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October 2016
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What do you get when you ignore Untold and pack a squad with Tottenham players?


Untold’s 2010 analysis of what makes countries successful at football gets another airing in the national press – but sadly it is far too late.


By Billy “the dog” McGraw

Untold doesn’t cover England matches normally – indeed I can’t think when the last time was that we did.  But when an England team has five Tottenham players in it, it is perhaps more of a domestic match, and one that we should look at a little.

Of course whenever we do cover anything Tottenhamish a number of Tottenham supporters come on and tell us to focus on our own team more.  There’s a couple of guys who usually pop up and say that we are “fixated” with Tottenham.  I am not sure that is quite the right word.  “Amused” perhaps, but not “fixated”.  (And following Blacksheep’s piece earlier this summer, absolutely no hatred or even dislike. Not at all).

According to the press before the game England were playing Croydon,  Or maybe Lewisham; there were lots of comparisons.  Meanwhile there were always a few fans to keep the press occupied as they waited for victory as the Telegraph told us in the build up…

Drunk Englishman breaks into French policeman’s house … and gets pepper-sprayed and arrested

Well yes, I can see how that is news.

And there is the grand sense of entitlement that Tottenham and England seem to share.  A belief wrapped up in that saying that they have painted on the Tottenham grandstand.  “To dare is to do”.  Or something like that.   Maybe that is what the Tottenham-England axis was up to last night.

I was glad that this morning the Guardian commented on the fact that “England’s scouting staff had punched the air when Iceland scored at the end against Austria, ensuring England would be their next opponents. Shades here of poor old Graham Taylor against Norway (“the Norwegian players are in awe of Gascoigne”) and that familiar dunderheaded sense of unearned superiority.”

Just as Tony Adams scoring is accompanied in pre-match affairs at the Arsene Wenger Stadium with the soundtrack, “That sums it all up” so that phrase “unearned superiority” sums up England.  Celebrating because the draw with a country the size of Coventry is really not a very clever thing to do.  It’s a bit like Tottenham celebrating finishing above Arsenal in the league when there is one game still to go.

Nor was the fact that Hodgson and Ray Lewington skipped the chance to watch Iceland play by going sight seeing.  Roy Hodgson’s boat trip.  Steve McClaren’s umbrella.  It was ever thus.

It is not so much a case of “where do they get these people from?” as a case that no England manager is sane.  Because no sane man would ever, ever, take the job of England manager.

Unlike many people in England, the people in Iceland however do tend to get things right.  When a dubious Icelandic bank that had been paying interest rates way over the odds went bust, they refused to pay back the people from around the world who started crying about their lost investment.  Their view was “you knew we were not in the European Union, therefore there was no guarantee of your funds.”

When Gordon Brown as PM signed the documentation that labelled Iceland a terrorist state because of this, (an order that I think is still in place making it technically illegal for any UK citizen to go to Iceland) they just shrugged and got on with it.    When their government of Geir Haarde suggested they should start bailing out the bank with public funds, the public surrounded the Prime Minister’s house and humiliated him into resignation.  When the Panama Papers came out 10% of the entire population demonstrated and the nation forced the implicated Prime Minister to resign.

Iceland does stuff.  It has the highest percentage of published authors per head of population of any country in the world.  It used to have Thursdays as a no TV day.  Same with July – a no TV month.  It is a country that makes people think.

And there is one thing that links it to Untold.  When we have highlighted the fact that the success of international teams is down to the youth coaching arrangements we have noted Iceland as the great example.

In fact Untold often refers to Iceland – you might recall the piece in November last year, which in turn has a link back to the original 2010 research about how coaching arrangements affect national team performance.  That 2010 research was re-run by the Daily Telegraph at the start of September 2013.  Now it is on public view again (see below).

Iceland is indeed a most interesting country.  They use to survive by exporting fish (Britain sent gun boats to Iceland during the Cod Wars – a long series of warlike disputes which Britain lost hands down each and every time).  Then they moved into banking.  Now they are taking over the world’s production of aluminium.   Not bad for a country with a population the size of Leicester.

On the other hand just as Britain’s economic prosperity is now based on the fact that we don’t need Europe, so England’s football tactics are built on Corporal Jones of Dad’s Army who endlessly reports that “They don’t like it up ’em”.

And that’s it.  Iceland would sit back.  We’d attack and score.  But Iceland didn’t and so England fell apart.  Iceland have watched English football on TV for years, noting our old coach and manager Don Howe who had players practising the old long throw or corner to the near post, flick on, and score.  So now Iceland does it.  England is shocked.  Oh dear.

And then there were the Tottenham players.   The magnificent wonderful Harry Kane – was he actually booed?  How extraordinary!

But the most wonderful moment for all the team at Untold is this.  On 8 June Barnay Roney wrote

Currently this nation of 335,000 has around 600 qualified coaches, 400 with Uefa B licences, or one per 825 people. To put this into context, in England this number falls to one per 11,000.

Straight out of Untold.  Today on their website they have Barnay Ronay again saying

Iceland has one Uefa B licence coach for every 825th member of the population. In England that number rises to one per 11,000. At times you wonder if the English really are interested in being good at this.

In the Untold article of November 18 2015 we said this

“Iceland is a remarkable case in that it seems to be packed with people who have the coaching badges.   Nearly 60 people in every thousand have an A licence as opposed to two in every thousand in England.”

Iceland /100k England /100k Germany /100k Belgium /100k
Population 329,000 53,010,000 80,620,000 11,200,000
Fifa world ranking 31 9 2 1
A licence coaches 196 59.57 1178 2.22 5633 6.98 773 6.9
Pro licence coaches 13 3.95 203 0.38 1304 1.61 120 1.09

Well, we got there first.  Not for the first time.  OK we were analysing different coaching badges this time, but the idea is exactly the same.

So what did the BBC make of it all, and particularly the Tottenham players

Kyle Walker (right-back) 4/10 TTTENHAM

His worst night of what had been a good tournament. Recalled but was caught out for first goal and wasted any attacking positions.

Danny Rose (left-back) 4/10  TOTTENAHM

No shortage of effort but still looks short of international class.

Eric Dier (midfield) 4/10  TOTENHM

Had a good tournament and one of just four players to start all four games, but was way off the pace on Monday. Taken off at half-time but will come again.

Dele Alli (midfield) 4/10  TOTTNAHM

Struggled to make any sort of impact on this game – and indeed Euro 2016.

Harry Kane (forward) 4/10  OTTENHAM

Complete nightmare. Missed a good headed chance in the second half and took a collection of the worst free-kicks and set-pieces seen at this level.

And to complete the picture, the Arsenal player

Jack Wilshere (for Dier 45 minutes) 4/10

Nowhere near fit enough to be taken to this tournament and could not put his imprint on the game.

And the man who is reputed to have said no to Arsenal.

Jamie Vardy (for Sterling 59 minutes) 4/10

Plenty of pace and energy but by then the game’s pattern was set.

And one that I rather like.

Marcus Rashford (for Rooney 86 minutes) No rating

Almost a contender for England’s man of the match with his running and endeavour…in his four minutes.

Hey ho.

Recent Posts

And elsewhere…

28 June 1950.  The USA beats England 1-0.  It was supposed to be the shock of all time.  Clearly they hadn’t imagined a result against Iceland.

(“And elsewhere” appears near the foot of the home page each day.)

43 comments to What do you get when you ignore Untold and pack a squad with Tottenham players?

  • finsbury

    “£5M Alli or £35/40M Ozil ”

    Wrote hack Neil Ashton. Clearly he knows even less then the sweet FA. Not an opinion but an observation. Looking forward to the day when the AST invite him to tell them what to think.

    Got to feel for Gibbs, lost his place to Monreal at AFC but at least he has left foot that can control and pass the bleedin’ football. And other such complex stuff.

  • Leon

    The problems for working class parents of promising young footballers isn’t finding coaches but paying for them. It’s an expense that many just cannot cope with and when you factor in the costs of taking time off to get youngsters to sessions and games it becomes for many an impossibility. Coaching is for wealthier families ( whose children are coached in multi sports) and the very group from which you would expect talented children to emerge are left with next to nothing outside of what they receive free at school.

  • JIM

    Spurs are still playing an embarrassing long ball game that dates back to the seventies,the way they were so reliant on set plays scoring more than anybody else in the Premiership last season proves the point and the fact they finished third really flattered them in my opinion.Yet such is the twist on everything Spurs,it was Arsenal who were perceived as lucky while they were unfortunate and robbed.Despite only ever winning two league titles Spurs have had more English internationals over the years than any other team,mind boggling yet when the media are your friends you can’t really fail.To convince the gullible public that you are one of the giants of the game who play great football is a con the spuds have always managed to pull off with ease and the amount of players they have who win players of the year awards for achieving nothing is also hard to understand.Arsenal on the other hand have always been reviled by the media and large sections of their own fan base the AAA despite their high standards and always coming up with the goods,yet our players have always been treated poorly by England and various pundits, remember when Adams,Rocastle and Smith were left at home in 1990 (though we went to go on and win the league at a canter),Wrighty in 92 and Parlour in 98 for an injury riddled spud player..

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well some could still blame those pesky foreigners of course….

    It is the training and the coaching of the youth that will change things.
    And focus on technical skills and not focus on who can kick the furthest up field and who can push the rest aside by being strong. That works till you are 16-18 years old but then that is over and you get beaten by more skilful players.

  • finsbury

    Playing Alli at ten ahead of an unfit Wilshere was a crime against humanity.

    For all the stick that Chambo got last season he’s simply a better footballer then the likes of Sterling and Alli and he’s proven that for the national team let alone in the CL. Less then zero protection for AFC players has been and will continue to be England’s loss.

  • finsbury

    Arsenal did the PL a favour finishing second above those charlatans who only managed two draws (& a defeat!) against the woeful AFC (according to plundits) last season as they were simply allowed to foul their way through both league matches.

    Looking forward to Rooney et al getting the Giroud treatment on MOTD (it won’t happen!).

  • Alex

    My thoughts precisely on The team with so many Tottenham players. Bottle totts. They are notorious bottlers so what to expect? After all that hype it is almost hilarious. Before the match we were talking how beating France would open our way to go all the way. How embarrassing . Another piece of hilarity: straight after Iceland’s equalising goal Glenn Hoddle, another Tottenham legend, said:”long throw and they scored! This would never happen in the Premiereship. Iceland is stuck in the eighties!”. He obviously never watched Stoke before Rory Delap retired.

  • bjtgooner

    The spurs thugs, sorry players, are very different animals when they are not supported by sympathetic (and pathetic) referees allowing them to kick the daylights out of the opposition.

    Last night England, were very poor. I am not sure if they did not take Iceland seriously or the lack of genuine class in some players finally came through. Either way, the team selection favoured by the media let the side down.

    Back to the drawing board – yes – but the coaching deficit must the place to start.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Spurs….or no Spurs, everything about the England set up is muddled… poor….tired…stuck in a time.
    Hodgson is clearly not up to this task, but the fault lies not with him,or Maclaren, it is those that regularly choose such uninspiring yes men.
    The consistent factor during the decades of failure is our own, useless, indeed non fit for purpose FA.
    But nothing will change. Gareth Southgate seems a bright guy, he has done well with the youth set up, but may well be jettisoned into a job he is not ready for, and within 2 or 3 years, will be sacked, parodied in the cruelest ways. If he has sense, he will say no.But he wont.
    I can see how the FA keeps itself to itself, and resists change, and modernisation, but what baffles me, why does anyone sponsor this comfortable, self perpetuating band of buffoons?

  • Wilson

    You get Wayne Rooney, Danie Sturridge and Raheem Sterling messing it all up while one of England’s best of the tournament, who dovetailed with Walker, Adam Lallana sitting on the bench. Those of us with a brain were against Hodgson from the start so going into a tournament after 4 years with no idea what system you are playing is complete incompetence.

  • colario

    In any enterprise be it business or charity those responsible for its success or failure lies not with the commanded but the commanders. In the case of English football, this means the appropriately initialed F.A.

    They of course will never take responsibility for their many failures.

  • Pat

    @Walter at 9.39.

    Very funny! And also very true!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think an inform , fit Ox and Theo could have helped there, all those performances were crying out for width.
    It looks as though Roy, like others in the media, and indeed our so called fanbase, was very taken by Spurs this year, and tried to set a team out in their image, the problem was, he forgot to factor in the end of season implosion by our neighbours, and possible reasons for it. Whatever afflicted those players…tiredness, overhype, being found out, some of them, including, unfortunately Englands striker seem to have carried it over into this tournament. There are some very valid points in this article
    But we have some good players, just not a proper establishment to get the best out of them.
    I dont care much for international football except that our players come back fit and well, but for those looking for hope, guess the recent fortunes of the England rugby team provide it, the question is, would the FA have the vision, or intestinal fortitude to appoint a tough, demanding customer like Eddie Jones, when far easier…safer…say yes to them at all times… options may already be in their system. I think we know the answer to that

  • Menace

    But Tottenham were playing the best football. Vardy was incredible. I’m just glad their assessment has come back & bitten them in the bum!

    Wengers teams play the best football.

    Jambug ‘Have I told you lately that I love you’. Not ‘Of I told you lately….’ Use the verb ‘to have’ & your world will change.

  • Ajay

    Shocking for a bunch of players playing in one of the best leagues in the world to falter against a country on paper should be a walk in the park. When u have so many spurs players on the pitch, the coach should have adopted a strategy used to them rather than mould them to his. I guess the three lions are the only team with talent not able to realise their potential for a lot many years now. Wonder what Harry could have achieved since he gave up his job with spurs in the hopes of coaching the national side.

  • Rich

    The amazing part was that England weren’t able to pin them in their box at any point.

    I thought that absolutely had to take place at some point and, as has happened before with bad England performances, it left me pondering things I normally take for granted, in this case what skills are required to pin a team in their box.

    As Arsenal fans, we see the team do it at some point in virtually every game, often for almost the entire match and I tend to think of it as something that happens mostly as a result of the other team sitting deep. Now I’m wondering if that’s the case as often as i thought.

    More damning than that was that it was against a team who were generally short of pace and didn’t have a single fast player for breakaways. That should cut the threat of being countered immensely and make it safer to push forward and pin them in.

    I think a truly excellent team functions like an organism with one brain, working in co-ordination much as you would if it were possible to freeze time and have a think together about what to do next, the next pass, where to move.

    That’s actually a very hard thing to accomplish as ,obviously, in real time everything has to be done quickly, under pressure from opponents, with little time to think let alone communicate with teammates. Yet that’s what good football is, barring someone performing a great piece of individual skill.

    Anyway, they played like stressed out individuals, eleven disconnected brains.

    They paid an incredibly heavy price for trying to make Rooney the first successful striker to midfielder convert since…since…anyone got anything? Mark Hughes is all I’ve got, in his late-30’s at Southampton and Blackburn.

  • Jambug

    Wilshere, though not brilliant when he came on, at least passed to a team mate 90% of the time and he did at least attempt a ‘killer’ ball occasionally, and in doing so planted the best pass of the match on Kaynes head.

    To rate him as low as the likes of said Kane, who was terrible, and Rooney, who was beyond pathetic, is testament to the fact no matter what he does he will never be ‘rated’ by these hacks.

    Wilshere is the closest thing England has to a continental style ball player in the middle of the park, and he gets nothing but derision.

    He wasn’t at his best for this tournament, but despite a very very limited amount of appearances for Arsenal last season he was certainly no worse that the rest of them, especially last night.

    You would of thought that given the dearth of technically competent English players, he would be treasured.

    The truth is it’s the complete opposite.

    Of course that would have nothing to do with who he plays for would it?

    By the way. Vardy.

    I think we dodged a bullet there. There is no doubt that with his pace, on the break, he is a handful, but from everything I’ve seen of him at this tournament he is totally ineffective when a team parks the bus, which as we all know is a problem we face on monotonously regular basis.

  • para

    Some of the players looked and played like they had a few the night before, honestly. Kane’s eyes were so glazed, but maybe they are always like that.

  • Jambug


    English was never my strong point, but I try.

    Thanks for the lesson though.

  • Jambug


    looking back I’m not sure what you’re referring too as I hadn’t posted prior to your post, but I appreciate it anyway !!

  • Jambug


    “Anyway, they played like stressed out individuals, eleven disconnected brains”.

    Good point.

    I’ll tell you something I noticed, and that was Wilshere seemed to be constantly pointing here there and everywhere trying to direct his team mates.

    Not a particularly bad thing in itself, but it does lend it’s self to your theory that nothing was ‘spontaneous’. Movement was forced. Runs where not instinctive.

    As you say, they certainly didn’t seem to be functioning like an ‘organism with one brain’.

    And you pointed out:

    “They paid an incredibly heavy price for trying to make Rooney the first successful striker to midfielder convert since…since…anyone got anything? Mark Hughes is all I’ve got, in his late-30’s at Southampton and Blackburn.”

    If memory serves I think you’ll find Liverpool did something similar, with great success, to a certain Ray Kennedy.

    I may be wrong but as far as I recall they moved him to midfield.

  • SimonSez

    This is a joke, right? Billy, we all have to find ways to cope emotionally with the worst England performance and result, possibly of all time, and if yours is to blame it on the number of Spurs players in the team, well – that’s kind of your birthright, as a Gooner. But seriously, the whole team were abject, weren’t they. Personally, my ire is saved for Hart. The rest of the team saved his blushes after the Bale free kick fumble, but he compounded the felony last night, and should lose his place permanently.

    They should all, without exception, spend the rest of their lives thinking about what they’ve done, on some barely habitable volcanic rock in the middle of the Atlantic, and the next England manager can base his team and style of play on Leicester City.

    The fault is the usual one in English football. I don’t say I know what the fault is, but it’s clearly still there from Brazil, where, can I remind you, with at least as many Arsenal players in the squad as Spurs, we didn’t even get out of the group.

    Get a good night’s sleep, mate. Tomorrow you can do what we always do. Dare to hope again. (OK, it’ll probably need more than one night’s sleep, but what else can you do?)

  • Rich


    Sounds like you’re right about Ray Kennedy. I’ve heard the name plenty but never saw him play.

    Feel it backs up my point somewhat though that between us we can only think of one big example at the moment, from more than 30 years ago at that. It seems it is very very rare.

    Maybe Gullit played in midfield for a bit?

    Anyway, just maybe it could have worked, if you had other midfielders who complemented Rooney very well, though really I’m still thinking of Rooney more as a ten who drops deep even for that.

    Rooney and Alli, more or less a ten, guaranteed it was unworkable for me. There isn’t a player in the world who could compliment those two well to create a functional three-man midfield, especially if one of the wide attackers is a striker.

    Just a mess, a real mess.

    I thought Wilshere, Henderson and the City ex-villa lad (whose name I have temporarily lost) were the closest I’ve seen to a functioning midfield three for England for a long time. Quite liked it actually, and I don’t think it was just because it suited Wilshere so well.

    It had good legs, thanks to the other two, decent co-ordination between the three, with Jack being covered when he went forward. Tackling was covered, building play was better.

    If you can’t get the whole team acting as one, at least put together a midfield, heart or rather brain of the team, which covers the basics properly between them.

    Let’s be honest there was no chance. Not starting Alli ,when he had played so well this year and shone in some internationals, was never going to happen. Then add the unwillingness to drop Rooney and…voila

  • WalterBroeckx

    In a way this is so typically “media of today” what we see on different media.
    England beat Wales with 2-1 with a goal in the last seconds of extra time and the players are being praised in to high heaven. World beaters, who will we beat next time, bring them on…… Last 5 second memory as I have called it a dozen times.

    Then England play Iceland and lose and suddenly they are completely useless and rubbish. Last 5 second memory and judgement.

    The truth is somewhere in the middle. It usually is.
    They are not completely rubbish. Not all of them. Some…yes. But not all of them 😉

  • Josif

    I would just add a funny fact:

    Hodgson sent half of his outfield players last night from the club that has been waiting for the title longer even than England have been. The outcome was predictable.

    Kudos to Iceland though. They don’t have much but they use their resources cleverly.

  • Walter, I am sure that you are right.

    However there is the point that we have a bunch of Tottenham players who completely lost it when it mattered in the league, and then again completely lost it when it mattered when playing for England.

    That does begin to feel like a pattern. Two is not much of a pattern, but it is the start of a pattern.

  • nicky

    History is infested with cases where the so-called underdog has prevailed against all odds.
    I would have thought England’s squad from the manager down would have remembered Leicester City’s EPL championship only a month or so ago.

  • Polo

    Listened to The Two Mikes show on Talksport yesterday, in the winners and losers segment one of Porky Parry’s choice for losers was Ozil’s missed penalty against Slovakia even though Ozil helped Germany won the match, the Arsenal bashing is unbelievable. Obviously G. Neville would have been a better choice, the so called ‘expert’ has lost two coaching jobs in a space of a year.

    England didn’t play to badly apart from the goalkeeper’s mistake, they just couldn’t break down a well organized park the bus team. In my opinion, they just couldn’t finish chances clinically, similar to Arsenal. I can see a bright future for England at the next World Cup, most of the players are still young and this lost will give them a lot of experience.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Hurri Cane was the poorest player on the pitch.

  • finsbury

    Should’ve taken Andy Carroll. That was the big mistake.

  • finsbury

    If Greg Dyke thinks that Harry Kane is the answer then what is or was the question?

    “How to have a lobotomy without surgery?” ?

  • Jambug


    Don’t listen to Talksport for obvious reasons. Personally why any Gooner would is beyond me, but I suppose somebody has to but rather you than me.

    Just wondering?

    Did they mention the World Class performances of Ospina in the Cuppa America?

    Or the player of the tournament performances from a certain Alexis Sanchez?

  • Chrystom

    It beats my imagination how the way the gets the formation to be used by England two days before the match.

  • Polo

    @Jambug, I listen to it just for point of views, sometimes I agree sometimes I don’t, do they have an anti-Arsenal biased I think they do but that’s their opinions. Apart from the annoying anti-Arsenal jabs, they do provide plenty of insightful informations whether it’s on football or social issues.

    The rest of your questions, I don’t believe they did but that’s just unfortunate. Anyway, I don’t need them to tell me how good Opsina and Alexis is during the Copa America, my personal views has been made long ago that both players are top class.

  • John L.

    England’s preference for Spurs players over more talented Arsenal players dates back to Alf Ramsey.

    Eastham, Sammels, Radford, Simpson, Armstrong, McNab come to mind as players who were good enough but never got beyond the squad fringes (if that). Only Storey got a handful of games and was then the favourite scapegoat for the press.

    Things don’t change

  • Jambug


    “….they do provide plenty of insightful informations whether it’s on football or social issues.”

    Of course they do.

  • Jambug

    John L

    Blimey mate, you sound as ancient as me. You mentioned some names there my friend. Took me back to my very earliest days at Highbury. I had a snoop around and found the following, all still playing when I first started going.

    For the record my favourites where little George ‘Gordie’ Armstrong, still the best ‘winger’ I have ever seen, Charlie George and John Radford, whom I met working behind the Club bar at Bishops Stortford I think it was, back in the 80’s.

    You’ve jogged some lovely memories there my friend.


    Jim Furnell England 23/11/1937
    Bob Wilson Scotland 30/10/1941


    Frank McLintock Scotland 28/12/1939
    Bob McNab England 20/07/1943
    Sammy Nelson Northern Ireland 01/04/1949
    Pat Rice Northern Ireland 17/03/1949
    Peter Storey England 07/09/1945
    Ian Ure Scotland 07/12/1939


    George Armstrong England 09/08/1944
    David Court England 01/03/1944
    George Graham Scotland 30/11/1944
    Eddie Kelly Scotland 07/02/1951
    Terry Neill Northern Ireland 08/05/1942
    Jon Sammels England 23/07/1945


    Charlie George England 10/10/1950
    Bobby Gould England 12/06/1946
    David Jenkins England 02/09/1946
    George Johnston Scotland 21/03/1947
    John Radford England 22/02/1947


    Bertie Mee England 25/12/1918

    Many of which, as you say, never got the international caps they deserved.

  • Gord

    Looking in the news, something of a coaching nature popped out.

    Arsenal runs football schools in many places. Arsenal Cyprus is looking for (more) coaches.

    The FA, is probably looking to find ways of ship all foreign coaches and foreign trained coaches out of England. The FA, under consulatation with 😈 Mike Riley, is looking for ways to ship all foreign officials, and foreign trained officials out of England.

    In 2016/2017, EPL players will be allowed to optionally carry cricket bats with them on the field.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The game was at 3 AM here ,and I told my son to get some sleep as England would surely lose .He just snorted , and wasted a goodnight’s rest .
    Me ? Had a restful sleep , thanks for asking !
    Just had to laugh early in the morning when a friend send me a meme proclaiming that it was the second time in a week that England were leaving the EURO !
    Well it sounded funny to me , anyway !

  • omgarsenal

    Maybe I was watching a different game but my overall impressions of that match were;

    1) Rooney had a poor game based on his usual standards and recent performances,
    2) Wilshere was off all tournament, due to his timing and lack of regular play BUT his long cutting passes to attacking players like Vardy and Kane were excellent, they could have and should have resulted in goals for England. He also played much better defensively than our proper fullbacks and centrehalves, even preventing a great goal-scoring opportunity towards the end.
    3) The total lack of communication between players is astonishing considering that 5 of them play for the same team!
    4) Hart made his usual serious mistake/game and that cost England dearly but otherwise he was OK.
    5) The officiating was very even-handed and proactive….something EPL players can’t adjust to.
    6) The 4 defenders were laughable, allowing teams easy access to Hart and subsequent goals!
    7) Hodgson and his staff were handed a very difficult task and managed to get England fairly far, but class will tell.
    8) Iceland were superb and organized, never allowing England to get up a head of steam. Despite this, they had many great scoring opportunities, but fluffed their lines totally.

    Overall a truly BREXIT performance which merited what it earned! Two major exits in one week, who would have thought???

    By the way, here is an excellent economic analysis of Brexit:

  • omgarsenal

    I’d also like to note Rashford, Sturridge and Sterling were very threatening all game long BUT their passing and positioning left much to be desired. Kane’s awful free kicks and equally pitiful corners were an embarrassment! On the other hand,Wilshere’s long passes were pinpoint accurate and I imagined what Giroud or Sanchez would have done with them, had they been there. The midfield with Wilshere was far more dynamic than with just Rooney BUT the communication between the last 4 and the defensive midfielders was poor. How many time did two england players go for the same ball, miss or lose it and an Icelandic player get off on a great run?

  • Leon


    Rashford didn’t come on till the last few minutes (but looked good enough to have started) and I thought Sterling didn’t contribute anything at all other than winning England the penalty.
    Jack made 3 of England’s 6 through passes, and he only played half the match while still not up to full fitness. I think this is what Shearer had in mind when he asked why Wilshere was picked.