Moronic England fans make it easy to want Three Lions to fail…

Get your mails into…


Why England will win the Euros – and why they won’t
Looking at this England team (and manager), there’s several big reasons why England can win and can’t win Euro 2020.

Why they can’t win..
Fitness and injuries.. With Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea playing the most games in Europe this season and a lot of our players from said teams, we do not have the fittest team, add in recent injuries and knocks to several players e.g. Rashford, Henderson, Maguire, Grealish, we could struggle playing so many matches in a short time.

Lack of cohesion..
Not seen the same team playing together, and getting used to playing with each others, especially the two matches as a warm up. Players need to get used to how each other plays and get the natural timings down, we don’t have this.

Look at our back line, Pickford, Maguire, Stones, (Mings if he gets a game) all have a high profile mistake in them, when it’s a tight even game that one mistake can make a difference, and when your whole back line are notorious for these mistakes it’s bound to happen.

Southgate’s tactics..
Too defensive trying not to lose. Such great attacking players and we are trying not to lose, and as above one mistake and were put because we haven’t gone 2-0 up. Not to mention the reliability on the old boys who haven’t been in form.. e.g. Sterling, Rashford, Henderson

Harry Kane..
The Tottenham Harry Kane.. who comes deep, with the fast exciting attacking players like, Grealish, Foden, Mount, Sanco we want Kane in the box, doing what he does best and scoring.

Now for the positivity..

We will win because.

Young exciting players.. Grealish, Foden, Mount, Sancho, Bellingham. Such skill and attacking flair defenders across Europe should be shaking.

Having 3 world class right backs.. modern football a right (or left) back covers a lot of the pitch end to end, and to have quality in reserve in the team, means they can run themselves into the ground and have backup.

Home field advantage.. dont underestimate the advantage of playing at home. The psychological effect alone can be a great help, and you remember where the last major championship we won was hosted.

Jack Grealish.. theres a reason he is the most fouled player in the world (by a long way), just watch him move, the only way the defenders even world class defenders can stop him is bringing him down (yes he goes down too easily sometimes), but winning those free kicks in dangerous positions can win championship.

Harry Kane
The non Tottenham Harry Kane.. With the exception if maybe Lewandowski or Haaland, there is probably not a better finisher in the world than Kane, if he can get into the dangerous positions with our attacking players he will get a lot of chances.

As yet I’m undecided how it will go, but for sure will be fun to watch
Anthony (Southampton)


England 1-0 Romania: Rating the Euro 2020 hopeful players


Booing justification?
I’d be curious to get some feedback from ‘anti taking the knee’ mailboxers who might support the (thankfully minority of) morons who’ve booed the players these last couple of games.

The players and management have stressed that this is in no way a political stance so anyone claiming that BLM want to tear down society or some such bullshit needn’t bother. The taking of the knee has been clearly defined as a show of solidarity for social and racial injustice and when we continue to see shameful social media abuse of black players by their own ‘fans’ following defeats who the f*ck is still booing the gesture?

That’s rhetorical really because we know that the Venn diagram between those who would send vile abuse on SM and those who would boo the taking of the knee is likely to be a perfect circle. I just remember seeing a couple of mails reference the booing when crowds started to be reintroduced midway through last season and making excuses for them and I was curious to see if they still felt it was justified.
James Outram, Wirral


…I’ve been to tournaments in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and the common denominator is that England fans are always pricks. I’ve never liked watching England and never wanted them to get far enough in tournaments that we end up watching them and this year I’ll be pleased to continue hoping they get knocked out as early as possible. The fun thing this year is that all the black players will probably not give a sh*t either.

What a vile subsection of our society that exists. The small but vocal minority who seem to pop up everywhere all the time. Or maybe it’s not that small a subsection and maybe that’s the issue.

Cant wait for the FA to do sweet f*ck all.
Minty, LFC


…Are we still booing taking a knee? Why? This is so childish and unnecessary and makes people look racist even if that’s not their intention, though I strongly suspect it is.

The argument football isn’t political and never should be is flawed from its premise because football is and always has been. The wearing of poppies and black armbands for rememberence day is a statement on possibly the biggest political event in history.

People continuously complain about how the game is being taken away from “the working man” is also making the game political.

The rivalry from England fans toward Germany is 100% political, incidentally German fans don’t consider it much of a rivalry but do consider Holland a rivalry because to them rivalries should be sporting and not political.

The rivalry between England and Argentina was also 100% political until maradona scored THAT goal now its only 80% political.

But in each of these cases nobody argues to keep these elements of politics out of football because they’re elements that English people agree with, which leads me to my original paragraph
The reason they don’t want THIS element of politics (racial equality) in football is because they disagree with it.

Football and politics will be forever intertwined, let’s stop pretending it isn’t.

And stop the booing of taking a knee.


Gareth Southgate: England will continue taking a knee


Rashford a Golden Boot bargain
We sure are fickle, us football fans. Like a summer hit in the charts, last time’s big thing in football is condemned to the archive, while the hot new track gets all the airtime. Don’t get me wrong, the potentially pulsating melody of Sancho, Foden and Bellingham combining already already has me tapping my foot. But what ever happened to Marcus Rashford MBE?

Rashford is currently around 80-1 to score the most goals in Euro 2020. Harry Kane, who also plays for the tournament favourites, is 6-1. This is a yawning discrepancy, but not one that is really justified.

Harry Kane is favourite for the golden boot for good reasons, but they’re not just down to his own outstanding ability. He is ahead of the likes of Ronaldo, Werner and Mbappe not because he’s better, but because the stars of Portugal, Germany and France are locked together in a ‘group of death’. From the outset they’re only predicted to smash them in against poor Hungary, while tense and turgid draws are likely when irresitible forces meet immovable objects. By comparison it’s much more conceivable that English attacking players will blast away the Scots, Czech and the Croats in the group stage, scoring mulitple goals. Kane’s price is thus justified.

But despite what the bookies say, Kane is not the only goalscoring threat in the England squad and Rashford has a good record for England. Many United fans would claim that his ascent has stalled this past year for his club, but his pace, directness and goalscoring ability haven’t gone anywhere. Let us not forget that he scored 6 Champions League goals in 5 games this season while United were still in football’s elite competition. But this was several months ago so, according to our collective goldfish memories, never happened.

There are reasons beside his proven ability to believe he a walk away with the tournement’s top individual prize. Unlike supporters, Gareth Southgate is not fickle, but measured, pragmatic and loyal. He has counted on Rashford in the past and he has delivered. There is every reason to expect that when the chips are down Southgate will count on Rashford, even though he’s not flavour of the month.

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Also a big factor is the composition and chemistry of the team. Kane’s success at Tottenham is almost inseparable from his kindred goalscoring spirit Son, who is a quick direct goalscorer who plays wide and cuts in. When Kane comes deep ,as he likes to, Son powers into space and slots it home. It’s a proven formula, and getting the best out of Kane means putting direct runners like Rashford in the team, perhaps at the expense of a playmaker like Foden.

The odds overwhelmingly favour central strikes but let us not foget Thomas Muller’s Golden Boot heroics from wide positions in previous major tournements. He is anyone is proof that the most glamourous and popular plays are not always the most effective when the chips are down.

I’m not saying he will definitely win it, but with a soft group, a supportive manager and a potentially favourable tactical setup, 80-1(ish) is a steal.
Alex, The Algarve


Rashford should be a sub
Getting past the elephant room, yes, Rashford converted the penalty against Romania. But what else did he contribute against Romania? Not much.

Barring injuries the front 4 (assuming England use a 4-2-3-1 against Croatia) would consist of Kane, Mount, Foden, and one of Sancho, Grealish, or Rashford (Saka was quite good against Austria but it might be a case of too much, too soon). Given he was given the armband against Romania and has the most international experience of those three, Rashfood seems Southgate’s likely choice, but he really shouldn’t be. In all comps by my count Rashford started 48, scored 14, and assisted 10. Not amazing but certainly not anything to sneeze at. But if you look at his form at the end of the season, it’s really tailed off (no doubt some of it has to do with playing 48 games in the absurd season we just witnessed). His play in the Europa League final was woeful (I distinctly remember each shot going progressively wider) and as I mentioned before, he didn’t do much against Romania.

That leaves Sancho and Grealish. I thought Sancho showed moments of quality (including hitting the bar) but I think it has to be Grealish. Grealish looks dangerous every time he has the ball and drives the team forward. He gave the ball away less in two games than Rashford did in his time against Romania. He also won the penalty that Rashford converted.

As an American I long ago chose England as my footballing nation and, yes I know that I guaranteed myself an existence of P A I N, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Grealish being on the field offers so much more going forward right now than Rashford.
Paul S., Baltimore, MD (LFC)


Not impressed
62 minutes into England v Romania and I can safely say the following:

Sam Matterface is a deeply irritating man. He makes you yearn for Tyldesley, who as it happens, was almost as annoying. The sort of bloke who stands in a pub, polo shirt, collar turned up, knowing he knows more about football than anyone else and talks over everyone with a patronising look on his face. You know he’ll eventually do it to the wrong person and get his arse kicked though, which is nice.

Lee Dixon offers zero insight and then when he tries, he is almost always completely wrong; “Marcus Rashford has played himself into the starting eleven.” The bastard son of Lawro, haunting us with his banal comments and boring voice.

Marcus Rashford is not very good. Probably a nice bloke and all, but if he is the best we have, then there is no hope. Although he’s just scored a penalty, so good luck to him and his meandering, meaningless, movement so loved by Dixon. Surely he doesn’t start?

Tyrone Mings and Luke Shaw; not good enough. For Scotland. Nowhere near.

Jack Grealish, cheeky little smile, lovely calves, Arthur Shelby hair, we all want him to be Gazza. Spoiler alert, he’s not Gazza and he never will be.

Sam Johnstone and Dean Henderson, very able, seemingly reliable. Now watch Gareth start Pickford every time until his temperament or tiny little arms lets us down with catastrophic effects.

Gareth Southgate. Pretentious, twitching, sanctimonious competition winner who messed up the easiest ever run to the world cup final and has been living off it ever since. Loved by the press as he can string a sentence together and by the FA because there’s no chance of embarrassing them by shagging anyone. In another life he is an area manager for John Lewis in Maidenhead.

I dearly hope I’m wrong, and England win the thing, but I can’t see it. Can anyone?


Keane’s strop
Still haven’t stopped laughing at Roy Keane’s latest diatribe against Henderson and England.

Oh Lordy. It’s so much better to storm out of your team camp at a WC, having a big Diva hissy fit than be a team player. How often do Ireland get to a finals? And arguably their best and most experienced player decides to walk away rather than provide that experience to his team mates. And He wondered why they didn’t listen to him when he was O’Neil’s assistant.

But the sheer arrogance and hypocrisy is deafening.
Paul McDevitt


Keane calls out Southgate for including ‘quiz master’ Henderson


Bielsa to Spurs?
I think that the idea of Bielsa to Spurs is a terrible one. He is highly overrated, and wouldn’t be nearly good enough for the high standards to which Tottenham aspire. Leeds on the other hand are a second rate team who deserve nothing more than a lousy manager like Marcelo. He should stay at Leeds forever to ensure they continue to meet the same low standards.
In summary, stay away from Bielsa!
Andrew (Definitely not a Leeds fan) – Canada


Petit’s point
Have to agree with Petit in that article saying Zaha is exactly what Arsenal need. That team could really do with someone how genuinely gives a shit, maybe the rest of them would raise their game for him. Not sure why, but I reckon playing along side Zaha would make you want to try extra f*cking hard to be as good as you could be, and then some. And when the opposition foul him all the time it might inject a bit more grit into the Arsenal squad, and they could do with that.
Finlay x

Kante role?
I read the N’Golo Kante article from Johnny and enjoyed it, much more than his usual socialism nonsense. But has he already forgotten the Makelele role? Seems like the Kante role has been a thing for 1 week and I have no idea why. He’s been absolutely superb for 6 years now. Hands down a the best defensive midfielder in the world right now.
Edward Canhands (Brackets for the sake of brackets)


Johnny Nic: N’Golo Kante is the smiling clairvoyant with two hearts


Turkey salute
Lee’s email got me thinking about entertaining world cup teams and his surprise inclusion of Japan reminded me of another un-fancied, low-pedigree but very entertaining world cup team of the noughties… how good were Turkey in the 2002 WC eh?

Comprising players like Rustu Recber, Muzzy Izzet, Hasan Sas and Hakan Sukur they had a decent blend of nutcases and skillful players. The victims of THAT Rivaldo face-clutch, and then losing again to Brazil in the Semi-finals (yes, Semi-finals) they more than held their own against the supposed great WC entertainers twice. To top it off they clinched third place in the play-off, scoring the fastest goal in WC history (11 seconds).

That tournament would be the peak of a very underrated, talented and slightly bonkers team. Turkey 2002, we salute you.
Samwise, MUFC


Mailbox or Google?
Just noticed this evening that Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld passed 350 games together for club and country and wondered if anyone could shine any light on where that would stand on centre backs playing together? Admittedly both Jan and Toby would have played at full back on some of those occasions. Anyone that’s far better at researching this sort of thing than I am?
Simon THFC, (Guildfordian in Chorley, suffering three Lfc fans as best mates)

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