'I want the one I can’t have,’ sang Morrissey. Of course, he was talking about unrequited gay love, but at the risk of challenging anyone’s masculinity here, there’s a lot of it going on around the England team at the moment.
The clamour for what is out of reach, the dissatisfaction with the world as it is. Nobody wants the players that are in, everyone wants the players that are out, and when those that were out are in, everyone wants them out again, and for what? Someone new, someone untried, someone unimagined, someone different. Who can’t we have? We want him.
It used to be Jack Grealish. Now it’s Jadon Sancho. If Gareth Southgate picks Sancho how long before the chorus will grow tired of him, too. And then what? Conor Coady? Ben White? Sam Johnstone? Who can satisfy this insatiable appetite for change?
Bukayo Saka caught the eye against the Czech Republic but the game was a dead rubberInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Phil Foden was, by popular consent, the outstanding young English player of his generation, the spiritual successor to Paul Gascoigne. The poor soul heard it so often he dyed his hair to pander to our fantasies. And now?
Southgate omitted him because he was worried that Mason Mount’s self-isolation and a second booking for Foden would leave England weak against opponents far stronger than Czech Republic, and now there is genuine speculation around whether he should return.
Getting into the England team has to mean something. It cannot be that every player is an ordinary 45 minutes from exile. Bukayo Saka looked impressive in the last game, as did Grealish, but it was a dead rubber. That display cannot trump years of preparation. There is a lot of time for international managers to ponder.
Phil Foden was England's standout youngster by popular consent but now they're clamouring for Jadon Sancho
Southgate will not be surprised that England are in the last 16, nor that Germany are the opposition. There was a good chance this fixture would happen and he will know the way he wants to set up. While injuries and Mount’s absence may have thrown out some plans, he can’t make selections by whim.
Was it always this way? It doesn’t seem to have been. Terry Venables, who Southgate admired, maintained that getting out of the England team should be as hard as getting in.
In 1996, nine of England’s initial starting XI kept their places in all five games, and the two who missed a match — Paul Ince and Gary Neville — only did so due to suspension. Both times, the player promoted was David Platt.
We always want what we can't have and Gareth Southgate shouldn't entertain calls for changeInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Venables started just 12 players across five matches. He did not entertain calls for battlefield promotions based on presumptions of improvement, guesses at best.
And that wasn’t because England always played well. There was disquiet against Switzerland, against Spain, initially against Scotland. It wasn’t so different to now.
But it’s no way to win a tournament, wanting the one you can’t have, always presuming better sits on the bench. Foden, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, these players start for a reason.
It's ridiculous that there's genuine speculation around whether Foden should return to the XI
The email announcement dropped at 11.29pm. You can always tell when an organisation is particularly proud of its process. They trumpet decisions at 31 minutes to midnight.
In a nutshell, it was revealed that Derby haven’t been deducted points for financial irregularity, but the EFL might appeal this decision in the hope they are, so Derby and Wycombe’s fixtures in the Championship and League One next season have been made interchangeable.
Wycombe who were only promoted via an EFL calculation so obtuse it curtailed the season and then awarded more than three points per game in some cancelled matches, may now be saved by more office politics.
As for Derby fans, they cannot plan a single trip, book so much as one afternoon off work, until this mess is decided.
How the EFL have handled the situation with Derby shows it needs a lot more than a regulator
The second Saturday of the season, for instance, Derby could be in Peterborough or Cheltenham. The following midweek, Hull or Wigan. The fifth game of the season is the derby at home to Nottingham Forest — or away at Sunderland, see if the EFL care.
Derby don’t play on September 4 because it is an international weekend — unless they’re at home to Ipswich, as Wycombe might be. So good luck making plans for that one. As for Derby’s manager, who knows? There is now talk that Wayne Rooney will leave if Derby are demoted.
How can they plan the summer? That’s the EFL. Licensed to kill football clubs.
They got lucky appealing to relegate Macclesfield last year, so may try again, but this is a lunatic asylum masquerading as a league. It doesn’t need a regulator; it needs sectioning.
No wonder there is such desperation to get out.Favre could be Palace's new de Boer
Lucien Favre is one of those names that used to be dropped by the same people who thought Turkey were going to win Euro 2020.
He took Borussia Monchengladbach into the Champions League, then did the same with Nice in France. He won the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund. He is clearly a good coach.
Lately, however, he does not get linked with Manchester United so much, or Arsenal. Monchengladbach were bottom when he left; Dortmund were outside the Champions League places and had just been beaten 5-1 by Stuttgart. Now Favre is going to Crystal Palace.
Lucien Favre is clearly a good coach but there's every chance it could go wrong at Palace
It is a good appointment but an interesting one. Palace is the type of job that usually goes to a domestic coach. A few bad results and it is firefighting time.
Frank de Boer was their only foreign appointment since Attilio Lombardo in 1998 and he worked all of five games before panic set in and Roy Hodgson was summoned.
Lombardo got seven games.
Palace see Favre as a coach to take them to the next level. He has that pedigree. Even so, it might be an idea for Sam Allardyce to keep his