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Posts posted by Pukey

  1. 38 minutes ago, PaulHartman71 said:

    For that, you have to give Southgate an immense amount of credit. You can only beat what's in-front of you and who's to say we couldn't have got past a Germany or a Spain if we'd needed to, but despite the wins in the last two games, I don't think we've looked thaaaat great. I don't think he's tactically an amazing manager. I think there's been some in-game tactical decisions that have been wrong and against better teams would've cost us. But what he has done to the mentality of the squad is second to none. It's incredible. The set-piece coaching they've done has obviously been absolutely first class and the system itself does work. 

    The mentality has been key and I feel it's been something that's been glossed over by past managers. I'm sure they try and do something to counter the expectation, the ego etc but even before the world cup started it felt like Southgate was the first to put such a huge amount of effort into it. I like the tactical set up and I think it does a good job of getting as good as we can get out of the players and is actually fairly interesting (Henderson effectively being in midfield should be absolutely stupid but...works?) However, I don't think anyone can claim he's a tactical genius. 

    I think Southgate knows he's not though, but he's not trying to be something he's not. What he's done instead is focus on the things he can do, he's looked at other sports like Basketball and NFL to see how he can use ideas from there on set pieces. He's used his own experience with penalty shoot outs to try and understand why we lost so many and the articles I've read about the approach to them have been fascinating. It's been great to hear him say they're not a lottery, there's so much you can to tilt the odds in your favour and I hope people realise it wasn't some miracle we won one, it was a lot of research and effort.

    It's all added together to make the players feel confident. The players know what they're doing on the pitch, it's an odd yet relatively simple tactic that doesn't overcomplicate things but tries getting the best out of everyone and nobody is out of position like Scholes on left wing. He's got them all believing in themselves and that second goal against Tunisia is probably one of the biggest moments for us so far. We might not win it of course but every single player will feel 10ft tall and feel invincible and I feel we've improved as the tournament's gone on in terms of confidence. So many England teams of the past would have lost that Colombia game after the last minute goal, or felt the weight of expectation in the Sweden game, but it's damn good management that we came through the sticky patch against Colombia and finished stronger and won on penalties, then beat Sweden comfortably.

  2. English players playing abroad still feels pretty rare, I know Dier played in Portugal but it feels like he's the exception. I'd love for more players to have experience playing abroad.

    Something that's been noted in the press though is just how many of this group have come up through the ranks, playing League 1, League 2 and below in some cases. I don't know if this is just a coincidence or something that's the result of some concerted effort but it's interesting and I think it shows a bit of the diversity that's in the group. 

  3. 32 minutes ago, enigmatic said:



    Miserable sods like this one

    A lot of people said Colombia were a very good team and would beat England and now all of a sudden they're **** and England are lucky etc :D 

    Couldn't give a flying **** who we've faced, we're in the ****ing semi final. 

  4. 3 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

    If he plays "alone" against them we'll be in trouble, because they are both better midfielders than he is. Alli is going to have to sit deeper, perhaps Sterling too

    I'm imagining Lingard and Alli will both be coming a little deeper at times, specifically when we don't have the ball. They're both undoubtedly better but I think as the game goes on they'll get more tired and that could be where Henderson can start to have more of an influence, but he'll need help for sure. 

  5. 2 hours ago, ryan045 said:

    Never gets the credit he deserves. Hes been one of the best midfielders this tournament.

    Absolutely. Saw a few tweets questioning why he was even called up before the tournament which baffled me at the time and has proven to be ridiculous as the tournament has progressed.

    I had my reservations about him playing "alone" in midfield so to speak but even at that he's been excellent. Croatia's midfield is going to be a huge challenge up next but I think his energy against them could prove key, but obviously Modric and Rakitic are insanely talented.

  6. 2 minutes ago, skybluedave said:

    That's less then Colombia game though

    It doesn't factor in people watching in pubs, and on a Saturday afternoon you can bet a huge amount of people went to pubs etc to watch rather than staying in. 

    1 minute ago, AJJ said:

    Wimbledon is on now too.

    I like tennis and watch Wimbledon every year but I just can't imagine watching that instead of England in a world cup quarter final :D Each to their own of course.

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