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Southgate's England and the next England manager

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Southgate's England and the next England manager - Page 13 Empty Southgate's England and the next England manager

Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:33 pm

First topic message reminder :

Get to close the Allardyce thread in record time, now caretaker manager Southgate has a chance to stake his claim for the job, whilst we all discuss almost anyone else as the thought of Southgate worries many.

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Post by Duty281 Thu Mar 31, 2022 5:45 pm

Pot 1 Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal.

Pot 2 Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia.

Pot 3 Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia.

Pot 4 Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Peru/UAE/Australia.


World Cup draw tomorrow at 5. Qatar in pot 1 is silly. It isn't quite a free draw as teams from the same continent will be kept apart, with the exception of European teams. So England could draw Germany, but Brazil can't be in the same group as Uruguay.

Suppose England's easiest potential draw would be something like Switzerland, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, with the toughest perhaps being the Netherlands, Senegal and Canada. Would be nice to play some different nations, so hopefully England avoid the likes of Croatia and Poland.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Thu Mar 31, 2022 7:08 pm

Gimme the USA. Mexico wouldnt be bad either. Interesting teams, but not good. Mexico not winning that group will have shocked them to the core.

I'd quite like us to get USA, Japan and then one of the Kiwis or Aussies. Just be interesting.

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Post by Duty281 Fri Apr 01, 2022 5:51 pm

Oh dear. England going headlong into a QF with France. Potentially testing L16 game v either Senegal or the Dutch as well.

England's group - Iran, USA and Wales/Scotland/Ukraine. Very Happy

Nice little mix there.

If England manage to top the group, the possible route to the final is Senegal, France, Belgium/Spain/Portugal/Germany (tough to predict), then the final against maybe Brazil or Argentina, perhaps the Dutch.
If England end up runners-up, the possible route to the final is the Dutch, Argentina, Brazil then the final against (probably) France.

Tough journey. England should be confident of topping the group, but the QF stage should prove difficult to surpass.


Last edited by Duty281 on Fri Apr 01, 2022 6:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by GSC Fri Apr 01, 2022 6:19 pm

England, Iran, USA and Wales/Scotland/Ukraine is the true group of memes.

Also a pretty soft landing
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Post by Samo Fri Apr 01, 2022 6:43 pm

Easy group for England on paper. Extra incentive for both Wales and Scotland now.

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Post by dummy_half Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:51 pm

Not a bad group draw at all, but France in the projected QF is about as tough as it gets.

Big surprise is that we didn't draw Poland again - always seem to get them...

If this was a normal summer world cup in a temperate country, I'd say we were reasonable dark horses, but in the conditions in Qatar I just can't see us having the energy to overcome some of the more technical teams (noting of course England players are generally much more technically proficient than say 20 or so years ago).

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Post by Duty281 Mon Apr 04, 2022 5:26 pm

Yes, I struggle to see England getting past any of the top teams, predominantly because of Southgate. Southgate is (mostly) fine in navigating the games against weaker opposition who set up to deny England (Tunisia, Panama, Sweden, 2021 Croatia, Czechs, Ukraine), so getting through the group stage should pose no issues. Southgate has previously had generous draws, so has been able to take England beyond their usual standing (getting Sweden and Ukraine in QFs has been very soft).

The problem comes when England face a team that is their technical equal, or better. In these situations it normally goes wrong and exposes Southgate's drastic shortcomings as manager:

Croatia 2018 (WC SF) - 44% possession, two shots on target, lose in extra time.
Netherlands 2019 (NL SF) - 46% possession, three shots on target, lose in extra time.
Italy 2021 (Euros F) - 34% possession, two shots on target, lose on penalties*.


In all of those games, a quick start has been followed by a quick retreat. Then in the second half onwards England's only tactic is to punt the ball up the field in hope. They spend most of the game chasing shadows, which will be foolish in Qatar, before losing the lead and the game. It's frustrating and doesn't have to be like this because England have some outstanding technical players.

* I've made the comparison before, but Roy Hodgson managed to do better against Italy in the Euros at 2012, with slightly more possession and chances created, and Hodgson didn't have home advantage and his squad was nowhere near as good as Southgate's.

The below games have also seen similar issues, though not all with the same outcome.

Belgium 2018 - 46% possession, two shots on target, lose.
Colombia 2018 - 53% possession, two shots on target, squeeze a fortunate win on penalties*.
Spain 2018 - 45% possession, six shots on target, lose.
Spain 2018 - 26% possession, three shots on target, win 3-2.
Germany 2021 - 45% possession, four shots on target, win 2-0.


*Arguably the most important win of Southgate's reign.

I only hope Southgate adapts and encourages more positive play. Going five at the back and two holding midfielders v France would just be a white flag. A squad with Bellingham, Henderson, Rice, Mount, Foden, Grealish, Sterling, Sancho etc. at its disposal should be looking to win the possession battle and dictate play, not be reduced to the shambles that we saw in the Euro 2020 final. I only wish Potter was managing, or that Hoddle or Venables were 20 years younger.

Of course, England may not get to the France QF. Senegal would be tough opponents in the L16, a step up from Colombia in 2018. An organised defence with Koulibaly at the heart of it, a strong, physical midfield, and the pace of Mane and Sarr on the break.

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Post by dummy_half Mon Apr 04, 2022 6:10 pm

Duty281 wrote:Yes, I struggle to see England getting past any of the top teams, predominantly because of Southgate. Southgate is (mostly) fine in navigating the games against weaker opposition who set up to deny England (Tunisia, Panama, Sweden, 2021 Croatia, Czechs, Ukraine), so getting through the group stage should pose no issues. Southgate has previously had generous draws, so has been able to take England beyond their usual standing (getting Sweden and Ukraine in QFs has been very soft).

The problem comes when England face a team that is their technical equal, or better. In these situations it normally goes wrong and exposes Southgate's drastic shortcomings as manager:

[i]Croatia 2018 (WC SF) - 44% possession, two shots on target, lose in extra time.
Netherlands 2019 (NL SF) - 46% possession, three shots on target, lose in extra time.
Italy 2021 (Euros F) - 34% possession, two shots on target, lose on penalties*.[/i]

In all of those games, a quick start has been followed by a quick retreat. Then in the second half onwards England's only tactic is to punt the ball up the field in hope.
They spend most of the game chasing shadows, which will be foolish in Qatar, before losing the lead and the game. It's frustrating and doesn't have to be like this because England have some outstanding technical players.

* I've made the comparison before, but Roy Hodgson managed to do better against Italy in the Euros at 2012, with slightly more possession and chances created, and Hodgson didn't have home advantage and his squad was nowhere near as good as Southgate's.

The below games have also seen similar issues, though not all with the same outcome.

Belgium 2018 - 46% possession, two shots on target, lose.
Colombia 2018 - 53% possession, two shots on target, squeeze a fortunate win on penalties*.
Spain 2018 - 45% possession, six shots on target, lose.
Spain 2018 - 26% possession, three shots on target, win 3-2.
Germany 2021 - 45% possession, four shots on target, win 2-0.


*Arguably the most important win of Southgate's reign.

I only hope Southgate adapts and encourages more positive play. Going five at the back and two holding midfielders v France would just be a white flag. A squad with Bellingham, Henderson, Rice, Mount, Foden, Grealish, Sterling, Sancho etc. at its disposal should be looking to win the possession battle and dictate play, not be reduced to the shambles that we saw in the Euro 2020 final. I only wish Potter was managing, or that Hoddle or Venables were 20 years younger.

Of course, England may not get to the France QF. Senegal would be tough opponents in the L16, a step up from Colombia in 2018. An organised defence with Koulibaly at the heart of it, a strong, physical midfield, and the pace of Mane and Sarr on the break.

The interesting thing is that the Croatia game we should have been out of sight at half time - hit the post a couple of times and plenty of other decent chances, and against Italy could easily have been 2 up in the first half hour before it went downhill. The worsening performance through these games I'm not sure is really the manager's tactics (I can't imagine that Southgate tells them to fall so deep and defend so poorly), but perhaps fed by a fear of failure amongst the players themselves that they can't get out of. Not saying Southgate is blameless, as he could certainly try to do more in terms of substitutions to change things round. Maybe some of the youngsters like Bellingham and Foden can help in that regard, as they don't have the same baggage as the older guys.

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Post by Oakdene Tue Apr 05, 2022 11:21 am

As a Welshman, I'm fairly happy with that draw - if we get there of course.

Both Iran & USA are in & around us in the rankings as it stands (Iran 21, USA 15 & us 19) so they're both winnable games for us.

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Post by Duty281 Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:53 pm

dummy_half wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Yes, I struggle to see England getting past any of the top teams, predominantly because of Southgate. Southgate is (mostly) fine in navigating the games against weaker opposition who set up to deny England (Tunisia, Panama, Sweden, 2021 Croatia, Czechs, Ukraine), so getting through the group stage should pose no issues. Southgate has previously had generous draws, so has been able to take England beyond their usual standing (getting Sweden and Ukraine in QFs has been very soft).

The problem comes when England face a team that is their technical equal, or better. In these situations it normally goes wrong and exposes Southgate's drastic shortcomings as manager:

[i]Croatia 2018 (WC SF) - 44% possession, two shots on target, lose in extra time.
Netherlands 2019 (NL SF) - 46% possession, three shots on target, lose in extra time.
Italy 2021 (Euros F) - 34% possession, two shots on target, lose on penalties*.[/i]

In all of those games, a quick start has been followed by a quick retreat. Then in the second half onwards England's only tactic is to punt the ball up the field in hope.
They spend most of the game chasing shadows, which will be foolish in Qatar, before losing the lead and the game. It's frustrating and doesn't have to be like this because England have some outstanding technical players.

* I've made the comparison before, but Roy Hodgson managed to do better against Italy in the Euros at 2012, with slightly more possession and chances created, and Hodgson didn't have home advantage and his squad was nowhere near as good as Southgate's.

The below games have also seen similar issues, though not all with the same outcome.

Belgium 2018 - 46% possession, two shots on target, lose.
Colombia 2018 - 53% possession, two shots on target, squeeze a fortunate win on penalties*.
Spain 2018 - 45% possession, six shots on target, lose.
Spain 2018 - 26% possession, three shots on target, win 3-2.
Germany 2021 - 45% possession, four shots on target, win 2-0.


*Arguably the most important win of Southgate's reign.

I only hope Southgate adapts and encourages more positive play. Going five at the back and two holding midfielders v France would just be a white flag. A squad with Bellingham, Henderson, Rice, Mount, Foden, Grealish, Sterling, Sancho etc. at its disposal should be looking to win the possession battle and dictate play, not be reduced to the shambles that we saw in the Euro 2020 final. I only wish Potter was managing, or that Hoddle or Venables were 20 years younger.

Of course, England may not get to the France QF. Senegal would be tough opponents in the L16, a step up from Colombia in 2018. An organised defence with Koulibaly at the heart of it, a strong, physical midfield, and the pace of Mane and Sarr on the break.

The interesting thing is that the Croatia game we should have been out of sight at half time - hit the post a couple of times and plenty of other decent chances, and against Italy could easily have been 2 up in the first half hour before it went downhill. The worsening performance through these games I'm not sure is really the manager's tactics (I can't imagine that Southgate tells them to fall so deep and defend so poorly), but perhaps fed by a fear of failure amongst the players themselves that they can't get out of. Not saying Southgate is blameless, as he could certainly try to do more in terms of substitutions to change things round.  Maybe some of the youngsters like Bellingham and Foden can help in that regard, as they don't have the same baggage as the older guys.

I doubt Southgate instructs them to fall so deep, but the tactics he sets up in those big games inevitably lead to that.

To take the Italy game as an example, Southgate set up with three centre-backs, two 'wingbacks' (who were basically full-backs) and two holding midfielders. This initially, for about twenty minutes, worked fine because Shaw and Trippier were able to get up the field and provide support to the attackers. But then Mancini instructed his full-backs (Emerson and Di Lorenzo) to push up the field which had the effect of penning Shaw and Trippier back, meaning Kane, Sterling and Mount became isolated with little support. Mount had to track back further and further to aid the defence, which had the further knock on effect of isolating Kane and Sterling, leading to England's only attacking output for about 100 minutes becoming the hopeful punts to Kane, and the embarrassing statistic of only 34% possession in a home final. Burnley would do better than that.

England's best system is always 4-2-3-1 (three attacking midfielders behind Kane), or 4-3-3 (two narrower attacking midfielders and three conventional central midfielders). England in that system would be capable of getting at least 50% possession v big teams, and creating far more opportunities. It's a technically brilliant squad that is being stifled.

I would hope there is no fear of failure amongst the England squad. Firstly, it's mostly quite a young squad. Secondly, numerous members of it have won big trophies (Stones, Walker, Mount, Sterling, Henderson, James, Trent). If there is a fear of failure it's down to Southgate to sort it out. Mind you, his safety-first tactics probably do introduce an element of fear of general negativity into the side.

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Post by GSC Tue Apr 05, 2022 3:20 pm

Euros sure, not sure I agree on 2018 given how limited that squad was.
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Post by Duty281 Tue May 24, 2022 5:26 pm

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolves), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Man City), Ben White (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, on loan from Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Man City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Man City)


England's squad named for some interesting Nations League games in June, versus Hungary (x2), Italy and Germany.

It presents great chances for Tomori, Bellingham and Abraham to get in the World Cup squad. Tomori and Bellingham could be viable starters for the World Cup, and Abraham may present some pressure to Kane's place with DCL falling away. Bowen and Justin getting first-time call ups, but it's tough to see them in the squad for Qatar. Southgate loves a set-piece, so there's a potential opening for JWP, who I thought was unfortunate not to go to the Euros.

Good for England to get some competitive fixtures against quality nations before the World Cup.

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Post by dummy_half Wed May 25, 2022 9:23 am

I know Abraham has scored a lot of goals this season in Italy, but I really don't rate him as anything more than an average PL striker. I think the quality of the league in Italy has really declined in the last few years - hell, remember Chris Smalling looks like a really top defender there...

Southgate still has the same circles to square in his team selection - an abundance of quality at right back but not in central defence (left back affected this squad by the absence of Shaw and Chilwell), balancing the central midfield area between defensive solidity and a bit more fluency, and getting the best options in the wide attack and #10 / attacking midfield behind Kane.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:41 pm

Ukraine deservedly defeat Scotland in the play-off semi-final, 3-1. Scotland lifeless and static for the first hour, came alive after pushing McTominay into midfield but it was too late. Ukraine's attacking movement and technical ability was good to watch.

Wales v Ukraine for a place in the World Cup. Ukraine will be tough to beat.

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Post by alfie Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:36 am

Duty281 wrote:Ukraine deservedly defeat Scotland in the play-off semi-final, 3-1. Scotland lifeless and static for the first hour, came alive after pushing McTominay into midfield but it was too late. Ukraine's attacking movement and technical ability was good to watch.

Wales v Ukraine for a place in the World Cup. Ukraine will be tough to beat.

Yes , Ukraine very impressive - even if Scotland's rather insipid first half gave them a bit of a hand. Second half was a cracker though : if that easy header had gone in around the hour we might have seen extra time and I for one would have enjoyed seeing that as it was an entertaining game to watch.

Would have liked to see the Scots get up but really couldn't begrudge Ukraine in any case : just getting there is a tribute to the resolution of their players ! They will have a lot of neutral fans on the weekend.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Jun 05, 2022 7:16 pm

Wales through to their first World Cup since 1958, and will join Iran, USA and England in Group B.

Wales needed a bit of fortune to get past Ukraine. James should have been sent off after two minutes, Ukraine were denied a stonewall penalty, and Hennessey had to pull out some outstanding saves.

But Wales are through and they may fancy their chances of getting into the last 16.

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Post by GSC Mon Jun 06, 2022 10:32 am

Group is fairly soft provided they can get Bale to the tournament in good shape. Wouldn't be surprised if he ended up at Cardiff for a short spell to focus on that.

Beyond the group they probably need Brennan or Dan James to have a good start to the season to offer an alternative
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Post by Duty281 Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:49 pm

Good thing the World Cup isn't this month, two very poor performances from England, and slightly fortunate to escape with a draw v Germany tonight. Way too much long ball stuff from the back. And for a side who is coached by a man who sets a lot of store by set pieces, England really are terrible at them currently.

Bellingham and Grealish must be starters at the World Cup. Bellingham is the class England need in the centre of midfield and he showed it again tonight, after Phillips' unfortunate injury. Grealish again transformed the game from the bench, like he did v Germany last year, after Mount did nothing all night. The Maguire-Stones 'partnership' at the heart of defence isn't a partnership, it's just two individuals playing their own game. That's a big concern for England.

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Post by Afro Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:21 am

They look tired and a yard off the pace, but I think they can be forgiven that following a long season and getting all the way to the final last summer.

They should have rested the established players, given them as much rest to be raring to go in the Autumn, and taken these games as an opportunity to try the players knocking on the door of the squad. I would not be bothered about a failed Nations League, but a poor world cup would be disappointing after the last two tournaments.
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Post by GSC Wed Jun 08, 2022 1:20 pm

My overriding feeling is I don't care about the nations league, and piling more games on top of this season only shortens the recovery time available before next season which features a winter world cup. At some point something has to give regarding everyone wanting their own slice of the pie.

2 less than great performances but in light of the above I don't think it's super representative of how England will hope to play in Qatar
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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:11 pm

Yeah I certainly agree that there shouldn't be any games right now, the Nations League should take a hike and the players should have their feet up. England players would be tired, yes, but I would have the thought the German players would be equally fatigued.

Just depressing to watch another England game of 37% possession, punt-it-and-hope, like so many games of Southgate's tenure and knowing that:

a) Southgate won't be criticised because the media love him.
b) This is what's coming up at the World Cup.

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Post by Duty281 Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:59 pm

Aussies through to the World Cup after defeating Peru in a nervy play-off, settled on penalties.

Australia's manager substituted on a goalkeeper specifically for the penalties. The keeper in question did some ridiculous dancing on the line, but as he got his hands on the last penalty I suppose it worked.

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Post by alfie Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:47 am

Aussies love penalty shoot outs in WC qualification matches Smile

Subbing the GK for a shootout : bold ! But when it works....

A great result . Much of the media here has been pretty low on confidence lately , so this will give the Australian game a big lift thumbsup

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Post by Jeff Navarro Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:29 pm

England has some of the most exciting youngsters in world football, but this Southgate is a mediocre manager.
If England had an elite manager they could’ve dominated international football.

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Post by Duty281 Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:40 pm

Southgate. The luckiest England manager I've seen in my life. Easy draws, home advantage and a penalty shootout conspiring to put England far in tournaments, despite Southgate's ineptitude. A Premier League club wouldn't go within 100 miles of this clown.

And one day luck runs out. Fortune runs dry. And Southgate stands exposed for the utterly crap manager he is.

He is blessed with an amazing squad littered with some astonishing attacking talent. Probably the best all round technical squad I've seen England have. But Southgate chooses to play ultra-negative, safety-first, lump-it up the field football. Many of us have been saying it for years. But the FA have given him a contract until after Euro 2024.

Four games. Not a single goal in open play. And a 4-0 loss to Hungary in England. Southgate out. Please. England may just about rescue their World Cup chances, and have a decent chance of winning the competition, if Southgate is removed over the summer.

It hurts to know this fantastic squad is led by a donkey. I can only imagine what a good manager, such as Potter or Smith or Dyche or even Gerrard, could do. We'll be looking back on Euro 2020, the upcoming World Cup, and Euro 2024 (if Southgate gets that far) as a missed opportunity.

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Post by Duty281 Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:48 pm

alfie wrote:Aussies love penalty shoot outs in WC qualification matches Smile

Subbing the GK for a shootout : bold ! But when it works....

A great result . Much of the media here has been pretty low on confidence lately , so this will give the Australian game a big lift thumbsup

Yeah, good to see Australia through, though they've obviously declined from the days of Cahill and Viduka.

Shame that New Zealand couldn't join them, losing 1-0 to Costa Rica in a play-off.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:30 pm

It's the nations Cup, these games don't matter at all and England have played like it.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:27 am

Did Duty just seriously suggest Dean Smith as a better alternate? I must be living in a different universe
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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:43 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Did Duty just seriously suggest Dean Smith as a better alternate? I must be living in a different universe

Exactly. He's not a brilliant manager, but he's better than Southgate!

These games do not matter in terms of results, but they do matter in terms of performance, momentum and building to Qatar. It's the last sizable block of games that Southgate has before the World Cup, with just two more in September before (presumably) some warm-up games in November. Average performances can be excused, but this hasn't been average, it's been utterly dire, and anyone who thinks Southgate can suddenly flick a switch and turn it on when it matters is living in a fantasy world.

England should be going into this World Cup as favourites. But with Southgate at the helm, England will need fortune to get past the first decent team they come up against.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:49 am

I can most definitely assure you he is not
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Post by Soul Requiem Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:08 am

It's not Southgate who needs to flick a switch and turn it on, it's the players who need to that and I expect them to do just that when it actually matters. There is no comparison between how physically demanding it is playing in the premier league compared to anywhere else in the world.

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Post by alfie Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:53 am

What I saw of all four games was pretty dire. But as no one really cares about these results , players are knackered , and the only real value is in seeing what alternate selections can or can't do then useful things can be learned from the negatives , surely ? When it doesn't really cost.

Manager isn't going to move before the WC anyway so let us wait and see what happens when everyone is taking it seriously.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:10 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:I can most definitely assure you he is not

Smith - Did a good job at Walsall, keeping them in League One against the odds and getting them to a Wembley final. Solidified Brentford on a shoestring budget in the Championship. Took Villa back up to the Premier League. Got relegated with Norwich (hopeless task).

Southgate - Took Middlesbrough from a solid mid-table club to relegation in three years. Then led the England U21s to bottom of the group at the European Championships. Heroically led England to victory over giants such as Tunisia, Panama and Sweden, before coming up short against teams that actually possessed a midfield.

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Post by GSC Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:13 pm

Think Brentford's recruitment had more to do with that. Villa were floating an entirely unsustainable squad in the championship and still ended up scraping through the playoffs

Regardless if we're proposing punting a manager with a WC semi final and euro final 5 months before a tournament to appoint Dean Smith you've lost me
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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:18 pm

alfie wrote:What I saw of all four games was pretty dire. But as no one really cares about these results , players are knackered , and the only real value is in seeing what alternate selections can or can't do then useful things can be learned from the negatives , surely ? When it doesn't really cost.

Manager isn't going to move before the WC anyway so let us wait and see what happens when everyone is taking it seriously.

We already know what will happen. Ease through the group stage (though that looks less likely these days), then the first decent side England come up against - back five, two holding midfielders, Trippier at right-back so he can take set-pieces even though England are currently terrible at them. A possession figure of 40% or below as England chase the ball in the oppressive heat of Qatar. Two or three shots on target in the whole game. Maybe England will get lucky and take it to penalties as they did v Italy or Colombia. Does it have to be this way? Absolutely not.

England players may be knackered, but I'm not sure that's a viable excuse:

1) Other international teams also contain players who are knackered after long seasons.
2) The World Cup should be taking place now anyway. It reminds me of after the 2010 World Cup when tiredness was tossed around as an excuse.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:20 pm

GSC wrote:Think Brentford's recruitment had more to do with that. Villa were floating an entirely unsustainable squad in the championship and still ended up scraping through the playoffs

Regardless if we're proposing punting a manager with a WC semi final and euro final 5 months before a tournament to appoint Dean Smith you've lost me

Still more than Southgate could do.

Smith is hyperbole. I don't actually want him, though he would be a better option than Southgate. Ideally England could get Potter or Dyche, the two best English managers around.

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Post by Afro Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:21 pm

There's far much of an extreme reaction to these game IMO.

Southgate has taken a team that has not performed to expectation in the recent past, and made a world cup semi-final and a euro final. This far exceeds what has gone before him for the last 50 years, so in my book he has massively more credit in the bank than he loses from these 4 nations league games.

I've got to agree with Olly. International football managing is different to club football managing. You are not coaching players to improve their skills on a daily basis, but managing personalities and strategies to get those players performing as a team effectively, in the small pockets of time you have with them.

Smith's club success does not qualify him as a better England manager than Southgate based on Southgate's performance. I accept Smith has no international experience for us to compare against, and he could actually be the best International manager in the world, we just don't know it yet. But his club performance is not so spectacular that it elavates him above Southgate.
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Post by superflyweight Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:10 pm

Duty281 wrote:
GSC wrote:Think Brentford's recruitment had more to do with that. Villa were floating an entirely unsustainable squad in the championship and still ended up scraping through the playoffs

Regardless if we're proposing punting a manager with a WC semi final and euro final 5 months before a tournament to appoint Dean Smith you've lost me

Still more than Southgate could do.

Smith is hyperbole. I don't actually want him, though he would be a better option than Southgate. Ideally England could get Potter or Dyche, the two best English managers around.

Fumbling around in the dark for an answer to a question that doesn't need asking.  Potter and Dyche are two completely different types of manager and have totally different ideas about the way the game should be played, albeit nothing suggests that either would be employing the gung-ho tactics you seem to be advocating.  

Main issue for England is that they come up short against the best teams they face in tournament (except the time they got knocked out by Iceland) and always have done (with the exception of 1966).  There's talent in the team (especially in an attacking sense) but the defenders are not individually good enough and the midfield not balanced enough to allow England to play anything other than conservatively against the better teams.  

Given how the draw opened up in 2018 and to an extent in the Euros (and the fact that it was a home tournament) I'd say Southgate has 'made par' in the job so far and another semi-final in Qatar would see him better than par.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:23 pm

Southgate 5/2 to resign/be sacked before England's first World Cup game.

How beautiful that would be, but I can't see it happening.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:10 pm

An England squad gets named tomorrow for England's two Nations League games against Italy (away) and Germany (home) on the 23rd and 26th. It is the last squad named before the World Cup and the last competitive games before the opener v Iran.

Southgate is under pressure after a woeful June which saw England humiliated by Hungary and no goals in open play in four games.

The big decision is in central defence and concerns Harry Maguire. Maguire has fallen completely out of favour at Man Utd after an abysmal start to the season, so the question is whether Southgate will persist with him at the heart of defence, or look for new options. Rumours are that Eric Dier will get a recall.

Pickford is injured so the back-ups will have a chance to press for inclusion, though there's little doubt Pickford will be no.1 come the World Cup.

As far as the Nations League itself is concerned, England will need at least four points (but probably six) from the two games to avoid relegation into League B. Relegation is something that Southgate is accustomed to in his managerial career.

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Post by dummy_half Thu Sep 15, 2022 5:26 pm

No huge surprises in Southgate's squad for the two up-coming Nations League games:
first selection for Toney, after his excellent recent form
Maguire and Shaw both present, but in a squad heavy on defenders, that doesn't surprise me. More now a case of whether their form in training and these games is enough to keep either or both in WC contention,

27 players named, and with Rashford injured and likely at least under consideration given his early season form, got to be doubtful anyone outside this lot will make the World Cup.

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Post by Duty281 Thu Sep 15, 2022 6:21 pm

It's just so sad to see. England blessed with a richness of attacking talent, but Southgate's preparing for another tournament of playing a back five with two holding midfielders and sub-45% possession against the first big nation we see, hence his picking 12 defenders in this squad.

We should be looking forward to the World Cup as a time when the creative outlets of Bellingham, Foden and Grealish will be unleashed, backed up with the pace and skill of the likes of James, Sterling and Saka, and topped off with the finishing ability of Kane. Instead we're going to be watching games hoping Kane can flick it on to Sterling from Pickford's 17th long punt, or that Trippier will do something from a set-piece, and then finally praying the penalty dice land in our favour.

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Post by alfie Fri Sep 23, 2022 6:42 am

Hope England can get a result against Italy : not that I really think this Nations League business is important ; but any reverse would only produce more of the somewhat irrational Southgate-bashing so common here and elsewhere...

I am no football expert ; but it does puzzle me why Southgate inspires so much criticism. England's results under him are a lot better than they have been since...whenever : this is a fact..

Now one can say (as his detractors do , ad nauseum) that with the resources he has he ought to do better ; that any success is down to luck of the draw or the great bunch of players he has ; or that a "better" manager would certainly win more because he would (a) pick the right players/formation/tactics or (b) make superior substitutions in personnel and/or timing...But these are all opinions. And obviously , not tested.

So really , we are just guessing , no ? Sack him and try someone else - and only then see if it works for good or ill ?

As one who has seen a great deal of English heartache since that blessed day in 1966 ; I am inclined to say "Be careful what you wish for".

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Post by GSC Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:37 am

I think for international football the approach is mostly fine. I think he could probably be more proactive with turning over some positions (Kalvin Phillips being injured may force his hand with Bellingham) but expecting players like Maguire etc to be benched on poor form when hes been a trusted performer for England for while now and theres a handful of games before the WC seems unreasonable.

Suspect this will be his last tournament one way or another, but his role in reviving our fortunes shouldn't be underestimated
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Post by Duty281 Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:17 am

alfie wrote:Hope England can get a result against Italy : not that I really think this Nations League business is important ; but any reverse would only produce more of the somewhat irrational Southgate-bashing so common here and elsewhere...

I am no football expert ; but it does puzzle me why Southgate inspires so much criticism. England's results under him are a lot better than they have been since...whenever : this is a fact..

Now one can say (as his detractors do , ad nauseum) that with the resources he has he ought to do better ; that any success is down to luck of the draw or the great bunch of players he has ; or that a "better" manager would certainly win more because he would (a) pick the right players/formation/tactics or (b) make superior substitutions in personnel and/or timing...But these are all opinions.  And obviously , not tested.

So really , we are just guessing , no ? Sack him and try someone else - and only then see if it works for good or ill ?

As one who has seen a great deal of English heartache since that blessed day in 1966 ; I am inclined to say "Be careful what you wish for".

England's results are not better under Southgate than under other managers, I'm afraid. Southgate has done mostly the same as other England managers, in that he has got England past the teams they should be beating, but when it comes to the crunch and England play a team just as good or better than them on paper they come up short (2018 Croatia/Belgium, 2019 Netherlands, 2021 Italy) with a dire performance.

Southgate inspires so much criticism because some England football fans can see the possibilities. A side with Bellingham, Foden and Grealish, plus others, should be a side that looks to win the midfield battle, control possession and create a plethora of chances for Kane, even against the toughest nations. It should not be a side, as it is under Southgate, that has 34% possession and has two shots on target in 120 minutes.

It is true to say that Southgate has got England further in tournaments than most England managers; but it is also true to say that Southgate has had the easiest draws of any England manager, a home tournament, mountains of luck, and has also worked with a very strong England squad. A squad that is stronger than most England managers have had to work with.

I'm not guessing, and I don't think most people are either - Southgate is a terrible manager. Probably only McClaren and Revie rank lower than him in the England managers list.

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Post by mountain man Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:17 am

The Southgate bashing seems to be a national pastime, get lots of it on BBC HYSs but seemingly here as well.
Got England to WC semi and final of Euros(which they could/should have won). As it happens I thought his tactics in Euro final was poor, went way too defensive trying to defend lead instead of pressing for another possibly winning goal. Anyway, is there an oven ready replacement? Not really.

Ultimately it's down to the players. A basic fact is best players in Prem aren't English so why should England expect to be best team.

Whatever, I support England whoever is picked and whoever is manager(with exception of Alladyce obvs).

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Post by alfie Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:08 pm

Well I didn't really expect to convince you , Duty Smile

But I don't see how you can claim Southgate's results haven't been better than most of his predecessors : surely the definition of success is progress in major tournaments ? And you concede that he has exceeded most in that regard. Your opinion that this is all down to luck , etc , is subjective and open to debate , no ? I mean (for example) : "easy" draws, you say ... but he didn't manage to lose to Iceland...

To be clear : I am not suggesting the man should be immune from criticism. Even I don't always agree with some of the things he does ; but then I have no top level football experience so it is somewhat questionable whether my ideas would have any merit Smile    I don't suppose anyone else on here has top level playing/management credentials either - though of course that doesn't preclude everyone having opinions : just as long as we remember that that is all they are.

The argument that he has brought England a fair way , but isn't the right man to take the "next step" , is one for which I have more respect than this OTT "he's awful" stuff : I think that is something that will indeed be up for discussion after the WC ; but is probably best left until the appropriate time.

In any case I am sure the arguments will run and run : more concerned with waiting and watching what actually happens . And I would sincerely hope that even the harshest critics would actually prefer to see England get a good result rather than fail to give ammunition for their cause...

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Post by superflyweight Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:24 pm

Duty281 wrote:
alfie wrote:Hope England can get a result against Italy : not that I really think this Nations League business is important ; but any reverse would only produce more of the somewhat irrational Southgate-bashing so common here and elsewhere...

I am no football expert ; but it does puzzle me why Southgate inspires so much criticism. England's results under him are a lot better than they have been since...whenever : this is a fact..

Now one can say (as his detractors do , ad nauseum) that with the resources he has he ought to do better ; that any success is down to luck of the draw or the great bunch of players he has ; or that a "better" manager would certainly win more because he would (a) pick the right players/formation/tactics or (b) make superior substitutions in personnel and/or timing...But these are all opinions.  And obviously , not tested.

So really , we are just guessing , no ? Sack him and try someone else - and only then see if it works for good or ill ?

As one who has seen a great deal of English heartache since that blessed day in 1966 ; I am inclined to say "Be careful what you wish for".

England's results are not better under Southgate than under other managers, I'm afraid. Southgate has done mostly the same as other England managers, in that he has got England past the teams they should be beating, but when it comes to the crunch and England play a team just as good or better than them on paper they come up short (2018 Croatia/Belgium, 2019 Netherlands, 2021 Italy) with a dire performance.

Southgate inspires so much criticism because some England football fans can see the possibilities. A side with Bellingham, Foden and Grealish, plus others, should be a side that looks to win the midfield battle, control possession and create a plethora of chances for Kane, even against the toughest nations. It should not be a side, as it is under Southgate, that has 34% possession and has two shots on target in 120 minutes.

It is true to say that Southgate has got England further in tournaments than most England managers; but it is also true to say that Southgate has had the easiest draws of any England manager, a home tournament, mountains of luck, and has also worked with a very strong England squad. A squad that is stronger than most England managers have had to work with.

I'm not guessing, and I don't think most people are either - Southgate is a terrible manager. Probably only McClaren and Revie rank lower than him in the England managers list.

Taylor, Hodgson, Sven and Capello anyone?

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Post by GSC Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:27 pm

To be fair to Hodgson he did get rather stuck between between two generations of talented players. Still shouldn't lose to Iceland mind
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Post by Duty281 Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:02 pm

alfie wrote:Well I didn't really expect to convince you , Duty Smile

But I don't see how you can claim Southgate's results haven't been better than most of his predecessors : surely the definition of success is progress in major tournaments ? And you concede that he has exceeded most in that regard. Your opinion that this is all down to luck , etc , is subjective and open to debate , no ?  I mean (for example) :  "easy" draws, you say  ...  but he didn't manage to lose to Iceland...

To be clear : I am not suggesting the man should be immune from criticism. Even I don't always agree with some of the things he does ; but then I have no top level football experience so it is somewhat questionable whether my ideas would have any merit Smile    I don't suppose anyone else on here has top level playing/management credentials either - though of course that doesn't preclude everyone having opinions : just as long as we remember that that is all they are.

The argument that he has brought England a fair way , but isn't the right man to take the "next step" , is one for which I have more respect than this OTT "he's awful" stuff : I think that is something that will indeed be up for discussion after the WC ; but is probably best left until the appropriate time.

In any case I am sure the arguments will run and run : more concerned with waiting and watching what actually happens . And I would sincerely hope that even the harshest critics would actually prefer to see England get a good result rather than fail to give ammunition for their cause...

It isn't actually, because tournament draws can work in such a way that one manager/team looks more successful than they actually are. Imagine two teams:

Team 1 plays Denmark in the Last 16 and wins. They then play Brazil in the QF and lose.
Team 2 plays Paraguay, USA and South Korea, before losing to Brazil in the F.

On the face of it, Team 2 have made the final and look more successful. But in reality they've fallen at the same hurdle as Team 1, and an easy draw has gifted them further progress. If you swap Team 1 and Team 2 around, Team 1 makes the final and Team 2 makes the QF.

It's the same with Southgate. If England had been in the other half of the draw at last year's Euros, and played Italy in the QF instead of the final, that's where they would have exited. Presumably we wouldn't all be so happy and delighted with Southgate had the draw worked out differently?

And that's the luck he's had that other England managers haven't had. Robson probably gets England to two World Cup finals if they get drawn in the other half to Argentina and West Germany, in 1986 and 1990 respectively. Sven the same in 2002. Venables in 1996. Maybe Sven in Euro 2004 as well.

Tournament progression isn't how you judge success (unless the thing is won). Raw results are. And what has Southgate achieved when we consider raw results? He's beaten Tunisia, Panama and Sweden, followed by a poor Croatia, the Czechs and Germany at home. Then eased past a terrible Ukraine and edged out a struggling Denmark (at home). Add in a fortuitous penalty win over Colombia.

What about when England play decent opposition, like 2018 Croatia, Belgium, or Italy? Oh yes, they come up far short. And it will be the same at the upcoming World Cup, whenever England face talented opposition.

As I've said before, if a person is happy with England beating the likes of Panama and Ukraine, it's fine, stick with Southgate. Some seem to think that is the level of this talented group of England players and we should be content with it.  But others, like myself, believe this England team is better than playing seven defensive players, lumping it up to Kane, and praying for a penalty lottery v Italy.

And you also have to add into the equation the strength of each team that a manager has. Southgate has a stronger England team at his disposal than the majority of England managers. He's also had the fortune of his key players staying fit, something which has eluded most England managers.

And I'm tired of Iceland being brought up. The way some people bang on about Iceland you would think they're San Marino or Gibraltar. Iceland in 2016 were a capable team. Yes, England shouldn't have lost to them. But going into Euro 2016, Iceland had managed to beat the Dutch home and away, and they managed a credible draw v Portugal in the group stage of the tournament. That's Portugal who went on to win the tournament.

Losing 4-0 to Hungary at Wembley is far worse than losing 2-1 to Iceland on neutral ground.

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