Euro 2024: England lick wounds after media mauling, Baggio robbed at gunpoint – live news | Euro 2024

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The UK Football Policing Unit have put out a statement after an English fan was assaulted in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday as England beat Serbia in their Euro 2024 opener.

Police want to speak to a man in connection with an assault which took place at the England V Serbia Euro 2024 match in Gelsenkirchen.

At around 10pm (CET) on Sunday 16 June, an assault occurred just outside the ground, resulting in an English fan receiving a broken jaw.

Supt Mike Ankers, Investigations Lead, said: ‘The victim of this assault has received quite serious injuries in what we believe was an unprovoked attack.

‘Anyone with information about the man is asked to email [email protected] or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’

The man is believed to be an England fan.

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“Surely moving Bellingham to 8 clears up a lot of the midfield issues,” writes Joel Ford (echoing something I was thinking last night).

“He’s a natural 8 anyways and (you guessed it) even better than Kalvin Phillips! All of a sudden England have a very solid yet dynamic centre. Then Foden to 10 in a free role and put Gordon on the left. Let Kane come deep and when he does that should be the trigger for Gordon, Saka and Foden to look for runs in behind. Basically similar to how Spain are set-up. Simple.”

“This clamour for Wharton baffles me when Mainoo is the master of ball control,” writes Julian Keith. “Agree with Gordon or Palmer on the left to ‘rest’ Foden, but the midfield is the issue and I think Mainoo offers press-resistance and forward passing more than Wharton. Why take him otherwise?

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”Slovenia is a chance to test some other players whilst needing the win, perfect for young players. Second place in the group is extremely dangerous with Germany likely laying in wait … Shaw is also a necessity for the last 16 and anywhere beyond but let’s see.”

Wharton or Mainoo: the England midfield question that pretty much no one would’ve predicted months ago.

“Just chipping in because who doesn’t want to hear from another armchair football ‘expert’,” writes Andrew Casey.

“As neat and tidy as it is to just talk about swapping players out, as well as being a nice opportunity for fans to say players who play for their clubs are better than players who play for their rivals, it’s going to make no difference putting Mainoo in, or Gordon, or anyone else unless we actually decide how we want to play. It’s not clear to me at all that Southgate has any defined model of playing other than a) get specific players in the team and b) protect the defence at all costs. Are we a high-energy pressing team? No. Are we a sit deep, counter-attack team? Nope. Are we supposed to be suffocating the opposition with control? No. We’re not really one thing or another. We don’t play on the front foot and look shaky on the back foot.

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“There are personnel changes that could be made that might help, but this is a recurring theme with England; we get to tournaments without a settled team and without a settled way of playing. Sometimes you can hit upon something or someone new coming into a side and it will just magically work, but most of the time the best teams know how they’re going to play and have players that fit. We are still trying to cram people in.

”There is a question of how willing Southgate is to be progressive. He’s got two hugely creative players in Foden and Alexander-Arnold and yet is playing them in positions and systems that don’t suit them (if there is, in fact, a system). How much is he willing to build a team around the best players, rather than just playing them? Or, if the system is king, play the players that fit it. The only ‘system’ aspect I see is that he wants two midfielders sitting deep. Other than that… dunno. He’s flat-out avoided dealing with how to mitigate against Kane being unable/unwilling to press, and still dropping deep; and how to give our best passer and most prolific assister, Alexander-Arnold, adequate cover. Liverpool managed it and won the League & European Cup at the same time.”

Petition to run it back to 2018, to the 3-5-2: Henderson pinging balls to the runners, Dele and Lingard finding the space, Dier on for the shootout. Heady days. The sun was out in England, too.

Aaron Ramsey with a heartfelt message for Rob Page.

It has been a journey we can all be proud of from the euros to taking Wales to a World Cup for the first time since 58. I personally just want to thank you for all you have done for me🙏🏼 You have been a privilege to work with, a gentleman and true family man. Myself and the team… pic.twitter.com/0m8uAfjQ34

— Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) June 21, 2024

“As an outsider looking in, I can’t help feeling it’s all a little over reaction?” writes Vincent O’Brien. “Agreed, In-ger-land have been somewhat underwhelming for 135’ of this tournament thus far but going on previous tournaments they do seem to be able to up their game against the better sides (apologies Serbia) as they progress? I still expect (grudgingly) to see them in last four next month, by which time even Ireland may have named a new head coach! (Or possibly not..)”

I do think part of the reaction is linked to how much more organised England have looked in previous tournaments under Southgate in the group stage, combined with them being billed as favourites heading into this one.

Rob Page sacked as Wales manager

Some big news. Page took Wales to the World Cup but they didn’t make it to Euro 2024 after a playoff loss to Poland, and some poor friendly results hurt his standing. Ben Fisher has the story.

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“I’m not going to get in to the itty gritty of tactics because if Football/ Championship manager has taught me anything, it’s that tactics is not my area of expertise,” writes Ben Lake.

“I will say though, it’s especially dispiriting to see England return to the England of most of my lived history. I’m talking specifically of post Euro 96 England. When it seemed like an incredibly talented group of players could never function together on the pitch. The sum of their parts never seeming more than a banged up family sedan and that sedan got worse and worse as time dragged on.

“This was personified by those draining, tedious draws against the US and Algeria, then hit its nadir with Harry Kane repeatedly wasting corners in the heroic loss to Iceland.

“Somehow, Southgate broke this current crop out of that funk, had them all playing more to their abilities. Yes, we didn’t win anything but at least every tournament didn’t feel like a completely wasted opportunity of the collected talent involved. We were competing and winning and not tripping up against teams we should be beating, there was a definite upwards trajectory.

“Yet, somehow, we are back again, right back where we started. Never ending debates about positions, a lack of invention and incision and a mounting backlash against the manager, who honestly looks like he is already imagining how much easier this tournament would be commenting in a studio.”

That last paragraph reminds me of a little something I watched a couple of weeks ago, from Euro 2012. Would highly recommend:

“Wharton for Trent and Gordon for Foden with Foden on later when forwards start to wilt / balance better and Wharton born to play that role – although until Iceland I thought that was true of Mainoo too, so there’s that,” writes Nick Poole, revealing the fickleness of fandom.

“So according to Barney Ronay, England’s big problem was an invisible midfield whereas Jonathan Liew identified the absence of a left flank,” writes Geoff Wignall.

“The trouble is they’re probably both correct. (Wasn’t central defence supposed to be the main concern? They were probably the two best England players.) Callow and inexperienced they might be at this level, but Wharton and Gordon would have a low bar to improve upon and each offers qualities conspicuously lacking so far.

“Wharton in particular has the rare knack of reading and understanding the flow of a game and the moments within it, along with the technique to make full use of that. You can’t really say the same for TAA.

“And for all of Foden’s skill, outside the context of playing in a dominant team drilled to the nth degree by a tactical master he’s yet to show much in 30+ internationals.”

Adam Wharton, from Championship midfielder to England saviour in the space of months. Best luck to him if he does get the nod.

Roberto Baggio robbed at gunpoint

A shocking story from Associated Press:

Retired Italy star Roberto Baggio was robbed at gunpoint at his home while watching the national team’s game against Spain at the European Championship.

At least five armed robbers burst into Baggio’s villa near the northern city of Vicenza around around 10pm, according to Italian media reports. One struck Baggio on the head with the butt of a gun when the former soccer player confronted them.

The robbers locked the 57-year-old Baggio and his family in a room while they stole jewellery, watches and cash.

After the thieves left, Baggio broke down the door and called police. He was taken to the hospital and received stitches for the wound. His family members were not harmed.

Baggio played 56 games for Italy, scoring 27 goals.

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“Can’t believe I stayed up from 12 midnight to 2 am for this lackluster performance from England,” writes Boon-Teck from Singapore. “Been severely misled by the quality of the previous (non-England) games.

”Why can’t Gareth Southgate consider a back-to-basics 4-4-2? Put Saka as leftback, Gordon left winger and TAA on the right. Foden can play upfront with Kane. All the best to the Three Lions”

I would’ve gone to bed at half-time. Saka at left-back is very 2020. And are you dropping Walker? I respect out-of-the-box thinking but would kind of love it if Southgate, just for jokes, plays an unchanged XI against Slovenia.

Barney Ronay was in Frankfurt, too.

There is a German word for the dark energy of this England team over 90 minutes against a worthy Denmark team. Weltschmerz, weariness of spirit. Energy has leached from this entity. Outside of Jude Bellingham’s 45-minute game within a game in Gelsenkirchen last Sunday, a bolt-on tube of nitrous oxide, England have played like a team with a migraine.

Sky Sports News are reporting that eight English fans were arrested in Frankfurt yesterday. A police spokesperson is quoted as saying: “There was an exuberant mood among the fan groups, both English and Danish fans. We can summarise there was a peaceful togetherness on the streets the whole time. “

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And Spain really do look the part.

In other news, Lionel Messi: still knocking about for Argentina.

Jonathan Liew, masterfully, sums up England’s misery.

So you probably already watched that, which means that if you’re still reading this you’re either a masochist, a sadist or a Scot. Is it really worth kicking this twitching corpse any further? Of course it is. We may have lost two hours of our lives, but in return we have gained five days of rich, delicious discourse.

Preamble

Well, hopefully Alan Shearer’s calmed down a bit. “Where do you start? No energy, no guile … there’s so much more to come from those players out there,” he belted out after the game. Gary Lineker was off his seat in the studio explaining where the captain was going wrong with his movement: “Harry Kane needs to do a lot better.”

Yes, the nation is in uproar as top-of-the-table England drew 1-1 with Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark at the Frankfurt Arena, Harry Kane’s opener cancelled out by a screamer from Morten Hjulmand. Truthfully, Gareth Southgate’s side were very, very poor, looking lost and leggy, and while the last 16 beckons anything more suddenly feels like a tough ask.

Send us your thoughts, prayers, tips for Gareth, dissertations on Why Wharton Must Play, whatever you fancy. Oh, and the Netherlands are playing France tonight. There’s life outside of England, too.





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