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Group B - Slovakia V England & Russia V Wales

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I swear we're the only team that looks at QF and SFs and say "ohh we might get them".

We qualified. Despite coming second England were easily the best team in the group, by quite a distance. I'm optimistic.

Well done Wales :applause: happy for you guys :)

We struggle to create chances against teams that sit deep and we are shaky at the back. We're not that good.

If we get Hungary we might break them down before the 120 minutes are up, but we'll get beat by France in the quarters anyway.

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We struggle to create chances against teams that sit deep and we are shaky at the back. We're not that good.

If we get Hungary we might break them down before the 120 minutes are up, but we'll get beat by France in the quarters anyway.

This is what I mean about the English mentality though, we're no different to the top teams in the world in this respect. Germany actually lost to Slovakia in May, Spain lost to Georgia, Portugal lost to Cape Verde Islands ffs. Any team would have struggled to break them down last night. The comparison with Wales isn't fair as both Slovakia and Russia will have set up to win the game against Wales, whereas they simply set up to not lose against us.

I'm not worried, though I don't think we're gonna win the damn thing. People just come out as overly critical of England when they want to. Fact is, we've looked solid and completely and utterly controlled each game so far. We've conceded just 2 goals, one of which was a blunder by our keeper from miles out which wouldn't happen on other days.

We shouldn't judge England on these games. The judgement should come when we actually play teams who want to beat us, as that is when it matters.

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This is what I mean about the English mentality though, we're no different to the top teams in the world in this respect. Germany actually lost to Slovakia in May, Spain lost to Georgia, Portugal lost to Cape Verde Islands ffs. Any team would have struggled to break them down last night. The comparison with Wales isn't fair as both Slovakia and Russia will have set up to win the game against Wales, whereas they simply set up to not lose against us.

I'm not worried, though I don't think we're gonna win the damn thing. People just come out as overly critical of England when they want to. Fact is, we've looked solid and completely and utterly controlled each game so far. We've conceded just 2 goals, one of which was a blunder by our keeper from miles out which wouldn't happen on other days.

We shouldn't judge England on these games. The judgement should come when we actually play teams who want to beat us, as that is when it matters.

agree completely. start complaining if we get trounced in the last 16 or QFs without giving it a good shot.

moaning that we couldn't score against teams desperate not to lose and that now we're going to face hungary instead of albania (woe is us) is pointless.

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I don't think using friendly results is a fair comparison either though. We've struggled to break down 3 sides this tournament that have been negative in their approach. I don't think Germany or Spain would have had the same issues. Portugal are probably a better comparison but they created a lot of chances in both their games, so I dunno. We'll probably struggle against Hungary or Iceland in the same way, but I'd be more confident playing Portugal as they'll be more open.

I think we'll beat Iceland or Hungary. It'll probably just be very scrappy.

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It's a mental thing on the big stage IMO. We didn't fail to break anyone down in qualifying.

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Probably get sticks thrown at me but that first half performance of England was getting close to how I want to see them play. Patient, slowly turned the screw. It helped that Slovakia had zero ambition to retain possession themselves, of course.

What was off was Henderson's over and under hit crosses (he otherwise had a decent game I thought), Wilshere's few small mistakes and the fact we couldn't find that killer ball, or really unlock things.

What's worrying is that this was against Slovakia, not Italy.

It all fell apart as predicted when Wilshere was subbed for Rooney because the midfield ground to a halt with fewer outlets and dumbass cross field balls Rooney insists on playing. Thankfully he gave up after a few overhit ones and just decided on some long range wasted shots instead. Sturridge remains probably the main creative/flair threat upfront.

It's not really running for Alli.

Thought Lallana was excellent again.

             Vardy    
 Lallana                 Sturridge

   Wilshere         Rooney/Henderson          

             Dier
Rose                              Walker

       Smalling  Cahill  

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Probably get sticks thrown at me but that first half performance of England was getting close to how I want to see them play. Patient, slowly turned the screw. It helped that Slovakia had zero ambition to retain possession themselves, of course.

What was off was Henderson's over and under hit crosses (he otherwise had a decent game I thought), Wilshere's few small mistakes and the fact we couldn't find that killer ball, or really unlock things.

What's worrying is that this was against Slovakia, not Italy.

It all fell apart as predicted when Wilshere was subbed for Rooney because the midfield ground to a halt with fewer outlets and dumbass cross field balls Rooney insists on playing. Thankfully he gave up after a few overhit ones and just decided on some long range wasted shots instead. Sturridge remains probably the main creative/flair threat upfront.

It's not really running for Alli.

Thought Lallana was excellent again.

             Vardy    
 Lallana                 Sturridge

   Wilshere         Rooney/Henderson          

             Dier
Rose                              Walker

       Smalling  Cahill  

We didn't have the outlets first half either. We got away with because Lallana is just as comfortable drifting into the pocket as he is wide, things got worse once he was off. We are not a million miles away, but diamond was a much better alternative shape, if we get Hungary who will sit deep, that's the shape we need.

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I don't think using friendly results is a fair comparison either though. We've struggled to break down 3 sides this tournament that have been negative in their approach. I don't think Germany or Spain would have had the same issues. Portugal are probably a better comparison but they created a lot of chances in both their games, so I dunno. We'll probably struggle against Hungary or Iceland in the same way, but I'd be more confident playing Portugal as they'll be more open.

I think we'll beat Iceland or Hungary. It'll probably just be very scrappy.

Thats just not true though.

Against both Russia & Slovakia we had more than enough chances to win the game. Its not that we aren't creating them its just that we haven't put them away in the group games.

If you want to compare it to Germany or Spain then lets do that:

Germany v Ukraine - Germany in exactly the same position that England were against Russia except they broke from a Ukraine corner and scored a second deep into injury time.

Germany v Poland - Germany couldn't find the net just like England v Slovakia.

Spain v Czech Rep - Spain scored the only goal of the game on 87 mins.

Spain v Turkey - One of the few games where a dominating side took their chances and were out of sight before the last 20 mins.

So Germany are having just as many issues as we are, maybe they'll find a cutting edge tonight against NI, maybe they won't while Spain seemed to click against Turkey but will it continue?

We've also seen plenty of other teams struggle to break down more defensive sides in the tournament, in fact its become a feature with late goals deciding a high % of games.

Overall we just need to be a bit more clinical when the chances are created.

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England B works as you have 9 is it? English players in your squad. We have 0 Welsh players mate.

:D :D :D

You better let UEFA know we are playing players that aren't welsh, could be on to something here!

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:D :D :D

You better let UEFA know we are playing players that aren't welsh, could be on to something here!

That is horrifically bad...

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just go back to basics lads, 4-4- ****ing 2

the hendo hate is really poor though, could have had 3 assists and a goal or 2, what did the rest do exactly? golden boys kane and vardy? wilshere and rooney...?

get a grip.

Well by your logic. Vardy could have scored and had an assist for Sturridge.

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We struggle to create chances against teams that sit deep and we are shaky at the back. We're not that good.

I actually disagree with this. Okay, most teams struggle with it to an extent. The poorer sides are much better organised these days, football as a sport is much more professionalised than it was a few decades ago, so you don't often see 5-goal winning margins. But England had a perfect record in the qualifiers with 10 wins out of 10, with 31 goals scored (and only 3 conceded). That was in a group with Switzerland and Slovenia, and some more rubbish. And in the tournament itself so far, England have been by far the best team in all three matches, and were unlucky not to win at least 2 of those.

The team you have now actually looks somewhat promising, unlike the situation for quite a few years/tournaments. It will genuinely be interesting to see how this team does if/when it comes up against some the traditionally best teams, like France, Germany, Spain, Italy. England do look vulnerable at the back, but also very strong on the counter, so against some of those teams the match should be more open.

Unusual for England to actually look fairly competent, but I don't understand why people are so harsh on them and the manager. Think they've been one of the better teams in the tournament so far actually. Certainly more impressive than Portugal for instance, who continue to be a one-man team and always struggle if that one player doesn't perform like he usually does.

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Don't understand the number of people that would reinstate Walker immediately. Thought Clyne did more in 90 than Walker has in the two games he had.

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Don't understand the number of people that would reinstate Walker immediately. Thought Clyne did more in 90 than Walker has in the two games he had.

No Liverpool bias there then? :rolleyes:

Walker has been our best player so far.

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Don't understand the number of people that would reinstate Walker immediately. Thought Clyne did more in 90 than Walker has in the two games he had.

Clyne was good but Walker was exceptional in the first two matches.

From an England perspective its great to have two good options but atm Walker is the slightly better one.

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Think they've been one of the better teams in the tournament so far actually. Certainly more impressive than Portugal for instance, who continue to be a one-man team and always struggle if that one player doesn't perform like he usually does.

Portugal have been as impressive as us. They've created a fair amount of chances that Nani has wasted just as easy as Ronaldo.

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I thought England did fine yesterday it wasn't brilliant but no where near as crap as some make out, Slovakia are a good team who set out to draw that game from the first minute, at least they did not sneak it as has happened to so many teams who dominate games(Spain in 2010 v Switzerland)

Who knows what would have happened had Vardy scored that goal or Skrtel(who was immense) had one of his brain farts. I really don't believe it was as bad as some make out, the group was lost in the first game.

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Yeah baffled as to how anyone could think Clyne offered more than Walker.

I think it's been a really poor group stage tbh. We've had a lot of possession but we've struggled to beat both Slovakia and Russia, with the latter especially being a team we should comfortably beat. I think coming 2nd in a group to Wales despite being them is really poor too.

I just don't see how this team will cope when we come up against someone that's actually any good with pressure on them. Not sure if people are blinded by how bad we were at the World Cup and so think this has been good, but we got really really lucky to have such a poor set of sides in our group.

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Portugal have been as impressive as us. They've created a fair amount of chances that Nani has wasted just as easy as Ronaldo.

And surprisingly they have drawn against two teams that have just defended, difference being England didn't get a penalty yesterday.

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Unfortunately, those teams will also attack us and I am still not sure about our defence, hardly been tested in this group and we've still somehow managed to concede two goals

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I think it's been a really poor group stage tbh. We've had a lot of possession but we've struggled to beat both Slovakia and Russia, with the latter especially being a team we should comfortably beat. I think coming 2nd in a group to Wales despite being them is really poor too.

If you call going unbeaten & picking up 5 points a poor group stage I would hate to think what you thought of previous tournaments.

Even forgetting the last World Cup lets go back to the 2012 Euros.

Eng 1-1 France - France dominated us, we managed just three shots in the whole match but scored first to scrape a point.

Eng 3-2 Sweden - Even match where Sweden were unlucky not to get at least a point. Could have gone either way.

Eng 1-0 Ukraine - Ukraine dominated both possession (58%) & shots (16 to 9) but we got the important goal.

Don't remember the World Cup in 2010?

Eng 1-1 USA - Even game.

Eng 0-0 Alg - Another even game.

Eng 1-0 Slovenia - A third even game that could have gone either way. A first half Defoe goal rescued the group stage for us.

Clearly our performances have been far better this time round where we have been controlling the bulk of possession and forcing teams to defend we just haven't quite got the results to go with them yet.

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Don't understand the number of people that would reinstate Walker immediately. Thought Clyne did more in 90 than Walker has in the two games he had.

So clueless.

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Does make me chuckle when people use the laziness of saying Portugal are a one-man team.

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He created our 3 best chances

- over the top ball to Vardy - should have scored

- chipped cross to Alli - should have scored

- through ball to Clyne - cross should have been converted.

But lets ignore everything decent he does

That was dier...not henderson

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Does make me chuckle when people use the laziness of saying Portugal are a one-man team.

It's a simplification of course, no team in the world is an actual one-man team, but it's fairly fitting for Portugal. They have other good players like Pepe and Nani, but if Ronaldo doesn't perform, Portugal are usually pretty toothless.

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Does make me chuckle when people use the laziness of saying Portugal are a one-man team.

They're doing that themselves though. Particularly against Austria, where if Ronaldo wasn't on the pitch they'd have probably won. He's either the best or second best player in the World, yet he was an absolute hindrance.

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Wales are a team, an excellent player who stands above the rest but is magnanamious and has no heirs and graces within the team Ronaldo and Portugal are not a team.

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If you call going unbeaten & picking up 5 points a poor group stage I would hate to think what you thought of previous tournaments.

Even forgetting the last World Cup lets go back to the 2012 Euros.

Eng 1-1 France - France dominated us, we managed just three shots in the whole match but scored first to scrape a point.

Eng 3-2 Sweden - Even match where Sweden were unlucky not to get at least a point. Could have gone either way.

Eng 1-0 Ukraine - Ukraine dominated both possession (58%) & shots (16 to 9) but we got the important goal.

Don't remember the World Cup in 2010?

Eng 1-1 USA - Even game.

Eng 0-0 Alg - Another even game.

Eng 1-0 Slovenia - A third even game that could have gone either way. A first half Defoe goal rescued the group stage for us.

Clearly our performances have been far better this time round where we have been controlling the bulk of possession and forcing teams to defend we just haven't quite got the results to go with them yet.

I thought we did well at the last Euros especially when you consider that group was far better than the group we have this year.

I'm not sure how an awful 2010 World Cup somehow means we've done well this time.

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No Liverpool bias there then? :rolleyes:

Walker has been our best player so far.

Not bias at all, I'd rather England got knocked out as early as possible. Just thought Clyne was exceptional last night and far more threatening going forward than Walker has been, especially against Wales where England struggled to create much down the right flank at all.

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So clueless.

Calm it down, given the number of exceptionally wrong posts you've made you should reign it in.

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If you call going unbeaten & picking up 5 points a poor group stage I would hate to think what you thought of previous tournaments.

Even forgetting the last World Cup lets go back to the 2012 Euros.

Eng 1-1 France - France dominated us, we managed just three shots in the whole match but scored first to scrape a point.

Eng 3-2 Sweden - Even match where Sweden were unlucky not to get at least a point. Could have gone either way.

Eng 1-0 Ukraine - Ukraine dominated both possession (58%) & shots (16 to 9) but we got the important goal.

Don't remember the World Cup in 2010?

Eng 1-1 USA - Even game.

Eng 0-0 Alg - Another even game.

Eng 1-0 Slovenia - A third even game that could have gone either way. A first half Defoe goal rescued the group stage for us.

Clearly our performances have been far better this time round where we have been controlling the bulk of possession and forcing teams to defend we just haven't quite got the results to go with them yet.

As your own listings point out, in the last Euros we faced stronger teams, scored more goals and topped the group, and that was despite playing Joleon Lescott in defence!

The World Cup 2010 group stages are a fair comparison. Similarly weak group, same number of points, and the fans were furious at how badly we did at the time.

I mean, England very rarely look excellent in group stages which usually isn't much of a guide as to how sides perform in the rest of the tournament anyway, but they really should have done better than runners up to Wales out of this group, especially with strong incentives to finish top.

-

Not that much to choose between Walker and Clyne tbh, they've both been the best player on the park when they've played. Clyne has better delivery but not quite the same ridiculous pace, and his ability to beat his man declined noticeably when Slovakia replaced their fullback. Bertrand, on the other hand, was disappointing

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Calm it down, given the number of exceptionally wrong posts you've made you should reign it in.

Most of my 'controversial' posts actually turn out to be correct, i.e.

Rooney regressing

Sterling being overrated

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Clyne was just as good as Walker has been going forward last night, and isn't as dumb positionally in defence. His delivery was better too.

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I thought we did well at the last Euros especially when you consider that group was far better than the group we have this year.

I'm not sure how an awful 2010 World Cup somehow means we've done well this time.

I don't understand how you can't see how our performances in the matches aren't far better than previous tournaments.

Arguably the last time England performed close to this level was around 1996. Had we nicked another couple of goals we would be top of the group on 9 points and the media would be making us favourites to lift the trophy.

As your own listings point out, in the last Euros we faced stronger teams, scored more goals and topped the group, and that was despite playing Joleon Lescott in defence!

The World Cup 2010 group stages are a fair comparison. Similarly weak group, same number of points, and the fans were furious at how badly we did at the time.

I mean, England very rarely look excellent in group stages which usually isn't much of a guide as to how sides perform in the rest of the tournament anyway, but they really should have done better than runners up to Wales out of this group, especially with strong incentives to finish top.

Aside from France I would say both Sweden & Ukraine are very much on a par with Wales/Slovakia/Russia and yet the games were very different.

Sure the results could have been better but on the pitch we've been far better than the previous few tournaments.

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I personally think you're underestimating just how poor the group we've got this year was. Only getting 5 points and finishing below Wales despite beating them is really nothing to shout about. That Russia side is possibly the worst team in the entire tournament and we could only draw with them. Yes we've dominated possession most games but we're not going to do that against better sides.

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It's a simplification of course, no team in the world is an actual one-man team, but it's fairly fitting for Portugal. They have other good players like Pepe and Nani, but if Ronaldo doesn't perform, Portugal are usually pretty toothless.

This time thoug Nani could have been top scorer by now with a bit of better finishing, and Portugal could have been cruising to top spot in the group. Of course Ronaldo could have also, but they've had loads of other chances that were missed by other players as well.

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whoever we get in the next round we need to play sturridge through the middle. we had this with rodgers early on playing him on the right of a three but he just wasnt scoring, we put him in the middle and he scored a shed load...

vardy is one dimensional in that if teams dont attack us he'll be useless, he needs to run onto things, ironically early on he fluffed his only chance yesterday but its what hes good at. kane looks well out of sorts, so id rather see sterling and lallana as a front 3 and play 1 upfront instead of playing a striker out of position to balance the team. :/

seriously dont like our mids though, dier apart, they've not been great and theres just no goals there. hendo had a good game yesterday but if he could do all the things people expect of him he'd be worth £80m! Alli doesnt look ready for international football yet and rooney is just crap,, the fact he's been decent doesnt gloss over the fact he's not contributed much at all.

i said awhile back theres no finished articles in the squad, so the least we can do is start playing them in their best positions! or just not at all...

still think hodgsons ineptitude will cost us overall though. the **** is he doing taking sturridge off and leaving vardy on? to get what exactly? 2 extra touches...?! i was actually on the verge of backing sturridge to score the next goal when he was taken off and his bemused look said it all, he was the only player who looked likely to score.

the minute we go 1-0 down in a game, we may aswell all switch off the telly and get on with our lives because portugal et al would easily hold us at bay for the remainder of the game...

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Sure the results could have been better but on the pitch we've been far better than the previous few tournaments.

If quantity of possession was what mattered on the pitch then van Gaal would have been Manager of the Year rather than fired. You can't judge a team's performance favourably because the opposition plays for draws, especially not if they get them.

Our worst result in the last Euro group stages was a draw with a very strong French team. I think that compares pretty favourably with our best result this time round in the form of an injury time win against a pretty limited Wales team. The only worse results I can remember England achieving in Euro group stages was when we bombed out in 2000, and at least those games were exciting to watch.

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Possession is irrelevant if we do absolutely nothing with it. We just don't have a good enough team that can break a very defensive team down often enough. We slow the game down so much just allowing the opposition to get setup defensively, there is nothing to fear for good teams against England.

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