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Football Thread 2021/2022


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Happy enough with Ireland's performance tonight, but they switched off in the first couple of minutes in the second half and Ukraine found themselves with a tap in as a result.

 

Not a game of many chances, I think Ukraine edged it in the attacking stakes, getting in behind the Irish defence more often and only finding the final ball lacking, whereas Ireland seemed more content with what they had in the second half. Tired legs, tired minds, I think everyone will be glad to get it over with.

 

The season starts on Tuesday - La Fiorita v Inter Club d'Escaldes! Cannot wait!

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Just now, deerokus said:

Jokes aside, why is your manager bringing on a centre back at 3-0 down? Cowardly stuff.

Especially when that centre half is Harry Maguire.  You’ve got to play a high line to try and get a goal back. Maguire can’t play in a high line as he has no pace and the turning circle of Mississippi paddle steamer.

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50+ games or not, I fully agree players need a break. This next season is going to be a complete fuck up at the highest level with the disruption brought by a mid-season tournament, all the while trying to cram in a full calendar for league, cup and continental fixtures.

 

There was a perfectly good international window in March during which a couple of these rounds could have been played - if they had to be at all.

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21 minutes ago, sith said:

There's no chance their players have played 50+ games over the course of the season. 

Why not?

 

For Scotland for example, Callum McGregor must be on close to 70. Players from lower down leagues have so many qualifiers etc to play.

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Fun being out for dinner with a mixed bunch of English and Italian people tonight! I think we can write off the nights results as "need to somehow equalise for the English cricket team having a good one". 

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3 hours ago, PaB said:

So you can follow the logic that England can go from world Cup semi to euro finalists to having a dip in form . But you can’t  follow the logic that a dip in form does not equal massive crisis and instead England are gonna be in trouble .

 

ok. 
 

This reminds me of the period prior to euro 96 . England couldn’t score . Shearer couldn’t score , venables infamous Christmas tree . 

 

It's not a dip in form, being unable to score in open play has been a recurring problem in too many Southgate games but I agree that the players should be on the beach so maybe it's more that than this lack of cohesion aside from very few moments. 

 

I don't go along with the low expectation people have of England though, these last few years was supposed to be about harnessing the talent available and building up to this world cup and the euros after. It's still a system of be very tight, don't concede, the great players will create just enough chances in a game that hopefully one is scored, and more importantly hope the opposition aren't good enough to score. In a tournament, hope you don't face anyone who can actually play.

 

Tournament football is different i know, it's not that Southgate's approach can't work, but it's more like trying to not lose than trying to win, it depends on the opposition simply not taking their chances. He's not getting the best out of anyone. But I am not desperate for England to win a tournament to fill some void, we all watched the final and anyone in their head can change how those penalties went and imagine England winning. 

 

Always thought 'masterclass' supposes there's only one way to win, which isn't true. These games don't matter really, but I think this idea Southgate has of England containing teams and controlling games by being tight is a bit of a fallacy, and it's just as likely England will unexpectedly get battered in a one off game no one saw coming. I don't mean like tonight, I mean when the tournament begins and this thing of just making games horrible that the other team are so uninspired they can't do anything won't work repeatedly, endlessly. But we'll see. 

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3 hours ago, theredstar said:

Tyrone Mings sat at home laughing his cock off, I’d imagine.

 

Or hanging out with Ronaldinho and Viniscius Jr.  

60269E30-8004-40D1-817D-BCD8833EAADE.jpeg

 

 

TBH I don’t care about the result. It’s typical end of season madness, four games in a week after a gruelling schedule. Nobody wants to be there and I feel for Southgate & co that this is what they had to work with. I love international football, I’ll never see my club win a big trophy so I’ve got to pin my hopes on England. There will be a million knees jerking in the morning, plus a lot of people who just hate Southgate because he doesn’t pick more players from whatever club they support (or because he signed for Middlesbrough twenty years ago #utv) but we are deep into the Qatar World Cup cycle now so it’s pointless sacking him and hoping somebody new, whoever that might be, can take a squad to a tournament and thrive.  The accusation in the past has always been that we coast through qualifying but shit the bed when the squad have to live together for a few weeks. This England squad have been able to do that bit and the last however many years have been about getting ready for Qatar.  Throwing the baby out with the bathwater because of a crazy result at the end of a weird week would be stupid. 
 

Spoiler

And quintessentially English. 

 

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How do folks view Southgate's tenure so far? I recall quite a bit of criticism of performances at both the World Cup and the Euros, lots of stuff about looking a bit lacking when coming up against any half-decent team and talk of having pretty favourable draws (certainly the latter is factual).

 

I haven't watched England games outside of the actual tournament in 10+ years so don't know how they've been in qualifying for the WC/Euros nor in these Nations League matches, so how does the team look tactically? Is the formation built around the players, or are the players squeezed into a formation? Is he getting the best out of the talent at his disposal? Does it look like he has a solid plan?

 

This isn't a 'Southgate must go' post, I genuinely don't know. I remember they looked pretty average in the WC semi-final run, I recall Columbia in particular running them ragged for large periods and obviously Croatia and Belgium then beat them. In the Euros things were a bit better I think? It's been a long year, everything is hazy! I remember being impressed in the control shown vs Germany and I the game vs Ukraine was done early. The Denmark match was a bit nervy but generally solid, but then - again - up against a team that had a clue they were found wanting (and largely on the back foot from about 25 minutes in). Has Southgate beaten a team with a higher FIFA ranking than England? I'm sure I recall that being an unwanted stat a while back.

 

Er, yeah, so what's the general feeling?

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4 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

We are deep into the Qatar World Cup cycle now so it’s pointless sacking him and hoping somebody new, whoever that might be, can take a squad to a tournament and thrive.  The accusation in the past has always been that we coast through qualifying but shit the bed when the squad have to live together for a few weeks. This England squad have been able to do that bit and the last however many years have been about getting ready for Qatar.  Throwing the baby out with the bathwater because of a crazy result at the end of a weird week would be stupid. 

 

A sacking will never happen before the world cup and nor should it. It's more about Southgate's approach. In a tournament the players seem to feel less burdened by the pressure than before and more energised by it, I think we overlook or forget how desperate they were to win a home tournament (of sorts), they feel it was theirs to win. 

 

I think the main benefits of Southgate, how together the squad is, has something to do as well with how there's less club rivalry now and all these players played and won together in the u17 and u21 teams. When they get together, it's like they're seeing mates they don't see all season. So it's not entirely all Southgate although he helps, another coach is never going to be as extreme in discipline as Capello because modern managers aren't. 

 

Southgate was more honest after the Euros than I expected in saying he doesn't want to outstay his time, it was like he was saying that his approach was only worth it to win the tournament. He does have a plan and I think he thinks everything can be controlled in a game because of how international football is, but it's still unpredictable. His approach could win a tournament but like I said, I think it depends on more luck than is required in other approaches because it relies on the opposition to struggle to penetrate and take chances. As soon as a team like Italy start playing, England can't even create anything on the counter. 

 

England have the talent to keep the ball more than what was celebrated at the end of the Germany win. Our expectations should be higher than this, people use history as a barometer far too much.

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Come on, last night's result was terrible, but really who cares?  It came in a largely irrelevant match at the end of a grueling season, with an experimental line-up who had never played together before.  

 

For those who are saying "but the Hungary players had played a long season tooooo" yeah they had, but not at the same level of intensity. You think playing in the Hungarian league is the same as playing in the Premier League?  I've played well over a hundred 5-a-side games in a season before, but I know that's nothing compared to a Premier League season.  

 

Southgate has been by far the most successful manager England have had in my lifetime.  England were fantastic during the Euros, and I don't think you can even say they had an easy run. They played the finalists from the previous World Cup, a good Czech Republic side, one of the pre-tournament favourites in Germany, the excellent and inspired Denmark, and of course Italy, the winners and best team in the tournament. England beat all of them except for Italy, who they drew with.  They looked excellent throughout and would have been worthy winners if another penalty or two had gone in during the shoot-out.  

 

Even despite these recent results, during a ridiculously packed window that nobody wanted, England will be among the favorites at the World Cup.  Southgate can't ignore the results, and will have to take into account what they tell him, but to be honest we can.

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8 hours ago, Chindie said:

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Overtaken by better players, apparently. 

 

9 hours ago, theredstar said:

Tyrone Mings sat at home laughing his cock off, I’d imagine.

 

I'll be happy if that headstomping shithead is never back. He's certainly not better than Tomori.

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Southgate absolutely deserves to manage this World Cup and possibly the next set of qualifiers for the euros.  I’m not his biggest fan and the sideways back to goalkeeper stuff to hoof it long drives me spare sometimes.  That and his weird split on picking some players who have had a nightmare season (Maguire and to a lesser extent Pickford) against not picking a player whose not been great either (Rashford). He has been incredibly lucky with the fixture draws in the last two tournaments which makes the losses more frustrating.  If England don’t get out of the group stages then the fa need to start planning for the future.  All managers have their time and this may be the beginning of the end for Southgate.  Of course now I’ve typed all that they’ll win the bloody thing, all this will be forgotten and there’ll be calls for Sir Southgate before you know it.  

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1 hour ago, davidcotton said:

That and his weird split on picking some players who have had a nightmare season (Maguire and to a lesser extent Pickford) against not picking a player whose not been great either (Rashford).

 

Surely that is just because of the respective strength in depth in wide forward areas compared to CB/GK. It's hard to argue that the likes of Tomori and Ramsdale are on the same level as Foden and Grealish.

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Rashford has been in awful form for over 12 months, and definitely should not be in the England team. Both him and Sancho need to hit the ground running next season if they want to go to the World Cup.

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