As Gareth Southgate’s England required an own goal to draw with North Macedonia, one was reminded on Wales losing to West Samoa in the ’91 World Cup… and thank god we weren’t playing the whole of Macedonia.
Southgate followed up the struggle against Malta with another borefest, dullathon outing in his quest to take England to the top of the FIFA rankings, which is now being met with much derision, finally.
England followed up their three whole shots on target against Malta, by managing only 2 against North Macedonia, who managed 3. In a game where their ineptitude was ably matched by the officials and Dion Dublin.
Dion Dublin. What more can you say about Dion Dublin. Gareth’s chief cheerleader, keeps telling us what he expects to see form Gareth’s England, then repeatedly tells us he’s surprised that he doesn’t see it from Gareth’s England. Which is interspersed with his struggles over the laws of the game.
A classic of the latter came half way through the first half, when the useless lump Maguire, under no pressure chipped the ball straight to a player in red. The useless lump then proceeded to trip over his own feet and fall into the Macedonian player taking him out in the penalty area. For some bizarre reason the ref waved the claims away and VAR didn’t follow up on it. It was a stonewall penalty but not for Dion.
No Dion says “I think the contact is with the upper body not the lower body, I don’t think that’s a penalty, no.” So Dion thinks because it’s a rugby tackle and not a football tackle, it’s not a pen. Peak Dion.
Should North Macedonia have had a penalty for this?
Very clumsy from Maguire 😳
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) November 20, 2023
You must figure that the officials later realised the mistake they made not giving the pen, when they did give one for debutant Rico Lewis’s slight brush of a Macedonian with his hand/arm, in a nothing challenge. At this point England hadn’t mustered one shot on target. Ollie Watkins up front was finding out what it really is like being Harry Kane. Pickford saved the pen but couldn’t get the rebound.
England thought they’d equalised very early in the second half but Grealish was offside, he knew, he knew he never got onside, look at the way he doesn’t really celebrate. I mean he is so thick, but not thick enough to celebrate, thick enough to be stood there behind the last defender knowing he’s goal side of the last defender as he looks along the line.
He knew, we all knew, but somehow it took VAR an age to figure it out.
With the hour approaching it was time for Southgate to hit the panic button as the unlucky Watkins made way for Kane, he did so as England had a corner and at that corner the defender marking Kane scored the equaliser.
Then with another tactical masterstroke of his managerial masterclass decided to make more changes, as he took off the one player who had actually looked and played forward so far in the game. Alexander-Arnold. And replaced him with a defensive midfielder. Blinder Gareth.
On with him came Rashford and Palmer. The latter did nothing again while the former was worse than useless. Though excused every time by Dion Dublin. TAA was the only one that did anything, Saka was in his greedy mode, just looking for a chance of a goal but finding any. While Grealish just slowed everything up, stopping and facing his defender and not getting past them. Why do they always feel the need to face up to a defender to beat them? Saka has the pace to knock the ball past his defender, never does it.
But finally some pundits are wakening up and seeing this dullard Southgate for what he is. Dullard as a player, dullard as a person, dullard as a poor club manager, dullard who has cost England.
Everything about him can be summed up by Kyle Walker. Early on Walker was stood on his lonesome wide right, waving his arms at the centrebacks, demanding the ball. The person I was watching the game with said straight away “pass it here… pass it here.. so I can pass it straight back to you”. And that’s exactly what happened. No thought of even trying to look forward. That’s Southgate’s football. Southgate’s England.
Walker played 7 games in qualification, he passed the ball forward less than 25% of the time. He only attempted 10 crosses, he was successful only 4 times.
England the number 1 pass back team… thanks Gareth…