I thought I'd start a post before England play, because I have an opinion on Gareth Southgate. I've implied it before, but today I'm going to put it down as clear as possible, hoping I'm wrong.
And it's not rocket science. I think he's too close and friendly with the players and I think he thinks too much as the England manager.
Southgate wasn't a great League manager. For those that don't know, after a playing career he went on to manage Middlesbrough and essentially relegated them to the Club they are now. Then he took over some of the brightest players in the game and achieved what was expected of him.
Some think it was setup for him and I'm one of those. A little like how Southampton was setup for Koeman. The real proof for Southgate will be this tournament, because there can be no excuses after this, he's had enough time and he's got the best group of players in a generation.
And this sounds brutal, but if we don't win the European Championships, someone else has to be given the chance because this isn't about finishing in the top four. This is about winning.
The England manager doesn't have to be friends with the players, he just has to get them up for the game. He has to pick eleven players and pick a formation that is the best for those players. It doesn't need to be the best player in that position, it has to be the best player for that position and that style of football.
It's not about the best 11 English players, it's about picking a formation and sticking with it. It's about having an approach and sticking with it. And it's about making those players believe they can win and sending them out believing they can achieve greatness.
I'm convinced you can not be a friend of the players and manager. The greatest managers get that extra 1% and I'm yet to see Southgate get anything other than what I expect from a player. And I think Southgate changes things too much and we all know that change in football isn't good.
We need that extra 1% from every player and we need consistency. We need England to play like Leicester and Liverpool did.
As England manager, it's really not rocket science. I so hope I'm wrong, but we'll see.
In Aston Villa news
This post can't be about England, so in other news, Emiliano Buendía is a confirmed Aston Villa player.