The Mailbox discusses Harry Redknapp’s proposal to manage England while making a plea for perspective on the call for Gareth Southgate to leave.
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Harry for England
Bad Wolf; While I agree that Harry Redknapp would definitely bring a much-needed feel-good factor to the England squad on the eve of what is surely the ultimate wet dream for Sepp Blatter and his ex-FIFA buddies, the World Cup in Qatar, I have to point out that you it’s believing that he picks players based on form rather than nostalgia or misguided loyalty means not understanding Harry at all. This is the man who signed Defone, Crouchy and Niko Kranjcar three times each! If you looked up nostalgia or misplaced loyalty in the dictionary, there would be a footnote referring to Harry Redknapp.
Harry loves nothing more than getting the band back together for one last hooray – I can only imagine Defoe, Crouchy and the entire “golden generation” eagerly looking at their phones.
They would make it through to the last 16 after two goalless draws and a straight 1-zero win to sneak out of Group D before being thrashed by one of the big boys and sent back to Blighty. Still… would be funnier than watching Southgate try to get a tune out of some of the extremely talented individuals in this current England squad.
Most players are lucky enough to only play in one World Cup in their career and the fact that it only happens every 4 years means the FA should act decisively to replace Southgate now and someone like Poch or Zidane only with a short contract to oblige until the end of the World Cup and see what they can do.
Both managers are used to working with big figures and, in Zidane’s case, have experience of winning knockout competitions, including World Cups. Players would get a boost if the tactics and systems they implement are relatively simple, then players should pick it up quickly. The side are extremely talented in certain areas and if a new coach can give them that confidence they could make a positive impact at the tournament. But stick with Southgate and I think Round of 16th will be all she wrote.
Ranking England’s preparation for major tournaments since 2000. It’s never been worse
There were two letters in it the last mailbox (by Joe and Tom) on how playing two defensive midfielders is part of England’s problem.
I just want to throw in a few observations:
– England reached the final of Euro 2021, only losing on penalties after using two defensive midfielders in each game
– since then he has played just once against two defensive midfielders in five internationals (all in the Nations League) when he clinched a draw in Germany. In the other four games we played with a single defensive midfielder and drew in four games.
I don’t understand why there isn’t much talk about bringing two defensive midfielders back into the team. Oh, and Henderson should be in the roster as a backup for Rice and Phillips so we can still play two DMs if one of them is injured.
Reassess Southgate’s balance sheet
Neil, L.F.C., USA asks if Southgate has done well in the last two tournaments.
Compared to our performances in the last previous tournaments leading up to the 2018 World Cup, he has. Reaching a first major final in 55 years would be considered successful.
“England managed to get the easiest draws in those two tournaments and never beat anyone of importance except a sad German side.”
No one complained that he only beat a weak German team last summer. And yes, they were sad, but they could still have knocked us out if we played badly, which luckily we didn’t.
It’s the Nations League, FFS
Has anyone writing to complain about Southgate and the England team during the Nations League paused to consider that it might be because… it’s the Nations League?! It’s the most Mickey Mouse, time waster, least important set of games and I’m sure the players can’t handle it and are just trying to avoid injuries before the World Cup. Also, I’m sure club managers have been telling the players not to push themselves… few players actually play to get into the World Cup squad and I’m sure Southgate has already played his first 11 knows.
Maybe he didn’t push them and maybe they didn’t play well, but seriously, it’s the Nations League. Who cares?!
Danish dark horses
After an unfortunate loss in the semi-finals at Euro, Denmark have a reputation for dark horses at this World Cup.
France, who are among the favourites, are in their group and Denmark have just beaten them in a competitive match and have impressively stayed under the radar. I look forward to their knockout games.
I wonder how many Danes will make the trip to the Middle East? At previous European World Cups they had a big happy band of support and this time they can escape the dark cold winter evenings so good luck to them.
Peter (You would have thought Eriksen would retire from international football, right?) Andalucia
Your biased comments about Mark Lawrenson were typical, the next thing you’re going to say is that women’s football isn’t bad crap.
The Emirates were special on Saturday but…
I think my lasting memory of Arsenal’s demolition of Spurs at the weekend was this young girl’s reaction to Beth Mead’s autograph.
The awe on her face as she met our number nine was plain to see and reminded me of the time I drove past Dennis Bergkamp at a golf club and I was so shocked that I only spoke the name Dennis Bergkamp for five minutes could say. I’d love to say this incident happened when I was a kid – but it wasn’t until this spring!
A good proportion of the fans in the Emirates over the weekend were young fans from both sides of north London. We know a good number of
Viewers were from the same demographic this summer, so why the heck is the BBC showing highlights of WSL matches at 12.25am at a time when they should be showing The Warriors, The Lost Boys or other early-morning fare?
If we’re looking to expand the game and North London has just set another attendance record why aren’t the highlights being shown at an earlier time – perhaps at teatime just before Strictly?
The audience is there and it’s only growing in numbers, so why doesn’t the BBC give them what they want?
Graham Simons, Gooner, (at the top of the Premier League and WSL League – nice stuff) Norf London
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