What a f-in shambles

Posted June 28, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, The Aftermath

Tags: ,

In the clear light of day, realisation of what happened last night in France hits home. We were defeated by Iceland, they scored twice against us, and we scored a penalty. 

After four minutes there was euphoria, it lasted one minute. Then come their first goal, a result of a long throw that is a trademark of Gunnarsson, something we should have been guarding against. Then it began, we looked shaky, worried, unable to cope. Twelve minutes later, Joe Hart made yet another mistake. We were 2-1 behind and had 78 minutes to adress the situation. Against a nation of 300,000, our highly paid stars lost the plot, for many it was a great display from a footballing ‘minnow’. For the English it was an embarrassment, like no other experienced in my lifetime. 

It can’t be all Roy’s fault, or can it? 

Did we lose the plot? Or wasn’t there one to begin with?

There is no real point in writing an analysis of the game here, it’s just sorrowful. 

Attention should instead be turned to what on earth we do now, who should take charge, how should we play and how do we get out of what, on paper, should be a team capable of performing in tournaments. 

Glenn Hoddle with Eileen Drury must be a better bet than Gareth Southgate 

Parking the bus

Posted June 26, 2016 by Rod
Categories: England Away, Euro 2016, Here We Go

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Lars Lagerbäck is the trainer for the Icelandic team, previously the national coach for Sweden, a team we don’t have a great history of victories against. Euro 2012 being a rare exception when we beat Sweden 3-2 in what was one of the most exciting matches of the tournament.

As well as not having the pressure on them that we have going into this match, Lagerbäck will be instilling into the team the fact that he has never lost a match against the 3 Lions, not yet anyways. Six meetings and not one defeat.

Iceland are sure to do all the things that we’ve suffered against and got frustrated about so far in the group games, defend deep and hit us on the very few counter attacks that they manage.

With a population like that of Barnet, or if you’re from up North, Wakefield, Iceland have managed two draws and a victory in the group stage. In their first ever major tournament they have far surpassed any expectations and are enjoying the occasion. We on the other hand are trying to lift back up after failing to beat Slovakia.

What will Roy and the boys do differently to ‘make someone pay’ as he seems sure we will? Will he play Kane with his heavy legs? Who will create the incisive openings we need and more importantly who will put the ball in the net? We can’t have 30 shots and not score again.

This could turn out in any way, we could thump Iceland as we did in the last meeting that ended 6-1, however that seems unlikely. We could be frustrated in a close game and win by a small margin, we could lose, which would unleash a journalistic annihilation, worst of all a draw followed by defeat on penalties. Unthinkable!

Can we shift a parked bus? 

2-0 to England. 

Portu… Iceland 

Posted June 23, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, Here We Go


Just as the thought of coming up against a now returned to form Ronaldo was beginning to sink in Gary Linekers voice could be heard saying ‘just hearing reports of a last minute goal for Iceland’ and that changed the picture. It doesn’t change the fact that Roy Hodgson made a mistake gambling with the changes he made, but in theory it does give us a better chance of reaching the quarter finals.

What a turnout, all 4 home nations have qualified for the Round of 16 with the Republic beating Italy to go through. 

Roy, wise as he is, spent the day sightseeing not watching our next opponents. 

The big question is who’ll go furthest? 

More to follow…

A change is as good as a rest, or is it?

Posted June 21, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, Here We Go

Tags: , , , , ,

Roy gambled changing half of the starting line-up for the match against Slovakia, and he lost. A goalless draw being the result with Wales beating Russia 3-0.

Second in the group to Wales and a tougher ride for the remainder of the tournament. At least if you compare the potential opponents, Albania for Wales or Portugal for England, being possible.

Expressions of frustration and woe, but why the changes?

‘The luck in front of goal hasn’t been with us’ says Roy. Is it really luck that’s required to put 1 from 28 shots in the net. We went into this tournament with the worry being our defence, now after 270 minutes of football and the wealth of possesion that we have had, we have managed 3 goals and two draws against teams that Wales have beaten.

So what now, the prospect of one from Iceland, Hungary, Portugal or  Austria is waiting in Nice next Monday. Tomorrow night will determine which one it will be.

We’re at one of the low points on the roller coaster, will we be on our way up again soon?

Who’s next?

Posted June 19, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, Here We Go

Tags: , , ,

Tomorrow we’ve got Slovakia to contend with and Hodgson will almost certainly start with Vardy and Sturridge on the pitch given their impact against Wales. Kane looks dead on his feet and Sterling seemingly can’t seem to find form.


Assuming we defeat Slovakia, then we finish as group winners and face one of the third placed sides, currently looking like Albania, Czech Republic or Northern Ireland, but that picture will almost certainly change over the course of the next three days.

So far in the Euros there have been a few surprises with how certain teams have performed or not as the case with some is. Iceland, for example, have shocked many, including Portugal who haven’t lived up to anyones expectations and definitely not Ronaldo’s, having only scored one goal so far.

Sooner or later if you’re going to progress to the quarter-finals, or semis or even final you have to meet one of the favourites, and that appears to be what Roy’s contract extension is based on, doing well. What’s that, sent home in the quarter-finals, losing on pens to Germany…

First a 2-0 victory over Slovakia!




Taming the dragon

Posted June 16, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, Here We Go

Tags: , , ,

Roy Hodgson finally complied with popular opinion, and what happened, we converted pressure and possesion to goals!


No favouritism in the BBC studio… Spot the Welshmen

In a match that ‘the boy from Wales’ succeeded in putting us on the back foot, we turned around thanks to 2 changes at half time that typically don’t happen.

From the outset England pressed up the pitch and took the game to the Welsh, and we started creating chances. The best of which Raheem Sterling put into the terraces when a tap in would have sufficed.

Harry Kane, thankfully relieved of penalty duty, still wasn’t firing on all cylinders and was quiet again, even putting his free kick well above the target.

What happened close to half time you could have bet on, totally against the run of play Wales awarded a free kick 30 yards out. Hart grinned as Bale placed the ball and backed away to prepare to strike the ball. He struck it well as he does and, Hart didn’t have it covered, 1-0 to Wales and English hearts were sinking.

Roy must have heard the cries from everywhere to take off Kane and Sterling and put on Vardy and Sturridge. He made the change at halftime. It paid off after 10 minutes with Vardy scoring from close range to draw level. Then it was almost one way traffic with the 3 Lions dominating the dragon. We were camped in the last third of the pitch for long periods in the second half, but still the Welsh hung in.

It was almost like just retribution for the Russia game when in injury time Sturridge danced his way into the penalty area playing off Vardy to slot in the winner, and what a relief, for the 3 Lions, Roy Hodgson and the tens of thousand of England fans. Victory. The taming of the dragon and top of Group B

Now its 3 days rest before the final game against Slovakia, a side that beat Russia that we drew with and dare I say it, topping the group will with high probability set up a derby with Northern Ireland after yesterdays victory for them.

Can we take another derby?

3 Lions vs. 1 Dragon

Posted June 16, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016

Tags: , , ,

On Thursday 14:00 (BST) it’s time for the derby in Lens, England v Wales.


After Saturday, drawing another opening tie after dominating so much of the game, we now have the prospect of playing our Welsh neighbours with more at stake than preferred or expected.

Gareth has already been questioning the English passion and patriotism, now he’s saying none of the England players would get into the Welsh side. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion.

One thing is for sure it will be a big game, winning the game gives s good possibility of winning the group and that brings with it a next round match against a third placed team. Add to that the derby aspect and it must be a charged occasion.

Reports suggest that England will field the same side as against Russia, if so Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling must play better!

It will likely be a tense opening period, but England need to get a goal early on to settle the tension and start to dominate as they did against Russia.

England 3 – 1 Wales


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