Hello, good afternoon sports fans, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and are in good health. We need to talk, about football and to be more precise, we need to talk about International football, the England men’s football team.
Gareth Southgate, for the sake of the nation, either change your tactics or resign as you’re in all reality not getting sacked. The 3-3 come back to draw against Germany doesn’t mask the issues the former Middlesbrough manager is facing.
The Three Lions, were of course World Champions in 1966, and bar 1990 and 2018 (semi-finals of the world cup) and have not got to those dizzy heights since that famous triumph some 56 years ago.
There has been progress overall as alongside the World Cup semi-final England got to in Russia, there was an appearance in Euro 2020 final, Southgate will do well in Qatar 2022 it can be argued.
In the time since 66, there have been some fantastic teams and squads. The team of 2002, which was seen as a golden generation, weren’t able to get past the quarter-finals, 2006 wasn’t any better.
Despite breezing through tournament qualification, time and time again England, would leave that little bit on the pitch in previous tournaments, at the end of matches that The Three Lions lose, the if only they did this and if only he didn’t get injured kind of thing.
Some statement on my part, but I am adamant this current crop of players, from under-17s to seniors is the best crop England have ever had. They have been winning Euro tournaments and also have been going deep in World Cups for their respective age groups.
So there is optimism for team England, that’s for sure, but this optimism evaporates when it comes to the senior team. The Three Lions of old would pick players based on reputation rather than form.
Gareth Southgate, in one of his earlier press conferences when appointed as manager, said he would pick players based on form, but with Harry Maguire, he’s making an exception as the Manchester United captain isn’t playing for his club.
The move by United manager Erik Ten Haag at club level is one I applaud. The Sports Buff team doesn’t have an agenda against the former Hull centre-back, as we have tried to defend him in one of our articles, which can be read here;
This principle should always apply, if you’re not playing well, you’re not in the team, doesn’t matter who you are. It’s reaped the rewards for United to leave Harry Maguire out of the team, as they have become solid again at the back.
We just feel that AC Milan centre-back Fikoyo Timori can help revive the fortunes of Harry Maguire, as competition for his place will do him the world of good in the long run.
Maguire can’t feel sorry for himself in his current predicament, he’s a club captain he’s gonna have to toughen up. The former Leicester man needs a change in approach on and off the pitch, the gaffe from his PR team, which seems to blame others for HIS failings, emphasises why he shouldn’t be wearing a Three Lions shirt.
Harry isn’t owning the bad form that he’s currently in.
Luke Shaw is another one. The Man United full-back has lost his place to Tyrell Malacia, and like Martinez and Rafa Varanne (who are keeping Maguire out of the side), Malacia deserves his place in the team.
I am disappointed that both Shaw and Maguire are in the side. The reason for the disappointment is sentiment, why is there some? Both players aren’t playing and are out of form, this is baffling.
There are only 55 days or so to the World Cup will be the argument, we can’t change the manager now. Mauricio Pochettino is available and I think this England team is crying out for a manager like him.
The former PSG is superb at working with younger players. Fans of Tottenham will fondly remember him for his time there. His teams played exciting and attacking football, not the back five drivel that England use.
It is a back five as there’s no Trent Alexander-Arnold in the squad. There will be a separate write-up on the exclusion of TAA, but for the discussion in hand, Gareth Southgate for the sake of the nation, take the hand break off!
England have very good attacking talent, it’s the best I have seen in my lifetime. No Timori, who can help the team be progressive as he’s lightning quick and can play a highline to squeeze opposition higher up the pitch.
Jadon Sancho needs to be in the squad too. It’s simple, as an England fan myself I say if you don’t want to be more progressive in playing style, just go! The England football fans have suffered too much from your anti-football ways.
The talent that you have at your disposal and coming through the age groups is frightening. There’s a way to play, this (the way things are currently), is not it. If you don’t know how to get the full value of the good youth coming through, Pochettino can do it.
Ok, let’s keep it British/English. Eddie Howe and Graham Potter could be the other candidates to replace former Under-21’s boss Southgate if he leaves his role as England manager. I don’t usually call for managerial changes, but he’s taken England as far as he can.
A World Cup semi-final and a Euro 2020 final are good achievements, but if you can’t change your ways, then find your way to the door. Thanks for the memories Gareth, but this core of players needs to be utilised better.
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