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View Poll Results: Who will win the world cup?
Argentina are out. 1 0.76%
Belgium are out 22 16.79%
Brazil are out 11 8.40%
Columbia are out. 0 0%
Croatia 12 9.16%
Denmark are out 0 0%
England are out 17 12.98%
France 52 39.69%
Japan are out 0 0%
Mexico are out 3 2.29%
Portugal are out 1 0.76%
Russia are out 2 1.53%
Spain are out 1 0.76%
Sweden are out 0 0%
Switzerland are out 1 0.76%
Uruguay are out 8 6.11%
Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-12-2018, 10:37 AM   #591
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Originally Posted by Old Jud View Post
This campaign has been refreshingly different.
Exactly Testimony to that is football, soccer is the lower of the popular codes here, I follow it and watch it sort of but take no real emotion in it as I would with Aussie Rules football. This time I took interest.

But this whole tournament was different and can't pick why, but maybe it's just the bigger teams were out early, Italy not making it at all Argentina losing 3-0 , drew interest having not the same old same old
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:45 AM   #592
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Exactly Testimony to that is football, soccer is the lower of the popular codes here, I follow it and watch it sort of but take no real emotion in it as I would with Aussie Rules football. This time I took interest.

But this whole tournament was different and can't pick why, but maybe it's just the bigger teams were out early, Italy not making it at all Argentina losing 3-0 , drew interest having not the same old same old
The other day, on the TV, they showed graphics pointing which teams had the most expensive players of the market in total...

The most expensive team was... France.

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Le top 10 des effectifs les plus chers :

- 1. France 1410 millions d’euros

- 2. Angleterre 1386 millions d’euros

- 3. Brésil 1269 millions d’euros

- 4. Espagne 965 millions d’euros

- 5. Argentine 925 millions d’euros

- 6. Allemagne 895 millions d’euros

- 7. Belgique 835 millions d’euros

- 8. Portugal 656 millions d’euros

- 9. Uruguay 529 millions d’euros

- 10. Croatie 416 millions d’euros
We will have a final between the most expensive and the tenth one.

Even if I'm a French (and Swiss) citizen, I hope that the best team will win this final.
But... when I listen the ultra chauvinist French medias, I almost hope that France will lose to close their big stupid mouth.
Ok... I don't speak Croatian, maybe Croatian medias are even worse.

I remember when I spoke with an Italian friend about horrible French chauvinism in the media, he answered: "But in Italy it's even worse!!!".



Stupid sport journalists.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:25 PM   #593
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Originally Posted by Old Jud View Post
My sentiments exactly. Since the 70's the hardcore England fans and media have spouted the same drivel about winning the WC, and I have been pleased to see them shot down in flames at every tournament.

This campaign has been refreshingly different. An England manager and team that has adopted a low key approach, a unit that has just concentrated on the matches and kept relatively quiet.

This team and manager forgot to read the script, they should have made it to the last 16 then got promptly knocked out. Instead, they came agonizingly close to reaching the final.

Had their dominance of the first half produced a second goal then the outcome could have been different, and for once I have nothing but praise for an England team and manager.
Both are a credit to their country, well done lads!

Aren't those unrealistic expectations the result of the Premier League being the strongest league in the world? Fans expect this to translate to equally impressive results for the national team, but it just doesn't work like that.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:46 PM   #594
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This was a weird combination as semi final contestants as I would've felt bad for any of the teams that lost. England fans can lament not making the final, but hopefully the tournament result is a turn upwards for English football culture. In hindsight, even though England appeared in WC, they were nondescript appearances, as noticeable as teams who failed to qualify.

On another note. In the context of the history of the WC and the contribution that region has made to football, it's probably overdue for a Former/Yugoslav team to make the final.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:00 PM   #595
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I'm disappointed by this WC edition, the 2006,2010 and 2014 tournaments were way higher in terms of technical abilities of teams. I greatly enjoyed Portugal-Spain, to me it was a great start ! then... all defensive games with mistakes all the way. The teams that will play the finals are the ones who struggled against teams playing all back, and/or were technically poor and beneficiated from their mistakes: how can Mandzukic score that way vs England ? wake up defense hahaha ! How can Griezmann score that way against Uruguay ?



For most of the "great loosers" it's been .... russian roulette: the penalties for Spain, corner for Belgium, goalkeepers mistakes for Argentina and Uruguay, only Portugal has faced a great ... Uruguay with the one and only Edinson Cavani.


Uruguay should have won this one, France has been lucky to see Cavani injured for the 1/4 finals. Belgians are... too much arrogant players, only Meunier showed fair-play.



I won't mention Brazil and their Neymar bullshit... one day someone will have to hush him up cos' he's actually the mental weak point of this team.


This edition will not see a great winner, not as Spain and Germany were in 2010 and 2014.

(By the way I'm impartial here, cos' I'm french hahaha)

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Old 07-12-2018, 02:40 PM   #596
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The reason why England seem to be so optimistic when it comes to World Cups is always looking back at failures and hoping one day we can lay this 52 yrs of hurt to rest.. Back in 1966 we thought we were the best in the world and winning the World Cup was a crowning achievement for Alf Ramsey and his squad but it all came crashing back down to earth when in a friendly Hungary annihilated us 8-0 I think it was and then the humiliation of losing in 1970 even with a great save from Gordon Banks against Brazil. Subsequent England managers have not had a good rapport with the English press who also look backwards not forwards and sharpen their vitriolic pencils with glee whenever England and their managers fail. Harking back to 1990 was perhaps inevitable as that was the last time England had a decent squad and made it against the odd to the semi finals, only to lose on dreaded penalties to the Germans. This time we did it again, made it to a semi final, the country together willing them on but alas we went out again but thank god not in a penalty shootout as in 1990. I think we should be proud of our boys, they did us proud, they did the country proud and in time will bounce back -preferably for the qualifying for the European Champs in two years time.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:16 PM   #597
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What happened to Kane?
2 shots on goal....
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:19 PM   #598
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Everyone says we are favourite now.
I always admired Deschamps, as a player and coach.
He learned a lot with Suaudeau, Jacquet and Juventus coaches.
His top of the pop is for Sunday: a team waiting and kills you with one hit.
No Barca here.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:21 PM   #599
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Back in 1966 we thought we were the best in the world and winning the World Cup was a crowning achievement for Alf Ramsey and his squad but it all came crashing back down to earth when in a friendly Hungary annihilated us 8-0 I think it was
That was in 1953 - Hungary won 6:3 at Wembley (which quite a few English thought was a fluke) only for Hungary to beat them again 7:1 in Budapest some months later. I remember reading that Ferenc Puskas said that they could easily have won by 10 or 12 goals but did not want to humiliate the England team. Admittedly that Magyar team was one of the greatest in history and would have hammered any team back then.

Be interesting to see what happens during the Nations League this Autumn. England are in a group with Croatia and Spain.

Last edited by Markus R; 07-12-2018 at 06:26 PM..
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:09 PM   #600
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What happened to Kane?
2 shots on goal....
Gareth Southgate made a fundamental tactical error which it suits people not to talk about at the moment. Part of his plan to bring Sterling into the game has been to have Kane lying deeper in order to try to drag one of the central defenders out of the back line, to leave space for Sterling to exploit with his pace - it's an old Brazilian tactic I believe. That's fine when you play swift one touch pacey football, as we did in the opening against Tunisia but we've rarely done so since, so it was not really likely to succeed when faced with a solid defensive wall and we resultantly lose space to play in and instead keep back-tracking, bereft of ideas.

Croatia are not that daft; they had a keeper with what appears to be a thigh strain who they wanted to protect so they threw up a very solid central defensive pairing but allowed their fullbacks to roam, taking advantage of Englands lack of quality in midfield and out wide, to expose Young on one side and Walker on the other. It worked.

Kane in turn ran himself around chasing along the back line and the Croatian build up play to a point where he had nothing left. A monumentally foolish exercise in shooting yourself in the foot.
As Hoddle rightly observed he should have been conserving his energy to use when it counted, not chasing the ball around in front of our not very impressive midfield. A really obvious, fundamental error. You don't use your one world class player in a 'be good if it works' role, to subsidize an out of form forward who sadly, all-too obviously, doesn't have a goal in him. You're removing the best chance you have of scoring. It makes no sense whatsoever. If I can see it, I'd ruddy well hope the English coaching staff can.

I sincerely hope Southgate learns to play to England's strengths, not some imaginary 'what if' scenario which is based on groundless optimism, not realistic expectation. Perversely, he continued to play Alli, who wasn't fully fit, as if this might help Kane, due to their club roles. If Kane had played up front, there might have been a chance. As it was, it was twice-doomed to failure - Kane was in a different role and Alli just wasn't up to scratch.

Southgate has won a lot of friends and admiration, but tactically, to be really objective, he's made some weak basic assumptions which just haven't worked and reduced the effectiveness of one of his best players to the extent where he's seen as being 'off form'. He might have been off-form, but more to the point he was being played in a role which hampered him and the team.

There's been a very subjective view taken of England during the competition which has taken the place of any real dissection of how we have played and what has and hasn't worked, and why.
Southgate has persisted with some poor tactics which he hoped would work. In the Croatia game, the over-cautious approach to possession and the lack of success with the team arrangement should have been corrected much earlier - we should have switched to having definite wide men to inhibit the Croatia fullbacks and to push Kane up front as a central target man with Welbeck or Rashford in support. We never really gave it, or ourselves, the best chance of suceeding. We were neither bold nor brave enough - the players deserved better leadership.

This isn't a moan btw, just an objective look at the tactical approach and where it really didn't work. Sorry, but you did ask.
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