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The Official *England's Passage to Paris 2016* Thread

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Post by FootballLight Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:44 am

Sorry 24, I'm thinking of the World Cup again.

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Post by Stella Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:46 am

24? 6 groups of 4?

Can Scotland still qualify via a play off, if they finish third?
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Post by FootballLight Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:47 am

Yes Scotland could, but they also could be playing Netherlands....

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Post by mystiroakey Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:48 am

3rd place get play offs.

you just wouldn't want to meet the underperforming dutch or ukraine or switzerland if they finish 3rd.


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Post by Dave. Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:48 am

6 groups of four. The new qualifying format does probably dilute the tournament, but it hasn't half made the qualifying exciting for the middle ranked sides. Which we are now.

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Post by Stella Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:49 am

Cheers FL.

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Post by Stella Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:50 am

Dave. wrote:6 groups of four. The new qualifying format does probably dilute the tournament, but it hasn't half made the qualifying exciting for the middle ranked sides. Which we are now.

Cheers. Good point, the qualifying format is a lot better.
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Post by super_realist Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:56 am

Dave. wrote:6 groups of four. The new qualifying format does probably dilute the tournament, but it hasn't half made the qualifying exciting for the middle ranked sides. Which we are now.

that's a bit hopeful.

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Post by Dave. Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:59 am

I think we are a middle ranked side in Europe now though. Not elite, but not terrible. Remember about two or so years ago we were minnows.

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Post by super_realist Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:00 am

There's a few big fish and a great deal of minnows in Europe.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:38 am

hampo171 wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
hampo171 wrote:
Crimey wrote:If you can't play nice, stop posting. If you don't like a particular poster, make use of the foe button.

That goes for you as well Dolph. Admin > Moderator Wink

Having just read all that garbage, I'll happily swing my ban hammer if anyone involved steps out of line again Very Happy

Come at me bro Wink

You can't handle the admins ban hammer, it's why mods only get feather dusters Wink

You'd be too busy selling t shirts on Instagram to even click the ban button kiss

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Post by hampo17 Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:39 am

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
hampo171 wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
hampo171 wrote:
Crimey wrote:If you can't play nice, stop posting. If you don't like a particular poster, make use of the foe button.

That goes for you as well Dolph. Admin > Moderator Wink

Having just read all that garbage, I'll happily swing my ban hammer if anyone involved steps out of line again Very Happy

Come at me bro Wink

You can't handle the admins ban hammer, it's why mods only get feather dusters Wink

You'd be too busy selling t shirts on Instagram to even click the ban button

I have to contribute towards the staff christmas party somehow

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Post by dyrewolfe Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:18 pm

mystiroakey wrote:He has no point. We all know the acid test. We all know the problems in tournaments. We have to wait 15 months untill we know.....

it wasn't a lucky win. End of.

Thats not what I was on about. Though it was hardly the most inspiring 1st half. Only really made the game "safe" with the last kick of the half.

Josias said something like, "we'll get swatted aside by the first half-decent side we come across". While I obviously hope this isn't the case, you can't deny England have not exactly impressed against the major teams, outside of friendlies.

Our qualifying group doesn't really do us any favours in this respect either.

Its kind of like our cricket team preparing for the Ashes by playing a series against Afghanistan...
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Post by FootballLight Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:15 am

dyrewolfe wrote:
mystiroakey wrote:He has no point. We all know the acid test. We all know the problems in tournaments. We have to wait 15 months untill we know.....

it wasn't a lucky win. End of.

Thats not what I was on about. Though it was hardly the most inspiring 1st half. Only really made the game "safe" with the last kick of the half.

Josias said something like, "we'll get swatted aside by the first half-decent side we come across". While I obviously hope this isn't the case, you can't deny England have not exactly impressed against the major teams, outside of friendlies.

Our qualifying group doesn't really do us any favours in this respect either.

Its kind of like our cricket team preparing for the Ashes by playing a series against Afghanistan...

England didn't have to get out of first gear to win the game. If we did play a half decent side with that performance, we would have lost agreeably. However, the game was safe from the minute the first goal went in because we didn't have to put a fully committed performance in, we only needed to go through the motions and that's what we did.

The only half decent side we have played is Switzerland away which was our toughest game. We brushed them aside with a confident performance. England were much better that game. We always ever seem to do what is required against teams and that isn't a bad thing. We played better against Switzerland because we needed too, we didn't play as well against Lithuania because we didn't need to as our quality won us the game.

We only ever do what's required in qualifying because we are the best team. The only worry then is if we expect something, then a smaller team comes out with a good performance and we end up drawing or losing.

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Post by dummy_half Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:20 am

super_realist wrote:I don't think you can say anything other than 4-0 is anything but a competent and professional win.
You wouldn't expect England to struggle against a team like Lithuania, and they didn't.

They didn't require luck and the result was never in doubt.

Qualification can be but is not often an issue and certainly wasn't expected to be given the poor standard of their group for this campaign, so trying to read too much into this win is a fruitless exercise.

4-0 is a perfectly acceptable score, too many goals to be a poor performance, but nothing amazing to make other countries sit up and take notice. Simple as that.

Other than some poor phrasing in the first line, I agree with Super word for word.

Good solid professional performance against a team that was poorer than expected (eastern European teams are at least usually quite technically proficient). 4-0 and hit the woodwork a couple of times is pretty much just how you want these games to pan out, but it won't make the top countries think that we have solved all the problems of our team.

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Post by FootballLight Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:26 am

dummy_half wrote:
super_realist wrote:I don't think you can say anything other than 4-0 is anything but a competent and professional win.
You wouldn't expect England to struggle against a team like Lithuania, and they didn't.

They didn't require luck and the result was never in doubt.

Qualification can be but is not often an issue and certainly wasn't expected to be given the poor standard of their group for this campaign, so trying to read too much into this win is a fruitless exercise.

4-0 is a perfectly acceptable score, too many goals to be a poor performance, but nothing amazing to make other countries sit up and take notice. Simple as that.

Other than some poor phrasing in the first line, I agree with Super word for word.

Good solid professional performance against a team that was poorer than expected (eastern European teams are at least usually quite technically proficient). 4-0 and hit the woodwork a couple of times is pretty much just how you want these games to pan out, but it won't make the top countries think that we have solved all the problems of our team.

I agree with both of these. Sometimes, a good solid 4-0 win is better than a 7-1 because it looks so much better. Sometimes, making your opponents look at results and think you aren't that good anymore can make them complacent. Then when Italy turn up and England turn them over, that's when it becomes quite laughable for Italy. But obviously, these teams will analyse the England's team performance from their recent fixtures.

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Post by FootballLight Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:29 am

Not only that, some teams may be foolish enough to look at ONLY a 4-0 against a much worse side but then they will look at England have won their last 7 on the spin and confidence like that is exactly what you need going up against a big team. Some people say its Germany's and Spain's quality, but I think a lot of goes down to their consistency personally.

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Post by Duty281 Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:13 pm

I am bloody sick of Italy. This will be the fourth time in just under three years.

Still, Harry Kane is starting, and the knowledgeable Sun and Star newspapers have convinced me that this man is Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff, Van Basten, and Eusebio all rolled into one.

And England tend to do well in friendlies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_WjQbD1rC8

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Post by Duty281 Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:14 pm

Oh and super Theo is expected to start - UP FRONT! Yahoo - against the Italians. Which would be glorious. Much like the underrated poet Arthur Clough, Walcott does not get the praise he deserves often enough.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/11505257/Harry-Kane-to-start-for-England-against-Italy.html

Pleased to see some Theo love on the Telegraph comments page:

"In his last fit season with Arsenal, he managed a world class return of 21 goals and 16 assists in 33 games. Robben, Ribery, Alexis and Hazard have never reached those figures for their club in their entire career. To put that in perspective, Marco Reus took 44 games or 23 goals and 17 assists in his best season ever."

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Post by super_realist Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:22 pm

dummy_half wrote:
super_realist wrote:I don't think you can say anything other than 4-0 is anything but a competent and professional win.
You wouldn't expect England to struggle against a team like Lithuania, and they didn't.

They didn't require luck and the result was never in doubt.

Qualification can be but is not often an issue and certainly wasn't expected to be given the poor standard of their group for this campaign, so trying to read too much into this win is a fruitless exercise.

4-0 is a perfectly acceptable score, too many goals to be a poor performance, but nothing amazing to make other countries sit up and take notice. Simple as that.

Other than some poor phrasing in the first line, I agree with Super word for word.

Good solid professional performance against a team that was poorer than expected (eastern European teams are at least usually quite technically proficient). 4-0 and hit the woodwork a couple of times is pretty much just how you want these games to pan out, but it won't make the top countries think that we have solved all the problems of our team.

Never realised that grammatical error. Cheers for pointing it out,  seeing as we are in correction mode, Lithuania is not considered an Eastern European country, it's Northern Europe

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:21 pm

Anything east of Germany and south of Scandanavia is considered Eastern Europe especially when it's an old part of the USSR.

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Post by Guest Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:26 pm

Not sure we will learn anything actually from this game vs Italy, thought the teams would of been better, Italy missing loads of key players, only two of the side that beat England are playing.

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Post by super_realist Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:30 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Anything east of Germany and south of Scandanavia is considered Eastern Europe especially when it's an old part of the USSR.

Why aren't Finland or Greece considered Eastern Europe then? They're on the same longitude as Lithuania and further east than Germany.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:30 pm

Gotta feel sorry for Kane. Finally gets his start and has to play upfront with that muppet Walcott.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:23 pm

Whilst I share a broadly negative view of Walcott, it could actually be a good pairing (if it is a traditional "pair" of front players). For all his final ball faux pas (my opinion) Walcott does have a quick brain and is quick off the mark and could act with or react to Kane's work pretty effectively.

Add in that it is probably not something the Italians will be expecting and it might just work.


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Post by Hammersmith harrier Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:26 pm

Pretty pointless when it's not something we'll be trying at the Euro's, these friendlies are a chance for us to see where our first team is not try out meaningless formations.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:41 pm

When would you try out plan B, C and D then? First 11's do get injuries/suspensions and introducing a totally untested pairing in, say, last 16/8 of a tournament would not be the place to do it.

As it's not unfeasible that they would/will make a tournament squad I'd personally give it a go against a fairly decent back line. If it doesn't work, can it and don't fall back on it for the first time if we're 1 down with half an hour to go in a knock out game at a championship (if we get to one!).

Guess it's one of the problems with friendlies, we do seem to neither commit to a "first" 11 (which has merits I agree) or an experimental side (also with merit) and then chop and change throughout the 90 so an already meaningless friendly often falls into the pit of becoming a valueless friendly.

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Post by super_realist Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:54 pm

Seems to me they ought to be looking at midfield partnerships to retain the ball better and to be more creative from that position.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:07 am

Retaining the ball is a whole field thing that we (I know you love that!) don't seem to be particularly good at, not just in the middle. That said, I think there have been some improvements.

It does make it (much?) more difficult to be a cohesive test, but selecting some good pairings in the midfield and up front doesn't have to be mutually exclusive, but is less likely to give a decent picture of how either pairing would work as we hit some of the issues of first team vs experiment.

Probably why I (and probably most of the opinionated public) would actually be cr@p as an international manager and so we focus on proffering our less than expert opinions from afar!!!


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Post by dyrewolfe Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:49 am

FootballLight wrote:
dyrewolfe wrote:
mystiroakey wrote:He has no point. We all know the acid test. We all know the problems in tournaments. We have to wait 15 months untill we know.....

it wasn't a lucky win. End of.

Thats not what I was on about. Though it was hardly the most inspiring 1st half. Only really made the game "safe" with the last kick of the half.

Josias said something like, "we'll get swatted aside by the first half-decent side we come across". While I obviously hope this isn't the case, you can't deny England have not exactly impressed against the major teams, outside of friendlies.

Our qualifying group doesn't really do us any favours in this respect either.

Its kind of like our cricket team preparing for the Ashes by playing a series against Afghanistan...

England didn't have to get out of first gear to win the game. If we did play a half decent side with that performance, we would have lost agreeably. However, the game was safe from the minute the first goal went in because we didn't have to put a fully committed performance in, we only needed to go through the motions and that's what we did.

The only half decent side we have played is Switzerland away which was our toughest game. We brushed them aside with a confident performance. England were much better that game. We always ever seem to do what is required against teams and that isn't a bad thing. We played better against Switzerland because we needed too, we didn't play as well against Lithuania because we didn't need to as our quality won us the game.

We only ever do what's required in qualifying because we are the best team. The only worry then is if we expect something, then a smaller team comes out with a good performance and we end up drawing or losing.


There is something to be said for that - no doubt.

Why go nuts when qualifying against lesser teams, when you can secure a win without getting out of 2nd gear?

Thing is, when the tournaments roll around, it always seems like a culture shock. You can almost see the players thinking, "bloody hell, what do we do now?"

Its why I think a tougher quali campaign would have served us better. Get the players used to quality opposition, working hard and having to use their brains a bit. Better preparation than having the pipe and slippers out for the likes of San Marino and the Baltic states.
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Post by mystiroakey Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:00 am

They are all easy Dyre. Just look at them.

Remember you have to replace the best nation from any other for us to go in to as we were a top seed..Look at austrias group for a truly awfull group.

Pre qualification everyone was like . England will get stuffed by Switzerland and Slovenia are pretty decent , blah blah. Now we have smashed it. It's become the easiest group!!

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Post by super_realist Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:46 am

Actually Oakey, you weren't a top seed, Switzerland are the top seed in that group.

Last time England had a toughish group was when they last failed to qualify.


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Post by Duty281 Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:47 am

super_realist wrote:Actually Oakey, you weren't a  top seed, Switzerland are the top seed in that group.

Last time England had a toughish group was when they last failed to qualify.


England qualified for the 2010 World Cup, S_R. thumbsup

That was a tough-ish group.

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Post by super_realist Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:52 am

Not really, Ukraine and Croatia were hasbeens.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:56 am

They certainly were when England had finished with them!

(We'll ignore the 1-0 defeat to Ukraine; England had already qualified!)

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Post by GSC Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:58 am

So isnt our group tougher if we aren't the top seed?
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Post by mystiroakey Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:00 am

super_realist wrote:Actually Oakey, you weren't a  top seed, Switzerland are the top seed in that group.

Last time England had a toughish group was when they last failed to qualify.

Incorrect we were top seed

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Post by mystiroakey Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:01 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25882613

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Post by super_realist Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:02 am

My mistake, goodness know how England are seeds given tournament records. Surely there aren't only 7 better teams?

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Post by Duty281 Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:04 am

super_realist wrote:My mistake, goodness know how England are seeds given tournament records. Surely there aren't only 7 better teams?

England were ranked fifth on the seeding coeffs.

Behind Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and Italy, but ahead of the rest.

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Post by mystiroakey Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:15 am

The greek group is just insane- its looks like one of the easiest groups out there yet greece(top seed) are bottom and behind the faroe islands....


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Post by Duty281 Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:22 am

mystiroakey wrote:The greek group is just insane- its looks like one of the easiest groups out there yet greece(top seed) are bottom and behind the faroe islands....


Wow, the Greeks lost 0-1 at home to the Faroe Islands. Shocked

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Post by Duty281 Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:13 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfHwByfQZ64

This was some good technical stuff from the U21s last night, against the Germans. 35 passes or so, culminating in a goal.

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Post by mystiroakey Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:33 am

yeah i just watched the replay on telly- really top quality goal that.

I think we have a shot at winning the under 21's comp with or without the young first team england players.

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Post by Duty281 Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:43 am

Team as expected tonight.

I think Hodgson's brave lads are playing the diamond, this time - Rooney at the tip, with Walcott/Kane up front.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:58 am

Be great If internationals both events and qualifying were restricted to the summer....

So they wouldn't get in the way of the interesting premiership.....

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:26 am

Noble cant get in the squad but Jones is a holding midfielder? Woy picard

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Post by GSC Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:20 am

Delph and Henderson have largely been passengers so far. Walcott looks like he isn't sharp. Italy deservedly ahead.
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Post by sportform Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:20 am

Watching the first 30 minutes of this game, I can only make the conclusion that Roy Hodgson is clueless.

I don't get what the formation is supposed to offer? I like Kane up front, I like Walcott up front but I'm not both at the same time. Play one of them up front with Rooney in the hole. I was looking forward to seeing the Kane and Rooney partnership but we are far too narrow. Play Kane and Rooney with two wide players and stretch the Italian defence.

Has Hodgson not watch Tottenham play this year with Eriksen behind Kane and Chadli and Townsend wide?

This is just the World Cup all over again. Too players in the middle and too much five yards passes with no movement.
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Post by GSC Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:23 am

And the less said about Phil Jones the better. Shouldn't be an automatic squad member
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