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
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
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
d. Moyes out
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

LeroysBoots 7:32 Sat Mar 26
England Game
Is anybody going to watch this?

Cannot be bothered at all, would rather read a book!

So bored of friendlies

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

daveyg 6:25 Thu Mar 31
Re: England Game
Can't believe doubting Foden.
A player at the top of his game. Playing for the top team in the PL, QF of the CL.
He was injured at the Euros.
Phillips is not that great. Injury prone.
Bellingham a better option.
Gallagher too is a better option but slightly less experienced
If he carries on the way he has will surpass.

Gallagher, Bellingham, Rice.

A brilliant front 6

North Bank 5:49 Thu Mar 31
Re: England Game
Side I think we have a decent side, good defensively, plenty of strength in the middle of the park, the problem is the creativity going forward, not that we don't have any, just that Southgate is so cautious he's loathe to pick them.

Kane, Grealish, Sterling and Foden will do for me as players who can change things, but Southgate will probably go with Rashford, Mount and Saka

Side of Ham 3:19 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Played the last tournament basically at home and cautiously.....World Cup takes a team with a comeback ability or a few players that can change a game.....sadly we lack both no matter how much you rotate it.....

Rossal 3:13 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Yep think youre probs right, as i said after the euros the England managers job is the easiest gig its been for donkeys yet Southgate makes a pigs ear of it alot of the time.

Pedro 2:56 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
If Southgate sticks with the back 4 then he will have to play two holding midfielders.

If he plays a back 5 then Rice can do the job on his own.

Let’s be honest that he will pick Mount. Personally think he is overrated and was a huge disappointment in the Euros.

Rossal 2:16 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Agree with Gallagher. Id have him over JWP in the squad and maybe even Henderson.

Tomori i also would of had in the latest squad over Maguire and Mings on current form. Deserves a chance, dont get why Guehi was called up over him even though Guehi was impressive on sat.

Crassus 2:00 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Interesting thread

Foden bothers me as an automatic central pick, ok in games where we will dominate possession but against a more robust MF he scampers about committing too many easy fouls and his presence loads more on Rice

Like the idea of Phillips as the third man, he would allow Rice to carry the ball forward, we lose too much of Rice merely holding

As a wild card I like Gallagher, quick, mobile and closes well

At CB I’m miffed Tomori hasn’t had a run, has all the attributes and is doing very well in Italy where they know about defending

Rossal 1:19 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Dont need 2 holding players IMO. Rice is good enough to hold, and Bellingham can easily get box to box and likes a tackle. What he does going forward is great than what Phillips can do defensively especially as most international games now we look to dominate the ball.

Foden out wide isnt good enough, euros showed that.

Yes i agree re Southgate, thats why i think he could be one of the main factors that holds us back in the WC.

southbankbornnbred 1:05 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Basically, I'd be rotating Foden, Sterling and Grealish as the wide attacking players. Bellingham as the central #10.

Rice and Phillips the hard-working and tough-tackling platform behind that lot - and the side-talker upfront.

southbankbornnbred 1:03 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Definitely wouldn't play both Bellingham and Foden in central midfield, even with Rice as the holding player.

Not sure we'd win the ball often enough and, for all of the potential talent with the ball, they'd spend more than half the match chasing shadows.

I like Foden - he's a class act. But, for me, it's him or Bellingham as the creative hub at the apex of a midfield trio - or you push him out as one of the wider attacking players (maybe instead of Grealish).

I can't see Southgate going from NINE primarily defensive players (in their roles) to having two extremely creative players (who don't give you much without the ball) slap bang in the centre of midfield.

Manuel 12:09 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
With a lot of talent at waistcoats disposal, and I think 5 subs at the world cup, (let's guess) the starting line up's ain't the be all and end all they use to be. As we saw in the Euro's he changed it almost every game.

Rossal 12:07 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
I agree that what he thinks, but Maguires form has been shocking this season. Therefore i think Stones and White deserve a chance together. That would be my pairing against teams where we will dominate the ball as they are clearly our best passing and ball carrying pairing.

GK is up for grabs, straight fight between short arms and Ramsdale...but for me both have a howler in them and both are a long way off the top top world GK's

Left back will be Chillwell

The midfield 3 should be Rice holding, Bellingham boxx to box and Foden as a bit of flair. That 3 for me is amongst the worlds best even for this World Cup. Ward-Prowse shouldnt even be in the squad for me.

Back up striker should be Abraham, but thought Watkins did well last night and he naturally stretches the defences into the channels which is a good plan B to have.

southbankbornnbred 11:58 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
But, as things stand, I would not be surprised if Southgate now thinks his best side is...

Pickford, Trent/James, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell/Shaw, Rice, Phillips, Bellingham, Sterling, Grealish, Kane

Seems a bit attacking for Southgate, but I'm hoping he realises he has to open up a bit to win a tournament outright.

southbankbornnbred 11:53 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
I'm not sure it's too much of a secret what Southgate's best CB pairing is. It seems pretty obvious that, as things stand, it is Maguire and Stones.

They both had good tournaments last year and built a solid partnership.

People observe that, between them, they lack a bit of pace - which is true. But it seems that bringing in somebody else for that weakens the side in other ways.

To my mind, the big decisions are around the keeper, left-back, the 'third' central midfielder (if he plays 4-3-3/4-5-1) and back-up striker.

Ramsdale looks perhaps like a better all-round keeper than Pickford, but the latter has always played well for England.

Chilwell or Shaw is still undecided. I lean towards Chilwell because of his extra pace.

Phillips probably has the box seat in midfield, but Southgate loves Ward-Prowse because of his set piece ability.

Find us a striker who gives us something different to Kane when coming off the bench (like some raw pace: Kane got handled too easily by Cheillini and Bonnuci last year: it was like watching three men have a race in slow motion).

Rossal 11:44 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Thought we played well last night, red card spoiled the game but even before then thought we played well. Bellingham was superb, scary he is that good at 18. Him Rice and Foden as a midfield 3 for next 2 or 3 tournaments is world class.

Thought Grealish and Sterling were also really good, them either side of Kane would be my strongest 11.

Not sure why Southgate put Kane on for last half hour, what we going to learn from that? Dont agree with the Maguire booing but he is shit on the ball at times. Looks big and clumsy too often. White and Stones id like to see given a go. Also thought the Palace left back did well.

A good night for England on the whole, think the defence and the manager are our biggest weak links going into the WC....but semis should be the aim. Expecting a tough draw on friday though

Sven Roeder 11:34 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
The World Cup will be very open. France probably still favourites but England are definitely in a group of maybe half a dozen possible winners.
Agree that Southgate's caution is one of their biggest obstacles.
You'd imagine the big Premier league teams will be looking to sign Bellingham in the summer which will give him a few months of Premier league football.
Him and Rice feels better than any combination that includes Henderson or Phillips.

The bearded one still has some other things to sort out ...
His best centre backs, back up keeper & deputy for Kane.
Didnt help that I believe Ramsdale, Calvert Lewin and Abraham were all unavailable so he learnt nothing on those scores.
To be honest am not 100% convinced by ANY of the centre back options so I guess you try and perm the best PAIR

southbankbornnbred 11:22 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Btw, definitely think WE can all see a strong and balanced central midfield three emerging for the first time in a while.

Rice as the lynchpin and Bellingham as the creative apex are nailed on, in my book. The guy alongside them remains to be seen. Phillips played well last year, although his form has dropped off a bit for Leeds.

I like the look and sound of Rice, Phillips and Bellingham in the centre. It has solidity, passing and skill. And they're big lads who won't get pushed around/dominated.

Northern Sold 11:22 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
sbbb... yup go along with all that...

southbankbornnbred 11:17 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
We all know Southgate's shortcomings - primarily that he is too defensive. I still can't get my head around the fact that he started the Euros final with what he openly declared were NINE players whose primary function was defensive/pressing (only Sterling and Kane the exceptions).


He does seem to be taking some of that criticism on board, and I think he considers Bellingham and, perhaps, Grealish as two players who could bring to the side the invention - and the ability to unlock defenses with skill and a pass (rather than just Sterling's pace) - that was so desperately missing last year.

So who knows - maybe the defensive fucker is evolving the side? Wonder if he'll be so brave against the likes of France in a major tournament? He should be - it's the only way England could win something.

Bellingham looks a class act and, I hope, puts to bed this 'debate' about Mason Mount as England's "creative" hub (I remind you: no goals and no assists from open play in the Euros).

Sven Roeder 11:10 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Not sure why fans would boo their own players but think these meaningless games encourage fans to bring out their club biases and loyalties.
Of course fans are also sheep and have been told Maguire is useless and as a Man Utd player should be booed.
Another reason to cancel these sort of games.
Friendlies should be confined to a maximum of 3 in the lead up to tournaments.

Manuel 6:54 Wed Mar 30
Re: England Game
Fwiw, the booing of Maguire doesn't make much sense. Yes, he's looked like a pub player at times for Man Utd over recent times, but I think it's fair to say he has pretty much always played well for England, to the point where he was outstanding in the Euro's. So why would an England fan boo him because of poor club form? These people are even completely braindead sheep, or it's Liverpool/Man City fans stirring up some shit?

Sold - Bellingham a rolls royce? Do keep up fella, everyone is shit apart from paddy Rice. Southgate needs to get Bellingham into the starting eleven now.

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