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The Official *England's Journey to Brazil 2014* Thread

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Post by Calder106 Thu 06 Mar 2014, 3:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wilshere out for 6 weeks according to BBC. Hairline fracture on foot. Considering Arsenal have been nursing him through the season because of his ankle injuries I think it would be a risk taking him (not questioning his ability) due to the tight schedule of games.

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Post by sportform Wed 04 Jun 2014, 9:38 pm

Italy 1-1 Luxembourg.
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Post by Scrumpy Wed 04 Jun 2014, 9:40 pm

Great commentary from itv 'it looks like the ref is going to let it cool down' then he whips out the red card in a dramatic fashion a few seconds later.

Lol.
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Post by Scrumpy Wed 04 Jun 2014, 9:50 pm

We can't defend,
We can't hold onto the ball,
And Lampard can't run.
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Post by Guest Wed 04 Jun 2014, 9:53 pm

Good game, much better than expected. Defensively worrying but youthful exuberance shone through in Oxlade. Milner at right back failed miserably. Wilshere annoys me immensely. This was just a nice physical workout, more of a distraction to Roy, ahead of the real game for the first team against Honduras.

Team for Italy

--------------------Hart-----------
Johnson-cahill-jagielka-baines
-------------Gerrard-henderson-----
--oxlade--------rooney------Welbeck
--------------------sturridge------------

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Post by GSC Wed 04 Jun 2014, 9:58 pm

Barkley had ups and downs. Don't know if he's ready to start in the WC.

Ox was direct and threatened. Wilshere did well in the middle.

Lambert did alright. Cemented as third choice though. Lampard doesn't have the legs anymore, hopefully doesn't play.

Defense shocking. All over the shop, ESP with 2 club mates at CB.

Good performance, controlled the tempo, threatened. Sloppy at the back
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 04 Jun 2014, 9:59 pm

That was a good little friendly that, some players played well, some not so well, all in all a good little workout. Hopefully Oxlade was taken off as a precaution, as I feel he pushed his chances of a starting place forward the most. I think we can all agree nobody is pushing the back fours starting places, although I don't think Shaw did too badly

My team would be

Hart

Johnson
Cahill
Jagielka
Baines

Gerrard
Henderson

Oxlade Chamberlain
Barkley
Rooney

Sturridge
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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:09 pm

Ecuador were a team full of pathetic thuggery and cheap antics. Well done England for having the class and humility not to sink to their embarrassing level. And as for that referee...back to handegg or netball for you, you're not fit to ref a proper sport.

England's defence shambolic, not a pressing concern, though, as it was certainly a second-choice backline. Foster erratic, Milner off-colour, Smalling poor, and it took Jones a while to get into the game. It will be Jones as first back-up for the centre or right of defence, I imagine, if anything happens to Cahill, Jagielka or Johnson.

Barkley showed glimpses of what he could do, not least with that fantastic run to set up Lambert, but his distribution let him down at times. Oxlade was superb: amazing feet, good pace and always maintained a threat. He has to be a serious contender for starting a week Saturday in a wide role, and is pushing Welbeck, Lallana and Sterling very hard - which just goes to show England's good depth. Barkley is perfectly poised to be an impact substitute at this World Cup, but I wouldn't rule out a greater role for him further down the line in this World Cup.

Pleased that Wilshere made it through most of the encounter, and he was direct on occasion, certainly a very positive player, with his running and passing being tuned to an attacking frequency. The directness is something he offers that Henderson wouldn't; and perhaps that's what it'll come down to for the selection berth between those two players - how positive will Roy be?

And Lambert was frequently isolated, but that thunderbolt of his showed that he remains a man in form. Good off the bench, perhaps, but nowhere near a starting berth. Still can't make my mind up on Rooney, that will have to wait until Saturday.

Impressed with England's mentality, yes they will come up against better opponents than those pathetic Latin Americans who they faced today (hopefully those better opponents won't resort to common assault), but they endeavoured to keep the ball on the floor more often than not, something which will, obviously, be crucial in the heat of Manaus. The pressing, at stages, will have to be worked on, but do remember this was mostly a second-choice England XI.

As for the goals - two came from refereeing errors, the other two were joyous hits. Much of muchness.

Well done England, the positivity shall grow by the day. clap

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:13 pm

Italy drew to Luxembourg! Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by GSC Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:17 pm

Rather Wilshere than Henderson and Barkley off the bench. No point Rooney wide
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Post by mystiroakey Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:18 pm

It was a brilliant game of football in the entertainment sense..But I think the players went a bit to over the top in fairness. A complete reversal of the last game.

There was nothing friendly about that game.

Ox and sterling were so charged in offence and tracking back it could have cost them fitness. 

Wilshire is the major plus for me. We need a cm that can pass and move and turn that pace on from a standstill.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:20 pm

Duty281 wrote:Italy drew to Luxembourg! Laugh Laugh Laugh

It was a strong Italy team as well: Buffon, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, and Balotelli all started.  laughing

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Post by Ent Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:23 pm

Shocking that from Italy.

Belgium stuck 5 past them.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:24 pm

Yes I thought as the game went on Wilshere certainly played and looked better, not sure I'd start him but I wouldn't be wholly against it.

I'd rather Rooney started left side than Welbeck, he offers the defensive side but has more ability.
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Post by GSC Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:26 pm

He did nothing out there against Ecuador. Central or nothing and I'm unconvinced by Barkley as a starter
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:26 pm

And yeah Barkley off the bench is probably the better option than starting him, either way I'm excited to see what he'll do if given enough of a chance. 

Its exciting to have some properly good young talent ain't it
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Post by Guest Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:27 pm

Duty281 wrote:Italy drew to Luxembourg! Laugh Laugh Laugh

They don't want to peak too early.

The Wilshere/Henderson debate is interesting. Still think Henderson's energy will be needed alongside a leggy Gerrard in Manaus + they understand each others game. Wilshere was a positive but his fitness is still a ? & if he spends half the match on the floor, holding his ankle after every tackle, then its a no-brainer to pick Jordan. Barkley was up & down as GSC stated. Rooney will be moved back to no.10 role & the Welbeck/Baines partnership rekindled, as its effective.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:27 pm

"@Iandennisbbc: A concerned Roy Hodgson on Oxlade Chamberlain, " we have our fears there might be some ligament damage" Scan required for knee #bbcfootball"

Rut oh
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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:31 pm

Fingers tightly crossed for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Very tightly. Pleaseeee be OK. Please. #prayforalexandermarkdavidoxladechamberlain

(And not because Cleverley or Young are the back-up!)

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Post by NickisBHAFC Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:35 pm

My player review of the game.

Ben Foster - Nothing could of done about both goals. Good back up keeper.

James Milner - Harsh abuse. New position, didn't do well but didn't disgrace himself. Johnson keeps his place i guess.

Phil Jones - Grew into the game. Good back up to Cahill and Jagilka.

Chris Smalling - Liability. Won't trust him at all. No idea what he was doing for the first goal and looked shakey all night.

Jack Whilshere - Fail to see why people rate him so highly. Was awful tonight, won't have him playing much in Brazil.

Frank Lampard - Disappointing. Slow in every move, best days are well behind him.

Ross Barkley - MOTM. Brilliant, has given himself a real chance of starting against Italy.

The OX - Great game. Looked very confident, he too has given himself a chance of starting against Italy.

Wayne Rooney - Did fine.

Rickie Lambert - Put in a good shift. His goal was taken superbly well. Would actually have him as 3rd choice ahead of Wellbeck.

Shame we didn't win, but a lot of positives. WE GO AGAIN!

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Post by sportform Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:52 pm

Tonight's game once again highlight England's defensive worries. I am still convinced Ashley Cole is England's best defender let alone left back.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley looked lively but then again Ecuador were far more open in defence than Peru were last week. Peru were pretty solid last Friday with two banks of four so I would be too eager to promote Oxlade-Chamberlain or Barkley into the starting line up. Oxlade-Chamberlain possibly has the best chance ahead of Danny Welbeck?

I think Jordan Henderson will start alongside Steven Gerrard in the middle come the World Cup. Henderson didn't push on as much as Wilshere or Lampard but he gave better cover to the defence and move the ball effectively, shown by him having the most passes against Peru.

Good to see Wayne Rooney getting more game time. He got his goal. My only concern is that with the likes of Sturridge, Welbeck, Lallana, Gerrard playing the 'hole' can get crowded too often.
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Post by sportform Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:58 pm

I think the starting XI against Italy will be:-

..................................Hart

...........Johnson...Jagielka...Cahill...Baines (should be Ashley Cole by a long way)

......................Henderson...Gerrard

...Oxlade-Chamberlain...Rooney...Lallana

.............................Sturridge
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Post by Liam Thu 05 Jun 2014, 12:05 am

People saying that after tonight Cole should be there and starting as he's England's best defensive left back. Couple of points:

-It's time to build for the future. Players like Shaw/Barkley/Sterling need to be playing otherwise when will they ever get international experience if the likes of cole, who's 33 and has barely played all season, is still playing ahead of them. Learn from what Germany did around 2006 onwards and look at them reaping the rewards of blooding youngsters early.

-Shaw was playing with a right midfielder playing at right back for the first time, Smalling who's had an awful season and Jones who's only just returned from a shoulder injury. Of course there's going to be some mistakes.

I agree with @sportforum's predicted team, albeit Welbeck starting instead of lallana and sterling/milner for ox if he's injured. Barkley is best utilised from the bench as an impact player for the last 25 mins for me.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:29 am

Liam wrote:It's time to build for the future. Players like Shaw/Barkley/Sterling need to be playing otherwise when will they ever get international experience if the likes of cole, who's 33 and has barely played all season, is still playing ahead of them.
You've got to try and win it if you're there though. Take Cole along and then retire him the second it's over, so the young guys are established for the Euros.

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Post by super_realist Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:38 am

Lowlandbrit wrote:
Liam wrote:It's time to build for the future. Players like Shaw/Barkley/Sterling need to be playing otherwise when will they ever get international experience if the likes of cole, who's 33 and has barely played all season, is still playing ahead of them.
You've got to try and win it if you're there though. Take Cole along and then retire him the second it's over, so the young guys are established for the Euros.

Winning it isn't even a possibility. Getting to a QF would be a MAJOR achievement.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:42 am

we allways get to the quarters SR- that is par.

Anything beyond that will be a major achievement though considering the team we will have to play in the quarters.


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Post by super_realist Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:47 am

Actually Oakey, England have only reached the QF, 8 times in 16 attempts in the World Cup. THe Euro's is easier to make a QF because there have been fewer rounds.

So QF isn't par.  You get to the QF 50% of the time.  So it will be extremely difficult this time round, given the circumstances.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:50 am

sportform wrote:I think the starting XI against Italy will be:-

..................................Hart

...........Johnson...Jagielka...Cahill...Baines (should be Ashley Cole by a long way)

......................Henderson...Gerrard

...Oxlade-Chamberlain...Rooney...Lallana

.............................Sturridge

That's the team I think Roy will go for, providing Oxlade is fit, although I would rather have Sterling in for Lallana and switch the wingers around.

It seems, though, that Sterling will be used as a weapon off the bench, like Barkley - not a bad option, is it? Having those two come on after 60/65 minutes with the score 0-0 against Italy might make the difference.

And it's options like that, that England have lacked for a long while at previous major tournaments. We didn't have players with that quality coming off the bench in 2006 or 2010, we just had the likes of SWP, Carrick and Lennon, who were very, very average.

It's different this year.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:55 am

super_realist wrote:Actually Oakey, England have only reached the QF, 8 times in 16 attempts in the World Cup. THe Euro's is easier to make a QF because there have been fewer rounds.

So QF isn't par.  You get to the QF 50% of the time.  So it will be extremely difficult this time round, given the circumstances.

Extremely difficult? Laugh

You underestimate England quite severely if you doubt their ability to get to the Quarter-Finals - that is the minimum aim.

England are better than Uruguay and Costa Rica, are on a par, at the very least, with Italy, and are superior to the four teams in Group C.

Quarter-Finals? No sweat.

It's after that that it gets interesting.

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Post by super_realist Thu 05 Jun 2014, 9:57 am

Duty281 wrote:
super_realist wrote:Actually Oakey, England have only reached the QF, 8 times in 16 attempts in the World Cup. THe Euro's is easier to make a QF because there have been fewer rounds.

So QF isn't par.  You get to the QF 50% of the time.  So it will be extremely difficult this time round, given the circumstances.

Extremely difficult? Laugh

You underestimate England quite severely if you doubt their ability to get to the Quarter-Finals - that is the minimum aim.

England are better than Uruguay and Costa Rica, are on a par, at the very least, with Italy, and are superior to the four teams in Group C.

Quarter-Finals? No sweat.

It's after that that it gets interesting.

Well, we shall see won't we?

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Post by mystiroakey Thu 05 Jun 2014, 10:07 am

Yes we shall!

Uruguay are going to be very similar to the team we played last night and are hugely overrated unless Suarez gets fit. I would love to be able to discount Italy- but you just cant whatever there form is like.

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Post by westisbest Thu 05 Jun 2014, 10:12 am

Duty281 wrote:
super_realist wrote:Actually Oakey, England have only reached the QF, 8 times in 16 attempts in the World Cup. THe Euro's is easier to make a QF because there have been fewer rounds.

So QF isn't par.  You get to the QF 50% of the time.  So it will be extremely difficult this time round, given the circumstances.

Extremely difficult? Laugh

You underestimate England quite severely if you doubt their ability to get to the Quarter-Finals - that is the minimum aim.

England are better than Uruguay and Costa Rica, are on a par, at the very least, with Italy, and are superior to the four teams in Group C.

Quarter-Finals? No sweat.

It's after that that it gets interesting.

Hmm, I hope so for your sake.

Could easily go pear shaped before then.

Good luck to England, but shouldn't write other teams off so easily.

This is football. anything can happen.

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Post by super_realist Thu 05 Jun 2014, 10:13 am

Another thing worth bearing in mind is that there are at least another 8 teams that see reaching the QF as a "must".
They can't all make it.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Thu 05 Jun 2014, 10:26 am

super_realist wrote:Winning it isn't even a possibility. Getting to a QF would be a MAJOR achievement.
I'm not saying they should expect to win, just that there's no point going to a world cup just to build for the next one. Lot changes in four years.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 05 Jun 2014, 10:42 am

westisbest wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
super_realist wrote:Actually Oakey, England have only reached the QF, 8 times in 16 attempts in the World Cup. THe Euro's is easier to make a QF because there have been fewer rounds.

So QF isn't par.  You get to the QF 50% of the time.  So it will be extremely difficult this time round, given the circumstances.

Extremely difficult? Laugh

You underestimate England quite severely if you doubt their ability to get to the Quarter-Finals - that is the minimum aim.

England are better than Uruguay and Costa Rica, are on a par, at the very least, with Italy, and are superior to the four teams in Group C.

Quarter-Finals? No sweat.

It's after that that it gets interesting.

Hmm, I hope so for your sake.

Could easily go pear shaped before then.

Good luck to England, but shouldn't write other teams off so easily.

This is football. anything can happen.

It could easily go pear-shaped if England fall apart off the field like in 2010.

But that's not happening this time; the preparation is going well, morale appears to be high and there's plenty of squad members challenging for places in the first XI - much unlike any of the recent tournaments that England have participated in.

We should see England at their best during this World Cup, and if they take a positive approach it's not beyond the realms of possibility that they can win the whole thing.

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Post by Guest Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:12 am

NickisBHAFC wrote:

Jack Whilshere - Fail to see why people rate him so highly. Was awful tonight, won't have him playing much in Brazil.

Ross Barkley - MOTM. Brilliant, has given himself a real chance of starting against Italy.


Agree on Wilshere. He did ok, nothing spectacular, but his desire to hold onto the ball for so long, get closed down & then fall over constantly under the tiniest of pressure is just annoying. Henderson for me against Italy. Better engine, stronger & has the understanding with Gerrard.

Disagree on Barkley & so does Hodgson by the sound of it. Some people do get carried away by his runs, yeah, they penetrate & push us up the field, but I still question his final ball & he gave away the ball so many times, against better opposition that will hurt you. He had a good opening half hour, then dropped off, then a good assist for Lambert & then dropped off. Not MOTM, which was clearly Oxlade.

Back 5 are sorted, so is Gerrard/Henderson. Rooney back in the 10 & Roy's choice of Welbeck down the left. Right hand side would be Oxlade, if fit, with Sturridge up top. Getting excited now.

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Post by GSC Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:21 am

Wilshere did well last night. Made himself available, distributed well, got England going forward better than Henderson. Also had to carry Lampard who ran out of legs after about 10 minutes.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:30 am

Good to see Hodgson playing down the typical media hype on Barkley.

In truth, I thought Barkley was only a 6.5-7 out of 10 last night; yes, he made some good runs, the best of which led to Lambert's goal, but his passing and decision-making let him down on many occasions.

Hopefully, that is something that he will improve on as he becomes a more experienced player.

Ten of the line-up that start on Saturday against Honduras will probably be starting against Italy. The only question-mark is Oxlade and, if he is fine to carry on which we all hope he is, I don't reckon that Hodgson will want to risk him so soon after his injury scare...and let's just pray that's all it is.

So for Italy: Hart-Johnson-Cahill-Jagielka-Baines-Gerrard-Henderson-Rooney-Sturridge should all be starting (good to see Roy not going 4-3-3), it's a tussle between Lallana and Welbeck on the left, and hopefully Oxlade goes in on the right. If he's out, both Lallana and Welbeck will be starting. Barkley, Sterling and Wilshere all as impact subs if need be. Milner and Lampard can close a game out.

It's good enough to defeat Italy, you know..

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Post by GSC Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:36 am

Yeah, its something I've thought about Barkley for a while, immensely talented, but right now hes raw and it shows in his decision making. No problem with him as an impact sub, but its him or Rooney for the role playing off Sturridge, and hes not consistent enough yet to beat out Rooney.

Hart
Johnson-Cahill-Jagielka-Baines
Gerrard-Wilshere
Ox(Fingers Crossed)-Rooney-Lallana
Sturridge

May take flak for the Wilshere selection, but I'd rather the guy who means the whole team does less chasing than the guy who does more chasing.
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Post by Guest Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:42 am

I just worry that Gerrard is slow & Wilshere is not 100% & under any real pressure in a tightly packed midfield, which Italy will unleash, I fear Wilshere will spend more time on the floor or getting injured. Has Lallana done enough, not for me. Italy have rampaging full backs, I'd rather have Welbeck pushing them backwards, instead of Lallana who is slower on the counter & constantly drifts inwards. Baines could get isolated & let's not forget, Baines is hardly proven at this level. Rest completely agree on, it's those two positions eveyone is talking about. I actually fear Ox is out, more times I see the pictures, just fear he's done some damage.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:44 am

I think we should play Wilshere against Uruguay and Costa Rica, where England have the upper-hand in the centre of midfield, but against Italy I would favour the extra legs and higher work-rate of Henderson as it will be tough going to reclaim the ball.

Another thing: the captain of England must keep the ball on the floor and not persist with these hit-and-hope 40 yarders. When you've got the ball against Italy, a technically superb team, in the heat and humidity of Manaus, you must cherish it and not surrender it cheaply, becuase it will be hellish to reclaim it - as England found to their cost two years ago in Kiev.

On another note, Sterling is apparently suspended for Saturday's friendly but won't miss any of the World Cup.

And I'm still praying for Oxlade. Pleaseeeeeeee be OK.

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Post by GSC Thu 05 Jun 2014, 11:53 am

I'll be honest, I'm just tired of seeing a passive England team.

I'd honestly rather see England play positively and go out at the group stage than grind to the Last 16/QFs

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