Well, everyone saw it, everyone was sick at the end (and probably sick of reading about it), and no one will forget Bukayo Saka’s devastation. Really felt for the lad, Rashford and Sancho, too. As the latter were being introduced, I said during our watch party, “Can you imagine what’s going through their minds right, now? I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes coming in cold for penalties.”

So I’m going to start with those now infamous spot kicks because I feel obliged to say something in conclusion about it all, and I’m even more sick and tired of Grealish-to-City click-bait.

I’ve heard from all corners that professional footballers should uniformly be stone-cold from the spot. And in training, you surely won’t see many misses. But training is a far cry from the pressure cooker of a nation, continent, and even the world looking down on you under the floodlights at Wembley while you walk alone to the middle of an empty box to do something everyone thinks is a given—and with only a nation’s first tournament tournament title since 1966 hanging in the balance. Time to think, time to worry. Time to appreciate the magnitude of a situation that none of them honestly wanted to face.

The roulette wheel spins. You never know how significant your turn is going to be. For a regular like Harry Kane, it’s not so unusual. Harry Maguire? That was stone cold, but I’m not sure he has much imagination to get in the way. Regardless, you either convert what the armchairs think is unmissable, or you become a solitary, tragic figure.

For me, it should never have come to penalties. As I wrote in the comments on the last thread, England should be playing to avoid that situation at almost any cost, especially when history is calling. I know, better to still have a chance than lose by trying to win in regular or extra time. But then that really should be more suitable to Switzerland’s and Denmark’s line of thinking. It’s about a certain attitude, one we’ve become familiar with under Dean Smith.

But as penalties increasingly looked to be on the cards, Sancho and Rashford should have been brought on earlier in the second period of overtime to calm the nerves, work up a sweat, and get in the groove. The fact that both had been largely overlooked throughout the tournament can’t have helped matters either.

We all know Roy Keane is a top-flight jerk, but he’s not necessarily wrong about the burden imposed on Saka. At the same time, we all know what would’ve happened had Jack or Raheem overruled Gareth, taken the ball, and gone on to miss. That’s perhaps the biggest idiocy in Keane’s blathering line of criticism.

Southgate underused Grealish throughout the tournament. For whatever reasons, he preferred two cold players and a kid in the shootout. But he’d basically done that to Jack all along. In Southgate’s defense, we all know Jack doesn’t take pens for Villa.

The abuse (and violence) that followed the all-too-predictable result was disgraceful and inexcusable. But we keep saying that and still it persists. It makes me truly despair to see so much racism and anger on proud display, but I can’t say I’m surprised. And I know as well as anyone it’s not limited to England. Supporters and teammates rallying around the trio is heartwarming. Tyrone quite rightly calling out Patel was an added bonus. I applaud him for having a voice and using it.

What about the rest?
The match itself? Well, Gareth may have been crazy like a fox getting to the final, and of course we have to give the team credit. A big accomplishment given history, and they did take Italy the distance. But he didn’t outfox Mancini on the night, and increasingly seemed a little out of his depth. Where Mancini took full advantage of substitutions to inject energy and change the game, Southgate persisted too long with a lineup that had simply shrunk back to hold on. And then he persisted in not changing things enough. While remaining resolute at the back, there never seemed any real danger England were going to snatch a winner. While sloppy and fortunate, Italy’s equalizer was always coming.

Then again, at least one Italian could’ve seen red, and I don’t think the highly esteemed Bjorn Kuipers distinguished himself. All well and good to keep the game moving, but his bemused attitude toward the usual theatrics turned to a bit of cowardice when it came to making big calls that would inevitably change the match. However, you couldn’t say they wouldn’t have deserved to. Italy took full advantage of his reluctance to punish their tactics.

What’s next for England?
Every Villan has said it, then we piped down, and then we came back after to say it again: Grealish simply has to play more, and in all probability, Southgate should be building this team around him. He won’t, of course, because of 1) his defensive, overly cautious approach, and 2) Jack’s mercurial style. But he should. No idea what he’ll have learned from this tournament. Probably that he can keep playing this way and get results.

Within the legion of self-proclaimed experts doing the armchairs in comment sections of some of the more reputable papers, I saw “Grealish falls over,” “What did he do?”, “He plays for Villa.” You know. Also saw calls for a different set-up that doesn’t necessarily include Jack. Some combination of Sancho, Foden, Bellingham, Mount still, and Saka. But they haven’t watched Grealish play 38 or 46 games a season.

Where the critics truly fall short is not accounting for the most important element: Grealish is used to carrying a team. Used to being the one player every opponent focuses on, and the one who still creates, scores, and makes the players around him better. But you need to give him the ball, and you need to give him time to get involved. He still finished with more assists than Mount. Would England have got past Germany without him?

Mount is a steady player who does have flashes of danger in him. But Southgate already has a more experienced, ready-made playmaker and leader in his ranks. He doesn’t need to waste England’s time developing a player who’s nowhere near as battle-tested and not used to being everything to a side. Has he played in the CL? Sure. Does that supposedly make him more savvy and experienced? Apparently. But we didn’t see any real evidence of that on the pitch.

But if Southgate is going that way, why not at least assemble a cohesive second line? If Sterling, Mount, and Saka were and are nailed on to start, how about Jack, Foden, Sancho, or Bellingham working together and being brought on in quick and considered succession?

I should also add that if you’re going to play two defensive mids, Southgate should take a page from Smith’s book and make one of them a true box-to-box player who has a shot, pass, and creativity on him along with a tackle and a mean streak. I thought Rice and Phillips both had some great performances, Rice in particular during the final. Have a lot of time for them both, would love to see either at Villa. But neither really proved a consistent link-up man in this set-up, never mind Mount. England conceded the middle of the pitch, partly by design, partly by not having the trust and personnel in to use it. But Italy, and others, got used to the quick-hit focus on the channels and England’s insistence on playing wide and switching play rather ponderously. Dangerous early in matches, England were largely nullified the rest of the way.

Final Armchair Thoughts
You need that extra something to turn 1-1 into 2-1. You need unpredictability, guile. You need someone looking to be a star who won’t hide. You need that moment of magic. I really don’t think you select your #10 because you’re more worried about defending than attacking when you’ve already got seven defenders on the pitch. Mount faded further and further into obscurity in every match, while it was Jack left to rescue the side twice. England needed a foothold, possession and a more multi-dimensional threat in the middle of the side.

I appreciate the philosophy of bringing through genuinely exciting young talent, but again, if you’re not going to use them, bring in players you will. Still, England could probably have done with one or two fewer defenders in the squad overall, allowing them to keep Sancho and Bellingham around the setup, and instead included a couple midfield options like James Ward-Prowse or James Maddison. Quick, combative, creative, and maybe even lethal from dead balls. Henderson ultimately offered little of note. I suppose there was some leadership involved, experience, all that. But if you’re not going to use the middle, maybe it makes little difference.

Final, final Armchair Thoughts
As big an accomplishment as it’s been getting to a World Cup semifinal and then a Euro final, it’s hard to stomach getting so close and falling at the final hurdle. England may be used to it, but it still hurts. And it hurts more this time for how it came about, for being so attainable.

On the upside, England did take Italy all the way. With a little luck, they could very well have gotten away without conceding. They could’ve found themselves playing a man up. Rashford’s spot kick could’ve spun in off the post. Didn’t work out that way. Fine margins.

I’ve said before I feel like I’m walking a tightrope in offering criticism. Yeah, I’m Villa and a big Grealish fan. And yeah, everyone’s sick of the narrative. But from watching him play for the club so much, I feel pretty strongly about it. On the other hand, Southgate’s ways very nearly got England over the line. He just didn’t have the courage to makes bolder, better decisions when it mattered in the final.

We know there’s talent in the squad. We know there’s resilience. There’s been progression and we know there’s still room to improve. The World Cup will certainly offer more tests for England than this Euro ultimately did, but valuable lessons are there for the taking. The only real question is whether Southgate will take them on board if he stays.

Over to you.

Comments 91

  1. Don’t think there is any danger of Beaky baling out before Qatar. Which means we are stuck with him for the tournament.

    He will take a holiday and have a rest but it is incumbent on him to reflect on all the games and study his own decisions in the bigger scheme of things. And if he does it honestly, he’ll realize that he under used his squad big time. If you are allowed 5 subs, make sure 4 of them get a minimum half hour on the pitch.

    And the balance of his squad should be interrogated. Why take 3 keepers? Two is enough for a maximum of 7 games. Why take so many defenders and leave the likes of JWP at home? Why run Kane into the ground and ignore Ollie, Calvert-Lewin and Ings? We know the answers. He has his favourites. He likes low risk. And it comes up short. Select Ollie? Nah, he says he needs 5 full backs instead but then only plays 3 of them. Chilwell and James were well worth a full game each but inevitably left to whistle dixie.

    There are some seriously dangerous England attackers available. Well, you can lead a horse to water…

  2. On the disgraceful abuse of players who missed their penalties, we need to look at who these arseholes are. As Mark suggested in an earlier post, I’ve seen reports that 85% of them originated overseas, in Russia and Eastern Europe. Trying to be divisive for dubious reasons. All the guys I know believe this is regularly the case but the useless BBC tries to tell us differently for their own agenda.

  3. A brilliant leader JC,
    It said everything that needed to be said. We are fortunate to have such a good leader!
    Also agree with all your comments too, Plug.
    Now we have to turn our attention back to Aston Villa and the coming season.
    Looking forward to being back at Villa Park and roaring the boys on!

  4. Excellent summary thanks JC, echoing many of all our own thoughts about the tournament I’m sure.
    It is curious that the current England set up seem keen and able to bring exciting, attack minded young players through the ranks but then the top honcho is reluctant to use them when it matters. It seems that if Southgate is going to stay in charge (which I think he has to based on his success), then they should be concentrating more on bringing through young defensive minded players as they are the ones that he understands how to utilise.
    The few times that Jack did make it onto the pitch, I bet each person reading this will, on more than one occasion have been shouting for Shaw (or more likely Sterling) to pass the bloody thing to him. I wonder if part of the reason they didn’t was because they were being coached to avoid risk. They seem to have been coached to only pass to players in space and we know that Jack is often at his best in tight corners, drawing players to him so may not find himself in these open spaces. Let’s face it, it’s easy to find open spaces on a football pitch. . . . .they are the places that the opposition are not defending, because they are not seen as a threat.
    Southgate only brought Jack on when he realised that he had to swallow hard; allow a little bit of risk to enter the game; and hope that Jack would open up the opposition defence. The trouble with that is that 70, 80 or 100 minutes into a game, the rest of the team have settled into a method of playing and it’s bound to be hard for them to snap into a different frame of mind. It’s remarkable that despite this, Jack WAS able to influence games in the little time he was afforded.

  5. Hopefully, all of us felt a sickened feeling in our stomachs when we read of the racist abuse of some of black England players. It seems that some of this abuse has come from overseas but the worst thing we could do is to use this as an excuse to ignore home grown racism.
    When Tyrone Mings is being quoted by the leader of then opposition at Prime Minister’s question time, as he was yesterday, and conservative MP’s are openly criticising their own Home Secretary, it’s a sign that the issue is finally being taken seriously. MP’s are clearly having to question their own prejudices and public statements and . . . . .educate themselves!
    The England footballers and manager have been a huge force for good over recent weeks, not just by getting to our first major final for over 5 decades, but also by calmly and intelligently pointing out that we all need to address our own racist and homophobic prejudices. The worst thing we could do now is gloss over their good work by pointing the finger at others rather than addressing our own failings.

  6. It’s amazing that these racists become more abusive following disappointment. I really hope Twitter and the like step up. Maybe shame these racists someway. I don’t think it’s an education problem, it’s small minded people hiding and feeling they can get away with it behind a computer. If u look at kids under 10, they only care if you’re a nice person. It’s later people become racists.

    It may be good for Villa that Southgate held Jack back. I bet he’s dying to prove himself. I think the experience will have helped Mings. Hopefully he has learned to cut out those moments of madness. It’s such a shame that Trez is injured as he has done so much for us, he deserves to play with Buendia and Jack. Would like to see Wesley play full preseason games.

  7. VillaMD. I agree that there are still too many people who are overtly racist and know that they are . . . but hide behind online anonymity. I think there are far too many however who are racist without knowing it. It’s probably part of our inbuilt tribal nature to be wary of outsiders and I bet all of us are ‘a little bit racist’ on occasions, even though we believe ourselves to be above all that.
    I’m sure we’re a more tolerant nation than ‘when I were a lad’, and there are certainly far less tolerant countries and populations out there, but why shouldn’t we strive to be the most tolerant country in the world?
    It’s actually Boris Johnson who suggested something along those lines and I expect he believed in it when he said it. I reckon he’s a perfect example of someone who doesn’t believe he’s racist at all, but deep down has racist feelings which he probably doesn’t even recognise in himself .

  8. VillaMD, there are others who openly boo taking the knee and pretend it’s because it represent something marxist as an excuse for their racism. I bet some of them even believe what they’re saying. I do hope that other fans point them out if it happens in football grounds next season and that they are banned, at least for the rest of the season.

  9. Mark, on the previous thread, you mentioned pigs in woodland as a potentially sustainable way of producing healthy food. That’s exactly what we’re looking at! We visited a farm with Kune Kune pigs last weekend as they are grazers rather than diggers so are supposed to be compatible with tree growing. The farmer showed that they are not averse to a bit of digging, but did leave his saplings alone. A side benefit is that they apparently scare deer away which would mean that we didn’t have to protect the individual trees against deer grazing. Having seen a roe deer chewing the garden hedge only this morning, it’s a real consideration round here!

  10. r0bb0,

    Excellent comments.

    I saw that exact thing over and over, Jack with his hands out asking for the ball in a tight space, and it being played just as you describe, instead. Then always around and out to the right, back to Sterling or Saka, who, in each match, were increasingly dribbling into cul-de-sacs. The opponents adapted, and England wouldn’t take the alternative being offered.

    So, I think you’re right about the instructions. The number of times an incisive pass, and not just to Jack, was ‘passed up’ was astonishing, really.

    Just like the penos, I pointed to one of these instances as we were watching the final, and I’m saying, “That’s the ball Jack thrives on. If it’s anywhere near playable, he’s going to settle it, draw players and either pick a quick pass or inevitably get fouled if he turns and drives at them.” And it was indeed Shaw on the ball (who had a great tournament), playing it safely out left, followed by the inevitable pass backward.

    Incredibly frustrating to watch as the despair mounted and hope was draining from everyone sat round the TV.

  11. Interestingly, one of the guys watching is a Hammers fan. I’d not met him before, but had heard about him from our mutual friend. He’s apparently pretty high up in Kroenke’s organization (comms or marketing, I think).

    He held it together pretty well, but was absolutely devastated at the end. Inconsolable.

  12. VillaMD,

    I’ve wondered that, too, about Jack. Obviously wanted him to shine as much as possible because it clearly means so much to him, and wanted him vindicated. I’m so bloody sick of hearing every commentator bringing up this “he falls over to easily,” business, only to see him well and truly fouled just moments later.

    Anyway, yeah, I think he’ll be doubly motivated, and the camp training and playing time will have helped his fitness without tiring him, or stressing his shin, from playing as much as he should’ve.

  13. This window is soon turning into a bit of a poor one

    Apparently we are going ti turn mcginn into a number 6 and not buy another cm/dm

    Did Smith not see how useless Luiz and Mcginn were second half the season?

    Also apparently Crystal Palace are keen on signing West Brom star Matheus Pereira

    The bloke is absolutely quality and better than Traore and Ghaizi buy a long way. They’ve also signed Ollise who’s going to be another Eze. Two top quality players

    I’m not sure what we are doing thinking Luiz and Mcginn are good enough again, and that we don’t need another quality winger

    We all saw the useless amount of creativity we had without Grealish. Nobody stepped up. Buendia alone isn’t enough.

    It’s becoming a bit worrying now. We simply aren’t improving areas we are desperate for like a back up striker, quality winger and tall DM

  14. Something up with Sanson to. Has a Smith and Engles/ Guilbert feel

    Still not training.

    I can’t believe we think our midfield is good enough. Mcginn was extremely poor most of last season l, mcginn to

    We need better

  15. Robbo the pigs sound like the way to go, keep us informed and would like to see it one day maybe. There are so many good ideas out there that are getting drowned out by the Green and Vegan Lobbies its criminal. I’m afraid once something becomes incontrovertible science you no its probably mostly Bullshit, nobody fears defending their thoughts if they have the facts to back them up, so much today is not discussed including Racism.

  16. Plug yep The BBC don’t care about Facts, It was even on Newsnight their own program who reported only 5 accounts came from the UK, 5! and they still pump it out like every white English fan is racist. The Marxist’s wrote back in 1920’s that they would bring down the west by turning the races against each other and infiltrating education and media and here we are.

    To add to it Reporters jump on anything and promote it as Racist or England fans, One woman from GB news put a picture of Polish fans fighting each other up as England fans and had to retract it. A mural of Rashford had two words sprayed on it “shit” and Bastard” this apparently was a Racist attack? Gareth Southgate got dogs abuse for years and was called a C@nt in the street, Sadly I wish all the players that missed were white but they were not and some utter twats will say anything to hurt, might not even be racists in the true sense, the way people talk to each other these days on line is bad enough. I have the answer ban Twitter.

    Robbo- I can’t agree that your racist for booing the Knee thing or that you don’t know. As far as I can see the England team has Black and White players in it, like saying if you Boo Villa and your racist your only booing the black players, How do you know what people are thinking? they are your thoughts 🙂

    Of course different races have a preference about who they live with or there would not be a black or Asian community nor a white one for that matter, what matters to me is how we treat each other not what colour or culture you prefer.

    Spoke with a client as I worked on his house about a month ago a Black chap in High Wycombe. He was adopted by two white parents and was very chatty lad, he said he didn’t agree with the BLM stuff and the only racism he had faced was chap covered in tatoo’s that he sat and talked with. The bloke said normally I don’t like Black people because they are not friendly with me. His attitude was to treat everyone the same he said.

    To be honest I am sick of hearing about it and it won’t go away because we keep giving it front stage.

    “Do you want to know how to stop racism? Morgan Freeman said it best, “Stop talking about it.”

  17. JC- As I have said several times England have to play to Jack strengths. Just like Villa and Smith have to, ironic isn’t it that Smith gets battered for doing so and Gareth gets battered for not 🙂

    Maybe the Result and Jacks lack of pitch time worked out ok for Villa and England in the end, a win and Beakys never gonna change, at least now he has to be wondering why.

  18. Frem- Sanson has a Knee injury no idea how bad but looks like not good for sure.

    Beundia isn’t enough? how do you know that? jack was enough, and don’t worry we have a while to go yet.

  19. 40 million for Saint Maximum.

    We should be all over that.

    Baring in mind we’ve wasted 3 weeks trying to get Smith-Rowe, and Saint Maximum is much much better

    Smith Seems to like to leave him self short upfront and wide though. Did it first season and last season and looks like again this season we just won’t have any quality depth again

  20. Frem,

    They’re working deals. Relax.

    Bench depth will increase from starters who get replaced by incomings. And it will also get better if any of the youth convince they’re ready for first-team football.

    We’ve got the money and aren’t shopping the bargain bin. They want instant-impact players from day one in key positions.

  21. Frem- So we buy a quality player and we don’t improve? doomed then.

    Still can’t get my head around you thinking Rowe- Smith was anything but an opportunistic attempt in response to the fact he had two years left on his contract. I would say that he was never a serious planned target nor something we had pinned our hopes for the season on.

    The Club has said they will go for a player if the opportunity rises that was not in our plan, Sanson was not due to be bought in until this summer but we moved because the opportunity came up. Yes I know he’s not a great example just yet but he is in showing how the club is operating. We have the money to move when a chance arises, what our real targets are? who Knows bar the club.

  22. Robbo- This chap explains why I don’t see the whole Knee bendy thing as a positive move and why it will ultimately backfire. You could have everyone in the world coloured the same and the problems would still be there. I do think there is a concerted effort to stir the pot by several parties seeking to cause problems not solve them.


  23. Crystal Palace are looking to sign RB Leipzig winger Ademola Lookman who was on loan at Premier League rivals Fulham last season, as reported by The Athletic.

    Why are Palace signing better players than us?

    Imagine Lookman and Pierrera on the wings?

    That’s better than what we have. Better than Trezeguet, Ghaizi and Traore

    I don’t get what we are doing

  24. Ollise Pierrera And Lookman would have all improved us massively. Our squad has zero quality depth

    And they are going to Palace

  25. Mark. We had to sign him because we lost Barkley so we’ve simply replaced a player going

    W haven’t actually improved the forward options yet

  26. Mark, Ive watched the you tube video. I wish he’d spent 1 minute saying what he wanted to say instead of taking 7, but I agree with what he said. The point he seems to be making is that no one group should label another group, but individuals should call out other individuals for being racist or doing bad things. In other words. . . .we’re all the same inside, some people of all races are bad and we should call out those individual bad people rather than calling out any group (white, black or whatever) that they belong to.
    The aim of footballers taking the knee is to say. . . .we’re all the same. Black lives matter as much as white lives, or asian lives or any other lives. At the moment, some people are prejudiced against black people (or muslims, or jews, or gays) and that means that they have fewer opportunities than some other groups.Just one example, black people (and women) are under-represented in UK company boardrooms, and we need to ask why that is.
    You could say “working class white kids lives matter” and that would also be valid, but let’s start with getting it embedded into people’s heads and hearts that Black Lives Matter first and then we can highlight other injustices too.
    It’s true that working class white kids have on average fewer life chances than most other groups but if one of them had missed a penalty last weekend they wouldn’t wake up the next day to see the sort of abuse that our 3 players did.
    I really don’t see the problem with footballers pointing out that there is still far too much racism and asking us to change. I can’t help asking why someone would be so offended by the message that they feel the need to boo it. The only reason I can come up with is that they are racist. . . . .of course they’ll deny it. . . .but I think it’s true.

  27. Mark, we don’t yet have the pigs, but if/when we do, it would be great to show you round next time you’re in Devon. It was easy to decide to p[lant a load of trees, but looking after livestock is a whole different ballgame so we’re going to take a bit more time to see just what’s involved before we take the plunge!

  28. I saw some twitter excitement earlier over the number 8 shirt not having yet been allocated and wondering who they may have in mind for it.
    Could they be holding it back for Chukwuemeka?

  29. The question is have we really done enough to prove to Grealish that we mean business? Young and Buenida? Does that scream European football to him? I doubt it

    We need to adding top players. Our back up strikers are Wesley and Davis. Not good. Our wingers are not good enough, it was all down to Grealish creating.

    Our DM is Luiz who was absolutely shambolic and offers zero defensive protection. Mcginn was poor l.. Those two aren’t getting us into Europe.

    We need massive up grades on back up striker, another winger, a CAM and DM

    And there is no sign of this happening

  30. R0bb0,

    Good comments. Fully agreed on racism issues.

    For me taking the knee is a simple message – racism is real and let’s not bury our heads in the sand and think otherwise.

    I’m hoping that Carney and some of the youth come through for Frem’s sake. Frem, don’t get so stressed. The club is in a great place. Just enjoy and trust the leadership. Milwaukee Bucks are tied 2-2 in NBA finals. That team were average at best b4 Edens took over. I fully believe the same will happen for us over next 5 years

  31. Robbo- people Boo to show dissatisfaction, I have said many times that booing your own team is counter productive others disagreed.

    Having spent that last two years in Covid limbo and having BLM protests (riots , deaths etc) beamed into their homes for a lot of it, with the message that all white people are racist but nobody else being widely put out by the media, are you really surprised when the police, some government figures, sports teams etc have jumped on the band wagon mostly for appeasement or popularity that people Boo it?

    I fully understand that the message they want to portray is not the Marxist burn society one but if I started a party to do similar but used the Goose step and Nazi salute to symbolise it questions would be asked and no amount of explaining would suffice. They did not think it through and there was nothing wrong with Kick it out.

    White working class boys have no more chance than Black working class boys of sitting on any board unless you put your mind to it and stop listening to the bullshit about limits. Woman have more privilege than Men generally. Go to any other country in Africa or say Asia and ask why there are not loads of white people running the show.

    Racism is the biggest problem in our world it seems even though we live together peaceably in the UK. South Africans are burning their country and I might add targeting Indian shops etc, not a peep.

    Also the Cubans are protesting the communist regime and the west reports it as Covid protests?? I find that odd.

    lots of bullshit flying around.

    End of the day humans are tribal, the fact your on this site says so, people use football to express tribalism because it is inbuilt, its very likely many men have an instinct toward protecting the tribe, in this society its taken away. I doubt very much we will ever get rid of it and Governments use it for control and make money from it. We are at the end of the day a cash cow in the modern world. Not everyone is clever.

    Devon , nice part of the world.

  32. A GK, CB and a CAM are most-desired, Smith is happy with Douglas and Nakamba as his defensive-midfield options; he likes McGinn in there too. [

    I’m sorry but that is horrific judgment from Smtih.

    Cdm is probably our worst position with Luiz and Marvelous. We need a much better DM but we don’t want one.

    Wingers are our second most useless position, nobody stood up with Grealish out injured but Smith thinks they are good enough still?

    And Absolutely nobody to back up Watkins who’s Premier league quality. Again. For 3rd season in a row

    We are going to look at our bench again this season and absolutely zero attacking options. It’s awful

  33. We will look at our bench and have Wesley and Ghaizi. What good is that.

    We have no chance if getting European football with that level of quality

  34. Ha…oh, boy.

    This won’t be short.

    The knee? Very simple. Originated in the US, obviously, with Colin Kaepernick, as a very small and respectful gesture to call attention to racist policing and social policy over the years. Stuff we talk and talk and talk about and never seem to meaningfully address.

    While slavery might have been abolished, it wasn’t all that long ago there was a gruesome civil war over it, never mind that nominal equality of personhood and political rights were only granted in the 1960s. America has not been a true multiracial democracy for very long, and the embedded effects of the previous 450+ years of entrenched discrimination and non-personhood doesn’t just go away overnight. This isn’t the English/British experience, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t racism there, too.

    I, for one, find it an entirely appropriate gesture to be picked up by anyone. Leaving the penalty kicks aside, black footballers across Europe receive tons of abuse all the time. Given the close bonds that are formed, and the insights shared, it’s only natural that teammates are sympathetic. But, in the end, it’s about more than just two ‘races’.

    And there’s no reason that people who have the profile and platform to point out injustices shouldn’t use it. They don’t surrender their basic human rights, experiences, and voices just because they’re famous and influential. Those who don’t approve, for whatever reason, are free to walk away, register their protest by not witnessing it or buying the product, whether it be football, music, films, books, whatever.

    To boo, while also a basic right, does not seem to be the best-informed reaction. Some may not like it brought into the grounds. But those who suffer racial abuse and discrimination don’t get a choice about where or when they experience it. And quite a bit of it does happen within those very grounds. If there’s any ounce of recognition or sympathy within those hearts, simply choosing not to boo isn’t that hard. Again, whatever the individual reasons, that reaction seems to miss the point and spirit. It’s not magnanimous of spirit or heart. It seems to contain many other grievances which might be better addressed by these individuals’ own political acts on their own behalf.

    As noted by MK, the knee had nothing to do with Marxism (and this is an entirely complex subject/line of thought and sociopolitical analysis that gets reduced down to overly simplistic terms). Is it political? Yes, if it’s pointing toward anything that’s a result, or failure, of policy and intent, and that includes neglect or denial.

    Don’t disagree that there’s a tribal element involved, and I presume that Fear of The Other was ingrained in us over the course of our evolution. But, once something is seen and known to be anti-human, basically, we can’t just fall back on that and say we’re powerless to address however it’s manifesting itself in any given place or society in our time, under our watch.

    This also doesn’t mean any one of us at this point in time bears any personal responsibility for what’s gone on before. But, I believe we do have the opportunity and moral obligation to help right the contemporary vestiges of past wrongs—including how women have been treated like property and subject to everything from comments to gropes, assault and rape with such ubiquity for so very long. Or how indigenous peoples have been treated by colonizers. Truth is often uncomfortable.

    The fact that racism/discrimination against someone exists virtually everywhere doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do with what’s in our control. The hallmark of any society is how it treats all of its citizens, intentionally and otherwise: whether everyone enjoys the same protections and opportunities to succeed or fail on their own merits. And I do mean everyone. It’s a journey, and maybe the destination is far away. And it’s perhaps a shorter or different journey for many. But we put one foot in front of the other.

    As a species, whether it’s religious wars and discrimination, racism, gender mistreatment…We need to take those first steps toward global recognition that we are all one family, in the end, all god’s creatures and equally beloved by and reflective of god (if you’re religious). Our fate is ultimately tied up together. No reason it can’t start with America and Europe since we have in many ways shaped much of the current world, and continue to influence so much of what happens everywhere else.

    We can and ought to try leading by example.

  35. Grealish to Man City almost done apparently.

    Oh Christ

    Imagine Smith and us without Grealish

    It’s not going to be pretty

    Remember us in the championship with Jack and this season?

    2 wins in 20 something games without Grealish

  36. And to make it all better Newcastle getting Boubacar Kamara, a fantastic DM. Tall and athletic. Everything we need but Smith thinks Luiz who didn’t make a tackle all season is good enough

  37. Discrimination and mistrust goes down to the smallest groupings formed by humans. When we were kids and we had groups of friends where there were leaders of that group and there were the ones who were picked on. Our football team was a perfect example. The smallest player we had was nicknamed peckerhead. And was ridiculed hidden in humour. Even our coaches used that nickname. We all bought into that order formed in the team without any thought to any discomfort it produced. That social order is alive and thriving today in countless groupings of humans. Check out fire departments with the macho image dieing a slow death. The rookie being low man. And the introduction of females…well, the hazing grew worse.
    Add colour to the mix and now there is a physical means to easily continue the discrimination. There are ethnic problems that we all know of but tend to brush it off as the “latest of the boat.” An example is the Paddy Wagon, a vehicle to transport felons. You can see the bias.
    It will be a long time before all this is resolved. I don’t think it can be legislated, it should be an educational solution but until a break between generations and their biases actually happens this problem of ours is going to continue. We need to show our feelings and thoughts and not be like the ones who just drive by an accident without helping. It’s down to individuals to make a difference.

  38. here is one black guy that is sick to the back teeth of people questioning the reasoning behind taking a knee ,for me those people are either desperately uneducated on the matter of race or any other hate or are more interested in the counter arguments far more than the injustice that has been dish out for many hundreds of years

    If anyone thinks racial injustice isn’t real and is not intuitional I would suggest needs educating on the matter or have little interest in being educated …
    To say that white people should run things in a white country is fair enough but to block talented black or other people from progressing to a decent proportion is plain and simply racism …

    I am born and breed here and have experienced the best and worst of what its all about … there are great people here in droves but also a load of crap ones which is the same in every other country .. the key thing is good over evil and to my judgement the evil starts from the top and is supported by those who hate and those who can only gain in the status quo and have no interest in other peoples struggles

    Divide and rule is the current order but our players are seeking to bring people together as one … which is how it should be and how to move peoples living existence into a more joyous experience
    It was great to see that it was the little kids of the country showing there support for Rashford at his muriel sight , gives hope that the players unifying message his having a big effect on the younger generation …I don’t hold out any hope for people who are still arguing or questioning taking the knee

  39. Frem,
    I don’t know if you have noticed that every top player from all the prem teams have been subjected to transfers. It’s the season to mess with fans’ heads. Don’t worry, a whole month and a bit to go. Don’t bite the fluffy BS handed out by the papers. Just be happy you’re not Harry and Megan.

  40. I wonder why people let their pit bulls run free? Came across a big fella who was perfectly friendly but decided to chase Lola. Here’s me between the two after a few minutes of mad running around. Lola behind me and me staving off the other dog. Glad he was friendly.

  41. I see it everywhere in the streets, Ian. It’s definitely down to more and more people thinking rules, common sense, and simple consideration don’t apply to them.

  42. I blame social media (not AVL of course). It emboldens people and removes inhibitions and rational thinking. It’s worse than being intoxicated and places themselves above everyone else.

  43. With the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan, we’ve dodged a bullet. Checking out the squads of all 16 football teams competing, we only lose Dougie who has been selected for Brazil. Luckily, Argentina have selected a totally different squad to their Copa America winners so we keep Emi.

  44. I just really don’t understand why we aren’t going after Lookman and Pierrera. We’d be much better withy them on our wings than Ghazi, Traore. Get Grealish back in the CAM

    Our lack of creativity in the second half of the season was scary. A lot of the games, even with Grealish, we created nothing in games

    And at the moment we’ve only added a championship player to that. Buendia might be ok but it’s not enough. We still need a CAM, winger and better striker to back up

  45. Kaine Kesler back training. That has made my weekend. He posted a great tweet pic of him tangling with Freddie:-)

    Cash, Freddie and Kesler. That is top 4 quality at RB.

    I thought Olympics was u23 for football?

    Wouldn’t mind Perierra from WBA if he’s available for £20m. Lookman – no thanks, Bidace is better

    Frem – do you think any of our youth can break through this year?

  46. Frem,

    Think Buendia will be better than ‘okay’. And with all transfers, remember, there’s a reason they don’t do things everyone thinks or says they should. May not always be right, but there’s a reason.

  47. Beundia created the 4th most chances when he played last in the prem, I think Jack was 2nd that season Debruyne 1st can’t remember the other chap.

    So having potentially two of the highest chance creators or at least one hopefully rather than 1 or none is a step up.

    I hope that helps Frem

  48. Interesting insights and some really powerful postings there. They’re also a distraction form the inevitable transfer nonsense that flies from all directions at this time of year.

    I guess we’d all love to see 1 or 2 more high quality signings, but you have to believe that we’re already better positioned than last year. Buendia and Young will both improve us and last year’s youngest team in the premiership (us of course) will be 1 year older and wiser now.

    As someone else pointed out, Mings should have benefitted from his time with the England camp. It may have been my imagination, but it seemed to me that he consciously paused before making each pass when playing for England and he seemed more secure for that. Playing where he does, he can afford to take that extra bit of care, unlike the forwards who will usually be more closely marked and need to be more incisive in order to create an opening.

    It’s exciting that we could all probably name half a dozen of our youth set up players and you have to believe that a couple of them will start to break through this year.

    You’d hope that even if we added no extra players, we’d be able to compete in the top half of the table this year

  49. Robbo- I’m wondering that with the loss of several senior players, the addition of one older player, and the use of the youth the overall team and squad could be younger or at best the same, but obviously more experienced in the 1st 11 overall.

  50. Mark, good poi t about some older players moving on. . . mind you, Ashley Young in the match day team will add a year to the average all on his own 🙂

  51. I wonder why Villa are starting preseason games so late. Most teams have already played 2 games and we’re 2 days away to our first. There must be some conditioning logic behind it … or maybe we get enough preseason with 1st team vs u23’s 😉

  52. Looking forward to some games but I’m sure the team isn’t in this heat.

    Went into the local shopping precinct today all the signs for masks and shit had gone yay . Noticed that at least 80% of people in there still had a mask on though, and most of them were youngsters, saw a couple who had to be in their late 80’s with no masks on , I wanted to hug them 🙂

  53. robbo- wearing them, apart from being largely ineffective they are horrible to work in, cause other problems and stop proper communication, we use ours faces a lot in that. For the life of me I am stunned you think they are a good idea. We have pretty much cobbled together a load of unproven tactics for Covid and now feel we are stuck with them just in case they might of worked, In places where they stopped cold turkey nothing happened. Not to say there will not be more infections etc just that much of its pointless, I would laugh if it wasn’t so tragic. I mean walk into a bar sit down take off mask, why not add a skip and a jump to the table lol.

  54. The vast majority wear/wore facial masks for the same reason surgeons don’t perform surgery in their football togs…it’s prevention of spreading disease as are condoms, latex gloves, hair nets, and hand washing. It might not be 100% but it’s better than having someone clearing their throat in a crowded elevator into a 8×8 square foot space.
    It’s to help prevent asymptomatic people from infecting others unknowingly and also some protection from the clod in the elevator.
    Almost All virus related illness in the US is happening in uninformed or conspiracy addled vaccine doubters brought on by the GOP.
    Regardless of what’s suggested to you, why not just err on the side of years of disease prevention. I kind of like the idea of missing out on polio, small pox, and diphtheria as I’m sure most on this blog are too. Why wait until now to be an anti vaccinator?

  55. Mark, you’re right that the advice has been inconsistent and often appears arbitrary, but we do now know that wearing masks reduces transmission and severity of covid and other airborne diseases.

    Having poor hearing I am finding communication difficult without being able to read lips behind masks, but it’s an inconvenience I’m happy to put up with to reduce my risk of covid and reduce the risk to others, possibly at greater risk than me.
    It seems to me a simple trade-off to reduce deaths and serious illness which is still blighting the lives of
    Huge numbers of our compatriots and neighbours.

  56. Robbo- there have been proper studies done and ignored that masks are ineffective. The ones that most people wear are like firing ball bearings at some scaffolding such is the size difference of a virus. Your far to nice mate, death is not the worst thing that can come of this, already we are seeing people not wanting their freedom back. The real fallout from this is barely began , what cost to kids of mask wearing? I must admit I don’t have much sympathy for those that have sabotaged their own health and now ask others give up their lives and liberty for them. It still remains that hospital’s the best place to catch it or at home as transmission requires proximity and humidity to be right otherwise it doesn’t travel far hence masks generally naff.

  57. Mark, If you’re saying that wearing masks does not reduce infection or severity of infection then we’re going to have to agree to disagree. It’s true that there were mixed messages at the start of the outbreak, which in itself was surprising as the evidence was already there. Since then much more research has been carried out and has reinforced the fact.
    If I’d had any doubts, they were removed at a visit to our large regional hospital in April when I learned that since the beginning of the year they hadn’t received a single case of flu. This was an extraordinary statistic and they were putting it down to mask wearing and hand washing dramatically reducing the spread of the flu virus.
    Here’s one article which also gives a hint about why the messaging was confusing early on in the pandemic: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

    It’s become clear that the biggest benefit of mask wearing is the reduction of risk in infecting others because the virus is transmitted in the large droplets, many of which will be prevented from being injected into the atmosphere by masks. In other words, it’s the size of the ejected droplet which is important rather than the size of the virus.
    You can also reduce your risk of becoming infected by wearing a mask although the benefit is not as great as that of reducing transmission if you are infected.
    Yes, wearing masks is a nuisance, but when infection levels are high, it just seems the right thing to do

  58. Mark, I’m just off to share an orchard with over a million bees. My own research has shown me that I get stung less frequently when I wear a bee suit. . . . . . . I think I’ll wear it today 🙂

  59. Now we are being linked with Will Hughes.


    Other clubs like Palace doing bits, even arsenal being linked to good players

    And we want Will Hughes.

  60. We’ve still only signed one forward, although our creative out let second half og the season was shambolic.

    We haven’t signed a DM although our midfield offer zero protection.

  61. Robbo- Those large droplets end up on the floor as they do not float around. The dispersion by touching stuff was discounted a long time ago, its basically aerosolised which is dependent on humidity to carry very far. Viruses do not go away they are all around 365 days of the year what changes things is humidity. Masks will collect the moisture with the viruses in but eventually you will have a lot of Viruses that your bodied trying to get rid of in your mask, eventually you will be pushing out a lot of Virus instead of a bit of spit with some in.

    In over 40 years they haven’t been able to show they work but they have now? even though the Denmark study said not. During the 1918 pandemic people wore masks and the we know what happened then. lets hope your Bees are not particularly small or your in a world of hurt.


  62. Robbo- One massive problem with the masks and restrictions stopping flu etc to my mind, it hasn’t stopped covid, it has mostly remained seasonal. As things lifted last year we should of seen more Flu and colds, we didn’t. Also I haven’t heard of massive flu seasons in countries that did not lockdown nor mandate masks, haven’t looked either but.

    Much more likely is the people normally getting Flu have some of both but we know which one is gonna get noticed. There is no way in the world when you breath in you can select just covid 🙂 other thoughts are that Newer Viruses restrict older ones in the environment. The its the masks etc theory sounds just a bit to much like “look it is working”.

    I think this is the rebuke to your article


  63. VillaMD- yeah I wondered that and now we are signing young CB’s like its going out of fashion

    Frem- in that case it might be time to support someone else until they get their act together then? you might actually then realise how shambolic things can get.

  64. Robbo- I was talking to one of my clients secretaries and she said she is going to carry on wearing masks, she said partly to protect her Parents (dangerous as they very likely are not) and that she didn’t want to see other peoples faces when she was out! she quite likes it and likes being anonymous! its a funny old world out there.

  65. Seems like you are still determined to have the last word on another topic MK!!!

    I am with r0bb0 and runtings, having seen enough evidence, and scientists that I trust, over the wearing of masks, protecting those around us, and hopefully ourselves. The is very little argument as to actually how far the droplets travel that we produce, especially in conversation, singing and generally breathing.

    No-one likes wearing them and yes, it is very difficult, especially for deaf people, but we need to persevere, until we have greater control over covid and its variants.

    With regard to taking the knee and supporting the fight against racism, I see both sides of the argument, but it is a shame that it didn’t start with the death of Stephen Lawrence, or another black person, who died totally innocently.
    America and its racism, is very different in many ways to the situation here, in a much more tolerant society, although still present, especially in the very areas it should not.
    I would like to hear someone actually say that we should be proud of the fact that through William Wilberforce, we bought slavery to an end by buying the freedom of so many slaves, and only finished paying for that freedom a few years ago!
    We did not invent slavery. It has existed since time began, and it was black Africans that traded other black Africans, in the same way they traded goods. It is very easy to look at just a small part of history and not see the fuller picture.
    Slavery has not stopped, in fact it is now worse than ever, and every colour, race and creed is involved.
    Racism is evil, but so are many other abuses of the human race. Should we have not started taki ng the knee when Dalian Atkinson was murdered?
    No, we wait until an evil American criminal is murdered by a policeman who knew him well. He was a man who held a loaded gun to the belly of a pregnant woman, and maybe this is why some people feel strongly about it being part of a political act.

  66. Mark, we could trade articles and reports all day long to each try and prove our respective views but I suspect that neither of us would have a substantially different view at the end of it.
    One point I would make however is that, as far as I can see, just about every country in the world has introduced mask wearing at some point or other during this pandemic. With specialists reviewing the data on behalf of every Government of every country in the world can they really have all got it wrong?

  67. The one logical, science based reason for not trying to control covid is that the biggest challenge we face is climate change and fewer humans will mean lower emissions.

  68. PP. Some good points about slavery and the background to taking the knee.
    It’s a shame that the protest wasn’t initiated earlier in the UK but better late than never?

  69. Thanks r0bb0,

    I am in agreement that protests should have been much earlier in the UK, and with much more genuine reasons, channelled towards where it mattered, and that is with a very corrupt and institutionalised establishment.
    Unfortunately, Nigel Farage, along with the Brexit party, did as much damage as Enoch Powell, in turning the man in the street back to a Nationalist, rather than the cosmopolitan Britain, most of us had become.

  70. PP- having the last word? 🙂 is that what debate is now? Robbo produced his tadaaa article which I demonstrated has more holes than a colander. From what I have seen is that rationally masks should work, the reality is what we are dealing with is so small as to make them next to useless. Yes they give people a sense of security but that means they might be more inclined to mix with them on. I would like to see the level of virus in a train for instance and how much it is passed on with masks worn in that setting. Of course preventing infection also brings its own problems, getting covid is better protection for others than a jab, 99.9% are not at risk those are very good odds.

    The biggest plague today is shutting down conversation by claiming to have the moral high ground. You see cancel culture all the time now, its sometimes subtle sometimes not. I didn’t pursue the taking the knee thing with Runtings because in his eyes if I don’t agree with his view of it there’s no hope for me, You on the other hand decide I am having the last word not presenting a rational argument 🙂

  71. JC, that’s exciting for him and great for us to read too. The Bucks’ success confirms again that we finally now have owners with both the knowledge ‘and’ financial clout to take us places. To any players thinking of joining, or needing extra convincing that these are owners with a plan and the determination to see it through. . . . .there it is!

    Of course European football and the premier league will present some new problems for them but you’d guess that they will quickly be able to adapt to them.

  72. Mark, damn it. . . .I thought I handed you a saucepan and you tell me it was a colander! 😮

    I agree with quite a few of the points you raise about size of droplets and how the virus travels in the air, but the key point is that an infected person ejects far less virus when they wear a mask because the mask catches a lot of the droplets that the virus survives within. . . . . I don’t think you’ll disagree with that?

    Where I think there’s room for discussion is whether trying to suppress the virus through use of masks or ‘any’ other measure is appropriate, given the death rate of a fraction of a percent.

    It does seem that our government has now decided that a certain number of deaths is a price worth paying in order to maintain a healthy economy (which can afford to fund the NHS etc). We may disagree on our conclusions on that point and to be honest, I haven’t even fully made my own mind up yet.

  73. Robbo- Absolutely they can get it wrong, many of them follow each other afraid that if they don’t its then their fault. Don’t forget much of this is being led by politicians with degrees in Drama and the humanities. Much of science is littered with instances of one or two people being right while the majority are not. Just as Climate change may turn out to be natural cycles, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that and plenty of tweaking of graphs and looking at very short periods of time to prove its man made. That’s why I don’t see it as cut and dried., there is plenty of its the consensus in science these days which does not make it right. The consensus was once that the world is flat.

    The biggest problem with science today is it requires money and can be used to show whatever you like through data , peer review is only any good if the reviewers are honest, there is a lot of money to made and scientists are human too.

    I see the tech billionaires have all got together at Sun Valley and are all sworn to secrecy not to discuss what is discussed there. More and more is being centralised around the world and democracy is now pretty much a side show.

  74. PP- Cuban people are trying to throw off the communist regime at present, BLM are claiming that its America fault for all the sanctions , they are clearly Marxists and if our footballers draw more attention/money to their cause by association through the name I don’t think that’s right. Its an ill named endeavour, nothing wrong with the sentiment on the footballers side.

    Woke is destroying America at present and I think we will be next. I would rather we went about fixing the social issues we have rather than invent endless new ones or rioting over isolated incidences. The amount of stabbings in the country is just nuts, two Black youths were jailed this week for the death of a white lad in Wolverhampton (I Think) over a row at a pub, stabbed him with a sword. I was told that recently that white and Asian youths in Peterborough are whizzing around on scooter stabbing each other, none of this seems to get into the news these days and the respect for police and authority is zero it seems.

  75. I must add my congratulations to Wes Edens on the Bucks becoming Champs. Well done Mr Wes sir. Your task in life is now half complete. It becomes complete when you turn Villa into Champs as well. The motto from the Bucks team was….what we want is the other side of hard. Villa players need to take that message on board too.

  76. Congrats to Wes and the Buck , great achievement he has got me into NBA a bit now
    Mark maybe a didn’t fully word things correctly in saying there is no hope but what I meant is there is no hope of changing the views of people like yourself re taking the knee and all it entails …. You have proven that again on here by being more fixated on discrediting the BLM movement than calling out the ones murdering and holding back people such as myself and my kids …. are priorities are at completely different ends of the scale

  77. close to home .. my cousin the now late Paulette Wilson

    In her home city of Wolverhampton, Paulette Wilson’s legacy stands strong. On Windrush day, Tuesday 22 June, a blue plaque to honour her was unveiled on the side of the Wolverhampton heritage centre by the city’s mayor, Cllr Greg Brackenridge. The campaigner Patrick Vernon OBE thanked the public for their support and noted that the location of the plaque was apt given its historical context.

    “This was the former constituency office of Enoch Powell MP where he wrote his speech Rivers of Blood, ironically the same year in 1968 when Paulette arrived in Wolverhampton as a ten-year-old.

    “The reclaiming of this building by the community and the installation of the plaque reminds us of a poetic justice of history and social change.”

  78. Mark,

    It’s always handy in a discussion to see exactly what the points of difference are. I assume that you agree that:
    . . . there are certain gases (such as CO2 and methane) that absorb and then radiate heat and so will lead to a warming of the atmosphere. . . . . without them the earth would be too cold for us to survive.
    . . . the level of these gases has risen over various periods since the industrial revolution.
    . . . . the earth’s temperature is rising
    . . . . an increase in the earth’s temperature will lead to changes in the climate, including more extreme weather events.

    Assuming we agree on those points, then it’s down to trying to prove cause and effect, and we can agree that is hellishly difficult. I see that a number of governments are now getting together to (hopefully quickly) build a new long distance weather prediction super computer as they don’t believe that our current modelling is fully up to the job. As I understand it, their desire to do this has been prompted by a fear that the climate is now changing faster than existing models have predicted. My fear (and, having children, it is a genuine ‘fear’) is that we may already be moving the scales past various tipping points, some of which may not even have been identified and these could accelerate the changes. It is of course possible that there are unidentified tipping points that that will ‘reduce’ the warming trend, but I wouldn’t want to rest the future of my children on that possibility.

  79. Having been there before several times, is everyone else trying to just ignore the Grealish to Man City stuff until we’ve heard something real?

    Am I alone in not having heard of Leon Bailey? Apparently, Aston Villa fans are “raving” over the thought that he could join us, and I was fearing that perhaps I was being a bad fan in not having raved about him.

  80. r0bb0,

    Your wish has been granted. New post up focusing on transfers.

    And you’re not a bad fan. I didn’t know anything about him either until the links suddenly started doing the rounds.

    Seems we might be able to work more than one deal at a time.

  81. Ahhh. Drama teachers! Our prime minister Justin Trudeau. If you really want to rail on about a most ineffective politician he’s your man. What a waste of skin.
    Basketball, a game I don’t really understand other than its invention was by a Canadian. Hockey and football too. 🙂

    It appears that we have agreed to disagree on a few topics of late. That begs the thought that somewhere in the middle lies the answer.
    We in Canada are grappling with unmarked Indigenous grave yards at residential schools in Canada. Graves of children who were taken from their families, placed in residential schools to “take the Indian out of them”. About 50,000 children removed over the years of residential schools’ existence. There were 129 give or take of these residential schools and there have been 1300 graves found so far. The school in Kamloops has only searched 2 acres of a 160 acre plot finding 215 missing children. The school in Kamloops was shut down in 1978 so the atrocities are not ancient history.
    Indigenous Elders who attended these schools talk about the living conditions and treatment they received at these schools. It’s akin to the camps in Poland during the Second World War. Camps that were invented by Lord Baden Powell in South Africa.
    Taking a knee is the accumulation of all the hurt that has gone on across this globe. It needed to come to a head and that was George Floyd. Floyd was the lightning rod that has united all the peoples who have been aggrieved in the past and today regardless of their ethnicity or race. Make no mistake about it, humans are bastards, predators, and violent. Not a pleasant thought.
    People are ignored, mistreated and patronized every day. Perhaps this is the reckoning we deserve. A degrading climate through greed and a downward spiral in human dignity all for the very few at the top. It’s going to take more than a knee to change this and I think it’s happening.

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