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From Paul Kay

Regarding Richard Edmondson's comments ("The Final Word", Independent, 17 June) about England's first goal against Scotland. The move that led to the goal began with Southgate heading the ball back to Seaman who then threw it out to Neville. There then followed a period of "poncing about" in midfield involving six players and seven passes before Redknapp fed McManaman who in turn passed to Neville who crossed to Shearer.

All England's players, with the exception of Gascoigne, Adams and Sheringham, were involved. It showed that England can compete with the route-one approach of the sophisticated Dutch, i.e. Bergkamp's goal against Switzerland.

Yours sincerely,


Christchurch, Dorset

From Frank Desmond

Now that Euro 96 is well under way it is a better time than most to air my pet whinge about TV football commentaries: the infuriating habit of the "back-up" commentator of making his point regardless of any development in the play.

So he's talking about the recent substitution and meanwhile that pass back to the goalkeeper has been intercepted. However, that's no reason to let the other bloke describe what's going on. The polite word for that is ego-tripping and if you had a quid for every time it is going to happen during the tournament then you would not need to buy lottery tickets.

Yours sincerely,


London, W6

From Michael Slowe

Your photograph of the front benches of the Lord's Pavilion, published on page 8 of your 14 June issue, contains one horrifying image.

No, not the lady sitting resplendent watching the England and New Zealand women's team playing but the gentleman behind correctly dressed in straw hat and necktie and, horror of horrors, drinking a pint of beer. Do not the regulations of the MCC forbid taking food and beverages out of the bars in the pavilion on to the outside benches?

Yours faithfully,


London NW1

From John Cameron

So, the bosses of English rugby have once again managed to shoot rugby in the foot. Their amazingly selfish stance towards the TV negotiations shows how little regard they have not only for the wider public by denying live rights to terrestrial television, but also towards the game itself, and demonstrates how far they have been stampeded by the panic of professionalism.

It would seem obvious to all but the most stupid that if northern hemisphere rugby is to flourish, and have any chance of matching the standards set by New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, all the home nations need the resources to develop and produce worthwhile competition for each other. The inadvisability of "one-off" matches in the southern hemisphere has already been demonstrated by the England soccer squad's Far East debacle.

Yours faithfully,


St Albans, Hertfordshire

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