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UEFA Euro 2024

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Post by Lee Mon 10 Jun 2024, 10:56 am

First topic message reminder :

It's coming up. Who are you supporting? Who do you think will win? Who gets the golden boot?

How you feeling for your teams chances? I'm not massively into international footy but a tournament is always a laugh.

I have France winning the lot. Maybeee Kane for golden boot. Yeah that'll do. I'll be supporting The Netherlands I reckon.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:04 pm

Schar with a second foul after being yellow carded. Not a single England player on the referee. Spain yesterday were all over the ref.

Still no more changes. Kane can barely walk. Bellingham's playing deeper, but it doesn't have to be this way.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:16 pm

Toney on for Kane. About 40-50 minutes too late and only has 10 minutes to make an impact.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:29 pm

Fortunate to get to penalties. Dire performance.

But only a few kicks away from the last four. And England don't look remotely like a last four team. But there it is.

Good luck to the takers. Horrible way to decide a game.

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Post by owen10ozzy Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:29 pm

So who wins....

I'm going Switzerland with England to miss 3

Here is hoping im wrong!

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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:31 pm

Backing England, because Southgate is lucky.

Mind you, I'm still amazed England didn't win the Euro 2020 final shootout with all the luck Southgate has.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:41 pm

Yes!

Five lovely penalties from England. Really delighted for Saka in particular, after three years ago and after being so brilliant today, but Toney's penalty was my favourite of the five.

Overall, though, fortunate to get to the last four. Another poor performance and terrible in game management from Southgate. The same story, yet England keep finding a way. Will see who the opponents are later.

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Post by owen10ozzy Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:43 pm

Well im most certainly glad to be wrong there!!

Cant wait to watch another drab game which is somehow filled with drama & stress 🙈😅

The young lads are certainly showing they are a different breed to previous generations.

Well done to all those penalty takers! Each one showed exactly why we should play without fear.....Toneys penalty was ridiculous! Didnt even look at the ball at any point or where he was hitting it.

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Post by GSC Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:48 pm

Not much in that game, bit like Portugal France you could've called penalties fairly early.

If Southgate hasn't seen the issues yet he never will.
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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:54 pm

Hopefully Shaw can start the next game, because England had no left flank again until he came on.

If England have to play the Netherlands, it's going to be very tough because they actually have top quality attackers that can do damage. Thus far, England have just played a succession of solid but unspectacular teams and scraped through.

Two lots of extra time may also take its toll, after the Dutch cruised Romania and might cruise again tonight.

Interesting call on Guehi coming up, because Konsa was very strong tonight.

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Post by alfie Sat 06 Jul 2024, 7:58 pm

4.45am here so nice to be able to relax and sleep now - and look forward to another semi final...

Had been hoping for a nice easy watching 3-0 in normal time but it seems England don't want to give us anything remotely comfortable Smile

Don't care though : in the last four which is all that matters. Five good and calm penalties which is not something one readily associates with England !

And really glad for Saka to have exorcised any demons with his own very nice penalty thumbsup

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 06 Jul 2024, 8:02 pm

That Toney penalty was ridiculous!

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Post by GSC Sat 06 Jul 2024, 8:44 pm

Well Turkey lead a pretty dire Dutch team...
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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 9:55 pm

The Dutch are through. They turned it around and, somehow, Turkey squandered numerous chances to send it into ET.

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Post by GSC Sat 06 Jul 2024, 9:55 pm

Still trying to work out Turkey didn't equalise at the end. Big chance after big chance.

Pretty mediocre performance from the Dutch but like England and France it was enough.
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Post by Duty281 Sat 06 Jul 2024, 10:12 pm

Still can't believe England are in the semis. They've been so bad so far. Hopefully, they can raise their game for a tough opponent, but I'm not counting on it. 60 minutes of extra football might also exact a heavy toll.

I'd start Pickford, Shaw at LB (if fit for at least 60 minutes), Stones and Konsa (I liked Konsa today, Guehi has made a couple of errors), Trent at RB (Walker's been terrible so far), Rice and Mainoo in the centre, Gordon wide left, Saka wide right, Bellingham at 10, Toney up front (I'd back my grandmother to beat Kane in a 100m dash).

I'm expecting another five at the back, with the same team as today, except maybe Shaw in for Trippier. Thankfully Saka was phenomenal today, otherwise we'd be at risk of Southgate doing something like Shaw on the left, Trippier on the right, and no Saka.

England need to raise their game massively for this one. The Dutch are a much better technical side than any England have come up against so far, and they possess attacking weapons that can actually hurt England. If England play as they have done then they'll be chasing the ball for long periods, and going for hit and hopes up to Kane.

England have also learnt nothing and changed nothing through this tournament. Set pieces have been continually woeful. Tempo in possession has been continually lacklustre. Attacking movement has been sporadic. It's like England have played the same game five times in a row, and been bailed out by sparkling individual moments.

As for Southgate, he's a complete joke. Laughably bad and the team's biggest drawback. He still doesn't get that you can't play Trippier on the left. He still can't utilise Foden, but plays him anyway. And his in-game management, which was always bad, has now reached new depths of uselessness. It's like the more he sees the less he knows. Staggering.

And yet, despite everything, England are only two games from glory. It'll probably end against the Dutch. If it doesn't it'll be Southgate's biggest win (admittedly, a low bar, England have barely beaten anyone decent under Southgate).

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 07 Jul 2024, 9:59 pm

Hearing reports that despite being the worst person to ever manage a football team, Gareth Southgate has yet again got England to a semi final of a tournament? Interesting.

Surely noted tactical geniuses like Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick got their teams to the same point with their “rotations” and “gegenpress”.

Wait, what? You mean to tell me that Owen10Ozzy and Duty281 might be the ones who are wrong?
Can’t have it.

Me? I’m enjoying the most successful time to be an England football fan since 1966. Bring on the Dutch on Wednesday!
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Post by Duty281 Sun 07 Jul 2024, 10:17 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Hearing reports that despite being the worst person to ever manage a football team, Gareth Southgate has yet again got England to a semi final of a tournament? Interesting.

Surely noted tactical geniuses like Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick got their teams to the same point with their “rotations” and “gegenpress”.

Wait, what? You mean to tell me that Owen10Ozzy and Duty281 might be the ones who are wrong?
Can’t have it.

Me? I’m enjoying the most successful time to be an England football fan since 1966. Bring on the Dutch on Wednesday!

Do explain how I'm wrong.

Do you think having zero shots on target in 94 minutes v Slovakia and then being rescued by a Bellingham overhead kick is:

a) Tactical genius from Southgate and all part of the plan
or
b) Tactical hopelessness from Southgate, but bailed out by a world-class player

Similar yesterday. Zero shots on target for 75 minutes, a goal down, and bailed out by a superb strike from Saka. I guess that's just more genius from Southgate, right, totally planned?

Five games, one win and four draws (in 90 minutes) with a squad this strong, against so far mediocre opposition is something you're happy with?

Nagelsmann would have got Germany to this point if they'd been in England's half of the draw, but they lost very narrowly to the best team at the tournament so far. Hopefully you appreciate the context, that England have landed in the easier half (like Euro 2020) and would probably already be home if they were in the top half.

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Post by owen10ozzy Sun 07 Jul 2024, 10:49 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Hearing reports that despite being the worst person to ever manage a football team, Gareth Southgate has yet again got England to a semi final of a tournament? Interesting.

Surely noted tactical geniuses like Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick got their teams to the same point with their “rotations” and “gegenpress”.

Wait, what? You mean to tell me that Owen10Ozzy and Duty281 might be the ones who are wrong?
Can’t have it.

Me? I’m enjoying the most successful time to be an England football fan since 1966. Bring on the Dutch on Wednesday!

Laugh Laugh Laugh

I mean personally I enjoyed Venables run to the Semis in 96 far more. I also enjoyed watching our run to QF of the 02 World Cup more (where we narrowly lost to eventual winners Brazil)

Oh lest we forget Euro 2004 where we ran France close in group game & walked over Switzerland 3-0 and beat Croatia handidly...before losing to a great Portugal side on pens.

But hey ho....each to their own. I prefer decent football, goals & us actually having a go at trying to win games. If you prefer the dross served up by Southgate then fair enough. Had the golden generation had any of the draws that he has had in a major tournament i have no doubts Sven would have taken them to a Final at least.

As a side note, you are right Olly...it is the most successful period since 66...but the facts are as yet Southgate hasnt delivered a trophy just like his predeccesors....if he does then absolute credit to him...but simple facts are as a football fan i'd rather sit and enjoy 90 minutes of good football than watch a shower of Poopie if the end result is the same (0 trophies) especially when we have the talent we have at our disposal.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 08 Jul 2024, 9:42 am

Duty281 wrote:Still can't believe England are in the semis. They've been so bad so far. Hopefully, they can raise their game for a tough opponent, but I'm not counting on it. 60 minutes of extra football might also exact a heavy toll....
Gareth SouthGoat best England manager by results since Alf Ramsey.   Not only qualifying for tournaments but also getting to the latter stages.   Some say it is not by luck but by being tactically cautious and defensive.

Each tournament the English Media seem to believe "football is coming home" with the English team said to be favorites or one of the favorites.  England have had better sides than the current one, including a side called the Golden Generation.   The current side is unbalanced consisting of players that could be said to have seen better days or up and coming "superstars" that have limited experience playing together at senior international level.   One thing seems certain is that the English defensive line is one of the weakest England has ever had.
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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 10:30 am

No name Bertie wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Still can't believe England are in the semis. They've been so bad so far. Hopefully, they can raise their game for a tough opponent, but I'm not counting on it. 60 minutes of extra football might also exact a heavy toll....
Gareth SouthGoat best England manager by results since Alf Ramsey.   Not only qualifying for tournaments but also getting to the latter stages.   Some say it is not by luck but by being tactically cautious and defensive.

Each tournament the English Media seem to believe "football is coming home" with the English team said to be favorites or one of the favorites.  England have had better sides than the current one, including a side called the Golden Generation.   The current side is unbalanced consisting of players that could be said to have seen better days or up and coming "superstars" that have limited experience playing together at senior international level.   One thing seems certain is that the English defensive line is one of the weakest England has ever had.

Just like Bazball, context is the enemy of Southgate lovers. He has achieved the same as most other England managers e.g. got England past the teams they should be beating, then falling short at the tough hurdles.

England's best result so far under Southgate at a major tournament, in four tournaments, is either beating a poor German side at home, or beating the Danes at home. When non home games are considered, England's best win is either over Sweden or Senegal. When it's come to the step up, Belgium, 2018 Croatia, France, Italy, England have fallen short.

Since 1986, England have only lost out in qualification twice, and with the recent expansion of the Euros and the Worlds this task has only been made easier. It's actually difficult to envisage a point where England fail to qualify for the Euros ever again.

England have got to the latter stages under Southgate more often because of more fortunate draws. I don't think anyone can seriously argue against that. Does anyone think England would have made the final of Euro 2020 if they'd been in the top half of the draw, or would still be in the current tournament now if they were in the top half?

As I've said before, it's strange to judge tournaments by how far you progress (unless you win the thing) because fortunate draws have an effect. England's best tournament under Southgate was the 2022 World Cup, which is actually where England progressed the least furthest of his four tournaments. And the reason for that lack of progression was because they came up against France in the QFs. Not Sweden, not Ukraine, not Switzerland, but an elite level nation.

This is the best England side on paper I've ever seen in my lifetime (which, if you ask Tino, goes back to the 70s), edging out the Euro 2004 side on depth (which Southgate doesn't use). It's oozing with quality. True enough, defence isn't as strong as it was for, say, the 2006 World Cup, but part of this is self inflicted by the manager (only taking one LB). In any case, it's certainly not a weak defence when two members of it play a regular part in the best club side in England.

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Post by GSC Mon 08 Jul 2024, 11:10 am

Can we at least wait to do this argument again after England's tournament finishes.
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Post by Galted Mon 08 Jul 2024, 11:58 am

Duty281 wrote:True enough, defence isn't as strong as it was for, say, the 2006 World Cup, but part of this is self inflicted by the manager (only taking one LB). In any case, it's certainly not a weak defence when two members of it play a regular part in the best club side in England.

Only Konsa's there, Mings is still out with his ACL injury.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:26 pm

GSC wrote:Can we at least wait to do this argument again after England's tournament finishes.

I’d clearly forgotten unless you dispatch 2010 Barcelona, 1970 Brazil, 2023 Man City in a row then nothing counts. How silly.

Guess I best not watch Wednesday, as we’re only playing Ronald Koeman’s Holland, not the great Van Basten/Cryuff era stuff. Doesn’t count if we win
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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:30 pm

Duty281 wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Hearing reports that despite being the worst person to ever manage a football team, Gareth Southgate has yet again got England to a semi final of a tournament? Interesting.

Surely noted tactical geniuses like Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick got their teams to the same point with their “rotations” and “gegenpress”.

Wait, what? You mean to tell me that Owen10Ozzy and Duty281 might be the ones who are wrong?
Can’t have it.

Me? I’m enjoying the most successful time to be an England football fan since 1966. Bring on the Dutch on Wednesday!

Do explain how I'm wrong.

Do you think having zero shots on target in 94 minutes v Slovakia and then being rescued by a Bellingham overhead kick is:

a) Tactical genius from Southgate and all part of the plan
or
b) Tactical hopelessness from Southgate, but bailed out by a world-class player

Similar yesterday. Zero shots on target for 75 minutes, a goal down, and bailed out by a superb strike from Saka. I guess that's just more genius from Southgate, right, totally planned?

Five games, one win and four draws (in 90 minutes) with a squad this strong, against so far mediocre opposition is something you're happy with?

Nagelsmann would have got Germany to this point if they'd been in England's half of the draw, but they lost very narrowly to the best team at the tournament so far. Hopefully you appreciate the context, that England have landed in the easier half (like Euro 2020) and would probably already be home if they were in the top half.

You're wrong in the sense that if you were right you wouldn't be posting about it on here, you'd be you know managing a club or international side yourself.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:35 pm

Galted wrote:
Duty281 wrote:True enough, defence isn't as strong as it was for, say, the 2006 World Cup, but part of this is self inflicted by the manager (only taking one LB). In any case, it's certainly not a weak defence when two members of it play a regular part in the best club side in England.

Only Konsa's there, Mings is still out with his ACL injury.

Very good. Very Happy

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:35 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
GSC wrote:Can we at least wait to do this argument again after England's tournament finishes.

I’d clearly forgotten unless you dispatch 2010 Barcelona, 1970 Brazil, 2023 Man City in a row then nothing counts. How silly.

Guess I best not watch Wednesday, as we’re only playing Ronald Koeman’s Holland, not the great Van Basten/Cryuff era stuff. Doesn’t count if we win

Literally no one is saying this. Why do you feel the need to invent things to support your point?

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:39 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Hearing reports that despite being the worst person to ever manage a football team, Gareth Southgate has yet again got England to a semi final of a tournament? Interesting.

Surely noted tactical geniuses like Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick got their teams to the same point with their “rotations” and “gegenpress”.

Wait, what? You mean to tell me that Owen10Ozzy and Duty281 might be the ones who are wrong?
Can’t have it.

Me? I’m enjoying the most successful time to be an England football fan since 1966. Bring on the Dutch on Wednesday!

Do explain how I'm wrong.

Do you think having zero shots on target in 94 minutes v Slovakia and then being rescued by a Bellingham overhead kick is:

a) Tactical genius from Southgate and all part of the plan
or
b) Tactical hopelessness from Southgate, but bailed out by a world-class player

Similar yesterday. Zero shots on target for 75 minutes, a goal down, and bailed out by a superb strike from Saka. I guess that's just more genius from Southgate, right, totally planned?

Five games, one win and four draws (in 90 minutes) with a squad this strong, against so far mediocre opposition is something you're happy with?

Nagelsmann would have got Germany to this point if they'd been in England's half of the draw, but they lost very narrowly to the best team at the tournament so far. Hopefully you appreciate the context, that England have landed in the easier half (like Euro 2020) and would probably already be home if they were in the top half.

You're wrong in the sense that if you were right you wouldn't be posting about it on here, you'd be you know managing a club or international side yourself.

So do you think zero shots on target in 94 minutes v Slovakia, before Bellingham scores a class goal, was all part of the plan? And that we should all applaud Southgate's management abilities? Or maybe that there is room for criticism here?

I'd happily manage England. I'd do it for 30k a year, not 3 million a year, also. I can at least see when Switzerland are on top and about to score and England need to make changes, something which appears to have eluded Southgate. I can also see that Trippier isn't a left-back. Mind you, I don't think these things are genius insights; they're just very basic things that escape Southgate.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:43 pm

There's a stark difference between having an opinion and thinking your opinion somehow matters when it doesn't. The thing is you have no clue about the players, the mentality in the camp or the tactics discussed so no you cannot see those things, you're sat watching it on tv like the rest of us placing your own opinion on a pedestal.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:51 pm

Shocking! We should all keep our opinions to ourselves then. Going to make for some pretty dull discussions, granted, but I'm sure we'll adapt.

I don't think my opinion matters. Hence why I'm posting anonymously on a small corner of the Internet.

I could swear that I saw Switzerland were about to score before they did, but if you say it didn't happen, I guess it didn't.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:53 pm

You have no interest in discussion, you simply wish to impose your opinion relentlessly on everyone else.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:58 pm

This is completely false. I often take a minority view on here on pretty much everything (football/cricket/politics), and enjoy reading people's counter views. I wouldn't stick around if I didn't. I'm curious to hear more about Olly's praise of Southgate in this tournament, and what he thinks Southgate has done well, because it's lost on me.

I can't impose my opinion on anyone else. I do express myself rather bluntly, but I only expect the same in return.

I'd set up a blog or a Twitter account or a Goldbridge-esque YouTube channel if I just wanted to prattle on.

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Post by GSC Mon 08 Jul 2024, 1:05 pm

Olly does make a valid point that it seems to be only the Dutch if we beat them. It was only Switzerland, who only dumped Italy out in the previous round. If we beat Italy then it's a poor Italy as it was a poor Germany 3 years ago. There is more than an element of retroactively moving the goalposts here.

I think the reality is there aren't many great international teams in the modern game. For all the criticisms of Southgate, there are as many attached to Deschamps and Koeman domestically. Everyone seems to be injured and/or knackered. Really only Spain have lit up this tournament.

Can really make the case there hasn't been a great international side since the 2008-12 vintage of Spain
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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 1:15 pm

GSC wrote:Olly does make a valid point that it seems to be only the Dutch if we beat them. It was only Switzerland, who only dumped Italy out in the previous round. If we beat Italy then it's a poor Italy as it was a poor Germany 3 years ago. There is more than an element of retroactively moving the goalposts here.

I think the reality is there aren't many great international teams in the modern game. For all the criticisms of Southgate, there are as many attached to Deschamps and Koeman domestically. Everyone seems to be injured and/or knackered. Really only Spain have lit up this tournament.

I do hear this quite a lot, but I can never find any concrete examples. It's certainly not me moving the goalposts. Every game since and including Euro 2020 I've said whether or not I think England are favourites in my estimation. The games I haven't had them as favourites for were the Euros final and the French QF. Every other game until now I've expected England to advance/win. I said it wasn't a good German side in 2020 before England beat them. I said it was a solid but unspectacular Swiss bunch before England managed to scrape past.

As I've also said, I haven't got England as favourites for this Dutch game, and it will be Southgate's biggest win if England pull it off. No retconning. But England are in shocking form at the moment and will need a big improvement. Hopefully it'll happen. But just five goals in 510 minutes isn't great.

Agree that too many players are exhausted. There's too much football played and it's detrimental to the overall quality of the product. And it's only going to get worse with the expanded Club World Cup starting next summer (a month long tournament in June/July with 32 teams, it's ridiculous).

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 08 Jul 2024, 2:10 pm

Duty281 wrote:This is completely false. I often take a minority view on here on pretty much everything (football/cricket/politics), and enjoy reading people's counter views. I wouldn't stick around if I didn't. I'm curious to hear more about Olly's praise of Southgate in this tournament, and what he thinks Southgate has done well, because it's lost on me.

I think he should be praised on our defensive work - considering we've lost half of our first choice defensive lineup, he's mitigated this very well and we look solid with both Guehi/Konsa stepping into the side and not missing a beat so far.
I also think he doesn't get enough praise for instilling and continuing to keep a group with a great mentality - twice we've gone behind and kept going, and fought our way back to progress. I've seen plenty of England teams totally fold in similar scenarios.

Is he the world's greatest tactician? No. Does it matter in international football? Not for me.
For me, international football isn't about having some sort of perfect system refined to the Nth degree like you see from a club side, it's about creating an environment the players enjoy, being defensively sound and finding a way to progress to the next round of the tournament.

The only things that matter to me in Euros/World Cups - how far do we get, and do we get through. Could not give a flying hoot how it is done.

One thing I do wish is he was more proactive with his subs - he seems to be making the right ones when he does (I've been impressed with his use of Palmer and Eze), but I do agree he is taking too long to introduce them, particularly the Switzerland game.
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Post by alfie Mon 08 Jul 2024, 2:20 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:This is completely false. I often take a minority view on here on pretty much everything (football/cricket/politics), and enjoy reading people's counter views. I wouldn't stick around if I didn't. I'm curious to hear more about Olly's praise of Southgate in this tournament, and what he thinks Southgate has done well, because it's lost on me.

I think he should be praised on our defensive work - considering we've lost half of our first choice defensive lineup, he's mitigated this very well and we look solid with both Guehi/Konsa stepping into the side and not missing a beat so far.
I also think he doesn't get enough praise for instilling and continuing to keep a group with a great mentality - twice we've gone behind and kept going, and fought our way back to progress. I've seen plenty of England teams totally fold in similar scenarios.

Is he the world's greatest tactician? No. Does it matter in international football? Not for me.
For me, international football isn't about having some sort of perfect system refined to the Nth degree like you see from a club side, it's about creating an environment the players enjoy, being defensively sound and finding a way to progress to the next round of the tournament.

The only things that matter to me in Euros/World Cups - how far do we get, and do we get through. Could not give a flying hoot how it is done.

One thing I do wish is he was more proactive with his subs - he seems to be making the right ones when he does (I've been impressed with his use of Palmer and Eze), but I do agree he is taking too long to introduce them, particularly the Switzerland game.

Pretty well all of this thumbsup

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 2:50 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:This is completely false. I often take a minority view on here on pretty much everything (football/cricket/politics), and enjoy reading people's counter views. I wouldn't stick around if I didn't. I'm curious to hear more about Olly's praise of Southgate in this tournament, and what he thinks Southgate has done well, because it's lost on me.

I think he should be praised on our defensive work - considering we've lost half of our first choice defensive lineup, he's mitigated this very well and we look solid with both Guehi/Konsa stepping into the side and not missing a beat so far.
I also think he doesn't get enough praise for instilling and continuing to keep a group with a great mentality - twice we've gone behind and kept going, and fought our way back to progress. I've seen plenty of England teams totally fold in similar scenarios.

Is he the world's greatest tactician? No. Does it matter in international football? Not for me.
For me, international football isn't about having some sort of perfect system refined to the Nth degree like you see from a club side, it's about creating an environment the players enjoy, being defensively sound and finding a way to progress to the next round of the tournament.

The only things that matter to me in Euros/World Cups - how far do we get, and do we get through. Could not give a flying hoot how it is done.

One thing I do wish is he was more proactive with his subs - he seems to be making the right ones when he does (I've been impressed with his use of Palmer and Eze), but I do agree he is taking too long to introduce them, particularly the Switzerland game.

I'm not sure I'd agree on the defensive work. I think this is mostly England's first choice defence now, the only exception is on the left side, but Southgate has made a clear error here in only taking one LB (who was injured). And I don't think it's especially solid either. Switzerland had good chances to win the game. Slovakia hurt England numerous times on the counter. Denmark deserved to win and Serbia deserved a point. The only thing stopping this has been that these teams are not good enough/haven't been good enough to convert their chances. When England face the step up in opposition, that's when they will be punished (if it carries on like this). I liked Konsa in the last game and would probably start with over Guehi.

In terms of mentality, I'd say that Southgate's man management is his best asset, but also that England teams are historically resilient and will generally bounce back.

With regards to the bit in bold, for me that's too negative. It's fair enough to battle through any which way you can with a very limited side. But this England side has some of the best players on the planet, and I don't think it's unfair to expect more from them in that regard. England have won just one game from five in 90 minutes (and they've not exactly played tough opposition yet), are scoring a goal once every 100 minutes, and are very fortunate to be in the last four. That's very poor with the assets England have got.

We agree on the bench, although I think Slovakia was a worse example.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 08 Jul 2024, 2:58 pm

Overall, I just think back to the last World Cup. England scored 9 in the group stage, made light work of Senegal with a 3-0 cruise, and then gave it a bloody good go against France. Somewhat unfortunate to come out on the wrong end, best England performance under Southgate, and I thought a genuine corner had been turned.

Now England have regressed back to scraping wins over middling opposition. It's like 2022 never happened.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 09 Jul 2024, 6:58 pm

Spain XI: Simon, Cucurella, Laporte, Nacho, Navas, Ruiz, Rodri, Williams, Olmo, Yamal, Morata
France XI: Maignan, Hernandez, Saliba, Upamecano, Kounde, Rabiot, Tchouameni, Kante, Mbappe, Kolo Muani, Dembele

Main team news for the first semi-final being that Griezmann has been dropped.

Spain have scored 11 times at Euro 2024, the joint best attack at the tournament, and are the only ones to have a 100% record. But can they get past France, who haven't yet conceded from open play at this competition (or scored from open play!)?

Ultimately, I still believe in the French.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 09 Jul 2024, 8:10 pm

Spain miss a great headed chance at one end, France don't miss at the other.

1-0 already.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Tue 09 Jul 2024, 8:22 pm

What a goal.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 09 Jul 2024, 8:36 pm

Possible goal of the tournament to turn the game around, then a scruffier second to put Spain in the lead and in control.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Tue 09 Jul 2024, 8:54 pm

I like the French dude behind the goal. Puts his hands on his head way before the ball is in the net. He knows what's coming.

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Post by GSC Tue 09 Jul 2024, 9:56 pm

France managed to summon up some urgency after they went behind but waiting for an extra gear they just never had in this tournament

Spain will be heavy favourites to win the final


Last edited by GSC on Tue 09 Jul 2024, 9:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Duty281 Tue 09 Jul 2024, 9:56 pm

Spain advance to the final.

France had their chances to equalise, but didn't take them. It caps a disappointing tournament for Mbappe in particular, after he missed a very good opportunity.

Spain have come through two tough tests to get to the final. I think the biggest hurdles are behind them, and they should beat England/Netherlands in the final.

Fair to say France never got going in the competition, although they did take an early lead in this one, before it was ripped away by an astonishing hit.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 09 Jul 2024, 9:59 pm

England's team news seems to centre around whether Shaw will be fit enough to start. Indications are he will be. No other changes anticipated and England are set to keep the same shape as v the Swiss.

Team news appears to be just one change, Guehi in for Konsa. Shaw on the bench.

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Post by alfie Wed 10 Jul 2024, 6:23 am

Quite enjoyed that semi. Not at all surprised Spain came out on top as they really have looked the class of the field at this tournament (which of course still doesn't make them certainties to win a one-off game in the final ! )

France must be disappointed that they couldn't come back again after that early lead was snatched away so dramatically. They have had trouble scoring throughout the earlier rounds but actually had (not for the first time) quite a few good opportunities to score only to come up short. Perhaps one might say a semi was a slightly flattering result for them on their overall performances ?

Don't expect massive England team changes. Not Gareth's style : and whatever he did would be howled down in advance by the usual suspects anyway Smile

Hope they can produce their best in ... some 14 hours . Gulp : Tennis , Le Tour, Cricket - weather permitting. Better take an early nap...

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Post by Duty281 Wed 10 Jul 2024, 9:50 am

Well, not long now. If England can get over the line tonight, I would credit it as England's biggest victory in tournament football since beating Argentina in 2002, although as we all know it's not a high bar! An extraordinary statistic is that of the 15 knockout matches England have lost in major tournaments between 1968 and 2022, 14 out of those 15 have been either on penalties or by a single goal! Only the unjust 1-4 v Germany in 2010 is a time where England have, statistically at least, been beaten with some comfort in the KO stages.

On paper, England are stronger than the Netherlands. On form, not so much.

England have struggled to create, scoring just five goals in 510 minutes against unspectacular opposition. Tonight they'll be tasked with scoring against a defence that has Van Dijk at the heart of it. But perhaps the Dutch, who are less likely to sit in, will be more of a liking to England, as England can counter attack which they're well suited to, and perhaps find more space in behind (though that requires players to make runs!). Hopefully the ball will be moved quicker.

I'm concerned about the possession battle. On paper, it's a midfield battle that England should be winning comfortably, but the lack of pressing and the lack of intensity makes me wonder how England are going to get the ball back without sharp improvements in intensity. Against the Swiss, England just sat off every time the opposition entered their half, and this has been a theme through the tournament. Against the Dutch, a better technical outfit, that could be asking for trouble. And during spells where England are penned in - what's the outball? Kane is struggling with fitness, hardly helped by playing about 200 minutes in the last two games, and form. He hasn't been much good in the air this tournament, neither has his first touch been impressive.

The shape doesn't help with the possession angle either, because off the ball it's a five at the back, and Saka could be trapped by a Dutch siege, a bit like how England's 'wingbacks' were trapped against the Italians in that final.

England still don't have a viable left flank either. Southgate's gamble on Shaw was a spectacular blunder, but to not even try any other options on the left is remarkable. Dumfries will be relishing his battle against Trippier. And when England are in possession, it should be too easy for the Dutch to overload the centre and England's right, because they know nothing, absolutely nothing, is coming down England's left flank. Further exacerbated, of course, by this shape and England not playing a wide left attacking midfielder, such as Gordon or Palmer.

England's defence as a whole is a worry. Switzerland, with better finishing, would have sent England home. Slovakia hurt England numerous times on the counter, before stopping it when they went a goal up. Denmark and Serbia had chances to better the results they did get. Those teams weren't good enough to capitalise on chances created. But Gakpo, Depay, Malen, Simons and Weghorst surely will be. England's defending from crosses has been woeful all tournament, so the Dutch should give serious consideration to starting Weghorst. Walker has been abysmal all tournament, especially with defensive positioning. Stones hasn't looked sharp and Guehi has made errors at key times. England have got away with these things against weaker opposition, but against the Dutch there's less margin for error.

The other concern is of course Southgate's woeful in game management. A bench full of talent, continually under utilised, which of course has had the knock on effect of certain players racking up too many minutes. And if England go 1-0 up, it's surely not going to be anything other than England digging in to their trench, rather than looking for a second. The Dutch have also played less football in this tournament, not going to extra time yet, while England have had the mental and physical task of 60 extra minutes + penalties on one occasion.

Overall, some concerns about form, creativity, possession, defence, the England left and Southgate's management.

But it must be remembered that this is a fantastic England contingent with some dazzling options. England coughed and spluttered their way through Italia 90, before delivering one of their greatest ever performances v W Germany in the SF. England do, historically, raise their game for the biggest nations, even if they don't often come out on the right side, usually losing by a very tight margin. So let's hope that happens today, minus losing by a tight margin, as has happened 14/15 times. The Dutch aren't invincible either. Turkey should have taken them to ET, Austria beat them.

If England were on a good run going into this one, I'd definitely back them. But the form hasn't been remotely good enough, and there's been little sign of improvement through the five games. So, reluctantly, I am favouring the Dutch to win 2-1. But I hope to be proved wrong.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 10 Jul 2024, 10:42 am

Duty281 wrote:England's defence as a whole is a worry. Switzerland, with better finishing, would have sent England home. Slovakia hurt England numerous times on the counter, before stopping it when they went a goal up. Denmark and Serbia had chances to better the results they did get. Those teams weren't good enough to capitalise on chances created. But Gakpo, Depay, Malen, Simons and Weghorst surely will be. England's defending from crosses has been woeful all tournament, so the Dutch should give serious consideration to starting Weghorst. Walker has been abysmal all tournament, especially with defensive positioning. Stones hasn't looked sharp and Guehi has made errors at key times. England have got away with these things against weaker opposition, but against the Dutch there's less margin for error.

This, pretty much.

I don't think the Dutch will be as respectful of England as their other opponents thus far have been (it would be a mistake if they are). It might be that they'd quite fancy an open game, and would risk conceding a goal or two if draws England out and lets them catch them on the counter.

I'm trying to work out if it suits England better to score first, or to concede first...

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed 10 Jul 2024, 10:44 am

The other thing to say is how wild it is to think back to the Slovakia game. If Bellingham shins that wide and England lose, the reckoning would have been something else given how England had played until that point. Now here they are one win from the final!

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 10 Jul 2024, 11:17 am

I hope for an England win but I expect the Dutch to win 2-0 in normal time.  

England could have encountered Netherlands in the Round of 16.   Netherlands finished third in their group (a strong group containing France) with four points (GF=4, GA=4).   England finished first in their group (a "weak" group) with five points (GF=2, GA=1).    Netherlands have performed well in the knockout stages so far (GF=5, GA=1) while England have performed stutteringly (GF=2, GA=2 in normal time).  

England have shown resilience but I expect Netherlands to score first be defensively sound to hold on to that lead and then score a breakaway goal.   This assumes no red cards or controversial penalties.   I hope England are able to step up and prove this prediction wrong.
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