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People saying we had an easy run and yes we did, and I agree we didn't create enough from open play.

However we beat Sweden easily, the same Sweden that beat Switzerland, hammered Mexico and only just lost to Germany. I think we probably performed to expectations. We're a level below the 'top nations.

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Yeah well.... for how a tough opponent Sweden can be, I wouldn't state that match as a remarkable achievement to justify an easy route in this World Cup, if I'm allowed to speak honestly.

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3 minutes ago, Federico said:

Yeah well.... for how a tough opponent Sweden can be, I wouldn't state that match as a remarkable achievement to justify an easy route in this World Cup, if I'm allowed to speak honestly.

Indeed. A good win and one to be happy with, but not an extraordinary result and certainly not a surprising one. England making the SFs considering their draw was to be expected. Had they made SFs beating just one team as good as them (Belgium or Croatia or even Colombia in 90 mins) would have been far more impressive than dumping out Sweden, who, as I said, turned up like a Championship side visiting Barca. 

Edited by JDownie

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Sweden who beat France in the qualifiers, knocked out Italy, finished top of the group including Germany are suddenly not worthy opponents?  

Like, I'm not saying they're an amazing side and I'm not claiming we had a hard draw (we didn't) but can we stop pretending Sweden weren't talked up as a solid side who could threaten us? 

You know what, I couldn't care less. Southgate and the team gave me the most fun I've ever had as an England fan, I couldn't give a flying **** who we beat to get there. I hope he can look into what went wrong so we can improve and build, but for now I'm just happy with how much fun it's been. For the first time in years I cared.

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Colombia were this amazing team that we needed to avoid, until we beat them and suddenly it was just expected that we do so 

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Japan were considered no hopers going into the tournament but then gave the second best team the game of their life in the last 16. If teams get to the latter stages of the World Cup, they are good.

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6 minutes ago, Barry Cartman said:

Colombia were this amazing team that we needed to avoid, until we beat them and suddenly it was just expected that we do so 

And we outplayed them apart from about 25 minutes out of 120. "But they missed their best player" gets shouted regularly as though James makes them from no hopers to gods. Not to say he wouldn't make a difference but yeah.

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3 minutes ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

Japan were considered no hopers going into the tournament but then gave the second best team the game of their life in the last 16. If teams get to the latter stages of the World Cup, they are good.

Exactly this. 

I've never once claimed Colombia anything special and always felt England were capable of beating them. They only did so by penalties, so by my estimation Colombia actually were a good side, just not any better than England, who are also just a good side imo. Semi finals doesn't change that. Doesn't suddenly make England the 4th best team in the world (or 3rd if they win tomorrow). But that's what makes it a great achievement for England. But it could have been so much more imo. 

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If England beat Belgium in the group, do they beat Japan? And if they do, do they beat Brazil? On the other hand, do Belgium make it as far as Croatia/go further? 

Just an interesting hypothetical, doesn't mean anything. I think Belgium would have made semis at least. England would have probably struggled in both games, think Brazil might beat them. 

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Still think a lot of the problems are mental. England were 22 mins from winning the game and for all Croatia they were getting more possession, they weren't exactly creating many chances. Then Croatia score from a good cross from deep and proceed to completely dominate the rest of the match with England creating the square root of bugger all in reply, despite or possibly because of lots of attempts to change things. Colombia game was similar in that respect, with similar signs of visible nervousness amongst players coached to calmly play out from the back.

But still, this is a fairly unremarkable group of players whose results were largely aided by their team shape and cohesion, which is the complete opposite of most of the last two decades and why Southgate's getting plaudits.

Not sure why people would going after England for not whipping enough crosses in from open play. Nobody pumps the ball into the box when they're winning games, and it's the very last thing we needed to hold onto a lead against Croatia. Similarly, I can only imagine Southgate being crucified for the changes most likely to have helped hold on to the game (substituting Kane, putting on Dier as a DM for an attacking mid) and it's not like he didn't make changes afterwards, it's just that none of them worked.

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1 minute ago, enigmatic said:

Still think a lot of the problems are mental. England were 22 mins from winning the game and for all Croatia they were getting more possession, they weren't exactly creating many chances.

Certainly possible, to me it just seemed that they were dead on their feet in the second half, both physical and mental exhaustion at play - resulting in the hopeful hoofs up the pitch to Rashford.

It was strange that they folded so quickly after half time whereas Croatia, who were off the back of two extra time games, grew stronger. I can only really put it down to Croatia being more experienced and managing the game better. England probably gave a little too much and gassed out after half time.

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Rose was like Rashford for me, comes on late game against tired defenders, has 5 minutes of being fresh dancing past players, then disappears but people then rave about how they should have been playing

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2 minutes ago, Barry Cartman said:

Rose was like Rashford for me, comes on late game against tired defenders, has 5 minutes of being fresh dancing past players, then disappears but people then rave about how they should have been playing

Not what I saw against Belgium

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The tory MPS whatsapp chat leaked and as well as various brexit related arguments theres been calls to pressure the PM to give Southgate a knightood

 

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3 minutes ago, VamPook said:

Not what I saw against Belgium

You also saw Januzaj win a game of football at a World Cup 

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7 minutes ago, Barry Cartman said:

Rose was like Rashford for me, comes on late game against tired defenders, has 5 minutes of being fresh dancing past players, then disappears but people then rave about how they should have been playing

Yeah, never mind Young actually had a very good tournament. Lets change him for Danny Rose, despite that position not actually being the problem

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1 hour ago, skybluedave said:

Christ this thread has gone down ill since we went out. Don't ruin the previous 30 odd pages please

'Ruin' the previous 30 pages? Full of nonsense as well

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9 minutes ago, Barry Cartman said:

You also saw Januzaj win a game of football at a World Cup 

Can only beat what's put in front of you

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Just now, Barry Cartman said:

Rose was like Rashford for me, comes on late game against tired defenders, has 5 minutes of being fresh dancing past players, then disappears but people then rave about how they should have been playing

Yeah. To be fair to Rose, the conventional wisdom is that the only reason to select Young ahead of him was fitness, and he did look match fit against Belgium (when not being beaten by Januzaj...).

But I also think Young not charging forward all the time was pretty important to the team shape, especially since his crosses from deep are as much of a threat as Rose's from the byline against a set defence and all our midfield wanted to play further forward. It's like wide wingbacks look much more creative and influential in FM highlights until you realise how much narrow/inverted wingbacks in a 5-2-3 break the match engine :D 

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1 hour ago, themadsheep2001 said:

How many times do have I have to say we also have Delph and RLC too. Also I watched the game, all his passing options are risky forward ones, which is why his long ball completion rates were terrible. 

The whole ****ing point is that he needed some easy safe sideways and short forward options, to go with the riskier passes. That's what a proper midfield does. That is exactly what Croatia had. So we could try and control the tempo. You don't always need to go forwards. If you can't see how playing two central midfielders on Delph and RLC over two attacking mids in Alli and Lingard would have changed that, I can't help you. 

So basically end up with the same midfield that ‘controlled’ the game against Belgium and didn’t at all play long balls to the strikers in a bid to control the game and work the play.

Can argue that game we never really tried, but it ended up being sod all link to the two forwards from the midfield and Vardy chasing aimless balls.

But we’d have upped the pass stats by a couple before going back and going long. 

16 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

Yeah, never mind Young actually had a very good tournament. Lets change him for Danny Rose, despite that position not actually being the problem

Position wasn’t a problem because the lesser teams never attacked it. Against Colombia their best deliveries came from that side, against Croatia they came from that side again. Can’t remember Sweden game that well, but wouldn’t be surprised if they came from that side too. Young was good because we utilised his great set plays (which aided our strength) and offered a simple possession pass. As soon as we required someone to provide some width, or someone got within crossing chance, all went rather downhill. 

Hopefully Man Utd keep him another season at LB though mind you. 

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51 minutes ago, enigmatic said:

FM highlights until you realise how much narrow/inverted wingbacks in a 5-2-3 break the match engine

I'll be updating my 532 thread at the weekend... my wide WB(a) are breaking the engine enough... I don't need the exploitative 3 man attack either

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12 hours ago, HOORAY HENRIK said:

I wonder how long you’d want Scotland to do well if you had to watch the tournament from an entirely Scottish perspective. Trips to Scotland HQ every pre/halftime/post match to discuss our last match, next match and the size of our players heads.

I give it 3 days.

I’d love to hear more about the shape of Leigh Griffiths head fwiw

Edited by ArsenalFan7

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Always knew Westy was JD's alt account.

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13 minutes ago, Haguey said:

Always knew Westy was JD's alt account.

Surely then it would make more sense for him to be supporting England and me cheering on the Colombia goal?

Have I been logged in on the wrong accounts this whole time? ;)

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39 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:

I'll be updating my 532 thread at the weekend... my wide WB(a) are breaking the engine enough... I don't need the exploitative 3 man attack either

Think it was much more prominent in FM17 tbf. Wide wingbacks looked pretty but got isolated, crossed badly and got caught out on the counter, narrow ones controlled possession in midfield and were much more dangerous in the half spaces. The main difference between a slightly underperforming and totally dominant team.

Gareth's hedged his bets and picked an IWB and a WB(a) though

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Who cares who we beat, who we played on route to the semis, how many goals came from open play or set pieces, the fact remains England have reached the last 4 of a World Cup for the first time since 1990, which is my eyes says at this present time we have been, at the very least, the fourth best team at this tournament. :lol:

 

 

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1 hour ago, pearcey_90 said:

So basically end up with the same midfield that ‘controlled’ the game against Belgium and didn’t at all play long balls to the strikers in a bid to control the game and work the play.

Can argue that game we never really tried, but it ended up being sod all link to the two forwards from the midfield and Vardy chasing aimless balls.

But we’d have upped the pass stats by a couple before going back and going long. 

Position wasn’t a problem because the lesser teams never attacked it. Against Colombia their best deliveries came from that side, against Croatia they came from that side again. Can’t remember Sweden game that well, but wouldn’t be surprised if they came from that side too. Young was good because we utilised his great set plays (which aided our strength) and offered a simple possession pass. As soon as we required someone to provide some width, or someone got within crossing chance, all went rather downhill. 

Hopefully Man Utd keep him another season at LB though mind you. 

This is so daft I can't actually be bothered responding to you further after that . We changed the entire team vs Belgium. Clearly not the same thing unless you're a cretin. 

Look at Croatia's pass map, what you're dismissing is exactly what they were doing. 

You're also lying about Colombia because they didn't deliver consistently well from that side. In fact, cuadrado didn't get into the game until he moved away from young and started playing AMC. Young's movement and map actually shows he's was delivering width, but crossing inside rather than outside like Trippier

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On 12/07/2018 at 11:54, Barry Cartman said:

Imagine supporting a team with a set of fans who do **** like that

oh wait

 

😂 really? Coming from an England fan 

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1 hour ago, JDownie said:

Surely then it would make more sense for him to be supporting England and me cheering on the Colombia goal?

Have I been logged in on the wrong accounts this whole time? ;)

Which one in here are you? :D

(Pub in Scotland after Mandžukić scored.)

Edited by GunmaN1905

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Those lads are clearly Croatian plumbers/builders/sparkies here thanks to freedom of movement. No worries England, they'll be away after your Brexit :thup:

 

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So the general consensus is our midfield wasn't quite good enough against Croatia. Maybe we will revert back to a back 4 at some point. Either way will still have a 3 man midfield likely so which players can improve that the future and near future.

Lallana, Cook, Winks, RLC rtc. What should our midfield be looking like in 2 years time?

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51 minutes ago, GunmaN1905 said:

Which one in here are you? :D

(Pub in Scotland after Mandžukić scored.)

That's just embarrassing :D

Only chance of me celebrating like that is if Scotland win the WC one day :D

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11 minutes ago, skybluedave said:

So the general consensus is our midfield wasn't quite good enough against Croatia. Maybe we will revert back to a back 4 at some point. Either way will still have a 3 man midfield likely so which players can improve that the future and near future.

Lallana, Cook, Winks, RLC rtc. What should our midfield be looking like in 2 years time?

3 back with 2 strikers can work perfectly as long as the midfield is packed - England deserted theirs. 

Lallana shouldn't be there in 2 years. I think Ox could possibly be there, Cook, Winks, RLC, Foden, Dier and then Alli and Lingard also but hopefully as attacking mids/forwards and not central mids. 

E: just realised you're talking about 2 years time not 4. 

Henderson or Dier as the defensive pivot. Combination of 2 of RLC, Winks, Cook, Ox, Lallana, then Alli and Lingard as back-up for this position if desperate. 

Don't see Lallana making the 2022 WC though unless he can stay injury free for the majority of the next 4 years. 

Edited by JDownie

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Also the more i think about it, Milner probably deserved to start as the midfielder next to Henderson, then have Alli or Lingard as the AM in a 5212. Would've been better as the two workhorses in Milner and Henderson would've covered everu blade superbly. 

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7 minutes ago, JDownie said:

That's just embarrassing :D

Only chance of me celebrating like that is if Scotland win the WC one day :D

Dunno. I got drenched in about 10 pints of beer right at the end of the 2016 Scottish Cup Final, and I don't even support Hibs.

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11 minutes ago, skybluedave said:

So the general consensus is our midfield wasn't quite good enough against Croatia. Maybe we will revert back to a back 4 at some point. Either way will still have a 3 man midfield likely so which players can improve that the future and near future.

Lallana, Cook, Winks, RLC rtc. What should our midfield be looking like in 2 years time?

My immediate opinion would be Henderson, Wilshere, Ox as the midfield 3, Dier, Delph, RLC as the replacements, Alli, Lingard, Sterling can fight for the support role to Kane or Rashford, all likely to change though as hopefully we have players breaking through or stepping up  :thup:

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Anyone else not really feeling the love for tomorrow's match? 

Maybe I'd feel more love for it if it wasn't sandwiched in between my night shifts. 

Regardless of my annoying shift pattern it's still a pointless game in my opinion.

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9 minutes ago, Boltman said:

Dunno. I got drenched in about 10 pints of beer right at the end of the 2016 Scottish Cup Final, and I don't even support Hibs.

Don't have a problem with that kind of celebration for your own team or nation, but for a rival nation losing is just so cringe. Can understand it a bit more in Scotland with the Old Firm situation but even then it's just a bit sad really. Reminds me of the FF thread about rivals losing and personal enjoyment in the wake of Liverpool losing to Real in May. 

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6 minutes ago, gavo01 said:

Anyone else not really feeling the love for tomorrow's match? 

Maybe I'd feel more love for it if it wasn't sandwiched in between my night shifts. 

Regardless of my annoying shift pattern it's still a pointless game in my opinion.

Extra football in my eyes and a chance for the big nations losers to showcase some youth or give lesser fancied players a chance. 

I just hope England and Belgium do the opposite after already showcasing their other players against each other already. 

If both teams just go all out in a friendly type high scoring game I'll be cool with that. A repeat of the group game would be terrible :(

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20 minutes ago, JDownie said:

That's just embarrassing :D

Only chance of me celebrating like that is if Scotland win the WC one day :D

What if they only had 6 shots on target though? 

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1 minute ago, Barry Cartman said:

What if they only had 6 shots on target though? 

That's just hypothetical because like us they wouldn't have made the final

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Just now, Barry Cartman said:

What if they only had 6 shots on target though? 

After you calm down you take the time to analyse these things. We've been over this. You lost to Croatia 2 days ago, get over it man. Recognise England made mistakes, embrace them and hope Southgate corrects them. I'm not telling you not to be passionate, just saying that certain easily fixable but potentially fatal issues in the team should not be glossed over just because you did well. 

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27 minutes ago, JDownie said:

3 back with 2 strikers can work perfectly as long as the midfield is packed - England deserted theirs. 

Lallana shouldn't be there in 2 years. I think Ox could possibly be there, Cook, Winks, RLC, Foden, Dier and then Alli and Lingard also but hopefully as attacking mids/forwards and not central mids. 

E: just realised you're talking about 2 years time not 4. 

Henderson or Dier as the defensive pivot. Combination of 2 of RLC, Winks, Cook, Ox, Lallana, then Alli and Lingard as back-up for this position if desperate. 

Don't see Lallana making the 2022 WC though unless he can stay injury free for the majority of the next 4 years. 

England have their system, and I like it, and i don't necessarily have a problem with two attacking mids. What England need to do is be more flexible in this system. When getting overrun, it should have become two natural centre mids alongside Henderson. You could have Dier as the pivot, Henderson all action, and Lingard/Alli as the more attacking CM if going mixed. You watch for the likes of Foden/Sancho, see if they can be your next playmaker.

What's disappointing is people looking at our squad and saying we couldnt do more, we definitely could have. We didn't maximise our flexibility at all. 

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8 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

England have their system, and I like it, and i don't necessarily have a problem with two attacking mids. What England need to do is be more flexible in this system. When getting overrun, it should have become two natural centre mids alongside Henderson. You could have Dier as the pivot, Henderson all action, and Lingard/Alli as the more attacking CM if going mixed. You watch for the likes of Foden/Sancho, see if they can be your next playmaker.

What's disappointing is people looking at our squad and saying we couldnt do more, we definitely could have. We didn't maximise our flexibility at all. 

100% agreed. 

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3 hours ago, themadsheep2001 said:

This is so daft I can't actually be bothered responding to you further after that . We changed the entire team vs Belgium. Clearly not the same thing unless you're a cretin. 

Look at Croatia's pass map, what you're dismissing is exactly what they were doing. 

You're also lying about Colombia because they didn't deliver consistently well from that side. In fact, cuadrado didn't get into the game until he moved away from young and started playing AMC. Young's movement and map actually shows he's was delivering width, but crossing inside rather than outside like Trippier

Point was that you said Delph/Dier/RLC for Lingard/Alli would have offered control, which would have been the midfield we'd have ended up with in the Croatia game if Southgate made those changes since Henderson only had 90 minutes in him, which was same midfield that played against Belgium and couldn't control the game against Belgium B, regardless of the players around them being different. Sterling/Kane would have remained isolated up top like Rash/Vardy were.

Probably I am lying about Colombia, just remember the most promising crosses they had which Falcao and others missed (plus good clearances) came from that side.

Can you link us the site to the maps please :thup: 

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