Southgate is to England what Solksjaer is to Man Utd

Southgate is to England what Solksjaer is to Man Utd
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Keep your mails coming to [email protected]


When you think about it Gareth Southgate is Englands Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Both are in a job because their current employers were in a hole and needed a quick fix. Neither was the best qualified for the position but their most notable quality was they “were available and not the last guy” (a toxic Mourinho and pint of wine swilling Big Sam). Both managed to get a dead cat bounce out of the players at their disposal and were able to deliver an outcome that was deemed a relative success to what had come in the prior few years (a relative low bar in both cases). For both Interim became permanent but they are both now holding back what their teams could actually achieve now the glow of the Hollywood fairytale start has evaporated.

You know how the Hollywood version of the movie goes. Rag tag bunch of sporting misfits woefully underachieving get shaped into some sort of an organised team by the stand in maths teacher, or some sort of social worker and the team get swept away on some runaway overachievement story to sporting or near sporting glory. Then the movie ends and everyone feels good. They also don’t usually make a sequel because the story would never be as good or the emotion feel so high. Unfortunately in Southgate’s & Ole’s version they hang around for a sequel and we all realise (including the team) that they aren’t a good sports coach at all. They are just a maths teacher or a social worker who had no idea how the magic happened first time round. To that end Southgate has just started playing the role of social worker to his young team and advises them on how to live their lives and be better people. (Ole isn’t even doing that).

So now both United and England are at a cross roads. Stick with the man who gave them a glimpse of the fairytale or move forward with an actual world class sports coach now it’s turned into a real life sports documentary not a Hollywood movie?

It’s implausible that neither United or England could not find a better coach than the one they currently have. I’m not invested in what decision Man Utd make (I’m a Chelsea fan). I am however invested in England and I know what I would do if I were the FA. They can’t simply sit and watch Southgate waste this golden generation like they allowed Sven to waste the last one surely?

Some of the England players may well need a social worker but all of them need a top class coach.
Mark R, CFC

UEFA bang on with Nations League

Yes, Maguire is rubbish, Southgate etc. But here’s a thought: the Nations League is brilliant.

It replaces boring, useless friendlies. And its format is great: all relevant games between evenly matched teams.

WC and Euro qualification stages are a bore. Endless rounds of meaningless games, pointless trips to the likes of Andorra and San Marino. The tiered system means there’s something for everyone.

Just yesterday you had a World Cup final rematch but you also had, say, North Macedonia and Georgia going at it in a game that actually mattered – not just a drab fixture to figure out who’s last or second-to-last in a qualifying group.

Less games; more games that matter. Incredibly, UEFA got the Nations League completely right. Maybe have that in mind for the next Project Big Money or whatever that’s called? Cheers,
James Wayne

Dinner prep

Roy Keane famously quipped “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, and while this may be true in football, it is most certainly true in cooking.

Alex, if you’ve got the steak down to a tee (bone?), then build your meal around it, much like Southgate should build around the abundance of attacking talent at his disposal. Prep your roasted greens and homemade chips ahead of time, get them ready to cook – don’t forget to season them! You know how long it takes for the steak to cook, you know when you’re flipping and when you’re waiting, you know when it is resting. Use this knowledge to learn when to do the other things, when to start cooking them, when to take them out, how long they take, do they need attention while they cook etc. Do a little prep work, and before long, the whole dinner will be clicking in no time!
Neill, Ireland

Do your research!

Why do people do this? Give their opinions and then include some absolute nonsense in it. Do your research!!!

“no manager has outspent Ole since he took over in December 2018”

Just wrong!!! A minute bit of research tells me that Pep has spent more than Ole.

Frank Lampard isn’t too far away either and has been Chelsea manager for over 6 months less (in that 6 months Chelsea have signed Pulisic for £54 and Kovacic for £40m – 3 days before Lampard was appointed). But I digress.

The minute you make up statements that can be clearly found out to be false, the minute your opinion is pointless. He could have been making a good point, i dont even know…i stopped reading after he was making things up. And it’s not the first time he’s done it – and it’s not the first time i’ve called him out on it!

Its not too hard to do…you have an opinion…do a few minutes of research before you email!

Ferg, Cork, is correct United have spent. Really the league should thank the Glazers for not bothering to structure the club properly. With a top, top structure and that amount of money then maybe there would be dominance. You could give me all the money in the world and I still wouldn’t dress well, I’d need an expensive stylist to sort it for me. Until that day, United will be rubbish and I will look like the homeless robbed H&M.

Project Big cash grab

Paul McDevitt has clearly missed my point entirely, I’m not knocking them for being American it’s the fact that they are the ones who penned and pushed Project Big cash grab and therefore should be pilloried not the actual clubs. Ashley the Saudis etc are all shite too but they didn’t try a coup d’etat on the league.
Paul Murphy, Manchester

Paging Dr. Brown

In response to Karen A. Brown… Whom I assume is a Liverpool fan. I nearly choked on my lunchtime coffee when I read her mail criticising the commentators thoughts on TAA. Honestly, that could only come from a Liverpool fan who is so used to commentators eulogising over Liverpool that they have become conditioned to receive only praise and adoration. From an Everton point of view, last weekend was one of my favourite weekends in the Premier League. I cannot wait for the derby and I hope we put another 7 past them. Unfortunately I can see us losing 1-0 to an Origi deflected shot in the 98th minute after having a number of goals disallowed by VAR and James limping off at half time.

Also can’t believe how similar watching England was to watching Everton the last few years. Lucky win against a better team. Losing to a team we really should beat. Players who pass sideways and sideways and sideways before succumbing to a half-hearted press and passing to Pickford to blast it up field. Lonely target man with no service and no back up. Players who look good individually but don’t work as a team. A deep sense of underlying frustration that it could be much, much better but without any real hope that it will ever get there and finally accepting the crushing inevitability of perpetual mediocrity.
James McGlynn

More TAA love from (soon to be) Dr Brown

To the commenters saying that Mount’s goal came off ”a Trippier freekick” I suggest you go back and watch the highlights. There was no freekick. It was Trent who found Trippier in the box with one of his trademark crosses.  Trippier gets the assist but without Trent’s vision and creativity that goal doesn’t happen. I’m not saying he set the world alight… He rarely plays well for England because Southgate doesn’t know how to use him. But the fact he gets a pre-assist and England fans don’t even notice just goes to show that Gary Neville’s propaganda is working.
Karen Angela Brown

Who the f*ck is James?

More and more, I’m pissed off that I can’t go to the match and I’m beginning to really realise just how much being a match going fan means, I’d always just sort of taken it for granted. I’m finding that I’m less invested in football, now that I can’t go. The incessant fluff and hype that goes with the modern game is just bloody boring and actually detracts from the match experience. So, when the match going is denied, football starts to become bloody boring.

No beers and big breakfasts in town before a midday kickoff, no beers after the match to help celebrate or complain, no kicking of the cat (I hate cats), no kebab and late bus home after a session in the pub, no trips to Wembley, etc. This malaise is affecting me, more than I realised. For instance, last night’s England game. I didn’t even realise it was on until I got a reminder on the dodgy match feed on my phone. Did ANYONE care about it? The only thing I know about it was that two England players were sent off, Maguire and James.

Who the f*ck is James?

Does anyone else feel like this?

If I’m honest, I’m addressing the match goers. The armchair wallahs or those who proudly don their crisp new shirt before really showing their support for The Lads on match day, down the pub, you’re not affected because not much has changed for you, has it? You’re still doing the same thing, so I’m not especially interested in your views. Never have been, truth be told.

I really wonder about the effect this is having on those who attend games and, actually, what those crowds will be like, come The Return of The Soul of Football.

I’ve been attending City matches for over thirty years, through the highs and those lows, I’ve never felt like this, before.

Levenshulme Blue

They are mad, John

John Nicholson ended his into to his “Ten Ideas to Fix Football” with the phrase “These are so sane, you’ll think they’re mad”.  Well yes, John, I for one do think they’re mad.

1) All clubs have to be run on a break-even/not-for-profit basis. – And how exactly does John propose that we remove these clubs from their current ownership?  A football proletariat revolution?  What other industries associated to football are not-for-profit?

2) Any excess profits to be invested in local communities selected by local mandate.  Utterly absurd.  Football clubs already do invest – quite heavily – in local communities, but, if there is no option to make profit, then people will not put money into football in the first place.  Unless John is advocating state ownership of all football clubs, then the industry must by definition remain private and therefore profit generating.  Even in Germany with the hallowed fan ownership model, clubs are still expected to turn a profit.

3) To negate financial leverage, both a club wage cap and an individual maximum wage cap to be set at a level affordable by the poorest club in each league, to be decided each year by an independent financial body.  Re-negotiated annually?  So will every player be on one year contracts?  When a club, with a much lower wage bill and budgetary resources gets promoted, will all the players at the top end of the league, who have mortgages and outgoings commensurate with their salary be expected to sell their homes and lay off staff to make things “more fair” for the newly promoted team?  Nonsense.

4) Sponsorship income capped. Why?  This is private companies spending their money on what they want.

5) TV rights income divided and distributed equally between all clubs in the leagues.  Again, why?  More fairly distributed, I’d give John that as a good idea.  But equally?  Behave.  I’m a Plymouth Argyle fan, and our club does not need the money that Manchester United do to operate.  They do not deserve an equal share of the money, because they don’t bring it into the game in the same way.  This is a ridiculous extension of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”.

6) Any player, family, business or relations found in receipt of money or goods to get around maximum wage rules are banned from playing professionally. I’ve actually got bored in writing about these now.  John’s approach used to be interesting and thought provoking, now it is just so absurd that he is almost becoming a parody.

7-10) Equally ridiculous.
Thom, PAFC, London