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England are as good as France; ignore the Iceland debacle

England are as good as France; ignore the Iceland debacle

Actually, England are the favourites for Euro 2024 for a reason and we should not denigrate them. Plus more on Man City and Premier League tiers.

Send your thoughts on any subject to theeditor@football365.com

England ARE the favourites actually
I am a regular reader of the usually excellent Mediawatch. But I have to take some exception to Monday’s comments on England’s Euro 2024 chances.

Firstly, ‘across the continent, the favourites are quite rightly France’. Really? Are you sure? Because the French online bookmakers I checked, England are still favourites. And they would be, because otherwise you’d have people backing them and then laying them off on betting exchanges (which are the much more reliable indicator for betting odds – and, yes, England are favourites there as well).

Secondly, yes the France squad is great. But so is England’s. Would Olise get in England’s squad? Maybe, but not definitely. And even if he did, I’d be surprised if he got any minutes on the pitch.

Thirdly, has Redknapp ‘spotted the actual England defence or the actual England midfield’. The midfield with Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham? That one? Or the defence which has conceded 13 goals in 19 games since the start of the 2022 WC? Compared to France’s 15 in 21 in the same time frame.

Fourthly, France just drew 0-0 with Canada! It’s almost as if pre-tournament friendlies aren’t a reliable indicator for how teams will fare when it really matters!
Rob, Surrey, Bees (& England!) fan

Can you blame Southgate for Iceland sh*t-show?
Yes, responsibility does fall on the manager but is it all Southgate’s responsibility and fault? He picked a strong team against Iceland on Friday evening and he couldn’t account for how poor our best players performed and how devoid of ideas they looked. Pretending the responsibility falls all on our manager and none falls on the players who are paid to perform as many Football 365 contributors seem to be doing is just ridiculous.
Dan, London

When did a 6 become a DM?
I’ve been away from football in one way or another for a few years now, and it’s been weird coming back to a world of five substitutions and VAR being the norm. I get it though, it’s cool.

What I can’t understand, though, is when the hell did defensive midfield start being called “the number 6 role”?

Number 6 is a centre half. DM is number 4.

It’s bad enough seeing players wearing wrong numbers (a full back wearing number 7? Get out of here João Cancelo), but you can’t just start changing what the numbers mean!
Matt (If you’ll excuse me, I have some clouds to yell at)

👉 Eze leaves after fallout, Mainoo barely plays, Foden the new Rashford – what England squad numbers say
👉 Bellingham omitted, Saka over Ronaldo and France defenders dropped in one-per-number Euro squad

Premier League tiers leave only three teams successful
As a Spurs fan, it’s nice to be thought of as a ‘top 6/top 8’ team but, in terms of expectations and hopes, we’re not really on a par with other teams above us, although Barry F might disagree. So, here’s an alternative take.

1) Top 5:
Successful season: Champions League or Premier League, or a lesser trophy + top 4.

Par: Champions League qualification – top 4 or Europa League

Fail: No Champions League the following year – smaller trophy on its own isn’t enough

Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea* Manchester United *

* Chelsea and Manchester United may be slipping out of this group due to recent failures but the memories are still there.

2) Next 5:

Successful season: a trophy, any trophy. Top 4 and no trophy would also be a success but not as fun.

Par: Qualifying for Europe

Fail: No trophies, outside the qualifying positions

Spurs, Newcastle, Aston Villa, West Ham

The fifth team, historically, would be Everton but they´re probably still group 3 at the moment

3) Lower 5:

Good season: decent cup run, qualification for Europe.

Par – decent mid-table finish

Fail – lower mid-table, relegation or flirting with it

Brighton, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Fulham, Bournemouth (based on the season just gone)

4) Bottom 5:

Good season: decent cup run, mid-table safety

Par – stay in the division

Fail – relegation

Brentford, Forest, three promoted teams

By which measure, Manchester City, Liverpool and Aston Villa were the only teams to have successful seasons.

Well, it makes a change from Manchester City’s legal situation.
Rod, Poland

Man City are Trump FC
Towards the end of last season, I took a step back from football and my consumption.

It was affecting my mood, I watched Liverpool’s season unravel and I knew the last days of Klopp were coming.

I don’t feel anything towards football presently, I am not excited about the Euros, I am not that pumped about the new season. In part, the lack of Slot updates on the official website seems weird, even if it probably isn’t.

The biggest driver though, is the ongoing noise around Man City and the did they, didn’t they.

One or two charges, sure, a bit of incorrectly filed paperwork on a mistake on contracts, no issue.

A case for a 115 doesn’t get built unless the evidence is substantial. For a club who maintain their innocence, they sure do behave like they have something to hide.

I don’t buy into the Red Cartel message, it is a distraction and an attempt to weaponise clubs who were (or are still) successful through a loyal fan base, savvy marketing, and revenue from trophies.

At the risk of this getting political, it all just feels a little Donald Trump. Accuse others of what you are guilty of. Distract where possible. Weaponise language. Avoid Cooperation. Scream fake news and witch hunt. Have a rabid fanbase who don’t care about your transgressions.

Until something is ultimately done with Trump FC, I can’t see me having that same excitement any more.

I don’t hate their success, I dislike the foundations it was built on.
Barry (Perth)

Please not Villa
It was considered, the other day, why Everton were one of the 5 who supported City’s move.

Today I see they’re linked with a Saudi takeover, and it all becomes clear.

Please not Everton too. I have a soft spot for them, Villa and Newcastle. This league is waking up and choosing ignominy.

READ: Man City explainer: What Premier League rules do they want scrapped? And which rivals support them?

Misogynistic man on holiday complains that you’re not entertaining him enough
Lads, seriously, please stop.

I’m hungover. On the first family Costa Brava holiday – with the 7 and 4 year old – + matriarch (ala my phonebook ‘headache’) .

Now imagine my world, looking forward to such a holiday, when EVERY mailbox I’m reading is filled with the same tic-tac-to, he-said she-said, whataboutery, that I’d expect from hanging around with the headache-inducing missus and/or the 2 feckin headmelting kids.

Some of you will no doubt respond to this spouting shit that I’ve offended you/them/the other. But, I promise, I haven’t.

I just want to go back to the good oul mailbox days of no 115 / FFP / PSR / APT / Standard Chartered / slavery…..arms selling….sportswashing et al . Just, for 1 day. ONE day, please.

Surely, we all know that the league is defunct anyway. It is a scheme run by the richest, most powerful, self-obsessed money hoovers on the planet. Which means it has, and will continue to, eat itself from the inside out until completely devoured. Sad but true. Before the Prem League was established, it was the same, but somewhat more, evenly balanced – hence why the prem was actually established. (Sky sports anyone).

The clubs are all in it for profit only (apart from Wrexham of course 😉)

I hate the establishment; the elite; the fans that sanctimonious tell others they are better than theirs; the EPL; and sadly now whilst on holidays – the mailbox.

Yours, in sadness 😔
Chris, Bray (forlornly on a sunbed wishing for mailbox times of yore)

(For the 427th time, if you want to see something different in the Mailbox: WRITE SOMETHING DIFFERENT – Ed)

Time to retire 427?
For time immemorial, your great website has used 427 as the gold standard representation of an “absurdly big” number – e.g. “Spurs gone 427 years without winning a trophy”; “Chelsea have had 427 managers since the arrival of Roman”, and suchlike.

I don’t know where it originated from, despite being a daily visitor since about 2001. I’m not even sure your editorial team know its origins. Maybe it was a number found carved into ancient Mayan ruins signifying the number of matches James Milner had played before the year 900AD. Or perhaps it’s just a random number. Who knows. It’s a number I’ve got into the habit of using quite a lot at work, for the means of needless exaggeration and I really can’t explain to anyone exactly why because it sounds a bit daft when I say it out loud!

But I reckon it could be time to retire 427 and replace it with 115 as a better benchmark of the outrageously large. I think you know why.
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames

(I know where it comes from and it’s going nowhere – Ed)

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