Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford were on duty for England tonight in Euro 2020 qualifying but ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 score line in Prague.
Though Pickford made some important saves, Keane endured a difficult evening at centre-half, drawing criticism for his role on both of the Czech Republic's goals after Harry Kane had put England ahead.
Gareth Southgate's team could have secured their qualification for next year's tournament and kept themselves on course to be one of the six seeded nations for the draw for the Finals.
Elsewhere, Cenk Tosun scored a 90th-minute winner for Turkey against Albania and Lucas Digne and Gylfi Sigurdsson were on opposite sides as France edged Iceland 1-0.
Digne went down off the ball at one stage after taking a blow to the head earlier in the game but was deemed able to finish the match.
Meanwhile, last night Moise Kean played 64 minutes Italy U21s' 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland in European Championship qualifying before he was sent off for pushing an opponent in a mild altercation.
Reader Comments (204)
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1 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:05:24
2 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:38:32
3 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:38:57
It could be the midfield for England were static and not showing for him, similar to Everton this season. Unlike Stones, he's unable to find a man in tight space exposing the midfield when they're not on top of their game. Fine margins and not all Keane's fault, he's a little slow and gets turned occasionally but he's handy in both boxes, if his distribution improved who knows he could be an asset.
4 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:39:41
5 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:43:00
6 Posted 12/10/2019 at 08:51:38
Easy to pick on Michael Keane but not all his fault, and in my view, Jordan's kick to Rose, who's not great, in the air, and he was never gonna get there, especially against a player in a better position to attack the ball.
Gonna be tough but next week is what counts, I'm not that bothered about England, Everton counts as the priority.
Body language suggests a Michael Keanes confidence is waning fast if not shredded.
Marco Silva now needs to step up and prepare for West Ham, with a clear head and focus. I want him to succeed but I don't see any conviction and belief when going onto the park, from this squad.
I'd said judge after 10 games, and I stand by that. The facts prove this season so far has been rank and the board should make decisions, based on facts.
An very important week, and hopefully the season will not be compost by the end of October.
7 Posted 12/10/2019 at 09:17:56
We saw at the end of last season that there is a player in there but his confidence is shot.
Keane is getting slammed in all media, Southgate needs to take him.out of the firing line so he can concentrate on getting his confidence back at club level.
8 Posted 12/10/2019 at 09:18:05
It's the midfield In both cases.
9 Posted 12/10/2019 at 09:54:19
It also leaves a massive gap for attackers to pour through. It's a sterile system that only works for teams whose tactic is parking the bus and keeping the sterile gap closed.
10 Posted 12/10/2019 at 10:27:37
Lack of pace can be overcome providing you over-compensate with concentration, reading the game & aggression. Sadly, Keane is also deficient in those areas. I don't like to single out individual players for the sake of it and obviously there is more to a defeat than one player or one mistake; however, my early suspicions of Keane, which were masked for large parts of last season by the Zouma partnership are back to roost. The Czech equaliser almost sums up Keane's unfortunate "dozy" ball-watching unawareness of where the player he is marking has gone.
Spit the Carragher was slow but was an "in your face" gobshite who over-compensated his deficiencies with aggression & timing. Keane is also slow but is too nice, switches off routinely, watches the ball like a 10-year-old, and subsequently gets consistently found out at the top level.
11 Posted 12/10/2019 at 10:29:04
12 Posted 12/10/2019 at 10:38:55
13 Posted 12/10/2019 at 11:03:55
Southgate should curb his obsession with young players and just pick players who are playing well for their clubs. The Czechs picked a forward who has shown some good scoring form for his club and what happens? He scored for them. Rashford, Sancho, Mount, Rice all did nothing and Abraham came on too late to make any difference to the outcome.
I've no doubt we'll beat Bulgaria and this match will be brushed under the carpet and forgotten about. But the Maguire/Keane pairing does not bode well against the better sides quick forwards.
I see the forgotten man Tosun scored again. No doubt he'll be back warming the bench again against West Ham while Calvert-Lewin will be huffing and puffing away to no great effect on the park.
14 Posted 12/10/2019 at 12:33:36
As for last night, it is arrogant of the English to expect to roll them over in Prague. The Czechs are a proud football nation, they competed all over the pitch, and were determined to get a home result. Too many English players out of form, Barkley and Abraham should have started, maybe with Mings or Tomori instead of Keane.
Keane is most definitely not a bad player, but I worry about his concentration and if he is having a bad game, he has a tendency to get stuck in a rut the whole match.
15 Posted 12/10/2019 at 12:58:09
Poor performance? yes
Henderson's back pass was the main cause resulting in a goal. Is Henderson being slated? No
Poor performance all round by England? yes
So why single Keane out? Simple he's an easy target.
Before anyone says he is having a poor season, yes he is. However, so are the rest of the toffees.
Somebody posted that he's a nice guy, and yes he is. He's not vociferous, which is to his detriment. When did he last pick up a card? Not sure I can remember.
Give him a break.
On another note, if it's true! Silva has been given 3 games to turn it around, so let's give Tosun a run of 3 games, he's not been given a fair crack. He's scored 3 for Turkey in his last 2 starts. How many has Calvert-Lewin scored? Yet gets regular starts!
I don't want to lose to West Ham, but it might be a blessing in disguise.
16 Posted 12/10/2019 at 12:58:30
17 Posted 12/10/2019 at 13:06:51
18 Posted 12/10/2019 at 13:37:40
It's obvious the media will give him inappropriate negative focus, but it doesn't matter because the media and England are not worth fussing about.
19 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:04:03
Hope Keane can get his form and confidence up, still not sold on Pickford but he is still very young for a ‘keeper.
20 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:10:04
Second goal, Keane left his man and went across towards the ball at the near post. That's what a child would do. He should be old and experienced enough not to do that. Seems that England must be short of quality centre-backs (and goalies too).
21 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:19:04
Keane is a good player of Premier League and International level. His problems started when he had to play alongside Jagielka, who turned him into a nervous wreck. Keane has been making progress since then, though he still has nightmares, and still is in recovery.
So glad Delph didn't play, such a risk and waste of time that would have been. Southgate is just treading water, getting himself through this competition and positioning himself for a possible new contract.
The England setup know a good Manager, look at Southgate's predecessor.
22 Posted 12/10/2019 at 14:40:09
23 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:02:09
"His problems started when he had to play alongside Jagielka, who turned him into a nervous wreck."
Pleeeeease elucidate. This is one theory I cannot wait to hear more about.
24 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:26:34
The England defence, in the single person of Keane, get all the flack. While the non-existent central midfield is a bigger problem – for both defensive and attacking play.
Similarities last night to how we set up. Resulting in the centre of the park being effectively surrendered.
25 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:32:15
The midfield was non-existent with Henderson being the main culprit. The midfielders were not moving around looking for spaces when the defenders had the ball and just passed it back when they received it.
This was supposed to be a game that gave Southgate a chance to try some of the younger players a chance that failed, and to single one player for criticism is just the usual poor journalism.
26 Posted 12/10/2019 at 15:40:18
I see Mason Mount is getting top marks so yet again the media blue boys do not get the flack they deserve... and can someone tell me what Jadon Sancho does to earn an England cap.
27 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:03:04
Agree that two defensive midfielders, does very little for creativity Martin, but when I watch England play, they have rarely played with a lot of flexibility in the middle of the park during my lifetime, especially when you compare them with other nations, and not just the big-boys either.
The English have never been able to create a system which compliments their more talented players, and thats why they are generally the most methodical team, because they usually go for this over real talent, even when they have had continental coaches, so it must be something to do with how we have been coached from a very early age imo?
28 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:20:28
29 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:29:30
If you log on to, 'In "Defence" of 4-4-2' , you might find something that will bring a smile to your face in these difficult times.
30 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:42:35
So we end up we aggressive parents encroaching on the field of play screaming at kids to "get stuck in" and "get rid". Combined with the absolute dreadful grassroots facilities (mud-filled park pitches), it is no surprise English football has fallen from grace as the game elsewhere has raised the bar. I don't know the Dutch phrases for "get stuck in" or "get rid", but I doubt you'd hear it too often on the more organised and less parent influenced youth footballing establishments in Holland or elsewhere on the continent.
People complain about English players not being given a chance and the overload of foreign players in the Premier League. To spin that argument around, if they were good enough our clubs wouldn't look elsewhere. It's why we over-hype when someone comes along who looks half decent. Back to my previous points on Michael Keane. And I agree with the sentiment; not his fault. He just isn't top drawer and probably never will be, so let's stop expecting him to be.
31 Posted 12/10/2019 at 16:52:06
32 Posted 12/10/2019 at 17:02:38
It would thus appear that they can play well with players they rarely meet, but badly when in a team where they practise together for days and months on end.
What is the difference? The only serious difference is the management of the teams they are in?
33 Posted 12/10/2019 at 18:12:06
Anyone with less of a commitment would have been gone by now!
Give the lad a break, drop Calvert-Lewin for 3 games and let Tosun prove himself.
34 Posted 12/10/2019 at 19:01:42
36 Posted 12/10/2019 at 19:20:45
Why is it that players, who are not deemed good enough for Everton by Silva, are still picked by their national sides, and generally play well?
In the case of Tosun, who I have mocked myself, as not being good enough, has proved me wrong, in scoring three times in the last Internationals.
Why has Silva not noticed in his detailed training regimes, as we are led to believe, that he has talent in the squad, but repeatedly fails to employ them?
Get him as far away from the Club I have supported and loved for nearly 60 years, the man is a disgrace to football, let alone Everton.
37 Posted 12/10/2019 at 19:57:23
I sometimes watch academy football, and they definitely try and coach the players at this level, but its as if someone wrote down the answers and everyone else is trying to copy them, with very little variation in the play.
38 Posted 12/10/2019 at 20:01:15
39 Posted 12/10/2019 at 22:09:24
Theres a 1000,plus analogies of Evertons, chronic and consistent decline, generally the last 35 years, bar 1995, our last trophy.
Its chronic, that we have to relate in terms of vast amounts of time, and chew the crud on moments in games, mainly a few in any season in this period, that its clicked, and the mass per se, Great Evertonians, are happy.
What, how, and why, is now eternal, perpetual pergitory, on most of our threads, and Old Nick, takes the piss, and gets bolder, and as time honoured, gets the luck. Its mythical, the way its gone, but as a sporting club, we in my view lost the true competitive edge 30 years ago.
The club at the top level, has got to get a winning mentality and a Spartan type attitude at FInch Farm and Goodison Park.
Why, oh, why, is this a Bibilcal type curse, or a sporting disease that is incurable?
Give me strength but the chores of facing the RS, almost daily doesnt bother me one ioweta, as beyond their club, in football terms, most bar a few know sfa, and wont ever have the grace to give credit,to the clubs that beat them.
But we live in hope eternal, and this week, is massive. Lets crank the clock back the same time the last 4 years, and its ground hog day bar a few hours.
Surely, enough is enough, but, if survival and just taking part is deemed as being enough, then, theres no hope.
As it stands,we wait each day for the tide to come in and the same old flotsam, we see? Bar a few days a year, and each season?
With the backing, and layered support structures, surely Everton, must have some quality checks, on whats done in training at Finch Farm?
As stated often, too old now to get very narked, but daily pissed off for donkies years, with the guise of an alledgedly top run and professionally accredited sports club.
It doesnt stack up, but as in life what does?
Everton is massive but has fallen from Mount Olympus in football terms, and it seems the Gods and the owners cant be bothered any more.
Rant over, back to the ale.
40 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:19:44
I remember watching Match of the Day some years ago and Trevor Brooking was the pundit who was doing the analysis. Everton where defeated, the team escapes me. It was the third game after two results, the mid table pattern we are all very familiar with, started in the Moyes era. This game would have progressed Everton up the table to challenge at the top, only to fall flat as per usual.
Brooking squarely put the blame on Jagsielka and provided analysis and supporting footage to show why. Brooking shows how though Jagsielka looked in position, he was actually coasting. He was watching the play, but not taking up a challenging position and did not commit to tackle. The play would move into another defenders zone, but he would not have been able to redress to remedy the situation, the opportunity missed by Jagsielka It would look as if this defender was to blame, while Jagsiekla was actually to blame, because it was in his play that the challenge should have been made.
Brooking was particularly annoyed with Jagsieklas lack of communication, lack of leadership and shirking of his responsiblities. Jagsiekla was a England regular. I intialling, not liking Brookings attitude for some time , did not take heed, but the analysis of the next two goals was equally damming. I had great difficulty getting my head round why Jagsielka would have such a attitude, in what I perceived as a crucial game to. progress.
The pressure that other players where put under as a result and how a Professional Manager such as Moyes could not see what was going on, was equally baffling. Since that I was always sceptical of Jagsiekla in defence and could see these traits in his play throughout his time with Everton, with a increased tendency to make mistakes.
Keane joined Everton and they paid the right price for a potential England regular. But Keane had played with players who done their job. When he partnered Jagsiekla it was a whole new experience. Jagsiekla was a old pro, with a repudiation, who wasn't doing his job and would drop him in it, offering no support, cover or teamwork. Playing for a struggling Everton was bad enough, but to have to try and work with Jagsielkas, Keane confidence was shot. Only when Jagsiekas finally went and Zouma came in did Keanes confidence return. Zouma was out to do the job and work with him.
Zouma went and Mina took over. Lapses of concentration, looking good with the play in front of him, and distribution that is miles away from anything he seen a Barcelona are Minas characteristics, so far, when playing for Everton, not mentioning being injured. . When he has to actually defend, especially on the turn he is found wanting. Mina did look good against Burnley, but closer analysis throws up a different story. Keane confidence is not what it was playing along with him. Keane has been here before.
Silva has, 'in his shell' Schniederlin playing as a extra Centre Back to provide support. Everton are sitting a lot deeper as a result, but still defensive errors occur and leaked goals result. Even Digne is getting pinned back, because if he commits, there is little supporting play. Add to this a error prone Pickford.
The England set up is not much better, with a defunctional midfield and complimentary organisation / tactics and the effect on Keane is similar. He is a easy scapegoat to boot. Everton has a likewise midfield.
Big Sams tongue in cheek suggestion and probably the only good thing he uttered , suggested that Everton would need to employ a Sports Psychologist , but even be knew that the causes of Everton problems where deep and it would take more than one to sort out basket case Everton.
Keanes nightmares have returned and his sub conscious and consciousness are merging, as we speak. Poor Lad.
Mike, thank you for your encouragement. I am philosophical regarding the pending unslot.
41 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:37:35
Keane is limited but not much worse than the over-priced Maguire.
Keane can still do a good job for us and as usual the press have a go at our lad (like Baines and Barkley before him).
Henderson and Rice are as ordinary as we are likely to see at international level but seem to escape the flak.
42 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:39:07
43 Posted 12/10/2019 at 23:54:24
Silvas use of the squad. He patently either doesnt rate some players; Tosun, Davies are good examples or doesnt feel they fit into his system.
In December of last year at the beginning of the Christmas period, he chose to play Gomes, I believe 18 games in a row, and stick by and large to a small squad of players.
It felt very short sighted as over Christmas you often need more energy rather than scintillating play to beat teams as knackered and thread-bare as yourself.
Again this season he seems hugely reluctant to use the squad and give others chance when several players have lost form completely; Sigurdsson, Keane & Coleman spring to mind. Mix in our slump, the notion he has not tried to pick a side based on energy and compactness to stop the rot is identical to the spell we had last season.
It reeks of stubbornness, pride and actually I think you could say hes misjudged several players who could come in for a game or two to feel part of the squad and give others a rest.
If you feel cynical you might say he is sending a message to the board that he has little to work with and he can do no more with the crap he has at his disposal.
But far more likely hes just not very good.
45 Posted 12/10/2019 at 00:02:53
Keane is a trier but he's just not good enough.
46 Posted 13/10/2019 at 02:18:31
At any rate, I'm quite sure that Keane's often-poor performance in 2017-18 was far more connected to his playing on a massively infected foot for most of the season than being "turned into a nervous wreck" by playing next to Jagielka. Besides, Keane was never that good. I saw him utterly destroyed by Rom at Goodison in 2017. Never had a prayer against him. And his tendency to get caught flatfooted, which Rom exploited so easily, has been seen several times this season as well.
Keane is a player of great courage and nonstop effort. But no matter who he's been partnered with -- Jags, Zouma or now Mina -- he has always been our second best CB, and in my view has only average talent.
47 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:05:14
for the past few seasons, Everton center backs have enjoyed the protection of one of the modern games great tackling machines. The level of protection Gana offered Keane and Zouma throughout our purple patch last season reach astonishing levels. Coincidentally, people started talking about them as "Top CH's".. They're not. Zouma has been exposed at Chelsea, just as starkly as Keane has playing for us.
Of course none of that would explain why we are still so poor defending corners. But I believe the underlying problem there is the uncertainty and lack of belief created by being exposed in open play.
I think we have another glaring issue with Mina too. For such a tall gangly figure he is surprisingly competent and confident in his duels with pacier forwards... but if there is another modern player who allows his concentration to be broken so easily I havent seen him.
Mina should be the man. The powerhouse. The one who doesnt have to prove how hard he is. He is the one in the middle who can see it all, he should be Barking out orders when we defend corners and free kicks... But if he doesnt stop taking 5 or 10 minutes out of every game in order to continue his daft arsed Running battles with opponents hell bent on winding him up, his career will be over without him (or us) ever finding out, how good he may have been.
We cant go on playing stoppers who don't stop. We have got to try something else. A defensive set-up including Holgate cant possibly be any worse than the pairing we have now.
I shake my head in disbelief when I hear people say "I don't trust Holgate"... I can only conclude they fall asleep every time the curtain goes up on the current weekly pantomime.
48 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:13:48
He's had his recent flurry and it will probably take a few months before we see another goal or two from him.
Tosun has to be worth a pint, but this is Silva all over. He gives a player a few minutes as a substitute (eg, Moise Kean), and if they don't produce a miraculous turn round in the game, they are instantly forgotten.
He's got a squad. It's time he used them, changed things around, surprise the opposition instead of being so predictable that they know exactly what to expect from us, and are set up to beat us before they even take to the field.
This is why I have zero faith in Silva's ability to get us out of the trough of despair his tactics and selections have landed us in this season.
49 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:32:41
I agree that Keane is our second best full back and his injury did hold him back, but there was also in my opinion confidence issues and co dependency issues. When he does have confidence he played exceptionally well. I believe he now has co dependency issues with Mina unfortunately, though Mina is different than Jagsielka.
My confidence in Jagsielka never recovered from that Brooking analysis, which I found to be thorough and proven. I was careful in my own analysis of subsequent goals against and found similar instantaneous on occasions regarding Jagsielka. Up to and even in that game , I thought the same as you. I even thougt Brooking was having a go at Jagsielka on the first goal, but the subsequent analysis of the two other goals proved the point without doubtful to me. Jagsielka could look good , but under pressure went missing , due to a attitude I could never understand. .
Brooking, who I found arrogant and did not like, was a outstanding stylist midfielder at league and international. level and one of the outstanding players of his generation. As a pundit and analyst I grew to increasingly respect his opinion, which he give with integrity and knowledge, never being swayed from the truth or influenced by those around him.
50 Posted 13/10/2019 at 07:59:08
Trevor Brooking, West Ham and when you are at it Colin Bell , Man City.
51 Posted 13/10/2019 at 08:21:05
Totally agree with your comments.
As well as Tosun add Sidibee to the list, hes been written off already. He should get his chance on Saturday, and unless he plays an absolute blinder, will be back on the bench once Coleman has served his ban.
Also give Bernard a longer run, rather than in/out/in/out!
52 Posted 13/10/2019 at 08:40:02
53 Posted 13/10/2019 at 08:56:59
I agree regarding Holgate.
54 Posted 13/10/2019 at 09:01:50
Additionally, the midfield did not offer a pass out during the game to help the defenders.
As for our other players on duty, when are we going to play Tosun with another striker in a 4-4-2, or will Silva hang himself through stubborn tactics?
55 Posted 13/10/2019 at 09:48:58
56 Posted 13/10/2019 at 09:53:00
That's really my point, borne after years of being a frustrated youth coach; the system is not set up to deliver to the standard that other nations are able to because of their investment in grass roots versus ours. It's probably why every time we get a sniff of the next great hope (e.g. Barkley), it transpires they were actually just better than the rest hence my over-hyping comment.
I have been fortunate enough to live in Germany & Italy as well as spending time in the Netherlands. When you see their footballing setup & youth system, it's of no coincidence that since England's last successful appearance in a major tournament final in 1966, their main European competitors have enjoyed far more success:
Germany/West Germany: 3 x World Cup wins, 3 x runners up. 3 times Euro wins, 3 x runners up.
Italy: 2 x World Cup wins, 1 x runners up. 1 x Euro wins, 2 x runners up.
Holland: 1 x Euro win. 3 x World Cup runners up (not bad for a nation with a population of circa 17 million & look at some of the players they have contributed to world football).
Spain: 1 x World Cup win. 2 x Euro wins. 1 x Euro runners up.
France: 2 x World Cup wins, 1 x runners up. 2 x Euro wins, 1 x runners up.
Even now, with this team arguably better than previous, I don't see a strategy from grass roots up. The English game seems to just wait, hope & see if we stumble across a batch of players who might just hit it off once. There is nothing long-term about it.
Apologies for straying off thread, just a subject close to my heart. But, it is slightly linked as Keane is unfortunately an output of our "system"; one of those English players who is actually decent, but not as good as the hype would suggest and subsequently falls foul of expectation.
57 Posted 13/10/2019 at 10:21:26
58 Posted 13/10/2019 at 10:30:06
I very well structured and factual summary.
What it highlights to me and I firmly believe is, that a considerable number of English supporters believe we are actually better than we are.
Quite simply we are not, and your post corroborates that.
The way the last World Cup panned our, a good England team would have won it.
59 Posted 13/10/2019 at 10:45:05
Why can't we try 3 centre-backs in a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1?
By doing this, we could dispense with 2 defensive midfielders which I think is the biggest cause of why we can't attack properly.
60 Posted 13/10/2019 at 11:20:31
After the game a man called Alan Hill, was all over me, promising me this and promising me that, and after this said “well smile then son” I was never a miserable kid, but I had a much more serious personality when I was younger, and alls I was thinking was “how the fuck can you come to such a judgement, when the opposition were absolute pony?
I think the biggest problem with the English, is that they concentrate on winning, whilst the others concentrate on skill, and when the others get better “with the ball” they beat you, and because we have concentrated on winning since an early age, then we have nowhere left to turn?
The weather doesnt help, (ask Klopp!, Vialli, said the wind makes it really hard to train on technique in England at times) and although the kids at the academies have a better chance, Id love to have a look at European coaching where emphasis on skill and technique, seems much more important, than winning a game of football through strength?
61 Posted 13/10/2019 at 11:28:43
Doing away with a centre-mid and playing another centre-half will not benefit our attack.
Personally, I hate 3 at the back. It's been tried and failed so many times throughout the football world.
62 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:18:39
I agree with what you say to an extent but l do wish Marco Silva was more obsessed with winning.
I trained with Rochdale, Stoke, Tranmere, Winnipeg Fury and Seville. Who do you think l enjoyed it more with? Oh and it wasn't the Fury. I left after 40 minutes, it was so shit. Seville was all technical, followed by a run, which is nicer in the sun than the rain.
Everton have never really played 3 at the back but it has been very successful in world football over the years. It's just not very British. Its been 4-4-2 for years until recently. I thought we looked okay in the few games we played it last season as the forwards we have seem better not hugging the touchline.
63 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:29:00
If we hire a manager that knows how to set up a defence, I'd look forward to watching Mina & Holgate together.
64 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:33:04
A rather simplistic outcome is "little" Johnny who is actually technically gifted get's bored of not being picked and drifts away from football altogether aged 14. Big Dave who could simply steamroller everyone at the age of 12, so got picked every week, is no longer bigger than everyone else at the age of 17. but he was never that good as he relied on size & power rather than being developed, so gets found out.
I've said before, I'm convinced Messi would never have made it in England!! Okay, that's a tongue in cheek exaggeration!!
65 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:33:41
Everton and winning games is a bit if a 21st century myth, legend has it - it started about 1992.
66 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:42:43
Silva's job should only be about winning David, it should be his obsession, but when he sat down on the bench against Bournemouth, whilst some read it as very poor man-management, (it was) I also read it as a message to Brands & Moshiri, because how can he play the game he wants to, when his central defenders (especially Keane) are so slow?
This obviously brings about its own argument, (why not play Holgate? Why persist with tactics that do not suit the personnel?) and this is why Silva's job is currently on the line.
67 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:46:27
I played in a very successful 3-5-2 side that dominated Army football for several years (maybe not at yours or Tony's level but a decent standard).
I think it works if you have the right players. I suppose you could say that about any system; the now much-maligned 4-2-3-1 is actually a very balanced system that effectively enables a team to consistently have 4 players in attacking positions at all times if the players are right. If I recall, it really came to prominence with that Germany team who burst on the scene in the 2010 World Cup and on to win it in 2014. It worked, because they had the right players to make that system work.
For 3-5-2 you need footballing center-backs & fit as anything wing-backs. The obvious risk is being exposed on the flanks by leaving a lot of space to be exploited on the counter. This is why the wing-backs are vital and a holding midfielder to cover the flanks or slot in for a center-back who has to go do that job.
Get it right, and at any level, it can be one of the most effective systems in my opinion.
I've always been an advocate of playing the system that suits the players you have and not trying to make the players fit a system you want to play (if that makes sense).
It's all subjective, but at the moment, I think with the players we have, we would be better trying 4-3-3.
68 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:48:54
It is a contributing factor to our young players not developing as they could or should.
69 Posted 13/10/2019 at 12:56:53
70 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:01:24
Another thing I find puzzling is the withdrawal of our front men/man to defend corner kicks, this gives us 11 men in or around the penalty area the opposition have 9, the goalkeeper and the corner kick taker, out of the picture so to speak. I have no certificates or badges but I did manage a team at the dizzy heights of a Sunday league, we had a lad who could 'catch pigeons' I had him stand on the half way line, this removed 2 of the opposition to mark him, leaving 10 of our players to mark 7 of their's, and it resulted in quite a number of goals per season.
To round off, it has long been my opinion that the nearest man to the ball should take a throw-in, introducing a possible moment of surprise, it appears [to me] that waiting for a designated throw-in taker, gives the opposition time to get organised. I would be grateful if you could give me a more knowledgeable slant on these issues.
71 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:07:28
Those courses were based around manuals that concentrated almost entirely on positional play with barely a mention of individual ball skills. I have seen talented youngsters have their individualism crushed by that kind of football by numbers.
I got the impression that those manuals were written before Puskas and his magical Magyars ripped England apart in the 1950s.
72 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:11:21
It all stems back to the players and how they're used at the end of the day, but I didn't know Germany used that system in 2010 Danny, because my favourite game of that tournament was when they dismantled Argentina 4-0, (I think?) It was definitely a case of "the team v the individuals" and the Germans kept creating "2v1s" out wide, and this is something that I think is the only situation on a football pitch which is absolutely impossible to defend?
73 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:25:01
I can only imagine Pickford is being instructed. I know he's a hothead with a tendency to go into meltdown following a rush of blood to the head, but he does it too often. Smacks of Rugby type territorial percentage tactics, which as you say often only serves to return possession to the opposition.
A quick free-kick or throw-in should always be a consideration if it's on and as you say, catches the opposition unorganised. It's down to judgement of the scenario I suppose. The counter would be rushing and forcing play when options are limited and it would be better to wait until we are organised toaffect the situation better.
74 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:27:28
I used to play in midfield and the coaching was mostly about letting the ball come across your body and playing out the other side. Nothing wrong with this, but sometimes your opponent might come out of position, and it was possible for you to do a bit more with the ball, but "No! – Fucking come out" would be the shout from the coach, and bit by bit, they take definitely take away your individualism, no question.
75 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:35:43
76 Posted 13/10/2019 at 13:45:46
Just been rummaging around the internet and stumbled across the fact that in 1887, Sheffield Wednesday & Blackburn Rovers both faced each other playing a 2-3-5 formation. Now there's attacking intent!!
Yes, the manuals. I attended my first course in the mid-90s and the FA's approach was still influenced by the Graham's (Taylor) "grafters" era. Delivered by a coach on Portsmouth's books, the emphasis was to turn the game around quickly and get the ball into the opposition half as soon as you had the opportunity to do so & reduce their ability to be anywhere near your goal.
Going back to John's point, it didn't matter if there was anyone to receive. No emphasis on play, ability or technical skill, just play the percentage game & hope to steal a goal from a set-piece. I'd say that is going to maintain the status quo or ensure survival but it's not winning mentality.
Being exiled in West London, I used to attend some Conference South games until recently and that approach was still prevalent: "pass, pass, punt" as I describe it.
77 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:10:32
78 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:15:12
Nothing wrong with a more direct approach, but there's a difference between and aimless long ball and a directed long searching pass!
God I hate praising them, but if you put your football head-on, you can't deny it regardless of inherent uncomfortableness!
79 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:22:57
If the manager cannot understand combinations which produce more than the sum of their parts then he has no hope of getting a team to do so and over-achieve.
Silva has not one fruitful combination in his selections. He destroyed the only one he had, Digne & Bernard, by using Iwobi in a less favorable position to shoe-horn Sigurdsson in.
This basic stuff is killing him.
80 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:23:07
I still maintain that the nearest player to the ball should take the throw-in, but then again, what do I know?
81 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:29:53
I believe it's possible to defend 2v-1 by simply changing it to a 2-v22 with the added player intercepting the ball on his mate's back.
But I'll admit it's not a 2-v-1 though...
82 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:57:51
Those were the days when the inside left wore the number 10 shirt and was referred to by the position he played in, now the number 10 position can be occupied by someone wearing the number 66, I read on one thread that earlier this season Everton played with 3 number 10's. Now in the autumn of my life, I'm afraid that the modern game with its various innovations is losing its attraction, the fact that I am programmed to attend games is the reason I put myself through so much agony.
83 Posted 13/10/2019 at 14:59:11
84 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:00:49
He wondered whether someone like Luca Modric would have succeeded in a country with a big population- and where size/strength/pace etc are deemed more important attributes than technical skill, vision etc.
Of course Croatia knocked England out – and on Friday we watched England look (in my opinion) 2nd best to a Czech team with what seemed to be a higher quality midfield.
Doubtless the same points will be raised when England go out at the Quarter or Semi-Final stage of the next Euros.
85 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:03:50
Leaving an unmarked player 10 yards from the centre of goal wasas made to look far too simple.
Other than bad judgement. It may be they would have scored anyway, it just w that he didn't have a bad game, just not particularly good. A standard Keane level. Biggest criticism was he repeatedly tried to deliver 60-yard passes down the right-wing that mostly failed. The lack of movement and options from the midfield and forwards was poor all game.
For me Rose was terrible. Rice and Hendo poor. Sancho neve looked like getting past his man. Kane poor but lacked service. The rest okay at best. Barkley came on and did well, his stamina issues remain.
I used to compare Everton to England. Over-rated players, a lack of team cohesion, technically not a match for the top 10, outfought by the 'lesser teams', lacked energy, creativity, leadership, conceded to many cheap easy goals and struggle to score from open play.
England improved despite IMO, a poor manager because the average player's skill level, commitment and togetherness did. Too many changes in personnel maybe starting to erode that.
England have been poor for a while but results stayed positive.
Everton have never been that lucky. But, despite our own indifferent manager, I'm hoping our players can step up.
86 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:12:57
Vlassic has the brains to develop along with his skills to be a top player. How he couldn't get a game for us I don't know. Really poor management of him by Everton.
Lookman has more ability but if he or the team can't work out how to use it, it's pretty useless.
87 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:27:33
Unfortunately for Everton, and, in Keane's case, England, we just don't have outstanding centre-backs. Keane, Mina and Holgate are all very average. I also don't think Maguire is much better than any of the three mentioned. He certainly hasn't been spectacular for Man Utd or England this season.
As for Pickford, I think he is an excellent keeper in all aspects except for crosses and corners. This is proving to be the main problem for Everton as we are dreadful on set pieces and corners and we will continue to suffer until we improve in these areas.
88 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:28:45
Full backs stay very wide in order to create space when the opposition push up and close us down quickly. It passes over the pressing players putting them out of the game.
But 2 things need to be done to take advantage:
1) The pass needs to be accurate and quick. Pickfords accuracy needs to improve but high dinked floating balls give time for opposition to close them down.
2) The full-back need support and options to continue forward play.
Too often they take a touch and then play it backwards. This takes away the advantage and leaves defenders having to play the ball out.
It should be obvious floating a ball out to a static player that is being closed down will usually result in lost possession or backwards passing. Both are best avoided.
89 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:47:31
Tosun is not the answer to Everton's scoring problems and scoring against very inferior Euro teams is no benchmark. The way Everton are performing at present, they could have Aguero and Kane up-front and still have difficulty scoring.
90 Posted 13/10/2019 at 15:50:47
A goal kick that fails to be won or misses its target will, as you noted, generally go out for a throw-in. But that's relatively harmless compared to the potential consequences of a lost possession in the center. You've probably noticed that, even if Calvert-Lewin wins the initial header, the opponent is usually able to come away with the ball and immediately counterattack through our middle, which now offers feeble resistance where Gana previously dominated.
I believe that's the explanation for the change you've noted.
91 Posted 13/10/2019 at 16:07:40
Wasn't it Alf Ramsey, after tinkering around with different formations, that changed the old W-formation and came up with a slight variation using the full-backs as extra attackers?
92 Posted 13/10/2019 at 16:13:27
93 Posted 13/10/2019 at 16:38:19
I've today watched Japan beat Scotland in the Rugby World Cup. It was a superb exhibition of the sport. Japan have spent 240 days preparing for this, each player being paid only £100 per day for the privilege. Their skill levels and fitness are mesmeric. Training and commitment has done that, on top of innate talent. I'd have thought our lot at Finch Farm would aspire to such levels if we really are professional. After all, what else do they have to do there?
94 Posted 13/10/2019 at 17:36:54
I think what you say and today's modern obsession with formations goes to show that really the game is fluid when you actually play it regardless of formation. American Football probably takes it to extremes in terms of switching offence to defence but I suppose our game is similar. We set up in a certain formation on paper but the reality is we morph and flex during the game depending whether we are attacking or defending
Mike - great call on Croatia; a country with a population the size of Scotland (arguably slightly less). However, because they focus on technical ability & football rather than pace, power, size, "get stuck in-ness" etc, the gulf in class is huge. Again, like Holland, their contribution in terms of players provided is notably different to other so-called superior nations.
To all of you, one of the best discussions I've had and threads I've been involved with on ToffeeWeb... ironically, probably because we're talking football, not Everton!!! Roll on next week when we're back to normal. You can't live without them though right??!!
95 Posted 13/10/2019 at 17:37:21
96 Posted 13/10/2019 at 17:50:11
I wonder why that doesn't occur to our manager?
97 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:03:57
98 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:48:00
99 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:49:40
100 Posted 13/10/2019 at 18:58:45
I always think a goalkeeper should kick the ball out of his hands, if hes going to kick it, because its so much easier for a defender to defend a ball coming from off the floor, rather than one thats swerving around coming out of the sky, if that makes any sense?
101 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:05:37
102 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:11:58
Hi John , you will [I hope], have read Danny's response to a post that I believe is meant for you, I could still pretend that I was therecipient of such an excellent compliment, but I'm afraid the "George Washington' moment won the day.
Hi Bill , I'm not sure whose brainchild? it was to play without wingers, but I suspect that Ian Callaghan, John Connelly, and Terry Paine weren't too pleased. I suspect that it was a foreign manager, but whoever it was he helped changed English football.
Hi Peter , I say at every game "Put someone alongside Calvert-Lewin, the pitch is 70 yards wide, and we've as much chance of gaining possession as our opponents, and the goal is always in the middle."
103 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:17:48
104 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:23:10
I think sometimes ToffeeWeb and the edits play around with the entries so what we see as number xx can be read as someone else as number yy.
All the best John(s) and to all other fellow Evertonians.
105 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:37:04
Silvas Everton, get into some great positions, going into the box from out-wide, but because we dont get enough men surging forward, it very rarely results in us even creating a proper chance, which is absolute sacrilege, and also a contradiction of a system thats trying to get into these areas in the first place? Its a question Id really love to ask our manager.
Remember Stuart hitting the bar at Wembley and Rideout scoring the winner from the rebound, is not something Im sure could be possible the way Everton play right now?
106 Posted 13/10/2019 at 19:49:40
107 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:11:14
Barcelona were unbelievable at this, and I honestly think Chelsea would have lost by a few goals at the Nou Camp (Champions League semi-final I think) if John Terry, had not got sent off, and Ashley Cole ended up playing sweeper and gave one of the finest defensive displays I have ever seen, and Chelsea came back from two goals down.
How can 10 men defend better than 11? But because Terry lacked pace, he played deep, and Barca kept getting in behind, which started to stop with Cole's pace allowing Chelsea to suddenly begin to play a higher line.
This is why I think Silva should have started going with Holgate weeks ago, and definitely since Bournemouth scored their third goal so easily and the manager was left sitting down with a cob-on, with the look of disdain on his face.
108 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:26:46
Like any other contributor to this site, I wouldn't post if I thought I was going to be ridiculed. It is however nice to be praised, if praise is the right word, and I must confess that it makes me feel good.
If you've read recent comments, Danny, you'll be aware that I'm no fan of stats etc. I have no interest in how many passes a player makes unless they are constructive, and my appreciation of football, as basic as it is, serves me well. I believe I know when a player has had a good or poor game; the stats, and formations, do nothing for me.
I understand that stats will play an important part in your footballing life as a coach, and things like false number 9s, diamond formations, expected goals, and heat maps leave me cold – pardon the unintentional pun. Steve Ferns, whom I have met and consider a nice young man, has recently mentioned PPM, whatever that may be...
My philosophy on football is: you try to put the ball into the net at one end of the pitch and keep it out at the other end; and for every winner, there's a loser – a rather simplistic outlook but it gets me through. Once again, thank you for your kind comments.
109 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:47:10
I think Pickford aims towards the sides because there is more chance we retain possession there. Plus it could damage us less when we lose it. Pickford could be a top keeper but mentally l don't think he has it... as proven time and time again.
Vlassic looks okay but no superstar. He's not done much apart from score. But yes Silva did seem to get shut rather quickly... maybe he just wanted to go and it was the only option. He was awful when l watched him and in particular against Leicester first half a couple seasons ago.
We have too many confidence players and not enough that want to grab the game by the balls. Can't wait to see Gbamin settle in properly. Even though he hasnt looked great this season for his couple games Holgate needs to be given a chance. Tosun... well Silva gave all 3 strikers a chance at first but once he went to Calvert-Lewin he has stuck with him. Might've been different under Allardyce. So much more to these players with the right manager. If Silca survives these couple of months it will set us back in the long run. Anyone actually trust the club to find the right manager even if we do make a change?
110 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:53:41
Good point there about playing a higher line. He has Schneiderlin playing in the hole there maybe to contemplate. That would allow us to play on the front foot more, and maybe even get some men in the box. Imagine that.
111 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:59:04
112 Posted 13/10/2019 at 20:59:18
Over the last couple of seasons you see it regular players two feet away from each other, play a short pass, pass back to same player, same pass again resulting in those two players having 4 touches each showing up on their stats.
113 Posted 13/10/2019 at 21:19:34
114 Posted 13/10/2019 at 21:27:47
115 Posted 13/10/2019 at 21:34:37
I'm not a huge fan of statistics either. I just thought it relevant that given this thread originally talked to Michael Keane and the England team, it was interesting to call out possible reasons for the current state of the English team and the different paths they have taken since 1966 in comparison to some of their continental competitors.
My key point here based on the original theme was the deficiencies of Michael Keane and English players in general due to under investment in grass roots.
116 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:18:17
117 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:22:41
I will nail my colours to the mast, I have no interest in the England team, other than hoping that if any Everton players are involved, they play well and return to the club injury-free.
I watched part of the game, the score was 1-1 when I said to my 'Young Lady' "You can watch Goggle Box if you want," it was in my opinion, a one-sided affair, and I think that Michael Keane has been hung out to dry, of course he had a game to forget but he wasn't alone.
I have stated on other threads on various occasions, that footballers like everyone else are human and prone to make mistakes, it's easy to sit in a TV studio or in the comfort of your home and say, "He should have done this or that".
I'll try to give an example, it's easier to say than write, but I'll do my best. A defender can be what the pundits call, 'Touch tight' and the attacker turns him inside out, the outcome being a goal conceded, the pundit or Joe Bloggs says "He was too close he should have held off." If however the defender had decided to stand off and this resulted in a goal the cry would be "He should have been touch tight." I have jokingly remarked that I have never missed a goal scoring opportunity from my seat in the Park End, when, in reality, in my Sunday League days, I have been guilty of some shockers, I guess that's what's made me more tolerant than some others.
118 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:31:04
I too have no real interest in the England thing and never have done. Always been Everton for me.
I simply jumped on a thread linked to England based on an Everton player, which to me highlighted similar deficiencies we witness on a weekly basis when playing for his club, which I link back to my point about the problem with grassroots football in England.
119 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:39:13
120 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:42:11
Genuine best wishes & speak soon.
121 Posted 13/10/2019 at 22:47:19
Our soccer coach named Dick O'Reilly God bless him devoted much of his unpaid time looking after the team on weekends. Training was non-existent and the sum total of his pre-match instructions were "If you get the chance, kick the ball as hard as you can and take care of that big lad who is their Centre Forward."
Puskas and Co. changed all that but not entirely. After all these years, there are thousands of players, administrators, fans and players who think a bit of the old English biffo is the way to go.
122 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:00:57
I just think over the years we've lost our way in terms of being able to balance aggression with technical ability. I hate to say it, but the Germans are probably the best in that sense.
Going back to my point, it starts at grass roots and if your kids are being (un)coached on fields of mud rather than purpose-built facilities, then you fall behind. English football has fallen behind due to lack of investment at grass roots. Other countries have moved on; we haven't, hence we import their players now because they are of a superior standard.
123 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:10:02
The last time EFC had a decent central defensive pairing was Jagielka and Distin. Since Distin left, we have struggled in central defence. I have hopes for Mina and I thought Zouma looked okay last season.
I expect my centre-halves to be the hardest and nastiest bastards in the team – Keane is far too nice to be playing centre-half with top 6 pretentions.
124 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:33:35
All teams bar the first team do reasonably well and exceed, but transition to the first team from the U23s. It's a different game.
Bring back the Central League, and get some proper purpose into developing top-flight players.
Since its demise, Everton's stature, be it coincidence or not, has plummeted.
I sense only the Gods, past and present, know any answers about the fate and fortune of EFC.
125 Posted 13/10/2019 at 23:38:35
In the end one mistake can cost you the points.
You need to have incisive speedy attacking options so that the one mistake can be academic if you have goals in the bag.
Everton have nothing up front at the moment and look very tentative playing the ball out from the back which makes them vulnerable.
Either we don't have the right players yet or Silva just doesn't have an attacking strategy. Either way I cannot see things improving over the next few games. Silva does not inspire confidence.
126 Posted 14/10/2019 at 01:46:59
We played anywhere, on any piece of open ground, with any number, if you had 3 you had a game. We played SPOT on any wall we could find. We played in parks, school and council playing fields...until the council sold them off - yeah that worked well. We played from breakfast until it was too dark to see - next goals the winner.
We played, usually on a Sunday afternoon when the pubs let out, (players from Everton and the pre rs would even play and no quarter would be asked or given...though you and they would only pick on somebody your own size and skill level) in massive open aged and sized,what the americans call 'pick up games', sometimes 16,17 a side on a flexible sized pitch the size of a cricket oval. With a size/age range of 11 to 50, you learned to run and dodge, when to hold it and when to get rid.
Short version;Those parks, whats left, are deserted now and there's a fair part of your problem.
127 Posted 14/10/2019 at 11:30:22
The Pudding or Beef moments, and on the occasion when you couldn't find someone to pair up with, you took up the position of 'Jackabo' [Jack o' Both sides,] this allowed you to kick whichever way you wanted, but it did cause a bit of confusion, because someone would pass the ball to you, and you would repay them by scoring against them. I'll end this post as I began it, 'They were the days'.
128 Posted 14/10/2019 at 11:48:17
My father taught me how to take a penalty by offering me half-a-crown if I could hit the garage door that he was defending. Half-a-crown became five bob, became ten bob (a bank note) became a pound, two pound, a fiver and then a save! Time to go in now he said.
A true blue, had to win.
129 Posted 14/10/2019 at 12:52:05
I wouldnt argue against that, Id have the two leagues run simultaneously, (every fortnight maybe?) and when I look at Moise Kean, I think that this is the best example I can give of the stupidity of doing away with a league, that helped players gain quite a lot of experience?
130 Posted 14/10/2019 at 13:12:37
131 Posted 14/10/2019 at 13:23:05
132 Posted 14/10/2019 at 15:19:24
1. Make slow players faster.
2. Make dull-thinking players creative.
3. Make erratic players less erractic.
4. Make poor maksmen into world-class scorers.
5. Make Pickford grow another four inches.
6. Make Silva's pre- and post-game comments seem sensible.
7. After games like Burnley, make Evertonians less likely to tear their hair out.
133 Posted 14/10/2019 at 16:11:56
I enjoy reading your comments as being 79 we come from the same era. I was wondering about your Sunday league experience as I ran a team in the Liverpool and District Sunday League from the late sixties to the mid-70s. I was also on the league management committee as Registration Secretary.
134 Posted 14/10/2019 at 17:22:03
I think the old Central League was far better than the Under23 league. For a start if you werent picked for the first team you played for the reserves in the Central league. Nowadays you never see a regular first team player ever play for the Under-23 side, maybe because of the age restriction but mostly as most first team players have it in their contracts that they play for the first team and no other team.
Also the Central League had some top players playing, either recovering from injury or recovering from a lack of form. But now, this doesn't happen, so how anyone can say that the Under 23 league is better, I don't know.
This has become a league for youngsters not included in the first team, so obviously they never play against really top-class players but just against lads of their own age.
135 Posted 14/10/2019 at 18:24:34
My Sunday League experience didn't start until 1968, a year after I moved to Skelmersdale, a group of us formed a team representing Upholland Labour Club in the summer of 1967. Unfortunately, we were too late to compete in that season, [12 teams had beaten us to the punch]. I was 29 by that time and the lad who we made manager, [in his wisdom?] made me captain, he didn't last the course so I took over the reins and became Secretary/Manager.
The League had been extended to two divisions and to tell the truth we didn't pull up any trees. but they were a great set of lads, we had some hard times in that first season and on occasion we were unable to field a team, the League committee however in an effort to maintain our membership. allowed us to feature guest players and treated our fixtures as friendlies'
In 1971 with a vastly different group of players, we reached a Cup Final losing 3-0 at Skelmersdale United's ground, and finished runners up to the same team in the League. I claim no credit for assembling that team, it was a case of the goalkeeper knowing an outside right, the centre half knowing a centre forward etc.
I then became League Secretary for a couple of seasons, the League had increased to three divisions of 10 teams, but I took on a bit too much responsibility, being also Registration Secretary, referee appointment's secretary, and press officer, reporting on 15 games a week. I relinquished all posts and for a couple of years had no involvement in Sunday football at.
A new housing estate had been developed in Skem and my brother-in-law asked me if I would consider taking over as manager of a club they were about to form, I said I would think about it, half an hour later he returned and asked me if I'd made my mind up as they were holding a meeting that evening, I sat in at the meeting and when it emerged that they had no kit and no money it was a challenge I accepted. I bought a second hand kit from one of the other clubs in the League, set the subs figure they had to pay and eventually got them a headquarters In the Labour club, so it was a reformed Upholland Labour FC.
Like the first experience, good players introduced good players to the club, and we eventually won a Cup, and finished the season as runners up in the League. I never claimed that we were the best team in Skelmersdale, but I did my best to make it the best club.
Later on I managed a works team, and became Chairman of a pub team, unless you've run an amateur team, you won't be able to understand the fact that it's not just a Sunday job, the same problems present themselves. I found myself constantly mulling over team selection whilst at work, it may explain my attitude to Marco Silva and his like, their consolation is that they get well paid, and the amateur manager invariably pays.
136 Posted 14/10/2019 at 19:10:36
137 Posted 14/10/2019 at 19:15:55
138 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:06:40
139 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:19:30
Incidentally that's Barkley just got his second goal of England's three. Already one warning for the Bulgarian crowd's racism
140 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:24:58
I'm watching Ukraine demolish Cristiano and Portugal, but I guess I'll switch over.
141 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:29:03
Anyway, that's the politics out the way. A stroll in the park for England tonight but this match won't finish. Second stoppage already and not even half time.
142 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:31:15
143 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:45:34
It just says final step is to abandon. Not sure if that means normal rules apply. Now, it may have changed, but didn't there used to be a time rule? If I recall, called off before 60 minutes = replay. After 60 minutes, result stands. Don't quote me, I could be out of date or inaccurate.
Noticed a load of ultras left; maybe that's got rid of it.
144 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:47:35
145 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:51:14
146 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:53:06
147 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:53:32
148 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:57:02
A couple of hundred dick heads are destroying many peoples perception of that country.
149 Posted 14/10/2019 at 20:59:30
I would like to think, in any case, that condemning the vile racism we've heard tonight wouldn't even be a political point.
Damn you, now I'm talking about it.
150 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:06:33
151 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:08:41
152 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:12:14
153 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:16:53
I'm not an avid international football follower or England fan, and don't want to be Mr Negative / spoil the party, but this is one of those games where you really wouldn't want to get carried away.
Training match & have barely had to step out of 2nd gear.
154 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:17:51
Tell you what, Mings is miles better than Keane.
155 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:18:31
156 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:20:13
Talking about Skem you must have lived there when Skem reached the amateur cup final that they drew at Wembly and lost at Man City old ground against Bishop Auckland from up the north east. We had 1 player who played for Skem Norman Whitehead and I remember the chairman of Skem coming to our house asking permission to play him. I think his name was Gregson, he owned Crown Coachways and was a band leader at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton.
The biggest complaint I received as registration secretary was from the local postman as the registration forms at that time were on a piece of cardboard about 8 x 6. so you can imagine the weight.
157 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:20:29
158 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:22:46
159 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:24:34
160 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:25:18
Despite that, every time he appears on screen all that I see is a lazy half arsed player ambling around like he's in an under 18 kickaround.
Glad we got shut. The next Glen Hoddle or Matt Le Tissier he certainly never will be. If he upped his application 100% every game then maybe. He won't.
161 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:25:43
162 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:28:23
165 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:35:52
166 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:41:58
I had a feeling they came to make a point and then left of their own volition. They were ultras not football fans. They should be known faces and not be allowed to buy a ticket in the first place.
167 Posted 14/10/2019 at 21:59:39
Sure England did the business as we expected but the real test is the finals when the cream of the crop get together as they usually do, as in the World cup finals.
Still can't figure why Kyle walker is not favoured by this jerk Southgate.
168 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:18:17
Maguire now seems "untouchable" due to his £80 M price tag and the fact he plays for Utd.and Tomori seems to be the "coming man", by all accounts.
Does this mean the end of the line for our man?
He certainly seems to be the favoured scapegoat whenever England have a poor, or unexpectedly poor, performance.
169 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:30:16
Hugh 170] yes it probably does. Keanes problem ( aside from not being that good) is that he doesnt play for a high profile club. Had he played for Man City, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea etc he wouldnt have been dropped tonight.
170 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:30:58
I mean, what's the point in San Marino, Gibraltar, Andorra or the Faroe Islands being thrown into groups with the likes of Spain, France & the likes?
I suppose you could argue qualifiers for the sake of qualifiers, but is that not how the FA Cup works? How many rounds go on behind to scenes so to speak before what we know as the competition real (3rd round) starts?
171 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:48:27
The chairman you refer to was Bill Gregson, he was as you state, a member of the band that played in the Tower Ballroom, I didn't know that he was the band leader. I'm not sure that he owned Crown Coaches, but I believe he owned The Royal Tiger, a regular haunt of Everton and Liverpool players.
172 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:50:07
1] Bulgaria get kicked out of the Euros
2] Britain leave the EU on 31st Oct
3] Silva replaced by Moyes by November
173 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:53:08
Wonderful stuff guys. It takes a lot of dedication to run an amateur football team.
I remember being part of new team which was to represent the Corner House at the top of Athol street.. . What a shambles we were. We didnt even asked the managers permission.
The squad was made up of all "our gang". Dont get me wrong, we had some very decent players, but we were boys looking to play in a mans world and we didnt have an administrative brain between us.
Somehow (more by luck than judgement), we arrived for our first game having acquired brand new new balls and a brand new kit (I don't even want to think about where they came from). We even had the pitch and the referee booked correctly. we had registered for the league. what could go wrong ? We were practically professional
When we arrived for the big kick off, somebody asked where the goal post and nets where. . You could hear a pin drop.
Back then teams used to stamp the name of their team on their goal posts and secure them with pad lock and chains.
To our delight, someone managed to free up some goal post (Probably the fella who got us the balls and the kit), and up they went. When our guest complained about lack of nets we explained they'd been stolen by scallys that morning. They were sympathetic and agreed to play without them.. We couldn't wait to get tore into them.
After about 20 minutes, we were 4-0 down. it was quite literally a case of boys against men. These older guys were kicking seven kinds out of us and we were all wishing we were somewhere else.
Things were to get a whole lot worse. We could see a group of very angry, very scary, very hard looking men walking around looking for their goal post. They were checking every pitch. They eventually found them, at either end of ours.
We tried to just kinda creep away, but that wasnt happening. They were not letting it go so easily. They made us take down the goal posts and carry them over to their pitch and put them up. To top it all off, our guest, who had stood dumbfounded by all this, decided to "confiscated" our expensive new balls - by way of compensation...Our humiliation was complete. We never played again.
To this day our record reads. P 1 (nearly), Won 0. drew 0, lost 1. Goals for 0, Goals against 4.
174 Posted 14/10/2019 at 22:56:13
The other options:
1: UEFA like their FIFA masters will bottle it & decide to fine Bulgaria £2.53 and play their next game with a restricted attendance (yawn).
3: No. Just no.
175 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:00:36
I ran a kids team for a few years. You would get a great sit com out of the goings on in amateur footy.
176 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:20:51
The next 90 minutes are embedded in my mind to this day.
I'm sure they'd selected the spawn of Chopper, Norman and Tommy Smith in their defence. I still limp off the memory!
177 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:42:12
I shudder to think how much of my own money went into keeping the club afloat, but looking back on it I still consider it to be money well spent. The camaraderie, the "We're all in it together" attitude couldn't be beaten, although the team was (quite often).
I had no tactics, I used to say, "You've told me that you can play football, now go out and show me" and my philosophy was if they score 2 and we score 3 we'll win. The highlight of the day was the after match bottle of Guinness in the pub, where we analysed the game we'd just lost 5-0, by moving glasses, and ashtrays around the table to illustrate where we were going wrong, and the following Sunday we would go out and lose 5-0 again. Happy days.
178 Posted 14/10/2019 at 23:49:38
I went to Wembley on a coach from The Leprechaun in 1966, lovely night in there before we set off, there was three fights on the coach before the end of The East Lancs Road, loads of more adventures before we reached London, loads of carrying on there, but it all ended well.
There was about forty eight of us on the coach, five with tickets for the game, after the game all but one honest man said they got in, dont doubt it myself, multiply that on all the coaches which went down to London that weekend and look at the crowd swaying as the match was played, must have been at least five or six thousand jibbers at that game and the same amount of jibbers the year before when Liverpool went down there.
Happy, happy days.
179 Posted 14/10/2019 at 00:13:10
I often saw him at the match, with a mate of his, he would climb the steps at the Park End, and he would always say of Goodison, "This is the biggest and best 'Ale House' in the world". I don't see many characters like him at the game these days, he lived for Everton [as so many of us did].
180 Posted 15/10/2019 at 00:30:08
I'll share one. In high school I was a seldom-used (120 pounds) sub on a highly-rated team that went to play an undefeated school deep in Chicago's South Side ghetto. The crowd was shockingly large, hundreds of fans there to watch their boys dismantle the suburban white kids.
Within a few minutes, however, it was evident there was a gulf in class. We scored two quick goals. Some ugly undercurrents were heard from the stands.
My coach summoned me as a sub... and ordered me to go down injured near the center circle. I obliged. The coach came out to tend me and quietly instructed the other players to take it easy. So we took the foot off the gas.
It was still 2-0 in the final minutes and the anger from the stands was no longer an undercurrent. It was loud. The assistant coach slipped out to direct our bus to behind our bench. And I was summoned again. "Gaynes, go in and play right on this touchline. I'll have Cook pass you the ball. Get tackled and stay down injured. Make it look bad." Uh, OK coach.
Ball, crunch, down I went screaming. The whole team gathered around me. And then we picked up our stuff, went out through the gate, and with 2:38 on the clock (I looked), we got on the bus and went home.
181 Posted 14/10/2019 at 00:34:47
"Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante was on the bench for France despite reportedly picking up a muscle injury during the warm-up for Friday's 1-0 win over Iceland.
But fellow Premier League players Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Hugo Lloris and Aymeric Laporte were all missing through injury."
So no mention of Digne or Sidibe being on the bench then? Good old BBC.
182 Posted 15/10/2019 at 01:42:10
Here's a not so funny story. I was 15 and went with a local team from st helens on a minibus 6 hours to play in a trial game against a Torquay Utd junior team. One of our coaches who was a father of another boy in the team heard that my dad was jewish and took my kit off me so l couldnt play. 1985 that was. Although it does explain a bit as to why I have so much pent up anger and stress these days.
183 Posted 15/10/2019 at 05:01:21
We seemed to have an aversion to that. It was as if proper names were out of bounds. Anyone called Murphy (half the team) would be called "spud". anyone called smith would be "Smigger". Jones would be called Bagga. Our right back's name was Andrew Hanker. He got murdered from the day he started school - I hope they were kinder to him when his family emigrated to NZ.
I was watching the 66 final a few years back with my lads and one of them kept asking "How many people are in that ground" ? There has to be twice as many as there should be" ?
Ginger Parker lived in a little street called Orry street (just behind Cookson's the jewelers. it linked Athol street and Hopwood street. He lived down the end. Quite literally 20 yards from the Corner House. I cant wait to read your piece about him.. . Hopefully I wont spoil it by giving a quick story about him.
We were on our way to Leeds one time. The driver (Well known for his knowledge of obscure country pubs) took a little detour into this quaint little village. To our utter astonishment. Ginger was there at the bar. He was obviously on his way to the game . .but how did he get there ? That in itself wouldnt have been THAT astonishing (Ginger got everywhere), but he was sober (highly unusual) and his shirt was buttoned up properly and tucked in (unheard of). Clean shaven, dazzling white shirt. He was immaculate. He looked so respectable people were reluctant to say hello in case it wasnt him. He turned around and looked at us with utter disdain and said - "The fuck are you lot looking at. Have you never seen an athlete before ?"
184 Posted 15/10/2019 at 06:28:04
185 Posted 15/10/2019 at 08:20:30
One of our group returning from the loo said y'know what, there is a bloke in the snug (the old Abbey had a tiny snug in those days)who looks the dead spit of Puskas. Gerraway we all laughed but I had a peep in any case.
Sure enough he was the genuine article and the bloke with him was Archie the Daily Express head sports writer who later was to die in the Munich disaster. I called the rest of the mob and we had a very pleasant chat over a few beers.
40 years on and I again a chat with Ferenc, his Aussie A league team to my little town here in West Oz. When we first, met the weather was freezing and wet this time it was 40°C but the legend was still as friendly and enthusiastic about the game.
186 Posted 15/10/2019 at 09:45:02
Our manager plays the same awful system with the wrong players but changes nothing game after game. When I see this I see he is a muppet and needs to be replaced awful though that is.
187 Posted 15/10/2019 at 10:17:46
That's a very interesting story.
Shame John Moore's couldn't sign Puskas...he wanted to..and would offer him a position at Littlewoods to.
188 Posted 15/10/2019 at 11:14:07
189 Posted 15/10/2019 at 11:57:06
You brought back memories in your posts, I used to run 2 teams one played in the CYMS league on a Saturday and the other in the Kirkby Newtown league of a Sunday not for the faint hearted that league. So I was either at training or league meetings, certainly took up most of my week. We won the CYMS league and the Peter Farrel cup in the Kirkby Newtown league.
I was only 19 and sadly I had to pack in playing because of dodgy knees, when most of the managers were in their 40s. I wrote to both Catterick and Shankly to ask about different formations. Catterick wrote back suggesting I buy Walter Winterbottoms coaching book, I was delighted he took the trouble to write back. Then a few days after Cattericks letter I got one from Shankly who invited me down to Melwood after the first team had finished training. I sadly didnt take Shanks up on his offer I think I was to scared, but I met a number of times after that and he laughed when I told him about his invite. But he really was a special guy, I remember we asked would he present a cheque for a sunshine coach which our local pub was donating, he said of course. He stayed for at least 2 hours just talking football, it was a privilege to listen to him talk. Pat Heard and Joe Mcbride who we knew well also came for the presentation. Joe said whatever you do don't buy me a pint just a glass of lemonade which we did.
After the presentation and about 8 of us sat listening to Shankly, and he turned to Joe as Pat had already left and he said Joe do you ever get pains in the back of your legs after training yes Mr Shankly sometimes I do. Well let me tell you Joe Liverpool players never get pains in their legs after training and do you know why no says Joe well its a secret son only known to Liverpool players. Then at 8.45 Shankly said to Joe well time you got off home to your bed son, and he didnt need to tell Joe twice.
190 Posted 15/10/2019 at 12:38:44
The Liverpool Sunday lge, has gone from having 12/13 divisions, (another record I believe?) and now Im not even sure if they have got more than one division left, which is so sad for all the people who used to either play or watch Sunday football.
I remember being a manager and we lost a Lancashire cup quarter-final, and after having an argument with a kid Id dropped, I got in the changing rooms after the game, and the kit was all over the place, with no-one doing anything to get it into a pile to put it back in the kit-bag.
I never said a word, just watched everyone getting dressed and getting off, and honestly would have poured petrol all over it if I had any available, and thought to myself nobody gives a fuck no more, and this probably explains why such a fantastic league, has eventually gone to the dogs.
Brian@134, I agree with the under23 league mate, but with that many players in each club nowadays, then getting rid of proper competitive reserve team football was a ridiculous move imo, and could have definitely been used to help young foreign kids like Kean, adapt to the rigours of English football?
191 Posted 15/10/2019 at 13:00:28
Street football has disappeared completely, football played on computers, in bedrooms, is non stop, and kids are getting fatter and fatter, their legs getting slower and slower, and most of them will suffer arthritic fingers at an early age.
Just the opinion or ramblings of an old man.
192 Posted 15/10/2019 at 13:24:40
193 Posted 15/10/2019 at 13:49:21
Brian #193 Talking about Kirkby. I lived in Cherryfield Crescent for a few years working at Otis Elevators, even had a trial for Kirkby Town when they were starting up, and the trial was on the fields behind Cherryfield Crescent before I moved there.
194 Posted 15/10/2019 at 14:16:02
He has a lot of competition for his England place at the moment with Gomes and Mings around but quite honestly I would prefer he not be picked and can concentrate on doing well for Everton much like Pickford.
Southgate seems to immediately select anyone who is mentioned on Sky by any of the many pundits they have but was surprised he didn't sub. Henderson (given the early yellow card) and the fact he could have given a run out to someone else much earlier for experience purposes. Henderson would miss the next match anyway.
195 Posted 15/10/2019 at 14:39:40
As a matter of a question for all the “knowledgeable old timers” on T/W, I was wondering which side/part of the city has produced the most professional footballers?
I'm sure the England squad that played in South Africa, had Carragher (Bootle), Baines (Kirkby), Gerard (Huyton), and Rooney (Liverpool), which was a fantastic achievement for Merseyside in general, even if England played shite!
196 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:05:19
John # Thank you for the reply, I don't know were I got Bishop Aukland from, as I went to the replay at Maine road. My surprise was that the young player who played for us, Norman Whitehead played that day, as we had seen him midweek and he couldn't get his shoe on.
Memories are great but I guess the older we get the memories are faded.
197 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:25:05
I think Norman was only about nineteen when he played in those two amateur cup finals, and I told him that was something to be very proud of, Norman just shrugged, didnt think it was a such a big thing, but he was okay and we had a good talk in which it came across that Norman, like loads of amateur players just loved playing football and most of them wish they still could.
198 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:46:36
Dave if you happen to meet him again tell him I was asking about him. Great young footballer but like many before and after him, wasted the opportunity his talents provided.
199 Posted 15/10/2019 at 15:56:58
I never recognised him to be honest, a mate of mine, another good former amateur, was having a some banter with him and told me who he was,I remembered his name and knew he had been a good footballer, I think he lives over the water, maybe New Brighton, he was lively and enjoyed the banter, gave as good as he got.
200 Posted 15/10/2019 at 18:51:15
I also wonder if the lack of a competitive reserve league is severely restricting the competitiveness of British players? No apparent lack of hunger in the South American players.
201 Posted 15/10/2019 at 19:33:55
I've encountered anti-Semitism several times in my life, but never on the pitch. One season my friend and I were the only two Jews in an otherwise mostly Latino league... we played together on the backline and called ourselves the Jewish Defense League. But we never faced bigotry issues, at least overtly.
202 Posted 15/10/2019 at 19:42:02
I know I have a programme from the 71' Final, given to me by a friend who is no longer with us, I will try to locate it and shed more light on the subject.
Hi Darren , I have only one 'Ginger Parker' tale to tell, it was in the 60s [pre 1967] which was the time I moved out to Skelmersdale. Everton were playing a Youth Cup game, I can't remember the opposition, and I don't know whether the event took place in the first or second half of the game, but 'Ginger' ran incessantly from immediately behind the goal, to the Bullens Road corner flag, berating the goalie and any defender within ear-shot.
We must remember that these were 17- & 18-year-old kids, and I'm pretty sure that if it was the first half, they couldn't wait for the half time whistle, following which they only had to face the Gwladys Street 'Nutters. If however, it was the second half, they must have been praying for the floodlights to fail, leading to an abandonment'.
Not only was 'Ginger' vociferous he, was the perfect example of perpetual motion. Although I never knew him he was in my opinion, the most fervent Evertonian I have ever seen my 71 years of following the 'Blues'.
203 Posted 15/10/2019 at 19:51:30
The Final at Wembley, Skem versus Enfield, April 1967. Everton
did not play at Goodison that Saturday. My local off Brunswick
Road then, a lot of the lads had hired a coach to go down to London. This was an Everton pub, but three of us went to
Bloomfield Rd, Blackpool.
John I remember that game because of Skem playing and
clashing with the Blues. On the Sunday, we said you should
have come with us the Blues beat the Tangerines 1-0.
Mentioning Ginger Parker, one of the best laughs going to
Swindon in 1963. It was a cup tie, we went by Sunniways
on Bevey Bush. The weather was very bad, snow around
the country,Ginger had his shirt open as usual. Coming home
e had the "Charra" in stitches. This was a night game, long
journey through the snowy night. Tony Kay"s debut.
204 Posted 15/10/2019 at 20:06:03
The lad who went from Skem to Wrexham was Alan Bermingham not Mickey.
I used to know quite a lot of that Skem team, Colin Bridge who usually played left back and Alan Mansley on the wing. I actually stayed in the same hotel as the team when they were at Wembley, not many got to bed before 4.00am after the final.
205 Posted 15/10/2019 at 20:38:36
Everton beat Blackpool away 1-0 on Saturday 22 April [Joe Royle] you planted a seed of doubt in my mind Ray, and I was forced to consult my reference books.
Hi Brian  I was checking, to establish who had played League football after leaving Skem, and one of the players I thought may have done, was Mickey Worswick, and these 'tired old eyes of mine' played tricks on me. By the way Worswick never played League football.
206 Posted 16/10/2019 at 18:40:33
207 Posted 16/10/2019 at 20:11:36
208 Posted 16/10/2019 at 20:48:15
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