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England v Croatia Match Thread

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Tommy
July 12, 2018, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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Another quick observation.......

I thought most people on here had no interest in England anyway??? Every England game in the last few years people couldn't come on here quick enough to say they didn't care about England and didn't know they were playing until the thread appeared on the fishy.


"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one."
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TownSNAFU5
July 12, 2018, 10:00am Report to Moderator
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Not taking your chances when on top always encourages the opposition.  They worked us out by HT and were the better team.

Croatia made far more of their strengths.  Yet another game where the England ball into the final third was not good enough.  We miss/need a Perlo or Modric, who can make a killer forward pass that splits good defences.  These players get better in their 30s.

Maybe we should have had a better plan to deal with their midfield.

We rely too much on Kane, who for whatever reason, was off-form last night.  It cost us.(The BBC viewer-ratings voted him the lowest score of the 11 starters).  

Our young players tired.  Croatia got stronger.  Modric is 32, Manzukic is 32 and Rakitic is 30.  Age did not stop them.  Modric should be tired as he also played in all the CL matches.  He was still busy to the end until subbed when they had won.

France showed how a good defence can defend a lead against very talented individuals. We have always been poor at doing this.  

We need to add some top young players who are developing into positions where we need to be stronger.  Particularly, centre midfield and another striker.

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Maringer
July 12, 2018, 10:05am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Tommy
As DHM said, you replace some of the weaker players with young lads coming through who have experience of winning international youth tournaments - I'm looking at Phil Foden particularly - and it might give us an edge compared to where we are now.


Funny you should mention young Foden. I was wondering how much he's likely to play now Mahrez has gone to Man City for £60 million? They aren't going to drop Sané, Sterling or De Bruyne and it would take a brave manager to leave an expensive player like Mahrez on the bench. I'd imagine Foden will be loaned out to a Championship club somewhere and will find his progress stunted in the same way that Loftus-Cheek has.

As for the other point about Croatia not letting us do what we want - well, we didn't try to do anything different at all, did we, so how could we know? If the opposition is dominating midfield, surely you have to at least try to stop them?!?

That's why I noted I think Southgate failed to adapt because he didn't try anything different in the hope we would somehow hold out for penalties and sneak through in that manner. He's a very conservative manager - far too conservative last night, certainly.
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Bigdog
July 12, 2018, 10:08am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Abdul19
I saw us win Le Tournoi. Anything after that is a bonus.


Went to all three games. Great week or so around France and northern Spain..

Even then, we clinched the tournament with a narrow defeat to Brazil in Paris.. very England like!!
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diehardmariner
July 12, 2018, 10:11am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Maringer
1 shot on goal every 50 minutes - and this indicates a deeper problem, especially when you consider we enjoyed some good attacking spells during this period.



I take that stat with a massive pinch of salt as a reflection on how we played and attacked sides.  We created plenty of chances, the 'concern' is that we didn't put them away.  Be that by hitting them wide, over or hesitating when going to pull the trigger.  That 'concern' is far less of a worry than if we weren't creating chances in the first place. Had we taken our chances in the first half, the game would have been done and dusted by half-time.

The nature of international football is cagey, especially in the final stages of a tournament so chances are generally at a premium.
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GrimRob
July 12, 2018, 10:22am Report to Moderator

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By the next tournament all those Checkatrade games will have helped the next group of players. It could make all the difference.  


'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Ipswin
July 12, 2018, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from grimsby pete
I saw us win in 1966 and have hopes of us winning it again before I pop my clogs,

PLUS

I hope to see Town in the championship as well.

Tonight we looked tired in the 2nd half ,

BUT

If we had took our chances in the 1st half we would have been 2 or 3 nil up,

Then it would have been them looking tired chasing the game,

Never mind we did well to go so far.



It won't happen again in our lifetime Pete and sadly I don't think it will happen in the lifetime of many of our younger posters either. Promise much deliver little. I am p!ssed off that failure in the semi-finals is regarded by many as a great success and Southgate is close to sainthood. They were crap last night and it came home to roost. No goal threat from open play whatsoever and a potential golden boot winner with three pens and one that just hit him - a joke. I can only recall one goal from open play, the one scored by Lingard (I'm probably wrong but then none of our goals was particularly memorable)
Just the joke game left to come - be nice if he played the second XI after all 3rd or 4th it's all wooden spoon - he won't of course it will be Harry (where's the goal) Kane and his mates yet again.
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Tommy
July 12, 2018, 10:54am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Maringer


Funny you should mention young Foden. I was wondering how much he's likely to play now Mahrez has gone to Man City for £60 million? They aren't going to drop Sané, Sterling or De Bruyne and it would take a brave manager to leave an expensive player like Mahrez on the bench. I'd imagine Foden will be loaned out to a Championship club somewhere and will find his progress stunted in the same way that Loftus-Cheek has.

As for the other point about Croatia not letting us do what we want - well, we didn't try to do anything different at all, did we, so how could we know? If the opposition is dominating midfield, surely you have to at least try to stop them?!?

That's why I noted I think Southgate failed to adapt because he didn't try anything different in the hope we would somehow hold out for penalties and sneak through in that manner. He's a very conservative manager - far too conservative last night, certainly.


Foden, I think could be looked at in Pep's system as the alternative to the Silva/KDB positions. Silva is getting on a bit so might be a gradual replacement for him. I don't know. A loan spell at another prem team might do him good for the next 12 months.

I think what we've missed and what we don't have is a midfielder who can get on the ball and control a game. Dictate the pace and direction of the game and just get on the ball all the time. Someone like Carrick (who was always under-used by England) if I'm thinking of English similar players to what I'm thinking about. When things weren't going well last night we struggled to get on the ball and keep it, a midfielder who gets on the ball and gets us playing was what we needed at that time. Don't know if there's any coming through, we'll see.


"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one."
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ginnywings
July 12, 2018, 10:54am Report to Moderator

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Basically, Croatia did a number on us after the half time break. They turned us from a 3-5-2 into a 5-3-2 by pushing up higher, especially on the wings. Perisic and the guy on the other side (forgotten his name) were brilliant in negating us down the wings and pushing us back, forcing us to hit it long.

Much has been made of their "older" players, but early 30's is nothing in today's game. They play for top sides and top players keep themselves in top shape. They were better than us and they made us look second best. I'm not being down about it, merely realistic. As i have said before, we produce good players, but not great players. There are not many top sides clamouring to sign our players, not yet anyway, and until we start producing players as good as Mbappe, Hazard, Modric etc, we will always be just that notch below what is needed to go all the way. Man for man, the Croatia midfield is better than ours, as is the midfield of France.

I think Southgate has done a fantastic job, but the players were right at the edge of their ability last night, and were slightly second best. We all felt that he should have brought on Rose sooner, and tried to push them back a bit, but overall, he did as much as he could with the players at his disposal. I'm not sure we will ever have the players good enough to win a tournament, but we are a lot nearer to it than i can remember for decades, so that's good progress and has got people enthused for the England team again. I thank him for that at least. Just glad we dodged a bullet with Allardyce and route one rubbish.
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diehardmariner
July 12, 2018, 11:01am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Tommy


Foden, I think could be looked at in Pep's system as the alternative to the Silva/KDB positions. Silva is getting on a bit so might be a gradual replacement for him. I don't know. A loan spell at another prem team might do him good for the next 12 months.

I think what we've missed and what we don't have is a midfielder who can get on the ball and control a game. Dictate the pace and direction of the game and just get on the ball all the time. Someone like Carrick (who was always under-used by England) if I'm thinking of English similar players to what I'm thinking about. When things weren't going well last night we struggled to get on the ball and keep it, a midfielder who gets on the ball and gets us playing was what we needed at that time. Don't know if there's any coming through, we'll see.


Most will disagree but I think Delph was the best option in there once Croatia took over.  He keeps with Southgate's pressing approach but is far more comfortable on the ball than he's given credit for.  A lot is made of Henderson's passing but I think, in general, he's a bit of a blocker with his passing and that lofted pass he plays to the full-back often invites pressure as it requires the ball to be controlled and then passed on/dribbled.  That said I thought Henderson's range of passing in the first half last night was top drawer.  He was over-run in the second half but putting Dier in there didn't really help the retaining the ball, if anything it made it harder work and he was still one-man against two world class opponents.

I think, under Southgate, we'll continue to see this sort of hybrid set-up we've got.  A lot of players who are comfortable passing the ball and can pick out a pass but mixed with the high intensity and strong at set-pieces approach we have.  For too long we've craved the identify of someone else when it would never work for us.  In Southgate's absolute credit, he's discovered something that works for the players we've got and their strengths.

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