Reluctant Redeemer?

Posted October 5, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, World Cup 2018 Qualifiers

Tags: , ,

Only lasting 23 days more than Brian Clough at Leeds, Big Sam and his legacy has been removed from England’s history, well almost!

Now, in contrast to after the summer, Gareth has taken the helm, at least for the next 4 matches. 4 matches that coukd well be a turning point. A turning point for England’s fortunes and a turning point for the quest to place someone in the toughest and maybe just now least enviable football job this side of the pond.

With his first squad Gareth hasn’t made so many surprise changes, no surprise. Glenn Johnson came in and is now out due to injury.

Rashford is likely to start up front and that’s a good sign. Let’s face it, less than 5-1 (what the Scot’s managed) or a significantly convincing victory just isn’t good enough.

England 4 – 0 Malta when Saturday comes.

Is the rug about to be pulled from under Big Sam?

Posted September 27, 2016 by Rod
Categories: England Manager, Euro 2016, World Cup 2018 Qualifiers


Just two months into his new job, just when he’s getting his feet under the table, it could all go pear shaped.

The English FA seem to have some sort of romance with controversy, the degrees of which vary from occasion to occasion.

Looking back over the years there have been a few. El Tel and his underhand dealings, Glenn and Eileen the faith healer, Sven and his extra curricular affairs.

Now after a shaky start in the job he thinks he is owed the chance of, Big Sam has been lured into explaining how to get round some of the key rules and regulations relating to player transfers.

Caught on video, which is tricky to talk his way out of, the next day will see how the issue unfolds and where it leads.

Will he still be in charge against Malta?

Saved by… Fergie’s watch?

Posted September 6, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016

Tags: ,

It was a 95th minute strike by Lallana, through the legs of the Slovakian keeper that had Big Sam punching the air with a smile spreading over his face. 

However, for far too much of the match England looked as they did in Euro 2016, fairly comfortable in possession but not creating much to threaten.

Even with the defensive prowess of Martin Skyrtl removed for his second bookable offence the 3 Lions were not providing the menace in the final third that they need to.

There has been a lot of debate about Rooney playing so deep, Kane’s isolation, and our almost nervous play. Was it the ghosts of the Iceland game? 

All in all it’s 3 points in the bag and the hardest tie, on paper, out of the way.

Now it’s a month before we take on Malta at Wembley, will Big Sam rethink the squad selection? Will Rashford be re-promoted or will the ghosts be banished?

Usual suspects?

Posted September 3, 2016 by Rod
Categories: England Away, World Cup 2018 Qualifiers

Tags: ,

So Big Sam unveiled his chosen 23 and with the exception of Michail Antonio there were no big surprises. Now with Forster being sent home injured Hart will retain his No. 1 jersey at least for this match. A match for redemption for many of the players losing out to Iceland in France.

Allerdyce is looking to the change of system rather than players to deliver results, and predictably playing players in their club positions where possible. Sort of common sense people may think.

So what will be the outcome for tomorrow against Slovakia? A back to basics 3 Lions and a 2-1 victory.

Big Sam’s the man…

Posted August 23, 2016 by Rod
Categories: Euro 2016, World Cup 2018 Qualifiers

Tags: , , ,

Tomorrow Sam Allerdyce will announce his first England squad. The squad that will face Slovakia away on the 4th September in our first World Cup qualifier.

It’s almost two months ago since the 3 Lions were sent home from France by Iceland and Roy threw the towel in. Directly after the FA drew up a long list and selected the most appropriate Englishman on it, all will soon be revealed.

Where is Big Sam’s England starting from; the lowest of lows, at least if you look at defeats and tournament exits during my lifetime. So, with that platform, the only way is up, you could argue.

Several interesting aspects of the squad and starting 11 are still to be detailed, including the question mark hovering over Joe Hart’s role, Captain Rooney, and even if JT will be recalled.

If nothing else Sam is likely to play to the players strengths and with a system that is designed to attack the opposition’s weaknesses, so hopefully we’ve seen the end of Harry Kane taking corners.

Not long to go now for Big Sam’s first decisions as England boss.

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

Tags: , , ,

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.