WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
24%
  
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
17%
  
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
19%
  
d. Moyes out
37%
  
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham
3%
  



bigfrank 3:37 Tue Oct 17
England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
What is everyone thinking?

0-0 or 1-0 to them

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Willtell 9:59 Sat Oct 21
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
I think it is far simpler to say that Southgate is a good coach that does really well in qualifiers.

The problem comes when the tournaments begin and the players get to see him daily. That's when they get to realise he's a lightweight, full of politically correct shit and little fun to be with...

southbankbornnbred 12:59 Fri Oct 20
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
No point getting all misty-eyed about it, I know, but I do wonder how well England's supposed "golden generation" would have done with a more enlightened set of managers than Sven, McClaren, Capello (at the end of his career) and "Iceland" Hodgson.

A CENTRAL midfield trio of Gerrard, Scholes and Lampard. Or with Carrick sitting in front of the back four, and two others, would have been a different proposition to the embarrassments we had trying to force Scholes out on the left wing and - even worse - that ludicrous situation where Gerrard played on the left wing during a World Cup Finals.

Ho hum.

southbankbornnbred 12:32 Fri Oct 20
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
What Southgate has to do now is pick the best XI within that context - and that's generally where he falls down.

Mount playing left wing/AM in the Euros final, just because of his high-press, was insane and shows how Southgate's instincts are innately conservative.

southbankbornnbred 12:30 Fri Oct 20
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Russ,

But Southgate IS the manager who ditched the obsession with 4-4-2. People can't do anything but credit him for that.

Don't get me wrong, he's a bang average coach in almost all other ways. I think he's a good man-manager of international teams (he is loyal to his players, gets on with them and creates a genuine sense of team/squad spirit). But he's a bang average coach - especially going forward.

His one big idea, thankfully, was to immediately move to a position where his sides were rarely outgunned in the key area of the pitch which, despite everybody's fixation with roles like "false 9s" and Trequartistas etc has always been the central midfield area.

If you're outgunned in CM then your two players will spend 90 minutes playing that horrible grid game where your opponents in the grid have one more player - and always one more passing option - than you.

Southgate played international football into the 2000s and was well aware of the shortcomings of that approach. But, in fairness to him, nobody changed it until he did.

I don't rate Southgate particularly highly. He's innately conservative. But he should be credited with the single biggest contribution to turning around England's fortunes. Semi-final, final, quater-final and now easy qualification from a group containing Italy: his record is strong because he generally refuses to give ground in midfield.

daveyg 1:31 Fri Oct 20
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Big Frank and Southbank.

That's the big dilemma.

I'd rather have Dunk for set pieces but Guehi for all round defence.

If you're going to have JWP in that midfield then Rice has to sit in front of the back 4 more. Trent Arnold is a better player than JWP in every department. Can we play with that midfield, will it be too open ? If Bellingham plays like he did with defensive duties too then yes.
Saka will be better bet than Grealish,Grealish slows the build up to much. Even Bowen would be better but he won't feature unless he keeps his form up and more.

We do need a left back. Shaw is the best,Chilwell to lightweight. Trippier isn't a left back of high class.

An alternative to Kane,Tony probably,but will he have enough time ?
The next two games Kane should start on the bench.

Russ of the BML 2:58 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
southbankbornnbred 10:21 Wed Oct 18

You raise a good point. Although, playing devils advocate.... I think you give Southgate too much credit for ditching 4-4-2. I think that was a general trend throughout the whole of football. Not sure anything Southgate specifically designed. Just following the trend.

swindon hammer 2:13 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
As well as Mount he also left out Sterling again despite some calls for him to be recalled so he’s obviously not afraid to do that if need be.

Manuel 4:57 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Chim - You may well be right, but I'm, probably naively, hoping he has a word with himself. He wasn't going to do it at this point as it would have looked like he was bowing down to pressure. He did end up finally ditching Mount.

chim chim cha boo 4:50 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier

Manuel, I wouldn't hold your breath. He' not breaking up his little gang no matter how well fringe players are doing for their clubs.

I can't see the Euros being any different from past managers making a bollocks up of another potential 'golden generation'.

Manuel 4:41 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
''Players obviously like Southgate and hopefully he'll quietly drop his Henderson/Phillips/Maguire fixation in time for the tournament and let the team off the leash and actually win something''


Yes, that's the hope. Henderson was washed up as a top level player at the world cup last year, so how is he going to be any use next year? Hopefully Southgate will stop ''proving a point'' with Maguire at some point, and I don't think Phillips will be a starter. Southgate cannot fucking blow this next year, despite his many critics he's not an idiot and will be fully aware of criticism for being so stubborn with certain players, so hopefully he will see the woods for the trees with these players soon.

southbankbornnbred 4:11 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
BigFrank - England played 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1) in three out of five games in Euro 96: Switzerland, Holland and Spain.

The two exceptions were Scotland, when Venables started Southgate in midfield (and it failed, so he brought on Redknapp) and Germany in the semi-final. The last game, against Germany, was forced on Venables because Neville was suspended - so he played a back three.

As you say, it was Hoddle who really switched formation more permanently. Then he went all witchy, and the FA defaulted to a stream of old style 4-4-2ers. Because it’s all they knew or understood - and they thought the players would, too. The rest of the world had moved on at that point.

aldgate 1:48 Thu Oct 19
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Walker seems to have Mbappe's number and France still have Giroud lumbering around up front so we shouldn't be scared of them. We are the envy of the world for our midfield/attacking talent and will be 7/2 favourites when the Euros kick off. Players obviously like Southgate and hopefully he'll quietly drop his Henderson/Phillips/Maguire fixation in time for the tournament and let the team off the leash and actually win something

bigfrank 11:40 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Le Saux and Anderton were wing-backs for Hoddle, Scholes played behind Shearer and Owen

Seaman

Neville
Adams
Campbell

Anderton
Beckham
Ince
Le Saux

Scholes

Shearer
Owen

In 96

Seaman

Neville
Adams
Pearce

Ince/Southgate

Anderton
Gazza
Platt
McManaman

Shearer
Sheringham

southbankbornnbred 11:17 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
*Ramsey.*

southbankbornnbred 11:14 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Zico,

Yeah, Alf Ramsay always said that the narrow (diamond?) 4-4-2 he played was the team's big strength. They didn't have wingers, and Ball (right) and Peters (left) played more as inside right/left - often joining the two CMs (Stiles and Charlton).

That also allowed Charlton to mark Beckenbauer in the final - because he knew that Ball and Peters would fill the space inside anyway. In fact, that was an occasion when England outmanned their opponents in central midfield. A lesson few learned after that.

southbankbornnbred 11:02 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
I saw Owen play for Liverpool as a lone striker in the Premier League a couple of times when I lived up there. He was electric. They just didn't hoof it to him in the air - and it forced them to think about passing to feet/space.

IIRC, one game their forward line was McManaman (right), Owen and Berger (left).

They tore their opponents to shreds with pace and movement. No hoofing in sight. It didn't last: this was English football in the 90s! Heskey or Fowler came back from injury and off they went a-4-4-2-ing...

zico 10:51 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Scholes stuck out on the *left*

zico 10:49 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Didn't England play narrow though in 66, rather than your typical 4-4-2 hence the Wingless Wonders?

Hoddle has said that he wanted to build the team around Rio as a centre back who could dribble out of defence, so that would have been three at the back, but of course his comments got him fired before he could implement it properly.. Whilst obviously immensely successful at Man United you could argue Rio never quite made the most of his ability due to the flat back four they played at Man U, and of course same could be said for Joe Cole, trophies at Chelsea but his flair coached out of him.

Sven was just bizarre looking back playing a 442 with Scholes stuck out on the right. That said how would you have fitted someone like Michael Owen in without playing two up top, as he was probably not the kind to play as a lone striker.

bigfrank 10:41 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Euro 1992, 2000 & 2016 were the worse ever euros i witnessed

southbankbornnbred 10:35 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
Venables only played three at the back a few times. Mostly, he played a back four (Neville, Adams, Southgate and Pearce etc).

He often played an amended 4-4-2, which was really a 4-4-1-1: with Sheringham dropping into midfield when England didn't have the ball, leaving Shearer upfront on his own (a job he could easily handle, due to his strength etc).

Venables was probably the last England manager to make that approach work. Taylor and Robson before him fucked it up good and proper (until Robson got forced, by his own players, to play 5-3-2).

Basically, England had almost no success with 4-4-2 after 1966. But, with a three or four year exception, stuck with it until we got fucked over by Iceland in 2016.

southbankbornnbred 10:31 Wed Oct 18
Re: England v Eyeties Euro Qualifier
FWIW, I thought that front three (four if you count Bellingham as the most advanced CM/AM) last night was excellent - and possibly England's strongest attack.

Bellingham creating behind Kane, with Rashford and Foden wide of them, has a lot of potential. You could argue for Saka instead of one of the wide men (although Foden is more creative and Rashford more direct/scores more). But last night we saw that when they have possession and space, they can be very good against strong sides.

To me, the big questions marks going into next year's tournament are: what's the best CB pairing, and who partners Declan in the deeper CM roles?

Plus, how good will France be?!

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