The Football


#364

Maguire and Stones came through with a lot of credit. Walker had a bit of a mare overall, but was doing a job. If England really want that 3 at the back to work they’re going to need to find a dedicated CB to play on the right of that three.


#365

Normal service is resumed. Thanks for your patience. Carry on.


#366

Neither wing back had a decent pass on them sadly.
We had nothing left in midfield, where we lost out big today.
As for the strikers… helps if you can score. We looked confused in front of goal a few times. Never picked the right pass. Or picked it too late.
I’m not that upset. We gave it a go.
Missed the dynamism of an Ox, and the guile of a Sturridge (not saying we needed those two players, just energy and craft).


#367

Tripper’s cross on the volley?
Rose put about 4-5 balls into the box?


#368

Blather


#369

Well at least the roads were empty


#370

What a shame, really enjoyed this WC, don’t think I have seen a bad game. For the first time in a long time I enjoyed watching England play and for much of it felt quite calm with the performance, bit too much tonight. There were moments that were odd like the 1st half of extra time v Columbia and to an extent the 2nd half today where everyone seemed to loose intensity and looked like a different squad…the exception being the Sweden game. Hope the final is a good one, I think France might edge it.


#371

Well, they could have had that wrapped up in the first half, they were that good. But the equaliser just seemed to sap away their mental energy and they faded fast in the second half and had nothing left in the tank to go again.

It’s hard to swallow but credit to Croatia for their performance in coming back from a goal down. They looked sharp and energetic just at the right time, after being made to look a shambles in the first half.

Brilliant effort though by England’s young team to reach the semis. They sensibly took the right route through the draw to get there, and restored pride in English football, reconnecting with fans at the same time.


#372

At the end of the day , we missed Rooney
:joy:

I’d all but given up on England after the self serving egos of the last couple generations but pride and belief have been restored. I fear this may lead to a backwards step or at least standing still as the idiots who run our game will now think everything is rosy.
We’ve created bugger all and GS made some poor decisions tactically. Let’s hope it’s a learning curve for him and the team.


#373

They have hugely over-achieved in my view and in doing so, have come away with a manager, a spine, and a way of playing which should mean, fingers crossed, that GS has something to build upon. Lest we forget, he took over an absolute shambles and nobody would have believed a couple of years ago that this was possible. Remarkable.


#374

Yep, I would agree with that. England are a left back, centre back and creative midfielder away from being a really decent side. Of the young players around you can see Sessignon at Fulham being the LB, Gomez at Liverpool or Holgate at Everton (to name but two) being CB candidates. Buggered if I can think of a candidate for the creative midfield role at this point in time though. There is probably such a player on the books of the big clubs, but he’ll be fifth in line behind a bunch of foreign players or safe options.


#375

Keep an eye on Harry Winks…he needs to stay fit though…


#376

Can you really see Spurs building their midfield around Winks?


#377

you are talking about people eligible to play for England here…


#378

That is exactly my point.

On the other Winks is not exactly the deep lying, passing midfielder who can control the game that England needed last night to take some of the pressure off.


#379

Yup - that’s the price we pay for the quality of the Premier League. Every other country sends enough of their best players here that they’ve got room to blood their up-and-comers at home.

VB


#380

Not being in Albion, the whole ICH zeitgeist thing has completely passed me by

I’ve watched most games with a rag tag bunch of expats with no particular affiliation to England. None of us have been terribly impressed with the quality of our play. Maybe we’rea bunh of miserable bastards, but I think not.

He’s got them playing for each other and with a degree of attractiveness. But he’s been bloody lucky. None of us were salivating on the basis of the quali campaign. We were lucky with the draw / big-team implosion and so sure enough the first time we met a decent team we fell to pieces. That it came in the semi and not the 2nd round is just down to good fortune, not good football.

IMO Southgate is too rigid, too loyal ( and misguided to have not brought Lallana or Wilshere) but decent & likeable (though so was Roy)

However, it doesn’t perhaps matter. the simple fact is we’re not that bloody good, and yet we were planning for the final (ICH) before getting there. We beat only Tunisia and the Panamanian rugby team,drew with Columbia, and lost to Belgium and Croatia. Saudi Arabia created more chances from open play than we did. In three games.

Celebrate that we were likeable, refreshing, getting simple things right, but please God let’s be honest about how well we played.


#381

Lallana was England’s best player before he got injured but the injury hit him hard - very hard. I’m not sure he’s going to be quite the same player when he’s fully back, but we’ll see what a full pre-season does for him.


#382

True. He didn’t look terrific in those last few cameos. However, I’d still have punted on bringing him and getting him sharp enough to come off the bench. I accept, though, I’m the minority in that one


#383

The key over the next few years will be to try to see that the U17 & U20 players (who won their respective world cups) find a way to get through to England’s full side by getting first team football with clubs playing at a decent level. Sadly that would probably need to be abroad where there’s less money sloshing about.

I’ve no objection to the way Southgate is trying to have the team play, he just needs some more talented personnel in key positions.