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Reluctant Striker

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  1. For me, the candidate should be someone perceived as both best in class. And some appreciation for England, it's football & social culture & a genuine desire to see it succeed. I think if it's a not English manager, it should be box office. As in Pep or Klopp. Perhaps Unai. Possibly Mourinho. He's probably the most readily available. Not many options left in club football. One way or another coaches who have ripped up the rulebook. If it's English it can only really be Howe or maybe, perhaps, at a push, Potter. But if you go Potter, with respect you may aswell be sticking with Southgate or going Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney or even Dean Smith or Sean Dyche. The further down the list you go, the less point in the change there is.
  2. Cameroon: because Italia 90 as explained more recently by Ian Wright fizzy pop TV advert. Romania: because Gheorghe Hagi & it's seemed sad how far they have declined. It does make me feel happy the more of Ireland's, Wales & Scotland make it to tournaments. I do have a respect & appreciation for nations like Brazil, Argentina, Italy & Germany. I can't think of a nation I actively dislike. I guess I do tend towards seeing a funny side to it whenever a big nation does badly. Especially the European ones, like Italy & Germany. Despite the respect mentioned above. I guess because it still feels to me that it they are off it, doors open for many others.
  3. Are you suggesting this squad of Bellingham, Foden, Palmer, Saka, Rice, Stones, Mainoo, Gordon, etc, unconvincingly reached the final & unconvincingly got to 1-1 in the final because they are quarter final at best level players & Southgate's tactics dragged them much further than they merit? It would be a very unique take, wherever you read about it right now.. As a teen I had Southgate's name & number on the back of my Villa shirt. In 1996/97. I was sad to see Bobby Robson & Terry Venables leave England. I can understand it that's just kind of where you are coming from.
  4. It is definitely the right time. Gareth Southgate OBE has done a fantastic job. Ignoring the internal & external noise around what England should or should not be achieving. In 2018 personally I had near zero expectations. And we kind of part fluked (by winner standards) our way to a semi final. With a side featuring Eric Dier, Dele Alli & Raheem Sterling. At Euro 2021 we beat Croatia & Germany (yes, at home) on our way to a convincing final appearance, where with just a little more of something, we could have won. The 2022 defeat to France was not an embarrassment. Just a return to our usually expected level. When we come up against that team. But this year, this tournament, expectations were as high as I can remember. We looked totally unconvincing on our way to the final, and even getting to 1-1 in the final. To me, that is a tournament that screams very loudly that the squad of players are exceptional. Bellingham. Foden. Palmer. Saka. If someone can organise & deploy them in the right way. The defence may change most, but not much wrong with a back 4 or Trent, Konsa, Branthwaite & Guehi. With Trent essentially as wing back. Looking around at what others have to offer. England are a genuine contender. Against anyone. Anywhere. It would be foolish not see that. I think Southgate does. I think it's the best choice at the correct moment, for him, for the sides future chances. Over to the FA now to get the new choice spot on.
  5. You do not think the league's have helped produce & refine a whole bunch of the current squad? Who are starting to look a level above previous generations? I have fully backed Southgate. Until now. Yes, it is the best I've known following England. Where Q-final or semi final respectability was as good as it got But good luck to you for whatever it is you are actually hoping for & would like to see one day. If your view is genuinely that England is pretty much Sweden, what's the fuss ? you will always have this same lack of comprehension for England football fans & their expectations.
  6. If you are genuinely looking for reasons to justify the mysterious 'English' dissatisfaction, just totalling up World Cup or Euro's wins since 1990 (when I was first fully aware what was going on & what I was watching) This was the 18th tournament. Spain 4, Germany 3, France 3, Brazil 2, Italy 2, with 1 each for Portugal, Denmark, Greece & Argentina. The big leagues are widely considered to be Spanish, German, French, Italian & ...English. Yes, we're right up there with Netherlands, Sweden, Uruguay & Croatia. But the English league is supposed to be significantly ahead & in among a very different group. There is a case to suggest change is gradually happening, with this current generation. There is a much broader story beyond just the current manager & group of players.
  7. A further midfielder was certainly needed by Villa. Onana has impressed me at his best & feels like a better choice than other names who were being linked. But it is still a sad effect of PSR. That Villa have arranged to sell Douglas Luiz, to Juve. And within a few weeks, into a new accounting year, they spend the same money.
  8. It is time for Southgate to move on. It has been extraordinary how he has returned us back to the business end of tournaments. And not every 6 or 8 years or whatever. 2 finals, 1 semi & 1 quarter. In 4 consecutive tournaments. Anyone who doesn't see the improvement & recognise his achievements has not left school yet. Spain were the best of an average bunch, compared to national teams I feel I've seen in the past. But England had a squad packed with serious potential. For the whole tournament had very little cohesion & style of play. Foden got used where he wanted to be used. And he only threatened to deliver. Bellingham had his overhead moment & took a superstar penalty. But was largely ineffectual. Kane looked like someone who had gone 1 tournament too far, at least as a starter. I think I have resigned myself to the fact England will never win a tournament in my lifetime. And I think I am at peace with that. But at the same time, it does feel worth the English FA actively seeking the best tactically shrewd manager available. Because Bellingham, Saka, Foden, Palmer, etc.
  9. Partly my point? I also partly rated France as significant favourites vs Argentina. When the proven Mbappe France were up against perennial he'll never quite do it Messi Argentina. There's a few calling for a Spain demolition of England. Or England requiring miracles. I just don't see it that way... I'd give you my full prediction, but you never seem keen for my/Villa input.
  10. Argentina beat France in the last World Cup final. England absolutely can beat Spain in this Euro's final. It could be a real classic of a final.
  11. I was very surprised when the penalty was given. But, the usual coming together is a defender looking to kick the ball. With a foot going upwards. On the incident he is stamping down. Whoever was on VAR obviously thought it seemed dubious. I'd suggest if Kane tackled a defender looking to clear in that same stamping motion, a free kick is the decision. Still very very fortunate for England, because 95% of those challenges just get waived away. And nobody on either side thinks too much more about it.
  12. Especially pleased for Ollie Watkins that he scored in open play. We know Kane will start the final, but Watkins probably suits starting. Wheel Kane on for a penalty if it seems needed. I will say it now.. I feel more relaxed & confident than I did in 2021. Back then I was excited & nervous. Hope that's how the squad feels too.
  13. Just been reading Villa had a clause allowing them 3 days to match any accepted transfer offer. And it is thought they are considering doing so. May be a cause of the apparent hold up.
  14. Even if it is a person who's partner pays all the bills, or a young person that just wants a job for the CV, they would ideally like the clarity of it being 3 hours every Saturday. It is a niche type of person that will find many aspects of zero hours appealing. The type of employer it is & how it is used should certainly have some control over it. But at the other end of the extreme, nearly all employees are given a form to sign to opt out of working a maximum of 48 hours per week. So that they can voluntarily choose to work more. Or they can look for another job. There can be quality of work-life balance. Even if very well paid.
  15. Yes, there's a range of things off the radar of well meaning people who are just far too removed from anything other than office admin jobs. There are zero hours workers, which means no set weekly hours. Is still an entry on a CV. Is still work experience. For sure it will suit those who are not pushed into accepting the work or do not necessarily need to pay the bills. But it can suit both employee & employer. A bit like part time perhaps. And at the same time there are jobs where they do minimum 12 hours per day, starting at 6am, or earlier. Often more than 5 days per week. With intense pressure to accept any available overtime. And it very much happens in the UK. Not just far off places that we see on clothes labels. And the work force is primarily those where English is their 2nd language. Very much doing the kind of work we (British born) are pretty much taught to study to avoid. By teachers, parents & society.
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