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Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #765
We look a threat at set pieces, but still missing that bit of creativity in midfield. A Jack Wilshere if you will.
We got to the semis. That's great, but it really feels like a missed opportunity given the way the tournament opened up (bit like fester winning the league). 
The only two decent sides we came up against, we lost both times.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #766
We look a threat at set pieces, but still missing that bit of creativity in midfield. A Jack Wilshere if you will.
We got to the semis. That's great, but it really feels like a missed opportunity given the way the tournament opened up (bit like fester winning the league). 
The only two decent sides we came up against, we lost both times.

Sweden qualified ahead of Italy and won a group containing Germany. They were better than we made them look.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #767
Sweden qualified ahead of the Dutch and beat Italy in a play-off.  I don't think England would have done that. But yes, we made them look poor.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #768
As a team, strategically and with work rate, we were as good as anyone. We just lacked the clever movement and passes in the final third....and the finishes when we got there.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #769
Surely sterling was injured or tired? If it was a tactical substitution it looked wrong on my telly. Rose should have been on earlier as well, as mentioned above. Vardy was the wrong option as well. Again.

Still, we've overacheived. I like the manager. Get a bit more creativity in to the middle and we've a brighter future.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #770
I know I'm biased, but whilst I agree with England being a young promising team with a manager who at last seems to suit them (and the media), I do think some of the hyperbole is a bit over the top. As has been pointed out, they lost to the two decent sides they played, were a penalty kick away from going out against Columbia and the draw opened up to them in a pretty unprecedented way.

Not taking anything away from the effort they put in, and they will surely be stronger and more experienced in 2 and 4 years time, but they way some media is talking, they are almost there when in reality it will still be an uphill struggle...especially as Spain, Germany, Argentina and Brazil are unlikely to be so off-the-boil in the next one.
The inside of a Halex Three-Star table-tennis ball smells much like you'd expect it to

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #771
We will likely be a better team if Southgate continues the development curve with them. We may not get as far in a tournament again though. Bearing in mind we've equalled the best previous achievement in my lifetime and other nations will also be trying and improving.

The test of people's understanding and appreciation of the effort put in will be when the results are not necessarily as good (if we'd ended in the other half of the draw with momentum, for example). My opinion of people is generally not high, so I'm expecting to be amused rather than impressed.

All the other three semi final teams were on the list. As were the last two to go home from the top half. We've beaten teams that on average we should have and lost to teams on average we should have. If were much improved there would still be enough better European teams to keep us out of the semis at the euros.

Can these newly reinvigorated England fans who jump up and down on taxi roofs if we beat modest Scandinavian opposition understand and applaud that? I have my doubts.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #772
I've heard people saying "I'm nervous" about tonight's game.

I'm not. I'm looking forward to seeing how a bunch of promising players acquit themselves. We are at least one World Cup ahead of ourselves, in my view; anything from here on in is a bonus. If we lose, it's no massive disappointment; if we win, well...

Keep the same coach and core squad, and by the next Euros we'll be a pretty effective unit that other top-level teams won't want to play much. This isn't the English way, I know, but it's about time we became that sort of team.

Sorry to say that we couldn't quite go that stage further. Still think the team over-achieved. Hope that the same set-up will be around in 3 tournaments' time.

Wish that the EPL teams would recognise how much this experience has improved their young players, and so recognise the value of developing young English players.

They won't.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #773
I know I'm biased, but whilst I agree with England being a young promising team with a manager who at last seems to suit them (and the media), I do think some of the hyperbole is a bit over the top. As has been pointed out, they lost to the two decent sides they played, were a penalty kick away from going out against Columbia and the draw opened up to them in a pretty unprecedented way.

Not taking anything away from the effort they put in, and they will surely be stronger and more experienced in 2 and 4 years time, but they way some media is talking, they are almost there when in reality it will still be an uphill struggle...especially as Spain, Germany, Argentina and Brazil are unlikely to be so off-the-boil in the next one.

Hmm. Germany were off the ball, for sure. I'm not sure about the other three, it felt more like they were merely 'not as good as the fans/media built them up to be'. Teams who didn't make it through their group, or weren't good enough to win their group ended up on the right side of the draw based on their performances. England made Sweden look ordinary where other teams had struggled. Getting through that Colombia game, given how Colombia played, was first rate... not many sides, even those with winning pedigree, make easy work of those games.

The hyperbole (by definition?) is always over the top. Don't let dampening it also dampen the achievement.
this is an excellent rectangle

 

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #774
Hmm. Germany were off the ball, for sure. I'm not sure about the other three, it felt more like they were merely 'not as good as the fans/media built them up to be'. Teams who didn't make it through their group, or weren't good enough to win their group ended up on the right side of the draw based on their performances. England made Sweden look ordinary where other teams had struggled. Getting through that Colombia game, given how Colombia played, was first rate... not many sides, even those with winning pedigree, make easy work of those games.

The hyperbole (by definition?) is always over the top. Don't let dampening it also dampen the achievement.

I agree. Yes, there are areas that need work; playing a full ninety minutes being foremost, but you suspect that comes with experience. As for the big teams, something was clearly wrong with Germany, but one-man teams Portugal and Argentina should not have been such a surprise. Ronaldo had a better tournament than Messi, but both were in teams that were no great shakes.
As for Spain, they simply have no plan B. Their brand of football may be attractive when it works, but they simply didn't seem to know how to play against a Russian team which denied them the space to frolic around.
Brazil? Always the most overhyped team in the tournament. They always have quality players and are always a threat. Would England have beat them? I suspect not, but it is an irrelevance as we didn't have to. When they play as a team they are superb, but I can't help feeling that the ever-increasing expectations have been affecting them in recent tournaments. I also think that compared to the best Brazil team I can remember in my lifetime (1982) they are nowhere near approaching the same level.

Yes, expectations for England will now increase, and rightly so. There are some talented players in the squad and some weaknesses, but the England team has underperformed for so long it has been a pleasure watching them play in this tournament. For so many years the team was dominated by big personalities but for once they have actually played as a team and this seems to be down to the accidental appointment of Southgate as manager. Would anyone have predicted the rise of Southgate prior to this tournament?

Whatever happens, I am happy for a few things. Firstly, Big Sam never got his chance to lead the England team. I never thought he deserved it and have always been massively suspicious of the media-whore managers like Redknapp, Allardyce, Venables et al. Secondly, Southgate has worked with many of these players through youth tournaments and has earned their respect over that period of time and has earned his chance to build on the work already done and perhaps take the team even further. Maybe the FA will finally realise that a successful England team cannot be bought by enticing expensive, experienced managers to the job and that the accidental discovery of a new approach is the way forward. Of all the hopes for England football in the future, I suspect that this last point is the most unrealistic...

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #775
Since having children I have found my time available for drinking much reduced. To compensate I've moved on from Fosters (approx. 4% abv.) to premium lagers, mostly Heineken and San Miguel. The stronger taste has left me unable to go back to Fosters so yesterday I drank approx. 11 pints of San Miguel and followed it up with a large Maryland Pizza. This morning most of this came back up, with a good 20% coming out of my nose.
The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #776
My BA plane had no WiFi so we could only follow the scores through the cabin crew. We heard we'd gone 1-0 up in 5 minutes then nothing. I was on my 6th mini bottle of wine when I heard it was going into extra time. Stood at the back with the cabin crew and a few die hards waiting for further news from the pilot. Whisky all around when we heard we lost. First time I've woken up on a plane with a hangover having not had a drink before boarding.

3rd place play off is a bit pointless. I think we lost the last two.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #777
We don't want to miss out on the opportunity to go into the next tournament with some momentum....

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #778
3rd place play off is a bit pointless. I think we lost the last two.

I can't believe they still bother with it to be honest. Nobody (except maybe diehards) really wants to watch and surely the players don't really want to play? What's the point in finding out who is third best?

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #779
That's because people don't actually like football, they just like to be associated with ultimate success. It's not just us here in England that I would level that at.  I remember watching the 2014 world cup in the Split region.  I was much struck that during the Croatia games the locals were much engaged...but as soon as they would lose people would turn to each other in little groups, and talk about stuff, like a normal night out, as if the whole thing never happened. Most 'football fans', are not actually fans of football. Football is the primary mechanism, established over considerable time, that allows people to socialise - in the wider sense of the word , and establish an individual identity within, and association to, a wider group - an entirely primal/instinctive behaviour for social mammals. Protection of the herd.

You have the four teams that have worked their way to the top of the most prestigious tournament in the world, if we as supporters gave the game the prestige it deserved (third is better than fourth, and that should be a big deal), then we would have a game very much worth watching. But we don't.

Personally I always watch them. As I try (quite hard) to watch all England friendlies, and definitely all competitive matches. I also watch as many competitive high end international and club games as I reasonably can. I like football. Not so much the herd thing, of which there has been too much for the last week (ish).