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Isn't it ironic?

As the Euros draws to a conclusion, one would be forgiven for thinking that Southgate has done a dreadful job for getting England to the semi-finals. There is even a sense of forboding that this team may get further, playing in the style that it does, that it may actually go and win the damn thing. It is conceivable that this could all happen without another goal being scored in open play.
This despite the fact that Southgate is just the third person to manage England for 100 games and has a win rate almost identical to that of Sir Alf Ramsey.
The football, though, has been awful to watch. Even against Switzerland, a team that is the definition of 'workmanlike', England made hard work of it and all of the plaudits belonged to the penalty takers. Indeed, such was the accomplished nature of the English penalties, that much attention was paid to the 'science' of the shootout, rather than the performance itself. Gary Neville eulogised about Ivan Toney's crucial fourth penalty, how he took just a couple of steps and shot without even looking at the ball. And then there was the redemption arc of Bakayo Sako who, with one kick of the ball, redeemed himself in the eyes of the British people. So this is what football at the highest level has come down to. Finally, Southgate has found something that he is really good at. Never mind the quality of footballers at his disposal, surely the most gifted players to come together at the one time, no, let them plod around in their confined spaces, perfecting sideward passes, and static movement off the ball. Who wants to see Cole Palmer show the world how he saved Chelsea's season, or Phil Foden leading Manchester City to another title? Who cares if Jude Bellingham looks like he has cement in his boots or if Harry Kane really does have cement in his boots? England are finding a way to win.
In a different footballing universe, at around the same time, we saw Bielsa's Uruguay beat Brazil on penalties. Have a look at Raphinha's embrace of Bielsa.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/kGxv8ie919U
Whatever Southgate achieves in football, I cannot see an English player embracing him with such affection as Raphinha embraces Bielsa. It is the coming together of two pure spirits of the game, for whom entertaining the fans is more important than filling the coffers of their clubs, or countries. Bielsa bemoans the automatising of footballers, who are trained to within a decimal point of measurable, required output. He believes the era of the individual is dying out and that football is becoming less enjoyable to watch. You could say that Bielsa and Southgate are two men divided by a common sport.
And herein lies the irony. Southgate may well go on to win this tournament. The 1966 factor may return to English football. Pride may finally be restored. But who will remember this team, this manager, this style of football in years to come? England deserves a redemption arc, after nearly 60 years of near misses, but does it have to be so breathtakingly bland?

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

comment by BraveheartTyke (U6173)
posted 4 hours, 58 minutes ago
comment by RoberTncUSA - UFOs ARE REAL (U3493)
posted 23 minutes ago
things are shaping up for USA to be the dominant nation in the coming years due to the death of flair
-athleticism #1
-intelligence #1
-money #1
we just need a good coach and it begins
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Ric Flair is still alive.
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Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

I reckon most of the players like Southgate now. IF they win the thing then you can be certain they'll have the same amount of affection as Raphinha has.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

Comment by Barefoot (U19770)
posted 7 minutes ago
I reckon most of the players like Southgate now. IF they win the thing then you can be certain they'll have the same amount of affection as Raphinha has
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I mean he seems like a nice guy
I’d def take him at usmnt over our current guy ggg

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

comment by Macca & The Metal Hips: fka Wheelchair Dave (U8194)
posted 2 hours, 32 minutes ago
Yes Farky excellent summary of events and I actually now think ultimately the footballing gods will not allow Southgate's ugly, turgid, boring, negative and risk avert approach to be rewarded any further and ultimately the way the game should be played will triumph and all this oh well it's tournament football and it's all about getting results don't you know..I say feck right off with your gaslighting excuses and open your eyes and set your footballing bar above the level of mediocrity and hope for the love of all that is good in this world Southgate doesn't stay on as England anti football manager and the English supporting public get to see a new coach finally use the wonderful attack minded and creative tools he
has in abundance at his disposal and England can win the 2026 World Cup in style that will be remembered for generations and be used as a template for how the game should be played....Amen.
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Well said, Macca, that's exactly what I mean.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

d say its more ironic, having ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife,

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

I thought irony was being like an iron.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

comment by The Light Brigade (U22847)
posted 6 minutes ago

I thought irony was being like an iron.

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no mate, its more, waiting your whole d8mb life, just to take that flight, then as the plane crashed down you think, 'well isn't this nice'

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

A little devils advocate here but who recalls the 1966 group stages or the last 16 or 8?
The 66 squad are remembered for winning the World Cup? I was born far too late but all I know of is the pictures from the final, a 4-2 win.

Lets say England bore their way past Holland and then hammer France 4-2 in the final? What then?

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

All I know is that room by room I have been painting the house while England play, and still felt the need to watch it dry….

I confess I stopped to watch the penalty shootout. Highlight of the Euros.

Jokes aside, I think this topic has been churned over several times; with the talent we have, we really should feel confident of finally raising a trophy for the national team, but with the utterly inappropriate style of play employed by Southgate, he has succeeded in making them look completely ordinary in attack and still conceded 3 goals.

It would be lost embarrassing to raise out first trophy in almost 60 years on the back of 6 consecutive draws over 90 minutes.

comment by T-BAD (U11806)

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

I think they like him, they're not particularly inspired by him.

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