OTHER FOOTBALL

ivoralljack

Grizzled Veteran
Staff member
Disappointed to read that Millwall have signed Macaulay Langstaff. I feared the worst when things went quiet but I was hoping that Luke Williams was maybe doing a deal behind closed-doors with his former player. Wonder why we missed out? Too expensive? Reluctance to meet pay demands? Williams maybe not convinced he'll do it at the higher level? Langstaff reckons Millwall are a better bet? Who knows? Looks like Liam Cullen is going to have to boost his goal tally next season to at least 15 if we're going to do anything. And a few more goals from midfield wouldn't go amiss either!
 

The Blobster

Prediction Champ
We have had a low ball offer refused by St Johnson for a striker (Adama Sidebe). He has a 500thou release clause but our offer well short of that . He seems a promising talent but very inexperienced having only played half a season in Scotlands Premier after being brought in from English non league .
 

jackodiamonds

Set-Piece Specialist
Staff member
I'm not so sad about Langstaff. His record was great, but at significantly lower levels, two and three divisions south of Swansea.

He scored 42 in 45 games in the National League, then the next season 28 in 46 versus League Two opponents. That's a 35% drop off in scoring production just from bumping one one league level, and those weaker figures were still two divisions lower than Swansea. What does that say about his projected scoring at Championship level, where at least three of the defences will have - until recently - been Premier League level defences? (Bad Premier League level defences, but still better than most of the Championship)

Also, at 27, he has no resale value, and as a striker is likely already on the decline. Though there have been those strikers who manage to stay prolific in their 30s, the trend is generally that strikers peak between 18-25 (hence make or break for 23-year old Cullen).

On top of all this, nobody knows Langstaff's abilities better than Williams, and he simply hasn't been interested. I trust his judgement.

I wouldn't be surprised if Langstaff manages no more than 15 goals this season.
 

CroJack

Data Analyst
Staff member
I wouldn't be surprised if Langstaff manages no more than 15 goals this season.
It depends on the suply he gets from the Millwall creative players. Do they have any? I doubt he'll score more than 12-15 goals without Jodi Jones in the starting XI. I'd rather sign Jones than Langstaff.

I also think that Langstaff, Yates and Cullen are very similar players, so we don't need Langstaff when we have Culls.

As for Sidibe, he is a bit different, I see him more as a backup winger than a striker.
 

CroJack

Data Analyst
Staff member
Watching Spain v England final. Conclusion: Southgate is clueless.

England are too slow, they don't run, they don't (can't) press and they can't string three passes together. Mainoo has been poor, Saka and Foden play too deep, and Kane is simply too slow to contribute with anything.

England have Gallagher, Bowen, Eze, Palmer, Tony and Watkins on the bench. All of them are dynamic players who can make a difference.
 

jackodiamonds

Set-Piece Specialist
Staff member
England looked alive only after Southgate withdrew Kane for Watkins and put Palmer on. Palmer who supplied Watkins's assist for the semi-final winning goal, Palmer who scored in the final and Palmer whose corner delivery resulted in those two headers near the end, one cleared off the line, England's best chance at an equalizer. It feels like me and everyone else with half an eye on England wanted the same things, and it takes Southgate until the ass-end of the final to field the team that should have started. Feels like a waste of good talent for the sake of "honouring" the old guard. You can choose sentimentality or success, but it's rare both walk the same road.
 

ivoralljack

Grizzled Veteran
Staff member
I said in an earlier post that I didn't get the hype about Southgate. He had a talented squad that he didn't have a clue about how to get the best out of them. CJ summed it up perfectly:
Watching Spain v England final. Conclusion: Southgate is clueless.

England are too slow, they don't run, they don't (can't) press and they can't string three passes together. Mainoo has been poor, Saka and Foden play too deep, and Kane is simply too slow to contribute with anything.

England have Gallagher, Bowen, Eze, Palmer, Tony and Watkins on the bench. All of them are dynamic players who can make a difference.
Southgate made the same mistake sticking with a pedestrian Kane that Page did at the Worlds by sticking with even more pedestrian Bale and Ramsey. He needed pace and movement up front that Kane, for whatever reason, couldn't supply. I like Kane a lot but he just hasn't produced anything in this competition and Southgate couldn't/wouldn't see it. Should have been used as an impact sub much the same as Bale should have been at the Worlds.

Spain were the best team at the Euros and the better team in the final. They deserved it.
 

ivoralljack

Grizzled Veteran
Staff member
Latest transfer gossip has Guehi going to Liverpool
Has to be said that he was responsible for letting the striker get ahead of him for Spain's winner. However, he had a very decent competition overall and was one of England's better defenders. Wish him every success at Liverpool if he does go there.
 

jackodiamonds

Set-Piece Specialist
Staff member
This year's Euros were a bit of a disappointment for me. I don't know if this is just the way modern football is, or if it was just really, really humid and that doesn't come across on the tv, but most matches looked like practice matches. Two teams mostly standing still.

None of the big guns showed up - France, Holland, Italy, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium - all mediocre. Spain won playing on autopilot at 70% capacity.

Bearing in mind that I did not watch every game and didn't see a whole Austria match, the two "best" teams for me were Georgia and Albania. Both understood their limitations, set-up to play ultra defensively but did so to an extremely high standard, and both tried to go for it on the break and late in games. For Albania to hold Italy and Spain to single-goal margins (and very nearly drew both games with late chances) is exceptional. If they'd had an easier group - England's group, say - they'd have made the knockouts. Georgia played the same way but were braver in attack and were rewarded with progress from the group stage. The counter-attacking moments from both these sides were among the most exciting moments of the entire tournament.

You all know how much I love attacking football and generally dislike defensive football, but when the teams stacked with attacking talent don't show up, I'm happy to watch excellent defending instead. I just want to see something done well, and there was so little done well by the so-called European elite in this competition. Look at those bizarre goal-scoring figures - six players share the golden boot with 3 goals apiece, and 10 own goals in the tournament.

Mbappe and Dembele are "worth" €315 million, but if you weren't a football fan and didn't know who they were you'd not have singled either out as being any better than anyone else. Lamine Yamal was a high point, but even then mostly because it's remarkable such a young player is operating at that level. There was one bit of skill from Kai Havertz where he controlled a long pass in stride which was incredible (I could watch it all day), and Bellingham's overhead kick would have been all the better if he didn't take most of the shine off with that arrogant celebration.

I'm not sure if it's just me being a bit disillusioned with modern football, or if the contest really was quite poor overall. It could also be that the first major football tournament I remember was Mexico 86 and no player has ever come close to dominating a tournament so completely as Maradona did that year. I miss excellence. There's so much more money in the game these days, but what's it worth if money creates mediocrity?

What do you lot think? Was this actually a good tournament and I'm too jaded?
 

The Blobster

Prediction Champ
No , you are right , most games were crap with teams afraid of losing rather than trying to win , only Spain played with pace and high up the field and were easily the best team in the tournament . All the other big name teams were disappointing and boring to watch .
 

ivoralljack

Grizzled Veteran
Staff member
I entirely endorse and agree with JoD's post. It WAS a boring Euros and modern football is becoming more boring by the week. Defensive systems and tactics are strangling the game and it's far less of a spectacle than when I was growing up. And it doesn't help when players go down as if they've been nuked when they feel the slightest touch and bring the game to a halt. Sorry to say this is an influence brought in by 'foreign' players where feigning injury and cheating seems to be a part of their make-up. And now British players are doing the same. If you can't beat 'em.......

I frequently watch old footy games on "The Big Match Revisited" and the like where the entertainment value far exceeds games of today and when players were a lot more honest than today's prima donnas. I shudder to think what Ducks would make of it if he was playing today. But then he wouldn't have played that much because he'd have frequently been arrested for GBH in the woke/PC climate that exists in today's game.
 

ivoralljack

Grizzled Veteran
Staff member
Wales women beat Kosovo 2-0 to finish top of their European Championship group and progress to the next stage. This also meant that they are now promoted to League A in their version of the Nations League. Impressive from Wales who dropped only 4 unexpected points to Ukraine (finished second) after two draws. And their goal difference was 15 to Ukraines 7 (18/3 11/4). Well done the Welsh ladies - damned sight more successful than the men!
 
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