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Maple

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  1. Stop jinxing Sweden. England won the last match (in the Euros) vs Sweden.
  2. While Granqvist has been good, he's made close to a half-dozen errors where the other central defender (Jansson and Nilsson Lindelöf) have been forced to rescue him, so I don't think he should be in a World eleven, but hopefully he proves me wrong in the coming match(es).
  3. It was his twin brother Martin Olsson who plays for Swansea. Marcus hasn't played for Sweden since 2012.
  4. We got 2 starters and 6 in the squad from that championship. Most of the players from the 2015 squad have stagnated (or even regressed) in their development. Those two starters (Lindelöf and Augustinsson) are the only starters younger than 26. We have five starters who are 30+ and pretty much everyone considers are past their peak (Lustig, Granqvist, Seb Larsson, Berg and Toivonen) and are winding down their careers (except Lustig). Basically it is now or never for the Swedish team, it is not a team which is likely to be better in 2 or 4 years time.
  5. We're less mediocre without him! And quite many thought it was quite probable we would do better without him (many of our best results the last ten years was with Zlatan missing for one reason or another). Now we got eleven players doing their outmost to do their job. To be fair to Zlatan, he did what he was supposed to, unfortunately the previous manager thought it was a good idea to have the plan: "Let Zlatan do what he wants" and that was basically the match plan. And as you wrote, the other players just tried to pass the ball to Zlatan, afraid of committing a mistake, making it easy to nullify the offensive threat if Zlatan was not on a great day. And being a man short defensively (since Zlatan basically never did any defensive work, besides defending corners) we conceded quite a bit. And usually forgotten, our back five is probably the best we've had since the mid-00s. Easily missed with the Zlatan (and Larsson) hype, Fredrik Ljungberg was far more important than most give him credit for.
  6. It's a bit annoying that commentators and experts treat Mbappe being really good as a major shock and surprise, he's the 2nd most expensive player of all time. He should be brilliant ffs.
  7. Is it allowed for squad members and staff to run onto the field to celebrate goals nowadays?
  8. I would say Europe (and South America) is more difficult to qualify from in the sense that those teams just missing out on qualification would be more likely to reach the 2nd round of the World Cup. But I would agree for the best team or two from the each continent, it is much easier to fail in African qualification. The South American 18 games league allow for a mistake or two and the two-stage qualification in Europe also allows the same.
  9. Sweden probably have their best goalkeeper/back four since 2004 or so. It also does help having a coach unlike the previous national team manager who was a disaster. And while Zlatan is by far the best Swedish player of the last decade, it's highly debatable whether Sweden on average was better with him on the pitch (several of our best results during the last decade was with Zlatan not playing). The national team's worsening in the late 00s (and not been particularly good since then) happens at the same time Fredrik Ljungberg stopped being a top class player. Sweden's problem during the last decade was definitely in a big part what you wrote about being too one-sided trying to involve the superstar too much.
  10. South Korea defend about as deep as Iceland did, and while that might be needed vs Argentina, it definitely isn't against Sweden. After watching the first half, I expect Mexico and Germany to go through unfortunately.
  11. Iran has a player from the Swedish league as well, so I think it is represented with 2 players.
  12. I reckon Japan has a chance to qualify to last 16, but I would say most see them as the least likely team to qualify from their group. Checking "which teams will qualify from their group" thread here, 0 out of 13 has Japan advancing.
  13. I reckon the Costa Rican was more worthy of a red card than Mitrovic there. He is the last man, doing a professional foul by holding Mitrovic's shirt.
  14. To have a very likely World Cup qualification of course. And theoretically UEFA could get quite annoyed with the proposed allocation and threaten to throw out the geographically non-European members like Israel to force a reallocation from Asia. If it was based on strength I reckon European allocation should be close to 30. And team strength seems to have been used when allocating six teams to CONMEBOL who have less than 1/5 of the teams Europe has.
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