ENGLAND Supporters Thread - World Cup 2018, Russia Here We Come


Isn’t that the same chap who’s a Champions League winner?


Isn’t that the same Belgium team who Wales beat up a stick in a European Championship quarter-final?


Yes but not at left back


He must be a bloody good left-back if he’s won a Champions League while not even playing in his best position.


England in the World Cup is pure box office. Still nearly two months away and it’s non-stop England talk.


England usually have two big problems.

One is that since at least 2002, their players have found it difficult to park their egos and get a good spirit going within the team. Wales’s success at the last European Championship shows what can happen when you have a really happy camp all pulling together.

It’s no coincidence that Bobby Robson and Terry Venables were the two most successful managers at creating a happy England camp at a major finals in living memory. They were proper football men who understood not just the English mentality but understood the continental game too.They were charismatic, could relate to the players and understood what buttons to press to get the best performances out of them. Both were expert at handing Gazza in a way Glenn Hoddle didn’t have clue how to do. Sven and Fabio Cappello were taciturn and charisma-free and didn’t understand the English. Kevin Keegan had the charisma but didn’t have the tactical nous. Roy Hodgson is a decent man but dour and the job was a bit too much for him.

I would loved to have seen Harry Redknapp get a chance with England. I think he would have been a chip off the Robson/Venables block and would have got a terrific, informal, carefree bulldog spirit going in the camp. He had Tottenham playing wonderful stuff between 2010 and 2012 and should have got the job when Capello quit. Big Sam would have been hugely intriguing too and fits the personality type of a successful England manager.

It’s hard to know with Gareth Southgate. He didn’t do well at club level and I’d worry about his tactical nous, and he seems a bit of an FA yes man, but on the other hand he was a good player for England and knows what it takes to create a good spirit at a major finals. On top of that he does seem pretty intelligent by English football standards, and is bright, articulate and personable, the sort of chap that is easy to like and difficult to dislike. So I’d be optimistic that a Southgate-managed squad will be a happier place to be than most recent England squads at major finals.

The Ox is huge loss in this regard because as well as being a terrific player he’s also a terrific character to have around a team. Sadly there don’t seem to be too many other characters or leaders around the England squad these days and this is where I think they are really lacking. Those 1990 and 1996 squads were rich with them - they had a terrific balance of personality types which creates a healthy atmosphere. I’d be looking at including Andy Carroll and Gary Cahill in the squad more so for what they can bring to a dressing room than for what they might provide on the pitch. Ross Barkley on the other hand is the sort of character who would be a real energy drain.

The other problem England have had, and which will be a problem again this time, is that the Premier League is a far more punishing league than continental ones, with no winter break and a far more frenetic and draining style of play. Liverpool are likely to be involved in the Champions League final so Henderson and Milner will get very little break between then and the World Cup, while Manchester United and Chelsea players will be involved up to May 19th. Arsenal could be in the Europa League final. Tottenham’s players have looked jaded in the last few weeks.

Momentum is everything at a tournament though. England have a good chance to get some this time. If they can get two wins under their belt against Tunisia and Panama, which they should, and then perform well against Belgium in a match in which the pressure should be off to an extent, they’ll be in fine fettle going into the knockout stages.

They’ve a really good chance of reaching a quarter-final, but it’s hard to see them beating Brazil or Germany there.


It says a lot about England’s chances at the World Cup when they think the ox being out is effecting their chances :rofl:


Great to see the cut and thrust of debate amongst the soccer fans on here. A lot of fellas who would see themselves as fior gaels and despise west brits amongst em. I wouldnt have much time for the soccer myself but could understand lads spending all day long debating formations and selections and injuries and the likes if Republic of Ireland were involved but England having em hopping up and down in d pan fucking hell gas cunts


[quote=“GeoffreyBoycott, post:85, topic:25158, full:true”]
England in the World Cup is pure box office. Still nearly two months away and it’s non-stop England talk.


A laughing stock of a footballer up until 6 months ago he has morphed into a towering mix of Lothar Matheus and Kaka in his prime based on a handful of decent performances for Liverpool. It’s fascinating to watch.


There’s no teams of superstars this time around, I don’t think the Ox would have started but he’d have been a good squad player to have,
I think they’re definitely last 8 material, they’ll probably be dumped out there but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them progress, who knows after that


When was the last time England won a big game at a major tournament?


All down to the kult of Klopp


I would’ve started Oxlaide all day if fit.


Lucky for England that even in the absence of the Ox, they still have two-thirds of the best midfield in Europe available to them.


It’s one of the things we all look forward to every 4 years. The sense of anticipation. The draw, will it be Germany, Spain? Are Brazil any good? After the fucking easy draw England has in the qualifiers and then group, who’s going to dump them out? Penalties again please.




He’s overdoing the edgy colonial these days. Fitzy’s whole family will wet themselves with excitement when they arrive in London later this year.


I’ll have just been in Derry for 3 days so I wonder what surprises I’ll have with me?


Derry city?