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England vs Iceland - 8pm ITV

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Icelandic commentator at it again ;)

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Scholes was our best midfielder during his time, but he wasn't world class. As I said, I have a tighter definition than most.

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Scholes was our best midfielder during his time, but he wasn't world class. As I said, I have a tighter definition than most.

:lol:

May as well not use the expression at all if Scholes wasn't a world class midfielder.

As usual I think England fans are overreacting. England played some pretty darn good stuff in the group stage, and could quite easily have won all 3 games. They had the play and chances. The team has taken steps forward this tournament, even if a loss to Iceland of course is a huge disappointment.

Maybe they were shell-shocked, but it was embarrassing to watch the England fans in the stands just stand there, not making a darn sound for most of the match.

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:lol:

May as well not use the expression at all if Scholes wasn't a world class midfielder.

As usual I think England fans are overreacting. England played some pretty darn good stuff in the group stage, and could quite easily have won all 3 games. They had the play and chances. The team has taken steps forward this tournament, even if a loss to Iceland of course is a huge disappointment.

Maybe they were shell-shocked, but it was embarrassing to watch the England fans in the stands just stand there, not making a darn sound for most of the match.

I don't think they're overreacting.

Their performance was complete garbage.

As I've said after the second game, as soon as England comes across decent opposition, Hodgson's atrocious midfield setup will look terrible.

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Against Iceland I agree, England never found any good recipe against Iceland's well-organised defence and rare but dangerous counters. But in the 3 group games I thought England played well, and could easily have had 7 or 9 points. I genuinely think England did better in terms of actual play this tournament than for a fair while, even if the results ultimately were lacking.

However, one of the problems England have had forever (seemingly) is lack of a coherent team play. You look at some of the other teams in this tournament, and they have given their all and played as a unit, not as 11 individuals. England have done decently there as well in periods, but too often fall back to one guy trying some tricks, and the rest not following up, not pressing as a unit, and on and on. Then you take Iceland, Italy, Germany, and they're simply a more well-drilled unit that knows exactly what to do in various situations. Some of that is down to the manager and coaches, but considering it happens tournament after tournament, it has to be down to the players too, maybe the extreme pressure / fear to fail, and maybe over-indulgence of the PL.

Or quite simply, maybe the players aren't good enough. I agree there are no world class players in the current squad, however you want to define that term. But then Ireland and Iceland don't exactly have them aplenty either, and Wales only have 1, with averageness across the rest. However people want to direct the blame, I think it's too simplistic with essentially "Hodgson is crap".

Heck, maybe the people mentioning creativity above have a good point. A bit like Man Utd last season. Plenty of good players, but if you lack the creative element, and don't dare to try something risky, you can mostly forget about breaking down well-organised defensive teams.

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One thing I was really shocked about as how badly we deteriorated in the 2nd half. The only thing I can think off was replacing Eric Dier with Wiltshire. Although Dier wasn't playing well, & I agree there wasn't any need for a holding midfielder against Iceland, it did seem to really effect us. If Hodgson wanted to bring on Wiltshire he should have removed Rooney, but like LVG & others seems to be reluctant to do so.

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English players are mentally weak. This isn't something a new manager can change.

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Well I remember Zidane saying Scholes was the best player in the world and that was when Zidane was in his prime.

I would think he would be in a better position to judge a player's skill level than anyone on this board.

Watching Scholes ping passes all over the park I was always in disbelief, it was just unbelievable at times, also some of the goals he would score you couldn't help but just stop and register what you just seen.

Having that said though, if you say he was not world class I guess that's that.

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People were just put off by his Gingervitis and watched him through their fingers.

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We all have our opinions.

The old classics about what fellow professional Zidane once said about him in an interview and Neville once seeing Scholes hit a crossbar on purpose (or something like that) often get trotted out. They mean nothing.

And I agree, Scholes was better than Gerrard and Lampard, and the 00s team should've had Scholes as its creative core. Maybe we would have seen more of what he could do that way.

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Myeah in the end the Zidane quote is no more than him saying to - minor nuance - the English media that he was the toughest opponent he ever faced. That does not necessarily mean he was the best midfielder or opponent at the time.

Personally I think Paul Scholes was absolute class. But some people have a different understanding of the term world class. For some there are about 40-50 world class players in the world. For others there are only about 5, maybe max 10. So it is something you could argue about. Was there any point in his career when Scholes was one of the 5 or 10 best players in the world?

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Exactly.

I said my definition above: would get into a world squad of 24 or so. That would mean he'd have to be in the top 4/5 midfielders. He was probably very close, and as I said maybe if he'd actually been played in position more we would have seen more of the best of him so I would put him there. As it was, no.

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That's basically why I answered, when you said he would not get in a world squad of 24, I couldn't see any top manager not picking Scholes for his 24 at the time when Scholes was at his best.

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That's basically why I answered, when you said he would not get in a world squad of 24, I couldn't see any top manager not picking Scholes for his 24 at the time when Scholes was at his best.

If we're going with the squad idea (which isn't a bad way to define world class tbh) then there's only 2-4 spots he's competing for and that is against some combination of players like Zidane, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Totti, Bergkamp, Veron, Deco, Kaka, Ballack, Rooney and a few others. And as much as I like Scholes I don't think there is any year that he would get one of those spots. If we made the assumption that there is two worldclass teams in the world then there would be two squads and while I personally would have him in there somewhere most years I'm not sure the everyone would agree.

One interesting fact is that, as far as I know, Scholes haven't got a single vote in either the Ballon d'Or or the FIFA world player awards meaning that neither the media nor his fellow players and managers have ever thought him to be among the best in the world, and that is from lists where both Lampard, Gerrard, Giggs, Beckam and Rooney have multiple entries.

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So, Sir Bobby Charlton, would the team of '66 have beaten Iceland?

-Yes, 1-0

Only 1-0?

-Well, we're all over 70 now...

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Can't wait for the Iceland match, I reckon they have enough in the tank to make it a terrible night for the French.

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Who's gonna make the France vs Not England match thread then?

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Myeah in the end the Zidane quote is no more than him saying to - minor nuance - the English media that he was the toughest opponent he ever faced. That does not necessarily mean he was the best midfielder or opponent at the time.

He literally said "Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation" in response to that question. I'm not really sure that can be interpreted as anything other than saying he was the best midfielder [from that generation] he played against. Sure, he's probably said that about more than one footballer of Scholes' generation at various times, but I don't think he's said it about anyone that wasn't world class.

Personally I think a good definition of "world class footballer" is people that the likes of Zidane, Guardiola and Lippi think are world class footballers

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He literally said "Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation" in response to that question. I'm not really sure that can be interpreted as anything other than saying he was the best midfielder [from that generation] he played against. Sure, he's probably said that about more than one footballer of Scholes' generation at various times, but I don't think he's said it about anyone that wasn't world class.

Personally I think a good definition of "world class footballer" is people that the likes of Zidane, Guardiola and Lippi think are world class footballers

Well did he literally say that quote? Because I've seen that quote written down in all forms and shapes but never the same.

Also I beg the differ that former world class footballers opinions about you automatically makes you "a world class footballer" because I've seen the like of Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gillit having some high praise for some pretty terrible players. And then there's again that definition of what is a world class player?

I also like to repeat Mr Walin's argument that apparently for the Ballon D'or neither Zidane, Guardiola or Lippi ever voted for the midfielder they regarded as the best of his generation.

To be perfectly clear, I do think Scholes was a top class and probably top 20-30 of best midfielders from 00-10.

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I wonder if Zidane knew United fans would cling to that for a generation when he said that under whatever circumstances he said it

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Well did he literally say that quote? Because I've seen that quote written down in all forms and shapes but never the same.

One of the reasons there have been different forms of the quote is that Zidane has paid similar compliments to Scholes on more than one occasion

Here's the quote which usually finds its way into memes, including the "greatest midfielder of his generation" quote as part of a list of Scholes quotes compiled in 2009

Here's Zidane's comments from an interview the year later, saying the same things in subtly different words

Pele was never a top manager, or any other kind of manager. Bobby Charlton was a rubbish manager, as well as very partisan in his praise for United players irrespective of their merits, which is why his comments aren't really a factor in assessing Scholes (or Phil Jones!) either.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Lippi and Guardiola are top managers who know more about identifying and working with world class players than anyone on this forum, and Zidane is evidently regarded as one by the Real hierarchy and does already have a Champions League trophy under his belt.

And yes, I'm pretty sure all the managers who praised Scholes in the highest possible terms expected their comments to be taken literally, especially ones that did so in multiple interviews like Zidane. They certainly weren't making a bid for him or bigging up their own player, which is where their praise does tend to be inflated a little.

I don't imagine the likes of Xavi and Messi used to chat about his style of play at La Masia out of a sense of politeness towards English players or telling media pundits what they wanted to hear either.

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One thing I am certain of is that it's very important for United fans that Zidane think this about Scholes

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I find the preoccupation some fans of rival clubs have with trying to claim he didn't say it or didn't really mean it weirder tbh.

It's not as if United fans have ever struggled to find people other than Zidane to add to the Scholes praise lists and memes...

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This has been bugging me since the match, but I never said anything. I know I'll catch a lot of flak for this, but ever since that 2nd half my tinfoil hat started picking up weird signals. I was watching England and thinking, "surely they are throwing this match". If not, then something else had to be going on. If you watch this video, what is happening is not a matter of players not being good enough. They're literally standing around and not trying to make tackles or do anything. That is not a question of talent or team selection. Players are just standing around.

Start from 5:40, but specifically with the goal at 6:28 the player is simply allowed to do whatever he wants around and inside the area. You have a player shielding the back four who starts to make an attempt to prevent the shot and then he simply stops, almost as if it's on purpose. I want to believe that this can somehow legitimately happen mentally... but I don't get it. This looked fixed to me. Are they paralyzed by fear? /tinfoil hat

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Lol. :D I thought it may be more that they were snubbing the manager. It's just absolutely bizarre to me how flat footed and passive they were acting.

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One thing I was really shocked about as how badly we deteriorated in the 2nd half. The only thing I can think off was replacing Eric Dier with Wiltshire. Although Dier wasn't playing well, & I agree there wasn't any need for a holding midfielder against Iceland, it did seem to really effect us. If Hodgson wanted to bring on Wiltshire he should have removed Rooney, but like LVG & others seems to be reluctant to do so.

Apparently Dier was nearly ruled out with illness and he still wasn't feeling great at half time. For me he was arguably our player of the tournament, I'd actually give him the captaincy.

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whoever said scholes got better in minds after he retired :thup:

bin saying it for years. he was a great little player and i loved him for england but he was hardly making shortlists every year. if he was as good as man u fans say he was he'd have won about 6 poty awards and 2 ballon d'ors.

I know he wasnt this good, i was there...

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I find the preoccupation some fans of rival clubs have with trying to claim he didn't say it or didn't really mean it weirder tbh. It's not as if United fans have ever struggled to find people other than Zidane to add to the Scholes praise lists and memes...

Let's be honest, everyone in this thread knows Scholes was not even close to being the best midfielder of his generation, although granted he was pretty great.

The fact Zidane supposedly said it, is a bit suspect to say the least. So if it's not one of the 2 first options, you're kinda implying he's a blatant fool. :D

(which would kinda depreciate the previous argument that a world class player has some sort of superior foolproof judgement or sense when it comes to rating other players)

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whoever said scholes got better in minds after he retired :thup:

bin saying it for years. he was a great little player and i loved him for england but he was hardly making shortlists every year. if he was as good as man u fans say he was he'd have won about 6 poty awards and 2 ballon d'ors.

I know he wasnt this good, i was there...

Interestingly, what was he even nominated for

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Let's be honest, everyone in this thread knows Scholes was not even close to being the best midfielder of his generation, although granted he was pretty great.

The fact Zidane supposedly said it, is a bit suspect to say the least. So if it's not one of the 2 first options, you're kinda implying he's a blatant fool. :D

(which would kinda depreciate the previous argument that a world class player has some sort of superior foolproof judgement or sense when it comes to rating other players)

OK, I give in. Scholes was a pretty mediocre player and Lippi, Guardiola and Zidane are all fools that know less about identifying world class footballers than anybody here. (Xavi and Messi probably only regarded him as a "teacher" when learning how not to tackle too)

And yes, he definitely got better after retiring rather than worse in his last few seasons after all the praise had been lavished on him.

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Interestingly, what was he even nominated for

He was nominated for the FIFA award a few times, never got a single vote though. Was in the PL team of the decade too (1992-2002).

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Let's be honest, everyone in this thread knows Scholes was not even close to being the best midfielder of his generation, although granted he was pretty great.The fact Zidane supposedly said it, is a bit suspect to say the least. So if it's not one of the 2 first options, you're kinda implying he's a blatant fool. :D

(which would kinda depreciate the previous argument that a world class player has some sort of superior foolproof judgement or sense when it comes to rating other players)

OK, I give in. Scholes was a pretty mediocre player and Lippi, Guardiola and Zidane are all fools that know less about identifying world class footballers than anybody here. (Xavi and Messi probably only regarded him as a "teacher" when learning how not to tackle too)

And yes, he definitely got better after retiring rather than worse in his last few seasons after all the praise had been lavished on him.

Wow that's amazing. Especially considering I'm saying the exact opposite in the paragraph you're quoting me on. :D

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England apparently still playing and still not scored that second goal. Even with the Iceland team gone home.

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