England v Belgium a real test for southgates England

Frozen Horse

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Belgium beat us twice in our last 2 meetings.
Any win is an improvement.

Not playing well and winning is the sign of a good team in club football. If England do it, it's an outrage.


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I still think we were poor and that some of our players have been over promoted, but I don’t have any issue with Southgate giving them a try.

I thought Belgium were poor as well, for a top international team they seemed to lack a bit of motivation and interest.

Maybe their club managers have warned them not to put too much in or maybe it’s the lack of spectators, Wembley looks terrible having a match without fans.


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Looked a bit shakey for 30 mins of first half, but then regained control. Tehy were always a danger, but we defended well and possibly just about deserved the win.


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England deserve credit for a much improved second half. At one point there was potential for a real lesson from Belgium.

Any win against one of the best is welcome so hopefully the players take confidence from it.


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Admittedly I didn't watch the second half and the points about winning despite not playing well being very true I have a few major problems with Gareth and his England setup.

Today you could argue he played 8 defensive players and the 3 up top. He has his favourites that have been referenced by myself and others throughout this thread.

I get international football is generally poor because you don't have the players long but it doesn't mean you can't pick players in position.

The frustration is we have so much potential attacking talent, we could have one of the most exciting sides in Europe aside from France.

As for Belgium they have the feel of England 2002 syndrome and a lot of that generation is going to be past peak in a year or two.

The Card Cheat

Active member
Who'd be an England manager? Southgate was appointed England manager at one of the lowest points in our national teams history, remember the utter humiliation of losing to Iceland, the omnishambles of Fat Sam Allardyce? Since then he's led England with intelligence dignity and undoubted passion, and he's been successful. Reaching two semi finals in a row after 30 years of never getting past the quarter finals of anything is no mean feat.
But somehow he's clueless because he didn't pick Grealish. In a game we won. Against the worlds highest ranked team. Who were unbeaten in two years. In a game you didn't watch. When his club had almost certainly indicated they didn't want him playing in all three games.
Jesus wept.


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He did, and that's because he wanted to nullify Belgium. Man for man they have more talented players on the ball. We had play it smart and it worked.
He did the same against Denmark who are vastly inferior to Belgium and we drew 0-0.

Expat Smoggie

Active member
disappointing game -- both teams lacked shooting boots, the Belgians especially. I don't think we learned too much from the game other than Belgium seem to be one dimensional with Lukaku.


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He did the same against Denmark who are vastly inferior to Belgium and we drew 0-0.
Other than Grealish did he refuse to pick any super talented players that were available? Remember he would have been throwing Grealish straight into a qualifier with no games to learn. Let's also not forget that although Grealish has talent, he doesn't always apply and doesn't have the healthiest temperament.

Against Denmark he was forced to play Coady, Gomez and Dier as his CBs. None of them would be in his first choice CBs (Walker-Keane-Maguire). He was also missing Chilwell from defence. So going a bit conservative wasn't an issue in that game. We needed to not lose and we didn't. We got our 6th consecutive cleansheet with a scratch defence and playing part of the game a man down and we should have won it late on but Kane was cleared off the line. If Walker hadn't been red carded, I think we would have won. You can't blame Southgate for a stupid moment from a defender.

Southgate has won 21 drawn 6 and lost 6 in competitive games. He gets it right more than not, and he gets it right a lot more often than any recent england managers.

The losses away to Czechs was disappointing, Netherlands away (no shame), Spain (no shame), Belgium twice (he learned from it today) and Croatia.

The idea that he is too defensive is nonsense too, scored:
7 - once
6 - twice
5 - three times
4 - three times
3 - three times
only failed to score in 9 out of 45 games, and 6 of those we still drew.

He's the best manager we have had since Ramsey in terms of results.


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Very fair points really @BoroMart.

Doesn't mean that the criticism of his team selections and formation aren't valid though.
valid to question, but the level of nonsense that is levied at him like he has completely dropped the ball isn't justified. People are quick to forget how underwhelming and disapointing it was under McClaren, Eriksson, Hodgson, Capello, Keegan, Hoddle
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I like him a lot and he seemed to avoid the classic England manager pitfall of picking their favourites over form and slotting square pegs into round holes.

My concern is that it looks like he is now doing both to an extent.

It's funny though I'd genuinely rather have Neil managing us than Gareth, to be honest I'd rather have Neil managing England. 🤣