Barney has signed off...
While waiting for the game, why not read Steven Pye’s take on Denmark’s trip to Wembley back in 1983. That one didn’t end so well for England...
Arrogance in sport is a tricky beast to control. Some of the great champions of the past had it in spades: Muhammad Ali, Eric Bristow, Brian Clough, Daley Thompson, to name a few. Two Portuguese men of the modern era, José Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, display levels of cockiness that can be instantly stomach-churning. But all of these men can justifiably claim to have earned the right to strut around like peacocks. It is when arrogance is mixed with ignorance that problems can occur, one such example being England‘s failed attempt to qualify for Euro 1984. Ignorance is supposedly bliss, but for Bobby Robson and English fans, a joyous time this was not.
When the draw was made for the Euro 1984 qualifying groups, everyone in England seemed to be mightily chuffed at the teams we would be facing in Group Three: Hungary, Greece, Denmark and Luxembourg. “England on easy street,” said the Express, with Steve Curry adding: “England could not have hand-picked more favourable opposition than the draw for the 1984 European Championships.” Ron Greenwood, the outgoing England manager, waded in with: “You can’t disguise the fact that this is a very good group for us.” No pressure then for the new manager Bobby Robson, as surely this would be a cakewalk. Continue reading
Jordan Henderson has been in great form for Liverpool and I think he is a great foil to Gerrard. He does his work for him and frees Gerrard up to play those balls we know he is capable of (for the record, I’m not a liverpool fan). We have seen this season Manchester City. By having a player like Fernandino in the team to complement and free up Yaya Touré and it would be a similar situation with Henderson who would do the work to free up Gerrard and to some extent Rooney... anyway my questions:
1) Do you think Henderson deserves to start tonight?
2) Do you think Henderson will start tonight?
It’s pretty well recognised that a player’s club affects their international chances. In two obvious current examples, if Tom Huddlestone had delivered this season’s performances for a top four team he’d clearly be in the England squad; if Tom Cleverley had delivered his for, say, Palace, he wouldn’t be anywhere near it. Question: to what extent, if any, do you think this is a bad thing?
Barney, spare a few words for the quiet dignity of Ashley Cole. Less than he would have reacted visibly and negatively to Hodgson’s almost embarrassing comments on his place in the national team and the unnecessary demotion at Chelsea.
Same old same old isn’t it Barney? Lampard, Gerrard etc. Be fair to Hodgson he has brought the likes of Shaw in but no Mark Noble. He knows what Lampard and Gerrard can do and its a friendly...
I don’t really like football. Should I bother with the World Cup?
Barney, do you think we could use all three of Baines, Cole and Shaw? Using 4-3-3, we could have Baines in the midfield with Gerrard and Henderson, plenty of technique, energy and goalscoring ability there (plus there is currently no third outstanding midfielder to play in there). Then use either Shaw or Cole at left-back depending on opposition?
a) a foreign referee ruined everything
b) long, hard Premier League season has taken its toll of the players
c) players do not care about international football or England anymore but money
d) Man-management, Hodgson did not put arm around shoulders enough.
e) England have great players but they do not seem to gel for some reason
f) Climate - no rainy nights in country X
g) None of the above but something else
I like them all. The more irrational, the better.
I was watching the Do I Not Like That documentary on YouTube the other day and it got me thinking. Is the current England squad worse than Graham Taylor’s? I think it is. There were some absolute flannels in Grahams team, but Jordan Henderson wouldn’t have got near it. I feel a bit sorry for Roy... and a little bit sorry for Graham.
There are four players in the squad from Southampton who are stuck in mid-table mediocrity; surely that is a clear indicator of the lack of quality of English players?
Do you think that Uncle Roy or ‘the boys’ have the discipline or tactical nous to play anything other than kick and rush (and pray) in the worst conditions for that type of football? If so, should he be looking at any alternative personnel?
Who do you reckon will be the unexpected pick for England’s World Cup squad – the player no one saw coming?
When England are eliminated, who will be the scapegoat? We’ve had a couple of referees who did their job well, Ronaldo who winked irrelevantly, Beckham who flicked unwisely, a turnip and a goalkeeper. It’s the golden rule, isn’t it? There always has to be a scapegoat, and the further from reality the complaints the better.
How soon should Roy Hodgson be fired, and how many centuries behind the rest of Europe has his tenure left us?
Would you take Barry with you to Brazil? And if not, why not? And please show your work. Lots of love
The Great Left-back Debate rumbles on. Cole or Shaw as back up to Baines?
How well do you think England will do in Brazil. I have them out in the group stages, what’s your take?
I hope this is a friendly webchat that doesn’t descend into, you know, saying England are shite.
And we're off...
Which England player or players, if any, do you think will surprise people and have a really good World Cup?
Barney will be here from 1pm GMT
Good afternoon. Barney will be here from 1pm, but in the meantime here are some of our previews:
Steven Gerrard believes input from Dr Steve Peters will give England‘s players an edge at the World Cup finals after Roy Hodgson confirmed the renowned sports psychiatrist is to join his backroom staff for the summer’s tournament in Brazil. Peters, who is credited as a major influence in the success enjoyed by Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton with British Cycling, has an impressive portfolio of clients, including Team Sky, UK Athletics and the five-times world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Antoine Griezmann could benefit from France’s need to fine tune, Germany’s production line continues to churn out the talent while Colombia must prove it is more than Radamel Falcao
Steven Gerrard made the most valid point. “You need to understand Steve Peters can’t help you do a Cruyff turn better,” the England captain said. “He won’t help you hit a 40-yard pass any more accurately. Steve Peters is not going to help the players run an extra 100 or 200 metres or go any faster.”
Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad selection didn’t really throw up any surprises but there were a number of players that could count themselves unlucky not to have received the call. Familiar faces such as James Milner, Jermain Defoe and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are in the squad despite starting just seven, three and three Premier League games, with the latter’s absence due to injury rather than falling out of favour.
Drop your questions in the comments sections below. Enjoy the webchat.