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  • Originally posted by hal9thou View Post
    If we're as professional as GS claims, we start the job right now by winning that game. It doesn't matter if no one cares, it should be a statement of intent. We're just getting started for the next one.
    Well I thought I was a football purist until I read this Fair point Hal, even though it's predominantly a FIFA marketing / money-making exercise.
    IMO
    YMMV
    LOL

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    • Originally posted by Stanley View Post
      The deeply frustrating thing is with better finishing we had the chance to kill them off in the first half. We could have been 2 or 3 nil up at half-time. I had a feeling we would rue those chances. 2nd half we seemed to run out of ideas and confidence with most of our MF passing going either backwards or sideways. Croatia clearly picked up on that and it in turn gave them more confidence to go after us. TBF their MF is definitely their strongest area and probably our weakest area, and that's what caught up with us in the end. Agree with Hal though about a lack of plan B from GS when we were so obviously getting overrun and on the ropes.
      This was the match were Sterling shoud have been rested. IMO.
      QPR
      Best team in the world
      Sort of

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      • I hope we play our strongest side today and go for it, so called meaningless game but a bronze world Cup Medal is up for grabs and some of the players will never play in a world Cup again and some may never get the chance of a World Cup medal again so go for it.

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        • Think Southgate done well with what he had but don't get all the hype. Had the draw not opened up in the way it had would never have got anywhere. We lost to Croatia and whilst they have a few quality players if England were a true top team would have beaten them comfortably. Needed penalties against a poor Colombia, got beat by Belgium, hardly impressive in other group games. If we lose today we will have won 3 and lost 3 (counting Colombia as a draw as needed penalties).

          Number of teams flopped in this World Cup and doubt we will ever have as good an opportunity to win a major tournament again.

          Plus side is at last we have a manager who can get the team performing to it's ability and it is a young side so will continue to improve. Too often in the past we have actually had decent squads who have woefully underperformed.

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          • A fantastic achievement by England to finish 4th,probably exceeded all expectations (before the tournament started),the players should get a right hero's welcome when they arrive back home

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            • Why do we wait until the last half of the last game before we put out our strongest team?And why did we play better second half?Yes,no Raheem Sterling.If ever there was a player not picked on merit it's him.As soon as Southgate mouthed that word "diversity" in an interview I knew we were up sh*t creek.Terrified to criticise for fear of being branded racist no doubt.Sterling is the recent equivalent of what John Barnes was to Graham Taylor.
              It was also refreshing to see we abandoned that Crystal Palace tactic of passing ever backwards for the keeper to lump it upfield.Where are the flair players coming from?And even the midfielders who can thread a basic ball through?
              I'm certainly not elated with fourth place.

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              • I am elated with 4th place.

                Beyond any expectation before the competition and playing coherent, sometimes attractive footie . Young squad with huge tournament experience now and some gooduns in the pipeline. Really pleased with how Southgate is developing England and look forward to the new European comp and qualification

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                • I've loved the world Cup this year, England done well and have something to build on and the whole tournament was great. Hope France win it now.
                  That's me signed off on this thread, see ya in 2022.!!

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                  • I too am very pleased with 4th place. After the last god knows how many failed tournaments we finally gave something to show for ourselves. Surpassed all expectations and although our football was sometimes one dimensional and predictable we now definitely gave something to build on. Young squad with younger players to come through for the next 2,4 and 6 years. BUT our clubs need to give these players a pathway through and let them flourish. No good whatsoever of winning the u21 and u18's if they fade into lower premiership football or even the championship just to het 1st team football. We basically went in with no expectations and surprised ourselves. Well done Gareth and all the players and backroom staff. Top players for me were Trippier and Maguire. Two relatively unknown internationals and now two dead certs to play. Thought Henderson did well with a lot to do and without Kane's goals we wouldn't have got anywhere. Some of Pickfords saves were magnificent and if he can keep up good form will be no.1 for a while. Well done chaps.

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                    • Limp last performance. Ended up won 3 lost 3. Pleased with fourth place but lot of hype over an uninspiring run of results overall.

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                      • What if we win 23 but lose 23 this season?

                        Think I'd be quite pleased.

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                        • England are a great example of what happens when 3 at the back goes wrong. If you want to play that system at the highest level, you absolutely have to world class quality in key positions.

                          An average side can get a resut against top level teams, but not playing GS's set up. You get owned. So you go plan B against quality. The truth is, that wasn't a hint of a plan B.

                          It's interesting that the people who rightly criticised Ollie for adopting this system without the players seem to rubber stamping GS. Exactly the same tactical issue, albeit at a much, much lower level.

                          There were a whole bunch of other tactical issues that weren't corrected. The truth is that those who had concerns about GS's suss when he was appointed have seen the pidgeons come home to roost. This opportunity was blown because no one had a clue how to set up vs quality. He's done a decent job, but he needs to get smart quick.

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                          • GS is a bit like Mark Hughes. The press love him so if any faults they are someone elses.

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                            • Ask 100 so called football fans who England in '66 beat to reach the final or the greatest team in World Cup history, Brazil in 1970, beat and I'd be surprised if more than 20 people knew: in fact, I'd wager that it's a lot less.

                              So, how we got to the semi shouldn't matter and equalling our greatest ever overseas performance is something that should be celebrated.
                              ​​​​​​
                              However, it cannot be ignored that we played 7 matches and won 3 with those wins coming against Tunisia, Panama and an aging Swedish side. Each time we were asked questions against sides of equal ilk or better we did no better than draw.

                              Deploying the same system in 2020 could see us eliminated quite early - especially when you consider that we have never won a knock out fixture in the entire history of the European Championships - and we can't allow ourselves to become convinced that we are one of the best teams in the World or even close to being so.

                              Russia 2018 brought happy memories but scratch beneath the service and all is not well.

                              Anyway, onto today. I can't see Croatia getting close so I am hoping for a great performance from France, one for the ages.

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                              • What a goal by Perisic!! 1-1
                                QPR
                                Best team in the world
                                Sort of

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