So, we watched England fumble their way to a 0-0 draw against a fired-up Scotland squad that included an on-song John McGinn. And while no one expected Scotland to score for fun coming in, England most certainly weren’t expected to tally just one goal over 180 minutes so far in these Euros.

There’s no lack of opinion on what’s not clicking for the Three Lions. Me, I’ve tried to see it all ways. I get that Southgate wants to bring along some outstanding young talent. I get that defense wins championships. I get group stages. I get that maybe giving players minutes and finishing 2nd could in many ways be better than blazing through on nine points and diving head first into the Group of Death.


Whatever the reasons Southgate arrived at his decisions Friday night, the result was a dispiriting, disjointed performance that can’t have done anyone any good. Whatever benefit he hoped to accrue…well, he has to be playing a very long game. Looking insipid, tepid, and uninspired? Just not a good look.

It’s the look of a team without an identity, a team that’s having the best instincts reined in. Which is a shame, because confidence and form are everything.

In short, no one in Southgate’s starting XI is driving the bus. No one among his favored bright young things is yet willing or able to be The Man. And we’ve seen how that goes—no thrust, no impetus, no focus, no risk, no urgency, no payoff. Perhaps that’s by design. But it’s a dangerous design, and more than likely not a winning design. You can manage with an eye toward the future, but the future is always now. Ask any of Gareth’s predecessors.

I don’t know Southgate. Never met the man. No idea what his motivations or inspirations are. All I know is what I see on a pitch. And what I saw against Scotland, much like what I saw against Croatia, was a team that was much less than the sum of its parts. Minor case in point: Grealish expecting an overlap from Luke Shaw that you’d see in any Premier League game. Instead, Grealish lays the ball off into an empty space that Shaw would be filling all day long for United.

Lack of understanding? Maybe. Except that’s the basic understanding virtually everywhere. So basic that Grealish took it for granted, silly flashy boy.

I don’t believe Grealish is the Messiah. And, yes, he has been a naughty boy. But those days are behind him, and I do believe he’s simply the closest thing England have to a world-class attacking midfielder. That’s a guy you build around, just like Dean Smith and Villa’s ownership are. That’s the guy Pep wants. That’s the guy maybe 8 out of the top 10 clubs in Europe want, and only 1 or 2 can afford. That’s the guy with an extremely firm all-cash £100m + price tag. That’s the guy who missed 12 games and still rivaled Kevin De Bruyne in the most telling statistical categories.

That’s the guy who’s been carrying a team on his shoulders for three seasons now. He’s a difference-maker.

Being Villans, we know no one else knew or cared. We know everyone thinks he’s a cheating whinger. We know they think he’s overrated. We’ve also known they’re wrong because we see him week-in, week-out. Ever since he was sidelined with the spleen injury, he’s been a man on a mission. He knows how good he is and he wants to realize his potential. He wants the ball. He wants the pressure. He wants the glory. And now we see that the rest of England are finally copping, and they’ve only seen him at 70-80%.

Of course this makes the situation worse for Jack and England. Expectations are through the roof, Southgate won’t want to be seen bowing to public demand, and the rest of the set up doesn’t seem up to even providing a platform for Jack to do what he does for Villa: make everyone around him better. But there’s a lot of talent on that team. They need inspiration. They need to play like they do for their clubs.

Southgate increasingly seems to be a Portugal manager who doesn’t want Ronaldo to get all the credit.

He’ll talk systems, work rate, athleticism, competition. He’ll say all kinds of things that Grealish makes a mockery of virtually every time he plays.

In all honesty, I’d just as soon have Grealish than Kevin De Bruyne, and certainly Bruno Fernandes. And both those excellent players are nailed on for national teams that look a lot better than England. Jack? Well…

(Thought Barney Ronay had an excellent take over at The Guardian: Fine piece of writing, that.)

Jack may not be enough to overcome Southgate’s deficiencies, er, ‘caution’, or perhaps even the side’s in general. But if Gareth doesn’t turn to him, then he’s a foolish, stubborn man who will, in all probability, be out of a job sooner rather than later. England’s great expectations are poised to come crashing to earth, and if they do, the only thing that would keep Southgate in the job is the World Cup following so soon. But a further year’s work based on a flawed premise is not likely to yield much better results.

A year letting the team coalesce around a swaggering, confident and attacking focal point? That might get them somewhere.

Over to you.

Comments 166

  1. Quality script JC as always, nailing the points that matter.

    Just watched Spain labour to a 1-1 draw with Poland. In their case, they pass the ball endlessly around the opposition box without any cutting edge. In our case, we pass the ball endlessly across our back four so the average fan can’t tell whether we have a cutting edge or not as we don’t get near the opposition box.

    My theory is Beaky wants 2nd place and will settle for a draw next game to ensure an “easier” Round of 16 opponent. All will be revealed Tues night.

  2. What a mess Levy has generated at Spurs. He sacked Poch and it’s been like Eastenders ever since. No wonder Kane wants out. It’ll be Son next. Billy Smarts has upped sticks from small heath and relocated in North Laandan.

  3. Looking at our opening fixtures for the coming season, it seems a no brainer. Nine points and top of the league by the end of August or Deano comes under some pressure. Discuss.

  4. Renato Sanches replaced Bernardo Silva at half time during the Germany v Portugal game. Sanches was impressive. What do you think Mr Lange?

  5. Plug,

    To your other points: Levy really is making a hash of things at Spurs. Makes me very grateful for what we’ve got.

    I can very much buy the theory that Southgate took Scotland as a training exercise, so to speak, and figured a draw was on the cards given their lack of firepower. Don’t argue he might want 2nd to get a better run.

    The downside is that without putting his best team together in the group stage, he’s undermining cohesion and momentum.

    As you say, all ought to be revealed Tuesday.

  6. He had two games arranged before the Euro’s to attain cohesion and momentum. But he chose to blame the Champions League Final and gave half his squad extra rest whilst the two practice games were duly wasted using some players who had already been discarded from the finalized squad.

    This did not fill me with confidence for the forthcoming tournament and from what I’ve witnessed since it started, I’m going to finally agree with Souness and say our team will come up well short.

    I’ll be over the moon to be wrong, but the moon is just too far away.

  7. Excellent leader again JC, spelling out what we all feel. If Southgate fails to put together our best and most attacking side for the Croatia game, England could be looking at an early bath time, as the Scots may do something unusual and score, winning their final game!

    Who knows, but I have very little confidence in Southgate, and we are looking back at last year, when Grealish was a leading light, but got left out of the final game, and we lost.

  8. Can’t Disagree JC , Grealish is a departure for Beaky from the comfort Blanket, will he grasp the nettle and support Jack? stranger things have happened.

  9. I said on the previous post, Southgate should never have had the England job in the first place?
    What exactly did he achieve as a manager before to be given the highest award in English football?

    Dean Smith has more right to be the English manager than Southgate does, and I’m not his biggest fan

  10. I have a horrible feeling Grealish will go.

    I think his head might have been turned on international duty, and quietly, has spoke to Villa to let him leave.

    The kid isn’t going to turn down City is he? If he knows they want him, he surely he won’t turn them down

  11. I saw Grealish comments saying one day he’d love to play under Jose

    Strange comments to make really

    But, I think we missed a trick as a club not getting Jose when he left spurs, or even before that

    We could attract him.

    We have the money to get him and give him to spend

    Why wouldn’t we want that?

    As plug said, Smith has to deliver this season or he’s gone l. The owners won’t accept bottom half of the table come November. Smith will be gone.. The club won’t accept 10th at the end of the season. Smith will be gone.. They have gave him the money to deliver European football, he has to get it this season or bye bye

  12. Frem- Not Smiths biggest fan? I’m still laughing .

    Grealish gave a compliment as he’d been complimented by Jose I suspect, what chance he ends up playing under him? next to no chance.

    Smith has beaten Klopp, Bielsa, Tuchel and others while apparently being crap, stroll on.

  13. Frem,

    It’s always possible, but I do still think there’s at least one more season for us. Are we buying to prepare for his departure? Could be. But has the sales pitch been playing with Jack and making a CL push? Has Buendia been told he’s the man? Would JWP come because the future looks brighter at Villa even without Jack?

    For me, the question is probably would he stay for Europa if, as the bookies will tell you, a CL spot is a long shot. But if he got us that far, I think he’d probably feel okay moving on.

    Remember, Compass might not even listen to a transfer request and they don’t have to sell. I imagine there’s too much goodwill on both sides for them to keep a want-away Jack, but they may well say, “Hey, we’ve delivered on our promise to upgrade the squad. You can keep your end and stay like you said you would. We haven’t dropped another £100m for you to backtrack. Here’s a big raise.”

    What will be interesting is what the Euros experience ends up being for him, and where that puts his head.

  14. I agree, MK. Smith is every bit as tactically astute as anyone else at clubs we’re trying to overtake. Certainly as smart as any of them. It’s not rocket surgery. He just needs better players, and we’re getting them.

    Frem: Thank god we don’t have Mourinho. Things haven’t been ending well with him of late. I think the magic’s worn off. Part of Dean’s appeal is keeping a happy camp.

    Is this a make-or-break season for him? Yeah, probably so. And he knows it. That said, you can’t legislate for injuries, etc. So, we’ll see how our luck runs.

  15. I have been hearing the same old shite for three seasons now, how if he doesn’t do XYZ Smith will be gone by XYZ, I think its more wishful thinking from the Fantasy league brigade. Can’t blame them for staying in the box. You can’t help but see if you take the Blinkers off the accumulation of club records, near miraculous changes and turnarounds we have had under Smith and the Youth system bubbling away under it all.

    You can measure Villa against the top clubs if you like, thinking they will behave the same. The truth is we have a plan, allegedly ahead of schedule as it is and don’t look like taking a step back. Part of that plan was to find the right man to build from near Zero level a sustainable march on the top. He also had to be able to use our biggest asset, Jack, and not get caught up in an ego war like Southgate seems to have.

    We don’t have a manager (yet) with huge status appeal but that is growing. And we don’t really need one to attract players, the upward trajectory, facilities, players we have, scouting system we have are attraction enough to those worth having, and Jack is a magnet too. We are attracting those with ambition beyond their wallets, Ashley’s return is just him smelling the trophies and the difference in mindset between clubs .

  16. What will Jack Learn from the Euro’s? I suspect if Southgate doesn’t do a 180 that changing clubs may take his greatest joy from him, playing football. If he leaves he will have to seek a club that lets him be himself, not damp him down or grey him out and he will become acutely aware of those with huge ego’s.

    From the outside Jack seems an optimistic and friendly lad but is a force of nature on a pitch with a will to win, an awful lot will depend on the players bending to that will or not., if not then frustration will set in. He might find there is no place like home.

  17. Finally the latest Crypto scene Bitclout. You can now buy currency thats based on your favourite celeb, athlete etc. Its based on their success or not, you buy into their success and get richer as they do. It had to happen didn’t it?

  18. Worth reading what its really all about before dismissing it, its because the internet has become a monopoly set against the individual.

    ” If you can properly mix monetary speculation with social media, you not only end up with a novel product that creates innovative ways for creators to monetize, but you also end up with a totally new business model that solves these problems, and that isn’t based on ads.”

    JC could launch his own 🙂

  19. AVFC have reached agreement with Royal Antwerp for the transfer of Engels. Just the medical outstanding. I wish him the very best at his new club.

  20. Bookies odds on Grealish not looking good now at 1/3 for Man City, meanwhile we have increased our offer for Smith-Rowe to £35 million. Now the vultures are circling to see if they can pick off our other stars, with Liverpool being touted for Watkins and several clubs for McGinn.
    I really hope we are going to stay strong and keep our nucleus of star players.

    Reports are now saying that Southgate thinks that Jack does not work hard enough off the ball, and he is not happy with his rates of recovery. Seems strange that he left Lingard out, when he reckons Lingard is much better at it than Jack???

  21. PP,

    I really don’t think Villa are going to be selling. Compass have no intention building something to get this point and then let them go. We’re spending to push on, can’t do that if we’re starting over every year.

    Gareth’s got an excuse a minute. I’ve really come back round to thinking he simply doesn’t want Grealish bossing the side. Only thing that makes sense. Twitter making a mockery of the work-rate argument today.

  22. I am sure that you are right JC. I am fully committed to us continuing to build and strengthen the squad we have, but I just note what is being touted around the Villa news sites.

    Tomorrow night will give us a few answers, perhaps.

  23. PP,

    Yeah, the rumors doing to rounds, absolutely.

    Guessing that’s part of why we’ve put in cheeky bids for ESR and JWP: “Uh, we’re actually poaching now, so…”

  24. Now we have the Asian giant OB Sports to wear on our sleeves, while we bid for Alvarez from River Plate…
    We must be the most talked about side in the Premiership these days!!

    Will Jack start tonight??? Still nothing definite yet, and will Beaky take anymore risks now, knowing that England have qualified?

  25. Beaky: Now listen up guys, this is what we are going to do. CB2 passes to CB1. CB1 passes to RB. RB passes to CB1. CB1 passes to CB2. CB2 passes to LB. LB passes to CB2….. Is this understood or shall I run through it again?

    ‘Arry: What do I do Boss whilst all this is happening?

    Beaky: FFS ‘Arry, don’t complicate matters.

  26. So, Jack in, Tyrone out.

    Was Jack always nailed on for this one? Or did Mount’s isolation play into it? Or was it that England were already through?

  27. England’s greatest assets are in our attacking talent. We have players that will scare any team. Such ability is completely wasted by Beaky who decides that defence is what people want. The same flawed thinking that sunk Spud at Villa and has had the Wai Ayes up in arms all season.

    There is no way this type of set up is going to work against France, Germany or Portugal. When we attack we look very dangerous. When we defend, I want a refund on my ticket price.

  28. Well, good moment for Grealish there.

    But what I assume have to be Southgate’s instructions are ludicrous. Afraid to do anything but send it back, wide or over the top. No willingness to even try to play through the middle at all.

    Was very frustrated watching Jack ask for the ball and seeing it turned backward and sideways time and again.

    One thing watching through Grealish lenses. Quite another when, as Plug says, England come up against better sides. England’s patterns of play just aren’t there.

  29. Jack played well first half, but seemed a little bit lost second half, and failed to get himself involved enough. Then Tyrone came on to help hold the defence together, and we were allowed to still have a Villa player on the pitch..

    Have to disagree about winning ways, the stats more than bear out that the way Southgate is handling things on a defensive basis is how successful sides win competitions. This is why clean sheets is the big demand, and why we are now established in the Premiership.

  30. PP,

    Don’t disagree that defense wins championships. My concern is that against higher quality opposition England are going to end up looking like the Scotlands. Dogged, etc., but no focus going forward.

    Not like I lose sleep over England. But, as an armchair manager atm, looks to me like Gareth’s got the balance a bit wrong, and the failure to establish an actual identity will certainly haunt them in this tournament.

    Does it lay the groundwork for the World Cup? Maybe. But I look at other sides who know who they are, and it just doesn’t seem like England do. Phillips and Rice look lost. Shaw nowhere near the same as for United. Jack simply not given the ball anywhere near enough to make a difference. And he wasn’t trying to overplay. Laid it off, took the simple pass, tried to follow instructions. His cross, the ball to Sterling for the chance that hit the post, and the ball from Maguire to Kane…Only incisive moments I can think of.

    Italy fail to qualify for last World Cup, yet they look leaps and bounds better than England right now. Aggressive, assured, physical.

    Same as it ever was, I suppose.

  31. I guess what I’m saying is that in all the time Gareth’s had these players, he doesn’t seem to have fashioned anything cohesive. Nothing seems to play into any of their strengths. All very good components, but it’s like the Island of Misfit Toys.

    Seriously think Villa at the start of the season would’ve torn this England team apart. And I know it’s a bit unfair to compare to clubs to national teams. But almost al these players look a shadow of themselves. Haven’t really seen Bellingham play, but I noted that when he was in the same spots as Jack, he wasn’t getting the ball either. No incisive passing through the middle whatsoever.

    I’ll be as happy as anyone if they manage to go all the way, if something clicks. Got no real interest in Southgate failing. It just doesn’t look like a side anyone would be scared to face.

  32. Mark, we also finished below Klopp, Bielsa, Tuchel. Stroll on.

    Apparently we want a set play coach. Thank fuck.. We need more height though in our side. We are way to small

    Smith-Rowe second bid going in. We won’t get him and I don’t see why we want him. He isn’t very good and is similar to Grealish and Buenida. It’s a strange bid. We need pace. Get Saint Maximum, or Mcniell.

    Apparently we also want Romuelo the DM from Southampton

    He’d be good but I want sarr. We need a tall powerful DM. Not Luiz

  33. McGinn now has a £50million price tag, as the interest in him increases.
    Gareth has made sure that he has given game time to virtually every member of the squad, and also didn’t name Foden, so that he avoided the chance of getting a second yellow, missing the next round of matches.
    Southgate has an excellent record as England manager, which cannot be argued with, reaching the World Cup semi-finals for only the third time in our history,

  34. PP,

    Indeed he has (played just about everyone)…We’ll just have to see if it ends up in something more threatening going forward.

    Had about as favorable a path in 2018 as you could hope for.

  35. If the reports were correct, they tried to offload Rashica on us a year ago for twice that price, but he played his face and did a Pierre Van Hooijdonk.

    Then he spent most of the season injured or not selected. I too will watch with interest to see whether we dodged a bullet or not. I’m certainly glad we didn’t sign him.

  36. And now Levy has been turned down by Lopetegui at Sevilla. It’s Fred Carno’s down there in Narf Laandan. Can’t stop laarfin’.

  37. Frem – Only finished below Leeds because of the covid and jacks injury, and finish above Liverpool and Chelsea? you better break into a sprint let alone a jog.

  38. Levy is a bit of an ass. His shit don’t stink. He won’t let the pros sort out the team. He has to meddle. Looking for a gaffer is high drama and the better candidates are going to refuse. Especially if Kane is an uncertainty. Almost as much fun as watching BCFC twist.
    Frem, if Smith is so poor, why do the players love him?

  39. Yes Useless Dean Smith wants a dead ball coach, I hope its the guy who teaches striking the ball too, very impressive. Just shows you who’s on the ball and calling the shots at Villa though eh 🙂

    Couldn’t find a list of the tallest teams for 20/21 but in the 19/20 season we were 3rd tallest behind Watford and palace. So maybe lack of height other than at DM isn’t a big problem.

  40. Mark.. Only.. But we did. It was poor.

    Interesting that apparently we want another attacker because we felt we lost the ball to easy in the final 3rd

    What did they expect with Trezeguet and Ghaizi? And Traore

    I said loads second half of the season our ability to retain possession was the worst in the league by far

    At least with Buendia and Grealish we have a couple of players who look after the ball. We need one more.

    Apparently we aren’t spending big now and we want a dm just to fill a gap. I don’t get that. Luiz is poor. We need a real dm

  41. Frem- You criticise the position we finished in but then criticise the players we had available to try and finish above where we did?? And you criticise the manager at every turn yet expect him to finish above Chelsea and Liverpool with a squad those teams would probably take 3-4 players from max, you are indeed having a laugh, which is it? are we much better than our finish or much worse? has smith done worse or better than expected with our squad?

    Can’t understand why you would want the club to spend big when all the players are not good enough for you so far.

  42. Well said MK.

    Yes, we did have a poor period, but so did other teams, many were suffering when Villa were flying.
    It evens itself out over the season with injuries, illness and especially covid.

    Considering the players we had, money spent, and lack of a proper pre-season, Villa did more than well, and we all have something to look forward to now.
    I wonder why you support Villa Frem, if the players are so bad, the manger is useless, apart from Grealish, do you ever appreciate what our players have achieved in the last three years.

  43. PP- Your right in that many teams were effected but I don’t think it was to the extent Newcastle and Villa were. 14 staff and players positive, training ground shut and no training or games for around 20 days from the last game. Compare that to

    “Guardiola’s men were forced to call off their game at Everton on December 28 and closed their training ground for three days before it was reopened after a deep clean.”

    That’s a double whammy of isolation and literally no football played for us at a time when we were coming off a good December and targeting that top 6. To top it all straight back into 6 games in 18 days, no other team had that combination of events.

    Newcastle came out of it a few weeks before we did suggesting a time element to it all as they were a month before. The number of games we missed had us 4 games behind at one point wasn’t it? Injuries to Ross, Jack and Trez were also pivotal.

  44. Frem,

    They never thought Ghazi and Trez were going to be CL stalwarts. They were just the right price at a particular moment in time while filling many holes.

    Ghazi will be a fringe player one way or another this year. If there’s any truth to the Alvarez rumor, seems like he could be a very good buy. We’d have a very fluid three behind Ollie, all good on the ball.

    We might bring in competition for Luiz/DM, but it’s not like he’s on the Brazilian team because he’s shite.

  45. What’s clear is that they do want to upgrade the middle/attacking options. The backline, keeper and DM, no real worries there. It’s McGinn, Sanson, Ramsey that are looking over their shoulders along with the wide forwards, even if we did slap a £50m tag on SJM. Pretty sure that was a message as much as anything.

    So, to your point Frem, I’m expecting more quality on the ball, more creative outlets, and better possession.

    When we see that, I think we’ll see a Luiz who’s being asked to do much less, which is as it should be.

  46. JC- That’s how I see it, as the quality goes up and mix improves others will look less hapless by default as there will be passes on most of the time and pretty much all footballers can actually pass.

    We might actually see that Smith Style begin to materialise, I think short term he has taken what was assembled and got the best out of it in whatever way he had to, we saw glimpses last season and this we will likely see another aspect, switching from front press to deep press to possession as needed.

  47. I think SJM may not be putting on a villa shirt next season , the fact that we have gone from not for sale to 50 mil leads me to believe he is going as man u and pool can and usually do buy players in this region of price range

    We could end up the a new centre midfield set up for the coming season … also sounds like we would sell Doug

  48. I don’t think there will be much more coming through the door this window. Compass have intimated as much. Assuming Jack remains a Villa player, perhaps Lifers can tell us where they think we will finish in the coming season. Within a 3 place band.

    I’m thinking maybe 7th – 9th. As 7th won’t get us into Europe, does it mean we have not progressed as planned? I know Compass mentioned a 5 year plan for Europe, but we did manage a year ahead of development in Year 1.

    I’m with Frem on Saint Maximin. Love the guy. Could we get him?

  49. runtings,

    I can see us letting SJM go depending on the other business. I sort of have a hard time believing Klopp and FSG would cough up £50m for him, but if JWP were to come in, it would open the door to offsetting some of that cost, and we might come down a bit.

    On the other hand, he’s a great presence in the squad, close with Jack, etc. Might be kind of awkward for him to get a United or Liverpool transfer before Jack gets a CL move.

    On the third hand, money talks. Don’t think he’ll ever be worth more. Liverpool fans seem very split on this one.

  50. Luiz? Maybe? Again, think it depends on who comes in.

    Luiz should be settled, will have had a nice time with Brazil. I don’t think the purported £25m that’s been mentioned will cut it, though. Smith’s going to want some continuity to start.

  51. Plug,

    I’m guessing it’s kind of dominoes. I could see us stumping up for JWP and also signing an Alvarez.

    I keep reading conflicting things about Compass’s intentions. Don’t think anyone knows. When I hear “restrained” spend and also hear that they think the time to strike is now, could really end up meaning anything.

    Can we make up 11 or 12 points with a healthy Jack, Buendia, and a couple other quality additions? I think so, just a four-game improvement. I’m guessing the aim is 5th or 6th. Will depend on the business others do. And whether we keep players like McGinn or let them go.

    I wouldn’t feel crazy thinking we could grab 6th.

  52. I would be surprised if SJM went for £50m , one because his numbers don’t stack up to much in the prem, 1st year 3 goals 3 assists 2nd 3 goals 5 assists. I have a hard time seeing where he enhances either Liverpool or Manure’s teams. Doing ok for Scotland also does not equate to that sum considering no goals no assists and they are out.

    He works for us as he also wins free kicks and does defend half decently and his personality fits the ethos and gets on with Jack.

    There will come a time when we sell and reinvest? yes of course we have said as much , will it be this time around? not so sure but accept it could happen.

  53. As for the 5 year plan I think we will again go for Europe as the big aim this season but top 8 won’t be failure. For one it might be a full season with fans back. If all our purchases work out and the likes of Carney step up then 6-9th is on. If we improve on to the start we had last season could be better. Watkins should have a better supply and hopefully more goals from Jack and Emi added to his 20-25 and set pieces should see us rise. Real competition if Alverez does happen won’t hurt and of Course we have Wes.

    Worse case scenario is Jacks injury doesn’t go away or we lose Martinez. If McGinn goes how does that alter the chemistry of the side/dressing room?

  54. I also don’t think being a year ahead of plan was a blessing as we were forced to buy a team outright and any chance of blooding youth and building momentum etc was lost, yes we gained funds but we also had to spread them thin and struggle. In one way it increased our resilience and defensive side but ultimately it does not mean we are a year further forward.

  55. Whats disturbing is their source is the Sun, also that they are going to make their bid in July?? meanwhile jacks representatives are talking with city, a breach of contract you would think as they have to seek the clubs permission.

    “Currently, under FIFA and FA transfer rules, if a club wants to procure the services of a player registered with another club, they must speak directly with that club and not to the player or his representatives. The player and his representatives will only be brought in for discussions with the potential purchasing club once the two clubs have agreed a fee.

    Often a club wishing to buy a player from another club will contact the player directly to try and persuade him to join them should a bidding war for that player ensue. Also, if the club wishing to sign the player feels his current club would be unwilling to sell, they may contact the player to unsettle him at his current club and thus persuade him to hand in a transfer request.

    The footballer’s representatives are likely to have a big involvement in setting up a meeting between the club and his player. The player’s agent will be the first port of call for the club wishing to gain the services of the player and often it is the agent which makes the first contact with potential clubs touting the services of the player he represents.

    Article 22 of the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations prohibits a player’s agent from approaching any player who is under contract to a club with the aim of persuading him to terminate his contract prematurely or to violate any obligations stipulated in the employment contract. It shall be presumed, unless established to the contrary, that any players’ agent involved in a contractual breach committed by the player without just cause has induced such breach of contract.

    Section C1 of the FA rules, meanwhile, prohibits a player who is under contract, or his agent, from talking to other clubs, or being approached by other clubs, without the consent of the player’s current club.”

    That said it happens.

  56. Sorry boys, you are way off! I say you are way off!.
    Compass’s mission statement is to build a team to win the Premiership, and that is the only way they can keep Jack, and fulfil his1 dream. They intend to build a great team, at a time when all the other sides are struggling to rebuild teams to challenge for the title.
    The only side that is in a strong position, is Man United, with a fairly settled team, and a settled management structure. Man City are looking at a rebuild, with several of their stars departing, and Klopp has a similar situation at Liverpool.
    Chelsea are looking good, while Spurs and Arsenal are in disarray. This could be Villa’s finest season since the very first , when we threw it away, having been in pole position.

  57. While all the pundits and papers are saying that Jack is off to Man City for the first £100million deal for a British player, there is a more sensible voice saying that no official offer has been received, and Villa are now trying to agree a new deal with his agents, even though he only signed a new deal in September!

  58. great to see the club come out and crush the jack going citeh chat so quickly today yet another improved contract on the table all sounds very familiar to the owners other sports franchise

    SJM imo is perfect for klopps system as his 3 in the middle are not about goals but more about legs allowing the forward players to do there thing , don’t think there hole midfield get into double goal scoring figures combined

    Will have to wait to see who comes in and who goes but I think villa will have a very good season and I am confident that the team will take a big leap in improving as a team and squad

  59. You never plan to be an also ran…. You always plan to be first and win, or their is no point.
    Dean Smith said at the start of his Premier career that he planned to win every game… didn’t happen, but he got a lot closer last season, so this season, ne has now got experience, he has got a plan, and he will certainly do better.

  60. PP- Every team in the entire world try’s to win every game, whether that is possible is another thing altogether, I like the idea the rest of the league have no chance for various reasons this season but I reckon Chelsea, City and Manure will be up there, Liverpool? maybe.

  61. Excellent stuff.

    One the one hand, the Sports Illustrated source says that Villa have sanctioned a move, ie, given Grealish’s agent(s) the green light to pursue a move.

    On the other, a new contract (which I predicted) is apparently being discussed. Which is to say, here’s your City pay packet, you’ve earned it. And there’s also the fact that recruitment is predicated on Jack staying.

    So, it’s still the case that Jack would have to put in a request. And Compass don’t have to grant it. Grealish is not going to down tools if they tell him he can go next year, but not now. In that case I believe he’d be whole-hearted both for love of Villa and his World Cup prospects. I really don’t think he’s going to create a toxic atmosphere at his boyhood club.

    If Compass were to sanction a move, it’s only because they figure an extra £100m added to this year’s spend would create a much better club overall. They might be willing to tread water for another year while everyone got bedded in and used to each other.

  62. PP,

    Don’t disagree with your line of thinking. Compass are debt-free and have the cash. There is a bit of ‘disarray’ at some of these other clubs. Not insurmountable, but no machine is self-perpetuating. Was watching a City fan yesterday saying they’re going to have to get used to players now wanting to leave instead of sticking around for 10 years. Do the replacements measure up? There are always going to be transfer mistakes.

    So to me, Compass are very likely to be thinking it’s time to strike. Liverpool could be picked off. And while United and the others have valuable players to sell, their owners aren’t like Compass. Of the CL sides next year, only City and Chelsea can keep pumping in the money.

    The league keeps getting more difficult, and the panic about staying on top was evidenced by the Super League plot. We showed last year that we’re now competitive with the CL sides. If we get a bit lucky with injuries, we should win more of those games we drew or contrived to lose without Jack. And we’ll probably find ourselves taking more points off those in the CL places.

  63. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head JC. The penny has dropped with EPL clubs that the new kid on the block is going to muscle in on them. I guess Citeh think by taking Jack, they weaken us and in so doing protect their cosy status.

    Compass have some news for them. The new kid on the block is a goliath that can take care of itself. The greedy bastards are going to have to get used to us stepping on their toes. Can’t wait for the season to start.

  64. For me it all sounds good in principle and we could of had a better season but for Covid last season and Jacks injury, thats a given.

    So far we have replaced the more experienced players with one upgrade even older player and will be using some of the youth to fill out the squad. The big jack missing hole has hopefully been filled by Beundia, and the pair together really should be something. If we get JWP and Alvarez in then I am liking Villa’s idea of a quiet window.

    We will see.

  65. So Grealish is going, Gabby has all but said he wants to go today.

    Question now is why keep Dean Smith? Who has proven useless without Grealish

  66. The owners of this football club are businessmen fast and foremost. I think Jack is leaving and that is something we have to get used to as Aston Villa fans. We have signed Buendia and Young to cover for that void and it is about time we acknowledged that fact.
    It is up to Dean Smith and his coaching team to get the best out of the squad for the upcoming season.
    100 millions pounds in this Covid 19 era is simply too much to turn down. As a fan it pains me but i am a realist.

  67. Nope Frem, the real question is why keep you ? The fact that you quote Gabby on anything speaks volumes of your credibility. Last year it was pathetic and hateful little rants against Trez and now it’s back to Dean Smith.
    Give it a rest .

  68. Don’t want Grealish to go but Jackvilla is right , everyone has their price . I trust the management at Villa to build the squad with any JG income and we have an embarrassment of riches at youth level.
    Villa are completely in the driving seat and it nice to see.

  69. Jackvilla,

    Entirely possible. Like I say, Compass will either say yes to £100m and build out the squad, or, as we’ve seen Edens do in the NBA, say I’m keeping my star. Either outcome’s possible.

  70. Good to see you, prox.

    Agreed, I do trust Compass & Co.

    It will be galling to see Jack in a City top, though, if he does go, and galling to see him playing against us.

    Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. How badly do City want Kane, for example, and are Compass just negotiating when they say he’s not for sale, or forcing Jack to declare himself?

  71. Cheers John.
    City don’t really bother me that much but I would hate to see him go to Liverpool or Utd. In the greater scheme of things I don’t ever remember Villa in such a good transfer position so I’m enjoying our swagger.

  72. People are really buying the Jacks off talk, can’t see it myself, the club literally gave him a platform to get to the euro’s rather than say sorry Jack we need you next season fit and ready. Or we are about to sell you so no chance we send you with England to get injured before we do.

    City need Kane they don’t need Jack, they might like him but they are rebuilding and two players for £230m? that is a bit rich for any club to swallow.

    It will only happen if Jack wants off otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever unless his injury is a long term stuck for life with type of injury.

    On terms of replacing Jack? can’t be done, like saying we will find another George best or Ronaldo they don’t grow on trees.

  73. The fact that no one has lodged a bid speaks volumes. Jack’s an expensive boy who lives and breathes AVFC. We all know what Wes and Nassif want to do. Jack’s staying. Dean’s staying. Terry and Shakespeare are staying as is O’Reilly. Coaching staff is beefing up and I’m sure the cafe at Bodymoor is Michelin rated.
    The youth are practically ready to step in at a moments notice. The women’s team is being built up. You can’t go anywhere in Villa’s world without that feel good atmosphere.
    The only players in the last year who wanted to go out was Hourihane and Heaton on loan and on a free. Both for playing time as the ends of their career is on the horizon.

    You really have to choose your news carefully. Who amongst the media are shills and who have something to offer that actually has some meat on the bones when news is breaking. Anyone who thinks Gabby is due for a Pulitzer needs to re-assess their news feed.

  74. Just read a good Twitter thread on the topic. Jack’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, “engineering” this frenzy with the Euros timing and what he sees as the potential to make Grealish a Beckham-like brand. As we’ve read elsewhere, it’s not coming from MCFC.

    Obviously, worst case for Barnett is Jack gets a new deal (as we’re seeing), and Barnett gets a slice . Which was what I suspected was probably driving this, cashing in on the timing. Have to admit, hadn’t really considered the overall brand aspect, as well as the cherry of pushing through the biggest transfer in league history. Naturally there’s money in all that, too, but also quite a feather in an agent’s cap.

    Idea is that this explains the timing and sudden flurry of “news” and “done deals” in the midst of the Euros. Fortunately, Edens has dealt with his sort more than once.

    Anyway, no real surprise, just further confirmation of what we hate about agents.

  75. Sorry Mark, don’t agree with your Ronaldo /GB analogy . Whereas you can’t get another JG , you can improve the quality of the team to such an extent that you achieve the same result or better.
    You do however make a good point on the clubs management of the player.

  76. I might be going soft but would Jack really like the next time he see’s Villa Park be in a city shirt? no goodbye, no lap of honour just a massive let down and a more expensive version of Delph walks away. There is no way of painting this other than ambition for him.

    I do think he can be huge media wise, would that work for City with the players they have? Like Beckhams days at Manure getting slapped by SAF is more like it, at Villa it suits the moment.

  77. Hmm , shill , good word Ian .Had to look it up as I’ve never come across it before . I might borrow that with your permission , for future use.

  78. Prox- the quality of the team is not everything at this point, and we all have seen what £40m can buy if you get it wrong. Jack is worth way more money in revenue to Villa than £100m let alone replacing him on the pitch, personality/ enthusiasm wise alone he stands out. We’d be fools to sell if Jack isn’t asking. there were $60m Ronaldo shirts bought the day he signed for Juventus, think about that.

  79. MK,

    Don’t think you’re being soft. Me, I can see Grealish thinking he deserves world-class money, and I’m fine if he gets it.

    But I don’t think he’d turn around in the middle of the summer and push for a move. Like you say, no farewell and probably a bitter taste left with a lot of supporters. Probably not the legacy he wants. At the same time, he’ can’t be unaware of his agent’s agenda.

    Agents whispering in your ear, though: “How long have you got left? Time is now, everyone loves you, what if you get hurt?” I’d hope Dean and others will be putting an arm round him and bring him back down to earth a little.

    No idea what’s said and understood behind closed doors, but he runs the risk of tarnishing his relationship with the supporters and club somewhat.

    I know the player has to look after himself, but Villa have looked after him, as well. Sometimes you need a father-figure to remind you of who you are. We’ve seen the England camp have a negative effect on more than one beloved Villan.

  80. The data guys were brought by the owners for a reason. The likes of Johan Lange, Frederik Leth and others are here to unearth the next Jack Grealish or potential elite players. I would not be too fussed to see Jack go. It would not be the end of the world. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very fine footballer.
    We have a burgeoning academy that has already unearthed Chukwuemeka and like i mentioned above, we have a data driven team to unearth future gems .

  81. Prox- I listened to an interview Jack gave with England and the amount of youngsters that wanted to ask him questions was huge. I must confess I could not understand half the crap they were talking but Jack loves his music and they even had a naming game for him, ended up the Brum city Baggio, I must admit I don’t like the media crap either but if it brings huge sponsorship and fans Villas way it will be the only way we get where we want to go quickly. The alternative is we sell our best players every season as they stop believing we can fulfil their ambitions.

  82. Jackvilla,

    They were, yes. And Ian can tell you better than I how Wayne Gretzky (NHL GOAT) was sold. It financed a new roster, and the team went on to win the Stanley Cup without him.

    For me, the biggest thing about Jack is the nearly unbeatable combination of home-grown, world-class, bringing attention to Villa…plus a joy to watch. Just a great feel-good factor all round.

    But, no one player is bigger than the club.

  83. JackVilla- I doubt they bought in Lange to find the next Jack, where are all the Jacks in world football at present? How many did Copenhagen produce? how many Jacks do Brentford have? the data is there to help make correct choices, they can’t turn players into natural talents like Jack, How many players stand out with real skill over the years? there are not many, I would not be wishing the one we have away.

  84. Mark,
    All of your points are good except that you are arguing from your perspective of logic, and as sound as it is , you don’t know Jack Grealish just like the rest of us. People like gabby are trying to boost their own profile by inferring some kind of close knowledge but none of us have any idea where his head is at. I don’t want him to go but it’s not curtains for Villa if he does , by any means.

  85. BTW Mark , off topic for a second , but I think you might enjoy Daniel Kahnemans new book ‘Noise’ if you haven’t read it already. Heavy going but very insightful on the seemingly random factors affecting our judgements . I know how you love conspiracy so You’ll find plenty here to light your fire.

  86. Mark. True Jack could be a one off. But like i said in my first post of the day, NSWE are first and foremost businessmen. They came to Villa to make a profit and they are looking to do it the pragmatic way. How many players will ever fetch Villa close to 100 million pounds in the next, say five years from now?

  87. John. I am familiar with the Wayne Gretzky saga but thanks for bringing it up. I think that is how our owners see Villa. A good player could fetch the club millions and make the club self sustainable in the long term. At the same time the data team will(hopefully) keep unearthing gems not spotted or underrated by other clubs. In America, they are so far ahead in the data business and i think Wes Edens alluded to that not too long ago that it is the way he wants Villa to be run.
    I am fully behind the decision makers at the club and any decision regarding Jack leaving or otherwise will be in the club’s best interests.

  88. Prox- I don’t disagree, jack doesn’t show any signs of stress though with England other than not getting played, that really f’s him off. Kane on the other hand looks like a dead man walking.

    Jack said that he was glad his dad never pressured him to play better just supported him and let him play, other kids he said got rollicking’s from the side lines etc. Whatever happened his dad was there encouraging him. I think Smith is that figure for him at Villa just as Bruce and Tim were, he did not like Garde, to strict.

    As you say we are not him though.

  89. prox- conspiracy? you men seeking the truth not often portrayed in the media? 🙂 thanks I’ll take a look. This year has been a great time for conspiracys being revealed as erm not conspiracy’s though.

  90. Yes Mark , “seeking the truth”. This coming from a man who along with John Lerwill tried to sell me on Edgar Cayce and his rag tag bunch of shills!!

  91. JackVilla- I am not so sure that its all about the money for The owners, they have more than enough to drown in, I think the challenge is what they seek out. You can buy an average prem team and milk it by keeping it up each season, that would be less costly and you could do it like Brentford with Data. They are looking for Villa to get back to former glories and I think they like that story. They also want sustainability, I don’t think they will recoup the Millions they have put in for long time and neither are spring chickens. I think this is for fun and for pride.

  92. Prox- Never had anything but a passing interest in what Edgar Cayce said, just know of him and a little of what he said. Have read many different views and ideas over the years and probably don’t even think about them anymore but it has made me look at the world in other ways than what’s presented to me as the only truth out there for good or bad 🙂

  93. Lots of bears around but none that i can see here. A lot in the lower mainland where the houses have been built up into the forest and mountains. People feed them soo they come close so they can take pictures. Then Fido gets mauled and everyone is in an uproar wanting them all dead. Can’t take them away as they are then intruding on another bears territory and they come back to where the food is plentiful.
    We had cougars and coyotes last winter but nothing to tell there. Hundreds of deer around, never seen so many.

    How are you?

  94. Interesting comment about the deer . There’s been a significant upsurge in deer in East Ireland but instead of a licensed cull the crustiest want a reintroduction of natural predation. That’s wolves! They want to bring back wild wolves ffs !! why stop there though why not Lions and tigers !! Until we rediscover that livestock and children are not as fast as deer and wipe them out again !!

    I’m very good thanks. Just had my second COVID jab but don’t tell Mark or he’ll think I sold out to big pharma!

  95. They’ve learnt how to live in urban environments. Poor Fido. I was confronted by a coyote walking the dogs years ago. Angus ran home and Megan hid between my legs. The bugger got to within 3 feet. I shouted at it and made a move towards it. It moved off 20 feet and followed us home. They are everywhere in urban landscapes now.

  96. Talking about owners as was mentioned, ones that milk the system and those who have some sort of vision for the team they own. There are some mega rich and their teams are close or at the top. The not so rich like Brentford who do well. And then those who milk and slowly pull a team down. Arsenal, spurs, and to a degree MU. Give Liverpool a couple years and they will be at the bottom of their cycle.
    Villa are now in the mega rich category and they have ambition. Like Mark said ancillary revenues come from sales of shirts for example and those revenue streams are important…build the brand. Eventually the brand is bigger than the actual team. Buying players becomes secondary in cost and salary as their worth is greater off the pitch than on.
    Poaching isn’t my favourite way of growing a team but it is one of the fastest. You would think Villa isn’t a poacher but they are becoming one. Under our noses they have poached quite a few academy level players. They are cheap, have good upside and in some cases world level ability for the future.
    The whole world Is a feeder league for the best of the top 5 leagues. Like it or not that’s the way it is. It starts with ambitious parents and a selling of their child at six. Then agents who make money out of nothing other than signing players up for nothing more than a promise. And on it goes one grifter after the next. A hermetically sealed system built to hose you and I the fan.
    Like it or lump it, this is the program. Villa’s owners are more benevolent than others but don’t think for one moment they will let fan feelings sway their thinking. They are just as ruthless as MU and Chelsea owners. They will have Villa in the top three sooner rather than later. So dear Villa fanatic, hold your nose and enjoy the ride. It’s a bit hollow for me but by god do i look forward to the games.

  97. Do I sense some realism creeping into the conversation here. Nice to see Proxpera and Ian joining in once more.
    I am getting the feeling that we are getting closer to the possible signing of Abraham and Smith-Rowe, using the funds of a sale of Jack.
    Ward-Prowse could also be on the cards, financed by the sale of McGinn.
    These are not what Villa fans in the main, will be wanting, but it certainly would give Villa an awesome team to start the season.
    We certainly would no longer be reliant on one player, and would have enough cover for good rotation and injuries.

  98. Blimey prox I’ve received more swipes from you than your Grindr app on a Saturday night.

    The rewilding thing is insane on a small island and all because people don’t have the stomach for Hunting. It does have many benefits for the environment, Beavers shape the landscape which changes all sorts down the line and also make nice coats. Ian has taken me for a walk a few times on his iPad around the trails, I’m beginning to suspect its in case he gets eaten so I can tell his mrs.

    Had both Jabs because I foolishly thought the Twats would open the country up, in all honesty I would rather have not as I’d had Covid anyway. There have been many deaths and injuries involving them around the world that in ordinary times would of halted them. Its surpassed all the other vaccine injuries over time put together and that’s with many unreported effects going astray.

    Eric Clapton had a very bad reaction and has spoken out but as usual the media curtains are being drawn shut just as they have on all matters Covid. The Virologist’s and Doctors that have been silenced by “the following the science brigade” are not giving up and the evidence is not looking good for them.

  99. Do English people actually use the exclamation ‘Blimey’ ?
    It thought it was just theatrical like the way we’re associated with “oh begob & begorrah”.
    You’ll be saying “Strewth” next .

  100. As for the vaccination thing , if the argument against is coming from a irrelevant former Rock star looking for a receptive audience to regenerate interest, then it must be true. ! How could I have been so blind.

  101. Prox of course we say Blimey where have you been?

    Looks like the media don’t need to censor anything your already on the case with blanket denial 😉 you could always look at the government published data.

  102. Must be a middle class thing Mark, most of my mates were pure Black Country working class so needless to say I didn’t know what they were saying half of the time.

  103. Prox- I can assure you mate my nan was 100% working class Brum and said Bloo-me quite a lot, I think the pandemic or the jab has sent you swipe happy.

    Some good results for us English on the weekend, Not a great deal between us and the final if we can beat the Gerry’s.

  104. I think Jack will stay another year. ive never thought hed stay for ever as he is elite and wants champ league and trophies which we cant give him. But ive always thought he maybe off after the world cup. We just need to use the time to attract good players and be more stable in the prem whilst he is here. As its shown without him we just cant cope! Buendia is a great start though. smith rowe would be awesome.

    thanks for any bitcoin replies, I went dark so will scan through comments laters

  105. According to Sky Gambling, we’ve had a second bid of £30 million turned down by the Arse for Smith Rowe.

    I assume we have received some encouragement from somewhere on this one. Perhaps they can’t afford the £40 million for White.

  106. A couple of observations, we are now where city once were with a bit of money and a lot of ambition, Can’t remember anyone swooping in for their players at that time.

    And since when have the club under these owners done their business in the open air? By the time we knew we were in for Beundia we had bought him.

    Dangling sums under Arses noses just does not seem right. Its true that we may have inquired because that’s required by law but I suspect the agents leak any enquiry for leverage.

  107. Yeah, Villa are generally very quiet, as a club. I think most are, really.

    I’ve never known whether it was only agents leaking things, or them and a combination of staffers, associated folks, who like to cozy up to journos and enjoy using their ITK knowledge. But a leak should be advancing someone’s interest, and not many people would be in on the discussions.

    So, with ESR or JWP, I don’t think it’s Villa advertising, and I’d assume it’s agents agitating for the contract or the move, like with Jack. The papers of course want the eyeballs so they’ll print anything over and over. My favorites are the cryptic headlines saying, “So and so tipped for Villa move,” when it’s some idiot weighing in and saying they think it’s a good move.

    The idea with Barnett was that he was using his paper contacts to drop these stories, and the link was clearer since apparently he’d written, or helped write, articles in some of these rags.

    I suppose I could see the clubs doing it as a way to get fans used to the idea that a player might be going, but that only really brings them grief. Could be a way to show supporters the club is standing firm, stoking a negative reaction, putting the pressure on the player.

  108. Plug,

    It seems like that’s what it is…Arse don’t have a lot to spend, ESR’s contract is winding down. Good time to tempt them.

    And that’s really the key to the whole thing. If you have cash, you obviously don’t need to sell to buy. You only sell if the player is surplus or to comply with FFP. But I read that was going to be scrapped and replaced with something else, though not seeing anything more about it.

    Anyway, the whole, “Villa are going to use the Grealish money” to fund these existing and future deals is laughable. Compass aren’t worried about making a net spend of zero this summer. They understand the cash outlays are necessary to build quality in depth. And they get around FFP by issuing more shares in the club, which creates “income.”

  109. Finally, a pox on the CL. It’s created this ridiculous next level of “ambition,” and players see it as the way to glory, featuring there, a stage they have to be on.

    The clubs want the money and exposure, of course.

    So, yeah, I do want Jack to get a chance to impress for England because it’s deserved for him and good for England. But starring there is the only other way for a player to get the accolades they dream of.

  110. JC the FFP situation at the moment is that its been altered because of the Covid losses etc, they are being more lenient I guess but I don’t think its being dropped from now on.

    Yep I would gladly bin the Champs league for the old European cup format. Maybe even extend it to top 2-4 if we must but maintain it as knock out over league. That would bring some interest back to the Domestic cups.

  111. Sorry JC, his head is still stuck up his arse. Such a negative team sheet, I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see that team taking the game to Germany, so disappointed!!!

  112. Fuck me its an absolute corker of a side, does Beaky have a scale of how frightened he feels on any one day and consults that before picking the team, did he not watch them against Hungary? or anyone for about 4 years.

  113. He’s shit scared of them. This team woud do Spud proud.

    As it’s England v Germany I’ll be watching and hoping. But I don’t have any faith in this crap.

  114. Jack Grealish. That’s all.

    If we manage to keep him we need to make the most of keeping him and sign real quality. We need a real DM, another quality striker and winger to

  115. There is no point in keeping Grealish and standing still.

    If we go into the season with same team now we won’t get top 10.

    We need more quality

  116. You know what I think I owe Southgate an apology, fair play he has set us out as he thought each time and although I would play Jack every day of the week maybe I am wrong and short bursts are enough when he’s not fully fit.

    His team keep getting those clean sheets and are very organised, Stirling did well but there is something about Jack when he gets on the pitch that just opens up things.

    Frem- I would say with Beundia, young and the likes of Carny coming in we have improved, there will be others coming in but I think we will see something special this season.

  117. Mark, I don’t subscribe to this “Beaky be praised” shit. The media are carrying him around Wembley on their shoulders right now. But the performance was plain crap until Jack came on.

    This is the poorest German team I have ever seen. And if Mueller had buried his chance…..? We would surely have dispatched them with an attack minded selection.

    As you are our resident statto, how many shots on target did we have in the whole game? Two? Anyway, we have just beaten Germany so it’s celebration time.

  118. How long will Southgate getaway without starting Jack 5 at the back with 2 DM;s yet we have so much attacking talent , if it wasn’t for Jack a sub standard German side would have won tonight

    If we played with 1 DM a bit like villa we have the players to play some really sexy football atm

  119. 5 games, 5 clean sheets. He plays dull football but so far successful football. If Jack isn’t up to snuff physically I would be pissed if he was to start every game. Does anyone know? As it is Jack comes on when the opposition are knackered and shines. Would he be this lethal if he started every game? Begrudgingly I think Jack as a super sub in this tournament. An embarrassment of riches on the English team. Try and keep that lot happy with their playing time and, it appears that Southgate has done that. It’s all for the team.

  120. Plug I had not noticed your pathological hatred you have for Gareth 😉

    I am beginning to notice a pattern among fans that whomever is in charge they are crap, I’m leaning more toward its not as easy as you’d think. It isn’t scintillating stuff but it is organised.

    If he goes and wins it I am not going to be humbugging at the back of the pub because it was Gareth 🙂

  121. positives of Southgate he has overseen the transformation of English football which stuck with an old guard of players and didn’t give young talent the opportunity internationally … It does help the we are beginning to bare the fruits of the FA grass roots directive which has taken elements of successful youth development from across Europe and implemented at youth levels and we have won 2 major tournaments at youth level

    But Jack is a fine example of the flaws in management and I am convinced that if he was of any other major nation he would have at least 50 caps and Gareth is a part of that .. even now after nothing happens unless jack is on he may still be expected to come on and change the game

    never the less we have talent coming out of our a— so anything can happen … I just think we are under using the attacking proses we have available

  122. Runtings- Can’t argue with that. Once big Sam buggered up the FA went with someone who’s teflon and crucially Knows the set up top to bottom along with the players involved.

    The problem is that Jack does not fit the system he’s been using for years now, he is shoe horning Jack in when Jack should be the centre piece as at Villa. Also he has trust in the players he has stuck with and like it or not Jack has to fit to England, class will show as it did last night.

    Asking Gareth to disassemble his project for jack is to much for him as he’s risk adverse ( although changing formation was brave) and likely cause friction in the dressing room, I think Jack will win them over and it will evolve.

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