Gareth Southgate is the man of the moment.

England hot favourites to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time in 52 year.

If beating Sweden this afternoon then who knows…

It’s a funny old game, especially when you consider his only experience of club management saw him spend three years at Middlesbrough back in 2006-2009, taking them down into the Championship and eventually getting the sack.

No other club management roles followed and he ended up as a bit of a ‘company’ man within the England set-up.

Eventually taking on the Under 21 job and then after three years in that role, found himself catapulted into the top job in 2016.

As is usually the case, England were handed a very easy qualifying group but Gareth Southgate could do no more than he did, the team winning eight and drawing two, finishing eight points clear at the top of the group.

England entered the World Cup finals with no excessive expectations but ever since that opening 25 minutes against Tunisia, that has all changed.

Exactly the right tactics saw England dominate an average team in those opening stages, pressing them high and it should have seen three or four goals instead of only the one.

A soft equaliser followed and a very very late Kane goal won it BUT the scene was now set, both media and fans were raving about the football Southgate’s players showed in that first part of the game.

We now find ourselves in the quarter-finals and Gareth Southgate has very quickly been put on a pedestal by many. The reality being England hammered a very poor Panama, lost in a game of two reserve sides against Belgium, then scraped through against Colombia after once again looking really good in the opening half of the match.

Talking to mates in the pub last night about this, it is funny how Sven is seen as such a failure by so many, yet he got England to two quarter-finals in his two World Cups.

As for Gareth Southgate, I found it hilarious how both media and fans were going so over the top about his supposed influence on the penalty shoot out success. His preparation supposedly making the difference this time.

The thing is, if that preparation was so innovative then why did Henderson miss his and Eric Dier very lucky with his – as the keeper should have saved it. The real difference came thanks to Colombia hitting the woodwork with one and Pickford making an outstanding save on another.

Gareth Southgate deserves of course to share the credit when the team win but on penalties, it is surely only down to how well players handle the occasion. If Colombia had put their five penalties away, then what would have been the conversation then?

Reality is that when you win then nothing else matters, managers can do very little once the players cross that white line.

Just look at Belgium, Roberto Martinez was heading for ridicule when two down against Japan. A late three goal fightback and then a superb win over Brazil and suddenly he is untouchable.

I think a lot of people, especially the media, don’t want to accept that this is simply a cup competition, once you get past the seeded groups that are in favour of the big/best teams, it is then anything can happen.

There are no sure things when only 90 minutes can decide your fate, this isn’t a full league season where the best team pretty much always wins.

Just look at last season’s Champions League final, Real Madrid defeating Liverpool and yet they finished third and fourth in their domestic leagues respectively.

This is a very open World Cup and Gareth Southgate & his players are in there with a great chance.

I’m not convinced he is a great manager but he comes over well, the team are playing for him, and good to see him getting the team on the offensive

The draw (luck!) has gone England’s way and now it is up to them to take advantage.

They say that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good, here’s hoping that Gareth Southgate proves to be a bit of both.

He will deserve all the accolades if England succeed, but hopefully everybody keeps it in perspective, especially if this afternoon throws up yet another World Cup surprise.

England v Sweden Match Betting:

England win 9/10Draw 85/40Sweden win 18/5

All England v Sweden betting HERE

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  • Mxpx

    In a word lucky… Raheem sterling has never looked good for England it’s been like playing with 10 men at times we’ll need to solve this before we can be called HOWEVER he’s definitely not the only manager who has made similar team selections

    • Peaky

      Rose & Rashford in for Young & Sterling for me….England’s two poorest performers by far….Dele not fit…

  • TheFatController

    I think the advantage Southgate has is, due to his U21 role, he has built relationships with players that other national managers haven’t had – they know what he expects and trust his judgement.

    Also, international management is about getting playing styles fixed in the short time you have with the players. He seems to have a way of playing that is suited to the players. In the past we have shoehorned the midfield to accommodate World Class players , and not necessarily to suit the opposition or team strengths.

    Finally, as results are proving, getting the best out of millionaire players used to/ jaded by/ ambivalent because of the champions league / domestic league campaigns, and against very well organised ‘lesser teams’ is a trick in itself. Southgate and Martinez are winning, it can’t all be luck, and they will say they make their own luck in preparing correctly.

    • TheNutJob

      i reserve me judgement till we meet a proper team, not the standard of
      league 1

    • Peaky

      Agree in what you say and let’s not forget compared to recent mangers Southgate has been this far in a major tournament himself as a player.

    • Desree

      Spot on

  • TheNutJob

    we`ve beat 2 poor teams in the group & another team that isn`t at all good.
    hope they win today but the England team are nothing to shout home about.
    the media builds them up & the same media tears them apart

    • Leazes.

      … in a penalty lottery.

      • TheNutJob

        wouldn`t come as a surprise

      • Peaky

        0-0 then penalties today….

        • Kneebotherm8

          An aerial bombardment for us today I fear………will we be able to handle the set pieces today?

    • Simmo in a limo

      Why so negative the whole nations buzzin we smashed panama not beat them we beat tunisia who have held/beat some of the best teams in the world we clearly didnt want to win the belgium game better route without a win we were the better side against columbia they were the lucky ones getting that goal they have players that are very dangerous were no push over at all

      Im not saying were gonna win the world cup (france will) but why put a downer on things
      “Nut job” more like big girls blouse

      • TheNutJob

        for God`s sake we beat 2 pub teams & lost to Belgium reserves
        scraped through on penalties against a side no better than bog average. i live in the real world

        • Peaky

          Is the liver ready for another onslaught ??
          🍺🍺🥃🥃🍸🍸

          • TheNutJob

            aye when new supplies arrive, he`s out getting it now

          • Rich Lawson

            ”Hurry up Harry,come on,we’re (I’m) goin’ down the pub”

          • Peaky

            Sham 69…..a classic…….same subject,get well soon Elvis Costello…superb live.

          • Rich Lawson

            ”Olivers Army” today ”with the boys from the Thames the Mersey and the Tyne”

          • Rich Lawson

            Saw him many times in Newcastle in the late 70’s with the Attractions,with one drunken nite at the Poly a stand out,very underrated live performer for me,hope he gets over it.

          • Leazes.

            Lena Lovich at Newcastle Poly, the Meteors god its all coming back. Sham 69, and the Pogues.

          • Rich Lawson

            Lena Lovich on one of the ”Stiff” tours at the Uni’ Seen Sham a few times recently,still good live but Jimmy looks as tho’ he has had a bit of work done ?

          • Leazes.

            Saw him in the Riverside

          • Peaky

            Off to see another golden oldie on Tuesday…..Paul Simon at Manchester Arena..

          • Leazes.

            Excellent writer, enjoy it

          • Mark

            I saw Elvis Costello last Saturday, he was excellent

          • Peaky

            Pleased he’s still performing great and hopefully on the way to a full recovery.

        • Simmo in a limo

          Negative nelly

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            What`s your problem, this is a forum for different opinions on football, he has his along with others that have similar posts & you have yours, but you`ve targeted him,
            chill out watch the match and be happy.

          • Simmo in a limo

            What ya sayin now negative nelly rinced the swedes

      • TheNutJob

        here’s a drink for you, enjoy the game
        🍼

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s being built up for the big fall……….that’s what the press are good at…….he’ll be a turnip on the back pages tomorrow if the swedes beat us…….

  • foggy

    Watching England play is like watching a team managed by an Allardyce Pulis clone.
    This tippy tappy 3 yard pass along the backline is soul destroying.
    Having said that I hope the three lions go on to win the world cup.

  • HarryHype59

    Southgate needs to change formation and personal for this match. The team is playing at 95% of its capability and laboured for much of the Colombia game.

    Sterling, Alli and Lingard need to be dropped.

    Lady luck can only take you so far.

    • Iva mass ivshlong

      You dont change formation and line up mid tournament he did that for belgium and look what happened lingard deserves to play hes been one of our best players id say drop sterling (rashford) alli (loftus cheek) and young (anybody from any league in english football)

      • HarryHype59

        I recall Bobby Robson changing formation in 1986 resulting in two 3-0 wins. The team is playing within itself and needs to find an extra 5% to get to the final. If England were on the other side of the draw they would be on the plane home by now.

        If Alli, lingard and Sterling played for Newcastle, they would wouldn’t be in the squad yet alone first eleven.

  • Rich Lawson

    Have to hold my hands up and say I didn’t think we would make it past the group stage. the team spirit has been excellent and Southgate has conducted himself with dignity (and a waistcoat !) throughout.Just be nice to see Rashford or Stirling way in with some goals rather than it all being down to a Harry penalty again ?

    • Kneebotherm8

      Panama?…………the lowest ranked team in the tournament………..Tunisia not much higher…..we qualified as we should have done……..after 2 games……

      • Rich Lawson

        Iceland ?

  • Mrkgw

    Riding his luck! Based in that last performance, we will falter against France or Belgium if we get that far. We can of course, only hope that some of the key men come good and surprise a few – myself included.

    • TheNutJob

      for a start he needs to drop Young & Sterling

    • Scottie Chugger Dearden

      Beat me to it, wait till we play someone decent !

  • Fisherking

    I honestly feel the toon would have qualified out of the group and with a bit of luck beat Colombia

    • TheNutJob

      Belgium were the only problem in the group

      • Peaky

        If…and it’s a huge if….we did manage to get to the final v Belgium it would be like the final of the FA Cup……majority play in premier league.

        • TheNutJob

          it would be, Belgium were good last night, a kick in the gonads would slow them down though
          😂😂

          • Peaky

            Big Harry Maguire v Big Lukaku…..there’s a duel.

          • TheNutJob

            certainly would be

  • TheNutJob

    in for Engerrrrland i hope Rashford, Rose, and if Dele belli`s injured Loftus-Cheek

    • shellington

      Just shows how far we have fallen as a footballing nation that these are the best we can put out.

      From Gascoigne, Beardsley and Waddle to Rashford and Loftus-Cheek is quite a fall.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        those 3 were World Class, apart from Kane i don`t see any that could lace that Trio`s boots

  • shellington

    He’s doing OK given the role and playing resources at his disposal. If being a world class footballing nation were a priority for the country then we’d be doing things a lot differently.

    Investing at grass roots level in couching and facilities, learning from the best and adapting to English conditions. Then applying a quota system to top tier clubs to give more opportunities to home grown players.

    Quite clearly that is not the case and given the absolutely bang average playing staff he has then anything from Sweden onwards is over achievement and very welcome.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    My opinion on Southgate, the team has done Ok, we have the players to win today if the tactics are right

  • Sid James

    i`ll wager this match will be a right Carry On ending in a bore draw and going to penalties

    • shellington

      Sid James died in Sunderland in 1976, bit like the football club really.

      • JonMag

        true enough he died there but he was South African, being Sunderland must have brought on the heart attack

  • Billmag

    Southgate needs to drop Sterling and Ali and replaced by Rashford and Loftus-Cheek.

  • Mark

    Gareth Southgate has handled the media excellently, he has managed to get the fans and players connected. My expectations where so low and this average team have exceeded them already. Sven had the best generation of players for years and failed to get the best out of them. As for the penalty shoot out we won, Southgate gets credit because he kept our players calm and they did what was asked. Sven didn’t carry himself as well as Southgate.

    • shellington

      Sven was an idiot, gambling on injured players and building a team around Beckham was never going to work.

      For me the best player of that generation was Scholes but Sven couldn’t see past the Becks hype.

    • JonMag

      it`s about winning cups not handling the [email protected]@king media, its a football team

  • Ba ba.

    Totally overrated team and manager only team of any substance we played was Belgium and they beat us… But hey its coming home

  • JonMag

    he`a a plank, a yes man to the F.A. his tactics are boring and negative with one of the best strikers in the world, his midfield players are like crabs, sideways & backwards.
    it`s coming home alright, that`ll be the team. as soon as they come up against a good side, the excuses will come out and in 2 years time we`ll get the same patter
    to compare him with SBR when he lead England to a semi-final is nothing short of outrageous.

  • TheNutJob

    ee aye addio we`re gona pagger the Swedes
    Enngeerrland
    ⚽ 🏆

  • TheNutJob

    Enngeerrrland 1-0 Harry Maguire

    • Peaky

      BIG HARRY !!!!!!

      • Kneebotherm8

        Fancied Harry to score……….but not that one…

        • TheNutJob

          last 15mins we`ve got the Swedes pinned back, need another goal though

          • Peaky

            Definitely….

          • Kneebotherm8

            Hope we don’t sit back second half……let’s go for it……..

          • TheNutJob

            they have to go for it as another goal will kill the Swedes

  • Peaky

    Should have had this won….these misses may well haunt us…

    • TheNutJob

      your mate again Sterling

      • Peaky

        I’m in amongst a load of Sheff Utd fans…..Maguire is a local…..they’re gannin effing mental 😂😂

        • TheNutJob

          hear Liverpool`s after him

          • Peaky

            He won’t be at Leicester next season that’s for sure.

          • HarryHype59

            I recall NUFC were linked with him, but the Fat lad “baulked” at the £18m fee Hull wanted.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Just hope we don’t sit back second half……..like we did against Colombia………these lot are there for the taking if we carry on playing on the front foot….

      • Peaky

        Keep repeating myself but Rashford on for Sterling…

        • Kneebotherm8

          Sterling is causing problems with his pace…….their defenders are shttng themselves………but his finishing as always is fckn abysmal…..

          • Peaky

            Perfect summary…

  • foggy

    Ok we’re winning but jeezus, the ball is level with Swedens 18 yard box, 5 England players in the box and the ball goes back to Pickford. Why is Sterling on the pitch??.

    • TheNutJob

      couldn`r agree more, that move was just awful

    • Peaky

      Has Lingard touched the ball also ???

      • TheNutJob

        is he playing ?

  • TheNutJob

    attack, attack, attack, kill them off

  • Peaky

    💩 you get on a high and up pops Jenas….

    • TheNutJob

      Jermain Genius wor kid calls him & Peaky drinks are free today
      it`s like Club Tropicana
      😂😂😂

      • Peaky

        The Moose Hoose is now officially Club Tropicana…..

        • TheNutJob

          yes

    • Rich Lawson

      Did you see him on the pre-match,he talked nonsense and then looked stunned when Martin Keown sumarised it properly.So out of his depth.

  • TheNutJob

    Delli belli 2-0

  • foggy

    Dele Ali the invisible man makes it 2

    • TheNutJob

      he`s done nowt but that should be game set & match

  • Peaky

    Trippier is having a blinder again…great tournament.

    • TheNutJob

      best player on the park

  • TheNutJob

    we`re all over them like fleas in a tramps vest
    😂😂

  • Peaky

    Hands up for the mackem keeper 👏👏👏

    • TheNutJob

      last 20 i`d put on Rashford & Loftus-Cheek

      • Peaky

        👍👍👍

    • Billmag

      Ay Peaky got a bit egg on my face mate but we’ll done Pickford.

      • Peaky

        Me too Bill but credit where it’s due…the team moral and belief is going right through the team.

        • Billmag

          👍👍👍👍

    • Kneebotherm8

      Glad Joe Hart wasn’t in goal for us……

      • Peaky

        Aye but I wonder if Pickford has dandruff ???
        😂

  • TheNutJob

    we might do something stupid like actually win the cup
    🏆

  • Peaky

    All superb but Trippier MOM…

    • paul mclaughlan

      Player of the tournament.

      • Peaky

        Hard to disagree.

  • paul mclaughlan

    God I’m starting to jump on the bandwagon. Sterling, Pickford and Trippier all superb.

  • Kneebotherm8

    That’s the swedes diced for the Sunday dinner tomorrow…….😂😂

    • Peaky

      I’ll get your coat for you 😂😂😂

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Do i Like that

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    To win a tournament you have to up your game match by match,
    England are doing that.
    Croatia or Russia next, who cares we can beat both of them.

    • Peaky

      The momentum is there…..Wednesday will be bonkers….

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        A couple of the lads were below par but i think but if we click then we`ll go all the way.
        Muppets costing me a fortune in drink, he`s never missed a match

        • Geordiegiants

          Take his socks back and keep the money.

  • HarryHype59

    Picky MOM in my humble opinion. That save at start of second half was cruicial.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Yeah he was excellent, Trippier for me was the best outfield player and Henderson had a good game as well

      • Wor Lass

        ” …Henderson had a good game ….” Not words that you wouldd normally put together! Before the WC I could not understand how he could get even a sniff of an international place but he`s been pretty good to be fair.

  • Sid James

    Carry On lads, we can win the cup.

  • paul mclaughlan

    I’ve just read the whole article. Dale sounds a bit of an England hater. I’m guessing if we win he’ll be saying what a poor tournament it’s been and we were handed such an easy draw. Well eff off with your negativity sir… because IT’s COMING HOME.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    If we get to the final the FA should invite all the Boys of 66 to attend the match
    that would be a sight to see & the country would go potty.
    we can win it, all we need is the rub of the green

    • Leazes.

      It certainly would be a sight but you would have to promise to reinter them after you were finished.

      • Kneebotherm8

        You’re on form…..😂😂😂

      • TheNutJob

        😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Peaky

    So pleased now that Fat Sham Hippo Heed took that bung…..we wouldn’t have gotten this far under him that’s for sure.

    • TheNutJob

      If we meet Russia Hippo heed would have taken a bung off Putin

      • Peaky

        Then off for a novichok pizza from Zizzis to shut him up…😂😂

        • Kneebotherm8

          Aye,Putin doesn’t fck aboot,when he shuts you up……….you stay shut up…..😂😂

      • Kneebotherm8

        A pair of bungees I would say….😂😂

    • Kneebotherm8

      Under him we may have even struggled to get to the finals……………mind you he does have the only 100% record as a Full Time England manager…….1 game 1(lucky)win…

  • Kneebotherm8

    All set for the last quarter final tonight…………Croatia in the semis …..or the hosts in Moscow…..either way we’re in for a tough game…..but we’re capable of giving either a good game………….then bring on Belgium in the final………there’ll be no reserve teams on show for that game……..

    • TheNutJob

      as Peaky said earlier, Maguire against Lukaku

      • Kneebotherm8

        It’ll happen hopefully…….

        • TheNutJob

          hope so

      • Georgia Peter

        Lukaku looks unstoppable at the moment. My player of the tournament so far, irrespective of scorers.

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      As Jules Rimet was French… “It’s coming home” ought to mean a France win in the Final.

      • Kneebotherm8

        The jules rimet trophy was given to the Brazilians after their 3rd win in 1970…..

        • Angelswithdirtyfaces

          The point is that “home” for the World Cup would be where the originator came from – France, and not Engerland. Can’t you English take a joke ?

          • Kneebotherm8

            Us English???…………And where would you be from???

  • Leazes.

    I see Peterhead beat Fraserburgh

    • Kneebotherm8

      😂😂

    • TheNutJob

      😂😂😂

    • Peaky

      🤣😂🤣

      • TheNutJob

        life & soul of the party
        😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

        • Leazes.

          Hate Spuds

          • TheNutJob

            i know you do, i`m not keen on them myself

          • Kneebotherm8

            Areet mashed like…..alaang wi’ diced swedes…..

          • Mayor Vaughn

            Turnip

          • Georgia Peter

            We called them Snannys when i was a bairn.

        • Peaky

          🤣🤣🤣
          I think it’s either too much sunshine or lack of B vitamins….

    • Georgia Peter

      Its always freezin in Aberdeen.

  • TheNutJob

    when the final whistle went me dad said, that lot can get back to assembling furniture, that`s all their good for, i don`t think he was joking

    😂😂

    • Kneebotherm8

      He on aboot IKEA like?………

      • TheNutJob

        aye, he`s very cynical

        • Leazes.

          He’s an idiot…Ikea is self assembly.

          • TheNutJob

            tell him that, he had to call a joiner in
            😂😂

    • Paul Patterson

      Yeah, but the furniture will stay up less time than Swedens cup run ..

  • Mark Andrews

    How dare you Gareth? Where was the extra time and inept penalty shootout? Do history and tradition mean nothing to you?

    • TheNutJob

      2 mins into the game the Swedes were playing for penalties
      only another 118 to go

  • Peaky

    Would just top the day off perfect now if Slaven Bilic turns to his right and lamps Gary Neville good n proper….

    • HarryHype59

      I would pay good money to see that! Gary Neville is the football equivalent of Noel Gallagher! WUM of the first order!

      • Peaky

        You’re right….I’m sure the phrase “one of those faces” was coined with him purely in mind….

      • Georgia Peter

        And both from the same toon. Must be something in the watter.

    • paul mclaughlan

      Neville saying Schmiechel would’ve saved the opener was hilarious. Even funnier was how irritated he was getting when the others disagreed. I’d love it if someone smacked the odious pr##k.

      • Peaky

        😂😂😂
        Cannot bear him..

  • Paul Patterson

    In general, I’d take a lucky manager over a good manager..

    • Georgia Peter

      Wouldnt swop Rafa for Southgate…ever.

  • Peaky

    Aye,nee need for VAR now all the doorty cheating Sooth Americans are oot !!!

    • Kneebotherm8

      😂😂

  • Simon

    I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  • Peter C

    Riding his luck, and a favourable side of the draw. Which could run out dramatically, when England meet a genuinely good side.

    But as Wigan proved a few years ago, when they beat Man City in the FA Cup Final, in cup football, anything can happen, however, England can’t get relegated, as Wigan did.

    • Wor Lass

      The only seriously good side so far is the France team that hammered Argentina but that`s the only game where they`ve played really well. England are as good as anyone at this World Cup and are proving it by still being there.

      • Peter C

        I’m not knocking Southgate and I’m not knocking England.

        However even if they do win the World Cup, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility they do. In name they would be world champions, but if you’re honest with yourself, and if others were, it wouldn’t mean, they’re the best national team in the world.

        Just by still being there, doesn’t mean that there better than one or two, which have been eliminated.

        Do you really believe that they’re a better than the Brazil team. Yes England are in the semi final, and Brazil are on their way home, but if you were to ask supporters, have a straw poll and they were honest, I believe that most would say, Brazil are the better team.

        The another night, they could’ve quite easily of went through against Belgium, and that’s not taking anything away from the way Belgium played, especially in the first half.

        Brazil had more than one good opportunity, to add to their scoreline, that’s beside a good shout for a penalty, which if had it been for England, I bet you would’ve been screaming for.

        It was just one of them games, that the fickle hand of fate, wasn’t in there favour, and I don’t argue, Belgium played well.

        They could’ve done to Belgium, what Belgium did to Japan, then the media the pundits and the fans, would’ve been saying, what a comeback, how dangerous they are, and never believe that you have them beaten, until the final whistle.

        To say that England are as good as anyone, who have competed at this, year’s’ World Cup, because they’re still there, isn’t a reasoned statement, all it means is, is that their still in the competition, and that they’ve had, that little bit more good fortune than some others, and hopefully it will continue.

        The better teams which are left, who’ve had the harder passage in the competition and deserve to win it, come from the other side of the draw. but that’s not to say, that’ll happen.

        • Wor Lass

          Cheers – good post! I did say “as good as” – and I mean that. We have a bit of an inferiority complex in this country. The World Cup is a knock-out event and you only have to win one game at a time. I agree that it doesn`t really make you the best team in the world in every sense if you win the competition and I also agree that most people would hold up Brazil as being better than us – but Brazil don`t have a great team just now. I think other nations are struggling with transition at the moment and we`re improving so we`ve got as good a chance as anyone of winning. If France play to their potential I think they`ll win the tournament but they`ve only done that in one game so far.

          • Peter C

            Can’t say, I don’t agree with the points you’ve made in your rely.

            The current Brazil team aren’t that special, and nowhere near the side of 1970, (Which arguably was the greatest side to ever grace a football pitch) and the side of 1982 in Spain, Still don’t know how Italy knocked them out in the second phase, with the Italian’s eventually going on to beat the Germans in the final.

            You may shoot me down on this, but in my opinion, the World Cup has been on a steady decline, in quality and the entertainment stakes, since 1986 finals in Mexico, where of course that little poor excuse of an argentinian footballer lifted the trophy for his country.

            P.S. Can forgive and forget the Falklands War, but not that Quarter Final defeat.

        • paul mclaughlan

          We were the best team in the world 82, 86 and 90 yet didn’t win it. Your reasoning makes no sense. I’m betting you have another long comment already drawn up just in case we win it distancing yourself from any celebrations. You should start a petition to try and get Brazil reinstated in the competition as clearly (in your opinion) they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread… except they’re not.

          • Peter C

            Read reply to Wor Lass post.

          • simonjames60

            brazil were the best team by far in 1982, not england.

          • paul mclaughlan

            See it’s all about opinions. In reality we went through the competition unbeaten. Although I’m sure the Italians would argue they were the best team as they were the world champions.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            England the greatest team in 1990 hahaha! Idiot. Italy, Germany & a very young Yugoslavia

  • GToon

    They have played one good team and were totally outplayed and lost. The next good team they will play is Croatia. They will lose that too. I had Sweden in the sweep at work. I’m fuming. I’ve missed out on a guaranteed £4.

  • Weyhhadaway

    I don’t watch England much these days. Too boring. How they can take such a good group of players and make them play so badly is beyond me. Or is it the modern players don’t care?

    Columbia almost proved that statement, we should have wrapped it up way earlier but gave away possession in the final minutes and let them equalize.

    It was good to see a good confident performance today. But we will get beat soon, hopefully in the final.

    • paul mclaughlan

      Go eff yourself you sad w##ker.

    • Georgia Peter

      Esecially with plaers like Ali in the side. Dont think hes successfully completed a pass yet.

  • Come&TakeIt1836

    Lloris, Kane, Alli, Trippier, Rose, Alderweirald, Vertonghen, Dier, Dembele… all still playing into the 14/15th.

    …maybe the Spurs will be a little worn down for the first game of the season.

    • Georgia Peter

      With a bit of luck..!

  • TheNutJob

    everything`s going England`s way, extra time penalties the Croats knackered & a few carrying injuries, a few of our players need to improve though.
    i agree with my dad & wor kid, the standard is not so good

    • paul mclaughlan

      Remember we went to extra time and penalties the game before. Then totally outclassed the Swedes. So basically same situation. Although there’re a few people (on here) who will overlook that fact if we beat Croatia and say it’s because Croatia were knacked.

  • Mirandinha9

    I cannot get going with this World Cup. I should feel elated by England’s progress but when you’ve got two 5under1and born and bred players in Pickford and Henderson (who have both publicly slated the Toon) smiling profusely at the camera, I simply feel a real sense of distaste. In fact I long for the country who sticks 4 past them and let’s see their reactions then.

    • paul mclaughlan

      Ridiculous. Stick with being a hater mate. While the rest of us keep our fingers crossed and ride this wave of euphoria.

    • Georgia Peter

      Tw4t…!

  • TheNutJob

    here`s what Harry Maguire tweeted on June 2nd.
    just spent 4 hrs putting together a flat-pack f##king desk lamp from ikea,
    i will seek vengeance on the nation of Sweden, in this life or the next
    😂😂😂😂

    • Wor Lass

      Hola, Nutty. Harry`s turning out to be a top class player – I always liked him but he`s growing as the tournament goes on. What a goal!

      • TheNutJob

        he`s top class, that was some goal ok

    • Kneebotherm8

      Didn’t take him long,did it?………😂😂

  • paul mclaughlan

    I really can’t believe there are people on here who don’t want us to go on and win the WC. Sad sad people or maybe secret jocks. Go and eff yourselves you effin winkers.

    • Wor Lass

      It`s just par for the course, Paul. You get some who just can`t change their stance once they`ve said we don`t stand a chance (is that poetry) and have to go on and on being more ridiculous by the game then there`s others who invent a new persona so they can change their tune and make out it was what they thought all along. I thought we had a chance to do well but the lack of goals across the team might let us down in the end. Semi-final is a real bonus and there`s no reason why the lads can`t go on and win the thing. I live in France and my neighbours want a France v England final and reckon it would be a close thing.

      • paul mclaughlan

        Agreed mate. If I had the option I’d prefer the toon to win a trophy. But that’s looking ever more remote. So of course I’m gonna be delighted my country is doing great. I predicted France at the beginning of the tournament. So even if we overcome Croatia I don’t think we’ll win it. Although one never knows.

        • Wor Lass

          France have the best team but Belgium aren`t far behind in terms of quality players. I think France`ll beat them and go on to win the cup – but we could get to that final and stop them. It`s possible!

          • paul mclaughlan

            Yup. It’s a one off game. We can do it providing we get passed Croatia 🤞.

      • Haitchdee

        Wor Lass I’ve changed mine I tipped the early flight. One bonus though We got to see Sir Bobby on the telly . A highlight for me it even made st Gary palatable.

        • paul mclaughlan

          Was watching with my youngest daughter. She pointed out how emotional Linneker looked. I couldn’t answer as I had a lump in my throat.

    • Leazes.

      Clown

      • paul mclaughlan

        Surely you mean “clowns”?

    • GToon

      Paul, there are a lot of football fans in the North East for whom the national side mean very little. I am one of them. Let me explain why.
      Having been born in the north east I have lived through political turmoil of varying degrees that has seen our landscape changed forever. Industries in our country have been allowed to dwindle and die without much of a helping hand from the south. Even now with the government harping on about HS2 and all the benefits it will bring it somehow doesn’t seem capable of getting beyond Manchester or Birmingham or Leeds depending on which story is being peddled this week.
      Ignoring the politics and concentrating on the football over the years we look at our players. Why did the likes of Beardsley, Waddle, Gaza, Carroll, Macdonald, Nattrass, Milburn hardly get a look in and yet the second they moved they were in the England team. Why has Shelvey been overlooked? Same old same old. England manager never visits SJP, can’t get beyond Chelsea, West Ham etc etc. why do the national team not play games around the country like the Germans do to prove it’s a national team rather than just the Home Counties select eleven? To me the England football team are a team that play in London and don’t really represent my place of birth. When you then add in all the destruction caused by the some of the supporters of this team I can really do without it. For example around 60/70 youths went on the rampage near where I live, jumping up and down on taxis and abusing the public and that was after England beat Panama! Wow! I get fed up with the pub involvement in all of this too and the media and the total commercialization of the whole event.
      I do watch the footy Paul and I do enjoy the tournament but it’s a one love situation for me and that’s black and white.
      And before you accuse me of not being patriotic or whatever I spent ten years competing around the world for my and your country so I know what it means to wear the shirt. Let me know what you think. If it’s just a load of abuse then don’t bother. Cheers. Glyn.

      • Billmag

        Well said I am as patriotic as anyone but I just can’t get motivated I’m afraid, of course I would love to see them win the World Cup, but if you asked me to choose I would rather see NUFC win the FA Cup now that I would really be excited about.

      • Georgia Peter

        well said lad. Absolutely spot bollik.

      • Wor Lass

        Thanks for a coherent explanation!

        • GToon

          That’s ok. I was livid yesterday tho as I had Sweden in the sweep at work! 😀
          With regard to the Southgate question I think he is a decent bloke who treats the players with respect and they respond by playing for him. By the way, in my house here in the midlands it’s only me that holds this opinion. My wife and daughter were glued to the tv, my eldest son down the pub with his mates and my other son celebrating at his friends house. I don’t force my opinion on them and I don’t think I am right to be honest. I do admit that, but sometimes you just can’t help how you feel.

          • Wor Lass

            Good man!

      • paul mclaughlan

        Blimmin heck mate I touched a raw nerve there. I agree with most of the stuff you wrote. But I’m English and after years of disappointment (heck I’ve even mentioned on an earlier discussion that it was gonna take a lot for me to jump on the bandwagon again. But here we are.) I’m gonna enjoy every last second of this amazing run.

        • GToon

          Good for you Paul. I do enjoy the footy in general and I have been really impressed by the refs approach to diving and players staying on the floor feigning injury – hopefully that will make its way across to our league. It’s not so much a nerve just maybe a general feeling of Newcastle supporters that are my age etc! I don’t sit there cheering the opposition btw I just sort of watch it like I watch other games. I’m getting loads of grief off people at work who know I like footy for my perceived lack of passion towards the national team. It’s funny.

  • Wor Lass

    When Southgate was appointed I cringed because he just came across to me as an FA poodle. Some stooge who`d done all the courses and attended the lots of committee meetings. BUT he`s been a revelation. The way he treats the players (look at Delph nipping home for the birth!) and trusts his judgement in team selection, how he handles shyte stirring by the media, the set piece routines, his openness regarding access to the players etc etc – it`s a breath of fresh air. The other person who I wouldn`t have let anywhere near the England team was Henderson. Nothing to do with him being a mackem, I just thought he was rubbish, but he`s been great, to be fair to the lad. Top man so far has to be Harry Maguire, though.

    • Billmag

      Well said I was one of the naysayers as regards the manager but hey ho in football you get proved wrong occasionally.

    • Keeganontherebound

      Agreed, he’s built a team and got the players playing to their full potential with a system that works for them. And he’s been ruthless when he had to be. Under too many of his predecessors we’d have been subjected to Hart flapping around and Rooney getting frustrated at being 15 years past his peak…

      • paul mclaughlan

        Apparently Stones has scored twice the amount of goals in a World Cup than Rooney. And people continually say he’s a legendary England player.

        • Keeganontherebound

          To be fair to him he was very impressive at Euro 2004 before getting injured but other than that he was as disappointing as the teams he was playing in when it comes to major tournaments.

          • paul mclaughlan

            His one and only contribution to a major tournament.

          • Keeganontherebound

            True, unless you count snarling at his own fans in South Africa as a contribution…

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Aye blaming the fans for him playing rubbish was one of his highlights

  • Haitchdee

    I wasn’t in favour of Gareth Southgate or his team selection. Showing exactly how much I know .Tipped the early flight home aswell , but I don’t care how much ‘ Good luck’ and ‘ Easy Group’ stuff they get. Infact its about time.