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England 2021/22

Old Hooker

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Neither 100% hardass or soft will work over an extended timeframe. Both might yield results in the short term depending on what’s gone before, but they’re dealing with people and people are much more complicated than that.

Very demanding is fine - this is top level sport. But every squad will have some players who respond to stick and some who respond to carrot. Being able to understand and balance that is critical. Ferguson was so good at that - able to dish out bollockings with the best of them, but also got to know his players and staff as people and knew when the arm around the shoulder worked. Also had his players’ backs in public even if he was ripping them apart privately.

Similarly Southgate. Different style, but getting to know and understand his players has helped the uptick in results. He’s not an obvious teapot thrower but don’t imagine for a minute that he’s a soft touch, some of his selections tell you as much.

This is also why Mourinho looks like yesterday’s man. Always seems like it’s his way or the highway and that just doesn’t work now.
 

Dan Kelly is Irish

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Ferguson had complete control of the club though, it was his players and his coaches and he would get rid of anyone that was at all against him, he never really lost the training room because he could kick out anyone who might make that problem.
Sir Alex was prob one of the most ruthless managers in Football history in terms of players and coaches.
For me hardass coach doesn't mean they are not sympathetic. It's more the making sure everyone knows that end of the day it's the coaches way not the players way.

I'm not a Jose fan at all and feel that his "hardass" approach is actually more an ego approach.

Southgate did a hell of a job getting to the final but he did bottle it hard in the final, and left some very young talented players out to dry.
No way someone like Ferguson would've left the key pen to a 19 year old, or bring on 2 more young players at the last minute so that basically their first touch of the ball was the pen.
 

Old Hooker

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For me hardass coach doesn't mean they are not sympathetic. It's more the making sure everyone knows that end of the day it's the coaches way not the players way.
The coach has to be clearly in charge with the final say. 100% that, but in making those decisions he should, and should want to, understand the players’ views. Not only will they come up with some good ideas, but everyone likes to feel valued and consulted, and the best results come from teams (sports or otherwise) which have full buy in to their objectives rather than being ‘told’ what they’re going to do. That’s not to the exclusion of being ruthless when needs be.
 

BPM

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It wouldn’t be a massive surprise.

I’ve been impressed by what Borthwick has done with Tigers so far and if he carries on as he’s started, he could be a serious contender by 2023.
 

Geordiefalcon

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What do we do with Englands Midfield in the Autumn internationals...?

Smith v Ford...Ford will have fixed his injury and had a full summer off and full preseason.
But Smith is the standout 10 in the prem, though inexperienced at this level.

Surely its irrelevant which 10 plays, if we continue with Farrell and Slade as a combo. We must have a runner in there - Marchant or Lawrence or Odogwu...etc.
 

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I'd love to see Smith, Lawrence, Marchant first up vs Tonga, and then if they go well then an eye on continuing with them throughout the series

Realistically Slade is nailed on for a starting spot, and probably Farrell as well (captain, n all that - I don't think he'll be rested)

Smith, Farrell, Slade?
Farrell, Lawrence, Slade?
Ford, Farrell, Slade?
Farrell, Manu, Slade?

Who knows what EJ will do

I do think we might see Ford edged out, though - will need a big start to the season to remind people what he's about
 

Geordiefalcon

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I think Ford could come out the blocks firing. Fit, rested, a full proper preseason....and playing in a side that Borthwick will have working well.

I just really think we cant stick with Farrell and Slade in there. And with Farrell seemingly undroppable...Slade has to go.

Tonga:
10.Smith,
12 Lawrence,
13 Marchant

Aus, SA
10 Ford / Smith depends on form and how Smith went v Tonga
12 Farrell
13 Lawrence / Marchant - Whoever went better v Tonga
 

BPM

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Yep. Agreed on all points.

Ford has every chance of starting the season well. He and Youngs should be fit and ready to go with the benefit of a full pre-season for the first time in a while. Tigers pack has improved significantly under Borthwick’s tenure so Ford should get the opportunity to play on the front foot with a good chance to shine.

Also Farrell and Smith won’t be available until mid October, by which time Ford could have made a compelling case to start in the AIs.

Being second or third choice on the Lions tour and poor when he has played is a big come down (although it should really be a reality check) for Farrell. He could do with a rest to focus on building some kind of form IMO. He really shouldn’t be immune to being dropped, but even if Eddie wants to stick with him, he could still publicly say he’s resting him for the AIs to save face.

I expect Smith to continue to do well so I’d prefer to see him dovetail with Ford for the AIs.

Slade is consistently inconsistent and that’s not good enough to warrant him being a seemingly guaranteed starter. If Marchant picks up where he left off last season, he really should get an opportunity to start against some Tier 1 opposition. So far Lawrence has been picked more on promise than on form so it’ll be interesting to see how he does.

Tuilagi also seems to have been forgotten and if he can stay injury free, he’s surely in at 12 or 13.
 
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Geordiefalcon

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Yeah Lawrence hasnt really shone just yet....lets hope he can make the jump.

Re Tuilagi...do you mean 12 or 13 ;) . I just have no faith these days that he will be fit and you cant build an international backline with that in mind. Similar to Jack Nowell...

I have always wondered why Sam James was never looked at. Always seemed a quality centre ....
 

BPM

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:eek:

Yes. I meant 12 or 13 … Tuilagi at 10 is not an option I’d like to see haha.

I don’t think Sam James has ever looked as good as Marchant or Slade. So far he’s probably been better than Lawrence, but I think he has the potential to be quite a bit better as well as offering a power option that James can’t.
 

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SJs time to get capped was the Argentina tour 4yrs ago, but then he got dicked around and it didn't happen

He's good for a handful of really good club games a season but nowhere near the consistency you'd need to get even a sniff of a look-in internationally these days

Very much the kind of player whose skill is higher than his athleticism (like Simon Hammersley) - not that strong/quick etc., but a good rugby brain
Solid club player but no more by this point
 

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:eek:

Yes. I meant 12 or 13 … Tuilagi at 10 is not an option I’d like to see haha.

I don’t think Sam James has ever looked as good as Marchant or Slade. So far he’s probably been better than Lawrence, but I think he has the potential to be quite a bit better as well as offering a power option that James can’t.
He'd pass more than Biggar
 

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Martin Gleeson joins Eddie Jones' coaching staff as Attack Coach
 
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TRF_Olyy

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Strange swap,
England defence becomes wasps attack as wasps attack becomes England attack

Hopefully he's given free reign because wasps play some lovely stuff when they're in the mood
 

BPM

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Ok next one...

Does Dombrandt start in the AI's?
I would like to think so. He wasn’t conspicuously brilliant against Canada but was a fair bit better than Chick (who was anonymous against USA) and did make a couple of decent breaks and linked well for a couple of the tries. I just wonder whether he needed a 9/10 performance to really get in the mix when he put in more of 7/10.
 

Geordiefalcon

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Im not sure BPM, hes been putting good performances in all Season that must give him some credit. Not to mention having near invisible flankers such as Ludlow...and ineffective locks doesnt really help your cause.

With Curry and Underhill on the flank, Itoje etc in there...its a different beast altogether...and that should allow Dombrandt to really show what he can do.

In fact someone like Dombrandt running his lines and angles might actually help Ford aswell...giving him options again...
 
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