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Euro 2020 - Congrats Italy


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9 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I'd like to hear a perspective from our international forumites, like @Gabzy or @Disgraced Toblerone, because I sometimes wonder if this viewpoint is particularly English one - a side expected to routinely qualify so there's rarely any jeopardy - maybe once every 16 years there might be some difficulty.

 

From an Irish perspective I can tell you the qualifiers are every bit as gripping as a final tournament game, because they carry the same threat of finality. Every game matters.

 

Except friendlies, of course - those are only really interesting from an academic perspective, if that.

I find the qualifiers mostly tedious to be honest as Portugal are usually facing sides like Azerbeijan and Lithuania. I watch them to see how players are performing, especially those who play in leagues I don't regularly watch e.g. La Liga.

I am half Irish though and so completely understand what you mean about every qualifier for Ireland being a survival death match!

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10 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I'd like to hear a perspective from our international forumites, like @Gabzy or @Disgraced Toblerone, because I sometimes wonder if this viewpoint is particularly English one - a side expected to routinely qualify so there's rarely any jeopardy - maybe once every 16 years there might be some difficulty.

 

From an Irish perspective I can tell you the qualifiers are every bit as gripping as a final tournament game, because they carry the same threat of finality. Every game matters.

 

Except friendlies, of course - those are only really interesting from an academic perspective, if that.

 

For decades, Switzerland didn't qualify for major tournaments. Because we were quite shit.

 

Thanks to immigration, we became a bit better and qualified for every major bar one since 2006.

 

But we still fear not qualifing. So, in short, for us the qualifiers are gripping, but in the same way league matches are gripping if, every year, your club fight against being relegated.

 

Gripping but not really in a good way.

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10 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

From an Irish perspective I can tell you the qualifiers are every bit as gripping as a final tournament game, because they carry the same threat of finality. Every game matters.

 

Are the Irish still bitter over Henry's "controlling hand" that put Ireland out? ;) 

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International tournaments are the absolute best. The whole school/street/pub putting aside their usual rivalries to come together into one tense sweaty organism. There aren't even any one club towns in 'the big six' to get near the vibe in the Champion League.

 

Some of the qualifying games stick in the mind, Rome 97 was tense as anything, Steve McClaren's tragedy versus Slaven Bilic's Croatia in 2007 was also very memorable. Rarely anywhere near as exciting as the main event though.

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Well fuck me is there a lot of shite being written about this particular England vs Germany clash. The latest vibe is 'Germany don't even know it's a rivalry, it's only the English that think that'. Big writers being all passive-aggressively 'clever'. Put your pens down. No one cares.

 

I'm hoping it's a belter and that Wembley will be jumping. Jumping with people getting behind the side and pushing them on, not the twats booing everything.

 

Unfortunately I can't get a draw with England going out on pens out of my head but that's seared into my brain. I've been to see England loads and it's been a hard ride. Just hope we all get behind them on Tuesday.

 

Could be wonderful, could be a disaster. That's how it is. Come on England!

 

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It's a cliché to say so but we need to get at them. They've really vulnerable at the back but good going forward. A clean sheet looks very unlikely so we're going to need to outscore them.

 

0-0 and a penalty shootout, then. 

 

I do think we need to switch to 3 at the back. Portugal play a very similar system to us and were destroyed by the wing backs. Particularly Gosens, who was always free.

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Pickford does seem noticeably calmer nowadays, not necessarily better as stuff still bounces off him into the middle of the goal, his kicking is great/awful and he generally gives me the jitters - his history suggests he's the most likely to do a calamity and he's where my money would be.

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International football is the absolute best for me too. As mentioned, the carnival atmosphere, different styles of football, surprise teams and always unearthing new talent is exciting. 

 

Not botherd about England though. Haven't been since the 2002 World Cup though tbh. We have just been shite for so long and although I like what Southgate is trying to do, I struggle to really get behind them. 

I also don't understand how Grealish is now somehow the second coming of Christ. He's a decent player for sure, but he's not exactly among the world's best. 

 

I think what annoys me with England also is how the likes of Gary Lineker massively overhypes any player that does something half decent. 

They are a decent group, fairly talented and seem to work together, despite perhaps flat performances. They can certainly go all the way, it's a tournament after all, but for me, it's a good of good players, a few great ones. But more potential than anything. 

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12 minutes ago, nakamura said:

also don't understand how Grealish is now somehow the second coming of Christ. He's a decent player for sure, but he's not exactly among the world's best. 


There is a long tradition of the manager being accused of leaving the saviour of the team on the bench. It actually started with Steve Bull in 1990 but also led to taking patently unfit/knackered players to tournaments and expecting them to shine. Robson, Beckham, Rooney. Sure there were others. Probably Kane after this one.

 

For example, the clamour for Grealish to play. He’s had a reasonable game and a half and it’s all “why isn’t Sancho playing?”

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