Foden is actually our best player

He is the future and the now. 

Everyone is going bananas over Bellingham but Foden is the playmaker and danger man. Last match, bar putting the ball in the net, two goals were his. But for his runs and delivery. Like mercury. 

He probably is our best player in terms of raw ability but we haven’t worked out how to use him to anything like his potential yet, in the national side,

Like Madison he is basically an orthodox No.10. You can dress it up and say no he’s x or y, but his mix of attributes (great passer, great technique and vision, can score goals but not a 29 a season man, mobile but not really quick) are, most optimally, those of a straight 10. And we don’t play with one.

oh Paz but laz hey laz, but City don’t play that kind of 10 either 

no, and City don’t get the best out of Foden, either

it must drive true football fans nuts when, every 2-4 years, every (male) tom dick and hugh pipes up and spouts crap

Foden is fantastic, but he is one of a number of rangy attacking midfield players we have.  Bellingham at 19 is a midfield general - he is Lampard and Gerrard combined and will in time be recognised as the best player in the world.

Lampard and Gerrard combined is not only a cliche, it’s inaccurate. He’s far better than either of those overrated celebrities were. 

Kane is also underrated.  Much of his best work is the stuff he does which isn't scoring. He's surely one of the best target men in the World.  He makes a lot of assists.  He wins a lot of free kicks.  If he's not doing those things, he's still involved in a lot of the attacking play.  The fact that he's only scored one goal in the tournament doesn't say much to me.  England's bad game was obviously against USA, so I'd say it was that match that was his weakest because he failed to get enough purchase with all the good team stuff he does.  That's how I think he's assessed.  Genuinely all round World Class striker.

The only striker like Kane at this WC is Giroud. Not many teams are prepared to accommodate someone with that sort of game. 

That's the right comparison, probably.  Kane's got a lot more pace than Giroud.  It's hard to be sure but my feeling is Kane was always faster than Giroud.  Giroud is also an underrated player, and always has been, but he's obviously a little too old now and will have lost half a yard of pace

Musiala at Bayern is every bit as good as Bellingham at the moment, imo. Very similar players too. Paired up they would be amazing.

Peak Kane is at least one level above Peak Giroud.  Giroud is past his peak but Kane is not, which means Kane is probably two levels above Giroud right now.  That's a huge gap.  It's not borne out by goals in this WC, but it's nonetheless true.

France are probably a level above England.  I mean we'll see, there's a game coming up, but they're World Champs and have been looking sharp.  That evens things out a bit and puts it back to Kane being one level above Giroud.  Roughly.

We have also been looking sharp, both teams have totally dominated 3 games and had a disappointing game.  

Well our best player is actually injured but hey ho. 

Reece James - both a phenomenal defender and a lethal attacking force. Strong as fek and brave as a British Tommy. 

Yeah I know - I am a little bit bothered about the USA performance though, and also the first half an hour against Senegal.  Additionally I have a feeling Maguire hasn't been tested yet and as soon as he comes under stern pressure, which he will, he will slip up.  

That said we do have enough going forward to hurt teams, a lot. We've also had loads of clean sheets, whereas France haven't, so all is definitely not lost.  

England need to take France on.  When other teams have done that they've scored. That positivity comes at some cost, and I would expect England to also concede in normal time.  If and when that happens it will be about how they respond.  The first goal in the match is going to be crucial. 

Appreciate this is all very cliche driven, but there are important points here.  Lastly on Southgate - he really will be tested here. You get so many subs these days and I do believe that England's greatest strength is in the whole squad.  Where Southgate lacks vision most is that he doesn't get those players on quickly enough and with the confidence to use all his subs if needs be.  I suspect the reason for this is he's not sure who to bring off, but he has to have a plan for this, and stick to it.  If the match is 50/50 and starting to mature, I'd say we'll be able to judge his vision as to whether most of the subs are really just with a view to getting the best penalty takers on the pitch.  If it's just that, then that will demonstrate the lack of vision. If England prevail fine, if they don't that lack of vision likely to be the key.  Judging by the last game's line up Rashford is a gold plated substituted weapon, so if he's sub again how soon will we see him...?

Foden is a wonderfully gifted technical player but each of the WC games he has started have shown his obvious flaw at international level 

I know most of you would have missed it but us experts can see it 

I'll give you a hint - as soon as Henderson screamed at Bellingham to do it against Senegal we scored, as soon as Rashford and Foden swapped against Wales, we scored. 

Lane is definitely underrated. He’s the world’s best No.9 born between Lewandowski and Haaland and he’s a better all rounder than either of those.

Foden's one of England's best players right now and should rightly start every match. Not sure he's our very best player though because Kane and Bellingham are probably more important for us (and less replaceable).

Kane would also walk into any nation's first XI at this World Cup. Bellingham is fast making a similar case. Not sure I could say the same for Foden, as there's so much elite competition in his wide left position - Mbappe, Joao Felix and Vinicius Jr are all playing there and playing well.

I really like Southgate's front three of Foden, Kane and Saka. If he does go with 5-3-2 against France, however, I wonder who makes way.


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