defensive player).
Bellingham and Kane are shoe-ins, plus whichever one of the current forwards you want to play on the left (because the mid-2000s side could never sort that position out). Then probably Saka rather than Beckham on the right because in the modern game you need someone with more pace and drive, rather than just the glorious right peg.

So five and five.....with keeper being a toss up because I don't think either side had anyone great.

The mashup would be an amazing team though!
If you’re talking about the modern game then I’d have Walker over Neville. He just has more pace.
 
The ref tonight was shocking. Penalty decisions aside, he gave free kicks for any sort of contact.
Despite North Macedonian players committing frequent fouls on Grealish, Foden and others, they only received one yellow card, and that was for dissent.
 
Are you joking?

Don’t get me wrong, England have been blessed with plenty of amazing players over the years before, which is the one argument in favour of Southgate - he’s generally doing better with huge riches than previous managers have, and well done to him.

But Southgate has at his disposal:

Bayern Munich’s star striker who has topped the Bundesliga scoring charts with an incredible 17 goals in only 11 games. There was a discussion on Sky Sports recently as to whether he was the best striker on the planet. Oh, and throw in La Liga’s top scorer, a star midfielder with 12 G/A in 11 games who some are saying is already one of the world’s best midfielders - he already won the youth version of the Ballon D’Or.

Apart from that you’ve got Grealish and Rice, both who cost over £100m, Saka and Foden who seem generational talents, and Kyle Walker who is regularly talked about as maybe the world’s best right back.

England will have a top 2 squad in this next Euros.

Joking, no. Labouring the point slightly, maybe.

Anyone who thinks it's just a case of 'releasing the handbrake' and watching us win a tournament is foolish in my opinion. We're just not that good.
 
Joking, no. Labouring the point slightly, maybe.

Anyone who thinks it's just a case of 'releasing the handbrake' and watching us win a tournament is foolish in my opinion. We're just not that good.
Certainly isn’t just that by any means. But we do have a habit of playing well within our capabilities as an attacking side. I don’t want to see us going gung-ho and become careless at the back but most can see there is ample caution to throw to the wind before we reach that stage.

I think part of why people think our squad is not that good/lacks depth is that Southgate hasn’t tried anything beyond the obvious choices.

For example, Rico Henry has been one of the best left backs in the country for some time now yet Southgate has proceeded to play right backs at left back and more recently right footed centre backs when Chilwell and Shaw are missing. Ward-Prowse’s set pieces are bordering on penalties for West Ham at this moment in time yet he favours Henderson to do the backwards and sideways job. Konsa currently plays in one of the most aggressive defensive lines in the country. Nick Pope in the champions league. And on we go.
 
The game against N Macedonia was complete utter dross Maguire. ( who ) two crap passes that could have cost us. Ollie Watkins not international material ( Sorry ) Walker becoming a liability, Grealish please take on you player on the outside rather than keep cutting in on the inside.
Overall England were poor last night and we were lucky and against other teams in the European who are a lot better than N Macedonia play like last night and our European dream will be over very early into the competition.
 
Joking, no. Labouring the point slightly, maybe.

Anyone who thinks it's just a case of 'releasing the handbrake' and watching us win a tournament is foolish in my opinion. We're just not that good.
I agree it’s not as simple as that, but if we get to the Quarters/Semis of the Euros it won’t be some massive amazing achievement, with the players we have at our disposal.
 
I agree it’s not as simple as that, but if we get to the Quarters/Semis of the Euros it won’t be some massive amazing achievement, with the players we have at our disposal.

Agree. I'd go as far as to say that only reaching the quarters would be failure.
 
Agree. I'd go as far as to say that only reaching the quarters would be failure.
It's also very reliant on the draw. This team got mountains of praise for reaching a World Cup semi and the a European final as it was more than the golden generation did. In the World Cup we beat the might of Tunisia and Panama (lost to Belgium, the only other good team in the group), snuck past Colombia on penalties and then beat an average Sweden before getting knocked out by a non too special Croatia having been in control early on. The run in the Euros was also relatively straightforwards and even then we lost to a middling Italy having surrendered our early lead and control.

This isn't a massive criticism as you can only beat what's put in front of you but I'd have a hard time saying who the best team we beat in knockouts was and we lost to anyone halfway decent. We only made the quarters of the world cup because we had to play someone good in France, although that was a game I thought we played pretty well to be fair. There's certainly an argument that going out in the quarters against a good France team having given it a go is no less impressive a performance than getting to a semi final and trowing a game away against Croatia.
 
Last edited:
Joking, no. Labouring the point slightly, maybe.

Anyone who thinks it's just a case of 'releasing the handbrake' and watching us win a tournament is foolish in my opinion. We're just not that good.
I agree as regards the lazy 'releasing the handbrake' comments, it's just that Southgate is so innately conservative - ten minutes to go and time to push for a winner in the last group game and......Kalvin Phillips is introduced. A bloke who can't buy a club game and offers practically nothing in an offensive sense.

And yet the twenty three man squad will be announced next year and Phillips and Henderson will take up two of the places.

As an aside, I saw a comment earlier on lamenting our defensive options and saying Pickford is the worst of them. What has that person been watching? HJe's made very few mistakes in his international career and is a reliable international keeper. He's not the problem - the lack of quality center backs is.
 
It's also very reliant on the draw. This team got mountains of praise for reaching a World Cup semi and the a European final as it was more than the golden generation did. In the World Cup we beat the might of Tunisia and Panama (lost to Belgium, the only other good team in the group), snuck past Colombia on penalties and then beat an average Sweden before getting knocked out by a non too special Croatia having been in control early on. The run in the Euros was also relatively straightforwards and even then we lost to a middling Italy having surrendered our early lead and control.

This isn't a massive criticism as you can only beat what's put in front of you but I'd have a hard time saying who the best team we beat in knockouts was and we lost to anyone halfway decent. We only made the quarters of the world cup because we had to play someone good in France, although that was a game I thought we played pretty well to be fair. There's certainly an argument that going out in the quarters against a good France team having given it a go is no less impressive a performance than getting to a semi final and trowing a game away against Croatia.
Southgate in tournaments:

WC2018: Beat Tunisia and Panama and lost to Belgium in the Group stages, in the knockouts edged past Columbia and beat Sweden, then lost to Croatia and finally Belgium again.

An average performance, beat everyone you’d expect us to beat, but lost to every good side we faced. Brushed aside by Croatia who were well beaten in the final and weren’t all that. 6/10 - Not terrible by any means but nothing to get especially excited about.

Euro2020: Beat Croatia and Czech R in the group stages and drew with Scotland. Beat Germany, Ukraine and Denmark then lost on penalties to Italy in the final.

Southgate’s best tournament for England and an undeniably good showing for me. England didn’t lose a game in 90 mins and beat a decentish Czech side (who beat the Netherlands 2-0) and Germany who, while not the side they were, had some good players. Getting to a final and losing on penalties is pretty close to winning the thing. Having said all that, none of those sides listed were anything special, all having lost games in the tournament, except Italy. Some would say that Southgate missed a trick in the final when not attacking more when 1-0 up. Italy were no mugs though and we nearly won the whole thing. 8/10.

WC2022: Back to the form of WC2018 and very much classic England. Beat Iran and Wales and drew with USA in the group. Beat Senegal and then lost to France. Once again losing to the first good side we face (who like Croatia in 2018 weren’t even the eventual winners). To be fair, if Kane had scored that penalty then things could have been very different, but nothing very special this tournament or that we haven’t seen from England before. 6/10.

In knockout tournament football then, Southgate has beaten:

Columbia
Sweden
Germany
Ukraine
Denmark
Senegal

And lost to:

Croatia
Belgium
Italy
France

You’d expect England to beat Columbia, Sweden, Ukraine, Denmark and Senegal. So, when faced with decent sides, he’s lost to all of them except Germany, which shouldn’t be discounted as a good result.

Plenty of England managers in the past have done worse than that. That’s why, for me, he’s done an above average job, a 6-7 out of 10. He doesn’t slip up when facing sides he should beat, but he also doesn’t often better the big international sides, in knockout games anyway. He’ll get you qualified for tournaments and beat who he should, but fall short when he faces someone good. He’ll produce a fairly well-organised side who won’t concede, or score, huge amounts of goals. With a bit of luck he might even win a Euros, but I highly doubt he’d go on a run in a WC of beating 2 or more from the likes of France, Argentina, Spain and Brazil.
 
Southgate in tournaments:

WC2018: Beat Tunisia and Panama and lost to Belgium in the Group stages, in the knockouts edged past Columbia and beat Sweden, then lost to Croatia and finally Belgium again.

An average performance, beat everyone you’d expect us to beat, but lost to every good side we faced. Brushed aside by Croatia who were well beaten in the final and weren’t all that. 6/10 - Not terrible by any means but nothing to get especially excited about.

Euro2020: Beat Croatia and Czech R in the group stages and drew with Scotland. Beat Germany, Ukraine and Denmark then lost on penalties to Italy in the final.

Southgate’s best tournament for England and an undeniably good showing for me. England didn’t lose a game in 90 mins and beat a decentish Czech side (who beat the Netherlands 2-0) and Germany who, while not the side they were, had some good players. Getting to a final and losing on penalties is pretty close to winning the thing. Having said all that, none of those sides listed were anything special, all having lost games in the tournament, except Italy. Some would say that Southgate missed a trick in the final when not attacking more when 1-0 up. Italy were no mugs though and we nearly won the whole thing. 8/10.

WC2022: Back to the form of WC2018 and very much classic England. Beat Iran and Wales and drew with USA in the group. Beat Senegal and then lost to France. Once again losing to the first good side we face (who like Croatia in 2018 weren’t even the eventual winners). To be fair, if Kane had scored that penalty then things could have been very different, but nothing very special this tournament or that we haven’t seen from England before. 6/10.

In knockout tournament football then, Southgate has beaten:

Columbia
Sweden
Germany
Ukraine
Denmark
Senegal

And lost to:

Croatia
Belgium
Italy
France

You’d expect England to beat Columbia, Sweden, Ukraine, Denmark and Senegal. So, when faced with decent sides, he’s lost to all of them except Germany, which shouldn’t be discounted as a good result.

Plenty of England managers in the past have done worse than that. That’s why, for me, he’s done an above average job, a 6-7 out of 10. He doesn’t slip up when facing sides he should beat, but he also doesn’t often better the big international sides, in knockout games anyway. He’ll get you qualified for tournaments and beat who he should, but fall short when he faces someone good. He’ll produce a fairly well-organised side who won’t concede, or score, huge amounts of goals. With a bit of luck he might even win a Euros, but I highly doubt he’d go on a run in a WC of beating 2 or more from the likes of France, Argentina, Spain and Brazil.

Yep let’s bring the microscope in into sharp focus. Then we will see the pattern of negativity.

World Cup Russia. We score first vs Colombia, and then decide to sit on that 1-0, they score an injury time goal, and we win the lottery of a pen shootout. We beat the worst Swedish side we’ve faced in 30 years. Semi Final. We score an early Tripper free kick, and then what did we do.. we sat back, a pattern is forming. We concede after sitting back and inviting Croatia on to us, and ultimately lost the game.

Euro’s We played every game at Wembley apart from the semi final in Rome. So other nations were flying from Turkey - Spain to Germany to Italy etc. anyway the draw opened up nicely for us, and we got to the Final. We face an Italian team that we’re no where near what they had been in previous years. Anyway we score inside the first 2 mins with a goal from Luke Shaw, and at that point the Italians are shell shocked. What happens… We sit back, and allow them back into the game, there confidence grew, and eventually through possession and pressure they got there deserved leveller. We end at pens. We send up 3 players low on confidence to take spot kicks. You had a player who has taken pens for his club (Sterling) who never got one why! If I’m the manager I’m telling him he’s taking one. Instead it threw Rashford,Saka,and Sancho in.

World Cup Qatar.

We had a nice easy group, and went through comfortably, then drew Senegal. A team you’d expect us to beat, and we did.

Quarter Final vs France, we did everything right, to a point. We had Mbappe marked out of the game, and whilst we lost and missed that penalty from Kane, the French were being over run, and our best player Saka, had the French defence panicking. What does Southgate do… He takes him off, and then it was plain sailing for the French.

Whilst Southgate has got us to one final, a semi, and a quarter final, posters saying he’s successful is very wide of the mark. He’s negative, and if he stays any longer, he will be remembered for screwing up a golden chance to win something with a very large depth of quality players.

His persistence with certain players is embarrassing, and he won’t learn anything from picking the same face everytime. Henderson,Pickford. Maguire, Phillips, Rashford.

Why are others overlooked. Ward Prowse ive mentioned before, Dan Burn at Newcastle. Ben White at Arsenal. Give Pope a game in goal. How about Ramsdale. Maddison at Tottenham when not injured he’s done well so far this season, and did start a game or two for England.

It’s just the same shite served up ever time, and if anyone thinks that Southgate is decent, then please tell me what he’s done as a manager at club level, because he didn’t last long at Middlesbrough, and was ultimately sacked by Steve Gibson.
 
You have to know when to move on in life - timing is everything. Southgate should’ve moved aside after the Italy defeat, and if not then definitely after the France elimination last year. He would’ve done so with respect and appreciation from most, as he restored pride and interest in the England side while taking it further than anyone else managed in decades, and he deserves credit for that. He made supporting England something people wanted to do for the first time in years. I think he blew it tactically against both Croatia and Italy and fell short in those tournaments as a result (I think he also didn’t do enough against France despite the penalty miss) but still, he cleared more hurdles than anybody else and that’s not to be sniffed at.

As it stands, though, his tenure is going to end up fizzling out badly while he takes the last peak tournament of half the squad with him. Walker and Trippier are done after next summer along with Henderson (no loss there, mind), Stones will be 32 by the next World Cup along with Kane, and even Grealish will be the wrong side of 30. These players are either finished or on the decline after the next tournament, and it’s starting to feel like he’s hogged the entire lifespan of a very talented group rather than seeing if someone else could get any more out of them before they slow down or disappear.

He’s also managed to start falling out with players in recent months, most notably Ben White and Raheem Sterling, and when that happens you know that it’s time for a change. He’s not only being questioned by players but is responding by isolating them. It’s over when a previously calm and respected coach takes such an approach.

There’s going to be a lot more relief and resentment than there should’ve been had he (and The FA) had a bit more self-awareness. He would’ve been cheered out of the job for a very different reason than he’s likely to end up being. Unless he wins the Euros he won’t be remembered as fondly as she probably should be, but that would be mostly his own fault for not knowing when to let go.
 
Re Southgate - when we were 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro final but completely under the cosh, my mother who knows nothing about football and was only watching because she'd been told it could be a major national victory said 'Why doesn't the manager change something, the other team are clearly going to score'.

Tactical nous of a Gnat - (Southgate, not my mother who could see the impending disaster!).
 
Back
Top Bottom