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Group D-Day - England vs Ukraine & Sweden vs France (Gills' title, but Leppard's OP) 19:45

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What nonsense is this? :D

The fact that they know they can't defend and instead get around that by endlessly passing the ball sideways makes them extremely tedious.

Go watch how Bielsa's teams do pretty much exactly the same thing, yet play an all together vastly more entertaining and exciting brand of football than either Barca or Spain. There's one small fundamental difference; Bielsa likes his teams to pass the ball forwards as a priority, not a last resort.

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England were great. Some people in this forum moan too much. You don't top the group with luck. Gerrard is the man. I'm looking forward into his meeting with Andrea Pirlo.

France were actually so-so, but have good players all over the place, and I have feeling that their best is yet to come. I'm looking forward into the match against Spain.

Ukraine did actually well. Their playing style has to be an example for the Netherlands. Ukraine didn't have the quality players to do so, but the Netherlands did. Pity for the phantom goal.

Sweden also did actually well. They just had lack of full backs, but my biggest regret is why Wilhelmsson didn't play for 270 minutes.

One of the strikers was a yard and a half offside in the build up, so in the end it shouldn't have been given any way.

Regarding England - the one thing we have now is a good manager who knows how English players play and a team that for the first time in a while don't just give up at the first sign of trouble. Parker and Gerrard in centre midfield is the best pairing we've had there for a long, long time.

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Don't find Spain boring at all. I just find Del Bosque extremely infuriating.

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No, it makes them really, really, really, really, really good.

And very boring.

Maybe some people are entertained by watching people who are really, really, really, really, really good at what they do? It might be boring to you (and others, I know it's a fairly popular opinion right now), but it's certainly not to me.

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apparantly chiellini is out of the england game with a thigh injury

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Yes Spain are ****ing boring.

Certainly were last night. I fell asleep during the 2nd half.

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Maybe some people are entertained by watching people who are really, really, really, really, really good at what they do? It might be boring to you (and others, I know it's a fairly popular opinion right now), but it's certainly not to me.

Sadly some people are too impatient to appreciate their technical ability and vision/intelligence. Nothing more beautiful than watching such smart and technically sound football. Just it's the opposite of traditional British football culture/style where people are rather obsessive about going forward.

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Sam Wallace ‏@SamWallaceIndy

Blokhin now in major ruck with Ukraine journalist. Offering him outside for a 'man conversation'. Reporter rises from his chair.

-----

Oh dear......

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One of the strikers was a yard and a half offside in the build up, so in the end it shouldn't have been given any way.

Regarding England - the one thing we have now is a good manager who knows how English players play and a team that for the first time in a while don't just give up at the first sign of trouble. Parker and Gerrard in centre midfield is the best pairing we've had there for a long, long time.

No, but it still leaves a scar in the face of this Euro. Linesmen often miss the offside decision. It's understandable. The goalline officials are now the focus. As said previously, we never saw the use of them. Now, they failed when required. Had the goal been allowed, we wouldn't have been talking about this or at least, people would have forgotten it in months because the wrong decision was "just" a wrong offside decision.

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Sam Wallace ‏@SamWallaceIndy

Blokhin now in major ruck with Ukraine journalist. Offering him outside for a 'man conversation'. Reporter rises from his chair.

-----

Oh dear......

Blokhin's one bloke I would not want to get into ruck with. I remember him from his playing days, built like a tank, lightning quick, and looked like he eat buckets of nails for breakfast. He was Ivan Drago before before Ivan Drago existed.

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Blokhin's one bloke I would not want to get into ruck with. I remember him from his playing days, built like a tank, lightning quick, and looked like he eat buckets of nails for breakfast. He was Ivan Drago before before Ivan Drago existed.

Agreed. I remember him playing for Russia in Mexico 86. :thup:

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Sadly some people are too impatient to appreciate their technical ability and vision/intelligence. Nothing more beautiful than watching such smart and technically sound football. Just it's the opposite of traditional British football culture/style where people are rather obsessive about going forward.

Yeah, I find Spain can often be boring because I'm incapable of going 30 seconds without yelling "LUMP IT TO SARGE!". Dear me.

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Sadly some people are too impatient to appreciate their technical ability and vision/intelligence. Nothing more beautiful than watching such smart and technically sound football. Just it's the opposite of traditional British football culture/style where people are rather obsessive about going forward.

You can appreciate all those qualities and still find Spain/Barca utterly tedious.

You shouldn't mistake their pressing game, possession, or the fact they hold the ball in the opposition half as a sign that they're some sort of all-out attack minded samba-football side. They keep the ball simply because they can't defend worth a toss in a conventional sense. It's more important to them to keep the ball than it is to attack and risk losing possession, which is why they endlessly and aimlessly play it sideways. Christ, even the fullbacks bombing on is just another means to widen the pitch further and create yet another outlet for yet another sideways pass, it's not like they actually give the wide players anything to aim at in the box anyway!.

As I said before, Bielsa's teams are really not all that different, yet because of a few fundamental differences in approach the end result is far more entertaining, far more interesting, and for all practical purposes actually far more attacking. It's not that all football has to be played vertically in order to be entertaining, I'm not a fan of 'hoof it' teams either, only that when the opportunity arises to make best use of a situation by playing a 30 yard forward pass into space then it's a nonsense to refuse to do so simply because you're more concerned with keeping it by knocking it sideways 5 yards instead. Germany played a wonderful style of football in the last World Cup, yet nobody accused them of hoofing it, they were simply willing to exploit spaces by playing the ball ahead of a player, or by moving the ball up the field quickly. It's just a different approach, and one that I personally find far more agreeable than what I perceive to be Spain/Barca's ultimate negativity.

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You can appreciate all those qualities and still find Spain/Barca utterly tedious.

You shouldn't mistake their pressing game, possession, or the fact they hold the ball in the opposition half as a sign that they're some sort of all-out attack minded samba-football side. They keep the ball simply because they can't defend worth a toss in a conventional sense. It's more important to them to keep the ball than it is to attack and risk losing possession, which is why they endlessly and aimlessly play it sideways. Christ, even the fullbacks bombing on is just another means to widen the pitch further and create yet another outlet for yet another sideways pass, it's not like they actually give the wide players anything to aim at in the box anyway!.

As I said before, Bielsa's teams are really not all that different, yet because of a few fundamental differences in approach the end result is far more entertaining, far more interesting, and for all practical purposes actually far more attacking. It's not that all football has to be played vertically in order to be entertaining, I'm not a fan of 'hoof it' teams either, only that when the opportunity arises to make best use of a situation by playing a 30 yard forward pass into space then it's a nonsense to refuse to do so simply because you're more concerned with keeping it by knocking it sideways 5 yards instead. Germany played a wonderful style of football in the last World Cup, yet nobody accused them of hoofing it, they were simply willing to exploit spaces by playing the ball ahead of a player, or by moving the ball up the field quickly. It's just a different approach, and one that I personally find far more agreeable than what I perceive to be Spain/Barca's ultimate negativity.

Definitely not Samba football. Also not attacking. Could almost claim the opposite due to the lack of risk-taking. However I find it amazing as a spectacle in terms of intelligence and playing to their strengths. If you can't dominate in the air and don't have amazing box players at either end you need to keep it in the middle, be patient and pick teams apart. Most teams would end up like the Dutch if they had a defensive unit as bad as Spain's. Instead they play to their strength and use their midfield depth and incisiveness to tire teams out by making them chase the ball and then cut them apart when they see a hole defensively. Personally find it amazing to see and truly revolutionary. It's not like Brazil's old school brand of attacking masters, but it's a way of showcasing technical passing ability when you don't have size and speed/athleticism that other teams do.

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Blokhin said: "We scored a clean goal in the 63rd minute, as the ball crossed the goal line by over a metre."

A metre :D

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Would've been a dirty, dirty goal seeing as their bloke was offside. Terry got massively caught out in the first place though, did well to recover but it should never have got to that point.

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You'd think that'll just confirm goal line tech now. Bloke on the line looking right at it and he still missed

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He does look a bit mental that Blokhin.

Gerrard was awesome tonight.

'That Blokhin' was one of the best strikers in the world.

****** play by England, crooked handling by Pyatov and ugly UEFA. Good luck to Italy in 1/4.

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your tears, they are refreshing, nyom nyom nyom

See you on the 11th of September, poor little one)

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Loving the BBC's summarys of the game this morning going on about the injustice of the disallowed goal as if Ukraine were hard done by yet forgetting to mention the striker who had the shot was offside from the original pass :D

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Loving the BBC's summarys of the game this morning going on about the injustice of the disallowed goal as if Ukraine were hard done by yet forgetting to mention the striker who had the shot was offside from the original pass :D

1)Doesnt change the fact that the linesman missed an obvious call right in front of him.

2)There have been some really bad calls that have affected the Greeks.

3)Games should be decided by players and not by incorrect refereeing decisions.

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Welcome to football.

That's been the case for almost 200 years ffs :D Until they start using replays, that won't change either.

The guy was offside, so it shouldn't have counted anyway. I'm not sure why that is hard to get around.

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Its not that it should have counted; its that it happened. It would have been a shocking error in a kids match. At the highest level of the sport its an unacceptable mistake.

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1)Doesnt change the fact that the linesman missed an obvious call right in front of him.

2)There have been some really bad calls that have affected the Greeks.

3)Games should be decided by players and not by incorrect refereeing decisions.

1) Doesn't change the fact that the linesman missed 2 obvious calls right in front of him.

2) So?

3) Despite the reffing inadequacies, the right decision was made.

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See you on the 11th of September, poor little one)

We're quaking in our boots already!

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I really feel like goal line technology is a red herring. How often does this happen?

Surely the proper solution is to incorporate replays in general to help referees and linesmen.

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I was fairly pleased with Englands performance last night. Ukraine were always going to come flying out of the blocks as they had to win to qualify and they were in front of a massive home crowd. So it was very important that we soaked up that early pressure, and the team did just that. We should have been ahead a lot earlier as Rooney missed an absolute sitter, and that would have been game over. For all their possession the Ukraine barely looked threatening and were mostly reduced to long shots.

I'm not sure what people expected really. Before the tournament Roy was classed by a lot of people as the wrong man for the job, had very little time to prepare, had injuries etc and in this game simply needed to draw to do what most people said he wouldn't even manage - get out of the group. No matter what you think of him he's an intelligent manager and he's always going to make that team difficult to break down tonight and first and foremost ensure we didn't go behind. It looks to me like the whole campaign has so far gone pretty much to plan for Hodgson, and he's finished top of the group for crying out loud, what more do people want? As I said, most were saying we wouldn't even get out of the group before the tournament started.

As for the team, when the team was announced and we were told that Gerrard had been made captain I was pretty disappointed. I remember posting that it basically meant he had to play every game and that would be bad for the team as he's not great internationally and is too quick to try the 'hollywood ball'. But it turns out I was wrong as he's been our best player so far. The bit of skill to go past his man before crossing for the goal last night was fantastic, and that's a number of brilliant crosses he's put in now. So yeah, looks like he was a good choice for captain after all.

Milner was utter turd. Before the match I wanted him to start as we needed to keep it tight and someone needs to cover Johnson. But he didn't really do a thing right and I hope he doesn't start against Italy. Young was fine, not sure what people are compaining about really. He worked hard, put in some decent crosses, but did nothing spectacular. The only worrying thing was that we looked out of ideas in the final third on a number of occasions. We did seem to lack a spark up front but I'm hoping with Rooney getting back into it that will improve.

The next game will be very difficult and I cant see us winning it. But that's fine really. Whatever FIFA say this team is not the 4th best team in Europe at the moment and it needs a lot of work. For me Roy will have had a decent start, as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and hopefully it will give him something to build on.

That doesn't mean I'm not hoping for a win in the next game. Once it gets to the knockout stages anything can happen.

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I think people don't really get how tournaments work sometimes. We didn't need to go mental out of the blocks in search of goals, we only needed a draw, that's why rumours of Walcott started seemed odd and he didn't anyway (did he touch the ball when he came on?). You bide your time, anything can happen. Look at the French, it's not throwing it away they just got done. Spain dominated but had a point blank save and got away with a nailed on pen, Russia flopped, Dutch ... it's fine lines. You get out of the group, that's the most important thing.

We played it safe albeit with one of the worst 1st half performances I have seen in a while but there was a lot of stuff from range that we handled well. I always thought as the game went on we'd be able to get out more, Ukraine needed the win. It's never as simple by who wins by the most out of us and France to top the group. Easiest goal ever although Rooney looked off the pace. Hopefully it's a sharpness thing and he's a bit better for the next game.

Obviously that ball was over the line but it's not even worth having another conversation about it, nice to benefit from it but why couldn't that line judge take a step to the right? Anyway, the initial pass over looked offside to me anyway so screw it!

Thought Gerrard did well again. Even his Hollywood passes were incredibly accurate. We hit some nice balls in too and out set piece delivery has got to be up there with the best in the tournament so far, I reckon. Very consistent and nice to see.

I thought people were over the top in thinking we'd go out in the groups, not cause of talent but in terms of preparations and time spent with the squad rather than 'haha we're rubbish lolz' but Hodgson has got the players playing a certain way very quickly, hats off tbh and more than some other, higher profile Managers that spent years trying to get players to do things a certain way.

Edgy and nervous from the start, almost expected but I thought we handled a tough situation well. Italy will be interesting. It's almost double edged sword. If we beat Italy it's Germany whereas if we pull something out against Spain it would be Portugal/Czechs ... either way it's tough and I think I prefer to play Italy but don't think the players are overly bothered about this 'we need to avoid Spain' as fans are. You just have to tackle the games as they come and and I hope we can give Italy a good game, certainly don't have to be terrified but maybe take out performance up a notch too. Also extra day rest for winning the group :thup:

Come one!!

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Agree with all the Gerrard love. He was the one player who got on the ball, quickened our play and moved us forward well. Some of his passes out to Young were sublime. Pass of the game goes to John Terry though...

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I was fairly pleased with Englands performance last night. Ukraine were always going to come flying out of the blocks as they had to win to qualify and they were in front of a massive home crowd. So it was very important that we soaked up that early pressure, and the team did just that. We should have been ahead a lot earlier as Rooney missed an absolute sitter, and that would have been game over. For all their possession the Ukraine barely looked threatening and were mostly reduced to long shots.

I'm not sure what people expected really. Before the tournament Roy was classed by a lot of people as the wrong man for the job, had very little time to prepare, had injuries etc and in this game simply needed to draw to do what most people said he wouldn't even manage - get out of the group. No matter what you think of him he's an intelligent manager and he's always going to make that team difficult to break down tonight and first and foremost ensure we didn't go behind. It looks to me like the whole campaign has so far gone pretty much to plan for Hodgson, and he's finished top of the group for crying out loud, what more do people want? As I said, most were saying we wouldn't even get out of the group before the tournament started.

As for the team, when the team was announced and we were told that Gerrard had been made captain I was pretty disappointed. I remember posting that it basically meant he had to play every game and that would be bad for the team as he's not great internationally and is too quick to try the 'hollywood ball'. But it turns out I was wrong as he's been our best player so far. The bit of skill to go past his man before crossing for the goal last night was fantastic, and that's a number of brilliant crosses he's put in now. So yeah, looks like he was a good choice for captain after all.

Milner was utter turd. Before the match I wanted him to start as we needed to keep it tight and someone needs to cover Johnson. But he didn't really do a thing right and I hope he doesn't start against Italy. Young was fine, not sure what people are compaining about really. He worked hard, put in some decent crosses, but did nothing spectacular. The only worrying thing was that we looked out of ideas in the final third on a number of occasions. We did seem to lack a spark up front but I'm hoping with Rooney getting back into it that will improve.

The next game will be very difficult and I cant see us winning it. But that's fine really. Whatever FIFA say this team is not the 4th best team in Europe at the moment and it needs a lot of work. For me Roy will have had a decent start, as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and hopefully it will give him something to build on.

That doesn't mean I'm not hoping for a win in the next game. Once it gets to the knockout stages anything can happen.

I like this post.

Only thing I'd disagree with is how well England defended, Ukraine had a couple of chances where they got quite a few men in the box on the break. The one relief is that England forced them wide and got them to shoot from positions where Joe Hart was favourite, which is probably good defending. Bah, I've just successfully argued myself into a circle.

Gerrard has been annoyingly good this tournament.

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Yeah, Gerrard is playing as well for England as he has ever done.

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Young was fine, not sure what people are compaining about really. He worked hard, put in some decent crosses, but did nothing spectacular.

He needs to defend the wide left area better because Cole gets dragged too wide too often to cover him which leaves the channels open, going forward he's fine though and the sharper Rooney gets the more Young will get into the game.

Don't see Hart getting many mentions but he's becoming a class act, not the finished article yet but getting there.

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Don't see Hart getting many mentions but he's becoming a class act, not the finished article yet but getting there

Hasn't had a lot to do though in fairness. Bit wobbly against the French with his handling, but no chance for the Sweden goals and Ukraine barely worked him.

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Hart looked a bit iffy with that swerving shot that he had to save with one hand in the middle of the goal. Didn't seem to swerve as much as he made out from the replay.

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The controversy will come when technology such as hawk eye doesn't give a goal like last nights. If you look very closely there's a chance a couple of mm haven't crossed the line. If hawk eye has any margin of error (it definitely will) then it may not have given last nights "goal"

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/euro2012/article-2162013/Euro-2012-Sepp-Blatter-demands-goal-line-technology-Ukraine-v-England.html

The bottom "computer generated" image in this article says it was a clear goal but look closely, is it? If any part of the ball is level with any part of the line then it is not a goal.

It looks over initially, and common sense would say it is over, but if even 0.0001 mm are level and hawkeye is accurate it would not give the goal.

Genuinely surprised how many people are certain that ball is 100% over.

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Laughable that blatter now says goal line technology is a "necessity" straight after it benefits england even though 2 years ago the ball was atleast 2-3 times more over the line.

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