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***Official*** 2018 World Cup thread (and Drinking Guide)

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3 minutes ago, Sammy3469 said:

As Vranskjo said postgame....press them and they revert to the long ball game.  They may have the talent in the MF, but they didn’t show it in this tournament.

Seems unfair to me - if Kane finishes his chance or they convert one of the other decent opportunities in the first half they are playing Sunday.  I say that as some who roots for them but is not a true fan.  They played well enough today to win - I don’t think either team playing today was beating France though.  

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38 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

I am torn on England's future.

On the one hand this is a very strong young team with lots of talent coming up in the pipeline.

On the other hand, they are likely to never see a WC break for them like this ever again.  Everything went as perfect as possible in their match ups.

There is no future and England is dreamiiiiiiiiing! 

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12 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

Seems unfair to me - if Kane finishes his chance or they convert one of the other decent opportunities in the first half they are playing Sunday.  I say that as some who roots for them but is not a true fan.  They played well enough today to win - I don’t think either team playing today was beating France though.  

They played with ONE natural CM all torrney?

Ali was too deep, more of a #10/SS

Lindy/Young don't belong there

So they had three guys playing center back, hendo in the midfield by himself with wingers/strikes around him. Of course they couldn't get around the pressure when pressed. 

 

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3 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

Look at how long it took FIFA to fix the free kick issue with players constantly encroaching.   The fix was simple, quick, and works and no one even thinks twice about it.

It also led to more free kick goals I bet as the wall is less effective.

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38 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

Coincidence that the current and future best US player of all time last name ends with an IC?    I think not......

Lalic?

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12 minutes ago, The Gator said:

They played with ONE natural CM all torrney?

Ali was too deep, more of a #10/SS

Lindy/Young don't belong there

So they had three guys playing center back, hendo in the midfield by himself with wingers/strikes around him. Of course they couldn't get around the pressure when pressed. 

 

Agree - although I expected more out of Alli.  In hindsight maybe it would have been better to pair Henderson and Dier with Trippier and somebody other than Young on the wings and Kane, Alli/Sterling and maybe Loftus-Cheek up top.  That’s a 3-4-3 but with more midfield control.

Edited by AAABatteries
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Just now, AAABatteries said:

Agree - although I expected more out of Alli. 

I did too.  Some one mentioned earlier that he was not put in a good position but he never seemed to put his stamp on any game.

It is kind of remarkable (and probably indicates the good fortune they had in their match ups) that they made it all the way to extra time in the semi final with Young and Sterling doing their best impressions of Zardes.

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43 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

Coincidence that the current and future best US player of all time last name ends with an IC?    I think not......

Ben Ledermanic? 

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1 minute ago, AAABatteries said:

Agree - although I expected more out of Alli.  In hindsight maybe it would have been better to pair Henderson and Dier with Trippier and somebody other than Young on the wings and Kane, Alli/Sterling and maybe Loftus-Cheek.  That’s a 3-4-3 but with more midfield control.

Henderson - Dier behind Kane  - Rashford with  GOATFKTaker on one side and Midget TRex Poofter on the other?

 

Who says no?

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14 minutes ago, The Gator said:

They played with ONE natural CM all torrney?

Ali was too deep, more of a #10/SS

Lindy/Young don't belong there

So they had three guys playing center back, hendo in the midfield by himself with wingers/strikes around him. Of course they couldn't get around the pressure when pressed. 

 

That's the thing with national teams.  High level talent development is a crap shoot; you have to take who's available at the moment and you can't go out and buy a left-back if you need one.  It's ironic that England recently had a glut of CM talent including Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham and Scholes coupled with a relative dearth of wing players.

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England needed a more dynamic lineup today against a tired Croatia who excel in midfield. Playing Henderson in the middle at defensive mid stifled any kind of fluidity. As already mentioned, Lingard and Young shouldn't have been in either. 

TAA should have been in the back and him and Trippier play on the outside and push forward when they could. Put Vardy up top with Kane and Sterling (better yet, Rashford over Sterling) and let Croatia deal with that speed making run after run. And put Loftus-Cheek in MF with Dele and let them all link up. Loads of speed and creativity that would have worn out Croatia. Bring in Henderson or Delph later if/when you get a lead. 

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England scored three goals from open play in 600 minutes.  The other nine were from set pieces or penalties.

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Ok, based on WC and club form, who is in the running for Balon d'or? Gotta think if Croatia win it, Modric will be up on that stage. If France, then Griezmann? Courtois have a shot?

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4 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

England needed a more dynamic lineup today against a tired Croatia who excel in midfield. Playing Henderson in the middle at defensive mid stifled any kind of fluidity. As already mentioned, Lingard and Young shouldn't have been in either. 

TAA should have been in the back and him and Trippier play on the outside and push forward when they could. Put Vardy up top with Kane and Sterling (better yet, Rashford over Sterling) and let Croatia deal with that speed making run after run. And put Loftus-Cheek in MF with Dele and let them all link up. Loads of speed and creativity that would have worn out Croatia. Bring in Henderson or Delph later if/when you get a lead. 

I don't think you can change things that drastically at the late stages of a tournament.  Southgate would have had to laid the groundwork for that approach weeks ago in the run-up.  Tactical tinkering isn't really the style of the manager. He puts his vest on and sends out his best XI.

It's also easier to do at the club level where there's much more time to experiment with different looks.

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3 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Ok, based on WC and club form, who is in the running for Balon d'or? Gotta think if Croatia win it, Modric will be up on that stage. If France, then Griezmann? Courtois have a shot?

I can't see Courtois. The waffle that comes to mind for me is KDB (or even Hazard). I don't think anyone rates Courtois as the best keeper in the EPL and you might have quite an argument of whether he is 2 (Ederson and Schmeichel are neck and neck for me). 

Kane maybe. But Modric definitely deserves some love. 

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7 minutes ago, Eephus said:

I don't think you can change things that drastically at the late stages of a tournament.  Southgate would have had to laid the groundwork for that approach weeks ago in the run-up.  Tactical tinkering isn't really the style of the manager. He puts his vest on and sends out his best XI.

It's also easier to do at the club level where there's much more time to experiment with different looks.

No doubt. He had a system. They lived and died with it.

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24 minutes ago, Eephus said:

I don't think you can change things that drastically at the late stages of a tournament.  Southgate would have had to laid the groundwork for that approach weeks ago in the run-up.  Tactical tinkering isn't really the style of the manager. He puts his vest on and sends out his best XI.

It's also easier to do at the club level where there's much more time to experiment with different looks.

Well he needed to do something after the Croatian goal instead of just going like for like.  They were getting overrun by a better tactical setup.  Croatia adjusted by having Perisic start tracking Trippier afterthe first 20-30 minutes and then having Modric and Ratitic make occupying runs into the box in the second half.  England did nothing and ultimately paid the price.

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Sterling out, Dele up top with Kane and Dier next to Henderson. One change, they win imo

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33 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Ok, based on WC and club form, who is in the running for Balon d'or? Gotta think if Croatia win it, Modric will be up on that stage. If France, then Griezmann? Courtois have a shot?

It's a tough year. The Champions League team didn't win their league or their domestic cup. M'Babe has a better shot than Griezmann. He could have the league and the World Cup. And for keepers I think Lloris is better than Courtois. 

It may come down to first half league play. 

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1 minute ago, Sammy3469 said:

Well he needed to do something after the Croatian goal instead of just going like for like.  They were getting overrun by a better tactical setup.  Croatia adjusted by having Perisic start tracking Trippier afterthe first 20-30 minutes and then having Modric and Ratitic make occupying runs into the box in the second half.  England did nothing and ultimately paid the price.

Agree.  National team managers get precious few opportunities to make real in-game tactical changes.  

Subs in friendlies and games against UEFA minnows have altogether different purposes.  

Southgate followed a similar pattern against Colombia but lived to play on. 

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5 minutes ago, The Gator said:

Sterling out, Dele up top with Kane and Dier next to Henderson. One change, they win imo

It’s going to be interesting to watch Sterling this season.  He’s used to getting the stick on Merseyside but he’s been a lightning rod for criticism on a national level since the run-up. 

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2 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

Coincidence that the current and future best US player of all time last name ends with an IC?    I think not......

Scary that he could've chosen to play for Croatia too.   Imagine him on a wing with service from Modric and Rakitic!  Glad there was never a fear of it happening though.

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1 hour ago, The Gator said:

Sterling out, Dele up top with Kane and Dier next to Henderson. One change, they win imo

Close - but Dier next to Henderson is terrible.  Both are strong enough in defense, but weak in creativity.  Southgate's problem was not bringing anyone who could play as a creative CM next to Henderson.

Sterling was an abomination next to Kane.  I don't care how much he runs, or how much pace he has - he never linked up with Kane.  And that left Kane dropping into a #10 role - because they simply don't have anyone who can pass.  So the best #9 gets taken out of his game because Sterling has a bit of pace - and cant do anything with it...

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56 minutes ago, Eephus said:

It’s going to be interesting to watch Sterling this season.  He’s used to getting the stick on Merseyside but he’s been a lightning rod for criticism on a national level since the run-up. 

A lot were fairly tough on him, but he did what was asked; to be the creative/making runs forward. That is so not his game as seen by his touches and passing. Hell, he has a weak shot to go with that as well. He needs a lot of talent around him to be creative and he can run onto balls and get tap ins. He just didn't fit into this role IMO. 

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1 minute ago, The Gator said:

A lot were fairly tough on him, but he did what was asked; to be the creative/making runs forward. That is so not his game as seen by his touches and passing. Hell, he has a weak shot to go with that as well. He needs a lot of talent around him to be creative and he can run onto balls and get tap ins. He just didn't fit into this role IMO. 

Rashford would have filled in Sterling's spot much better. 

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6 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

Close - but Dier next to Henderson is terrible.  Both are strong enough in defense, but weak in creativity.  Southgate's problem was not bringing anyone who could play as a creative CM next to Henderson.

Fair, but I think Henderson has some sneaky creativity when he's allowed to play further forward. He's excellent on first touch distribution and has put in some great killer balls when given the chance. He's not going to light anything on fire, but he could sit just ahead of Dier and make a good partnership imo 

Edited by The Gator

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3 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

I still can't get enough of this

I would do so many things just so I could watch him do that in the actual 3rd place game this weekend when Belgium and England square off. If those 2 actually even play.

Lol@the comment on that video:

"He's even a better Sterling"

:lmao: :lmao:

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8 minutes ago, The Gator said:

Fair, but I think Henderson has some sneaky creativity when he's allowed to play further forward. He's excellent on first touch distribution and has put in some great killer balls when given the chance. He's not going to light anything on fire, but he could sit just ahead of Dier and make a good partnership imo 

I actually think Henderson is fine.  Their real problem though was Croatia’s outside offensive guys (Perisic and Rebic) were simply better than England’s wingbacks and worked hard enough to neutralize England’s numbers advantage on either side.  Once Perisic started tracking Trippier and they gave help to Manduzic in occupying the 3 CBs, they could then overrun them by switching the ball and then crossing into the middle.  

More than Henderson being the problem, Trippier and Young simply aren’t good enough to stop that action on defense which forced Dele and Lingard to chase and isolated Kane/Sterling.

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49 minutes ago, encaitar said:

Scary that he could've chosen to play for Croatia too.   Imagine him on a wing with service from Modric and Rakitic!  Glad there was never a fear of it happening though.

you almost wonder if even for a nano second he wonders "what if"?

I don't know if he would have started but I think at worst he would have been first sub off bench when trailing.

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you know who I totally forgot about?  Kalinic for Croatia.  He was sent home after refusing to come on as a sub way back in the first game of the tournament.

I wonder what he is thinking right now?

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3 hours ago, The Gator said:

They played with ONE natural CM all torrney?

Ali was too deep, more of a #10/SS

Lindy/Young don't belong there

So they had three guys playing center back, hendo in the midfield by himself with wingers/strikes around him. Of course they couldn't get around the pressure when pressed. 

 

Ox would have been huge

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

Close - but Dier next to Henderson is terrible.  Both are strong enough in defense, but weak in creativity.  Southgate's problem was not bringing anyone who could play as a creative CM next to Henderson.

Sterling was an abomination next to Kane.  I don't care how much he runs, or how much pace he has - he never linked up with Kane.  And that left Kane dropping into a #10 role - because they simply don't have anyone who can pass.  So the best #9 gets taken out of his game because Sterling has a bit of pace - and cant do anything with it...

Lallana and Ox have been the players Southgate had been using as the creative midfielders.  If you recall, Lallana was extremely hot and one of Englands best players in spring of 17 until injuries hit.  

I agree with you that Dier and Hendo together are terrible and I thought Hendo did his job perfectly this year.  Not the job of the 6 to be the spark.

I totally disagree regarding Sterling.  His pace was absolutely the only thing England had.  Once he was subbed off they were even worse.  Kane was dreadful over the past few games. It’s not a knock on him, we know he’s great. But he looks exhausted and Alli does as well.  

The team was horrible on offense, aside from one game.  Penalties and set pieces were the only weapon.  A disaster at open play goals. 

Bottom line is England made the most of an easy draw with solid defense and a boring gameplan and lucked out to get to semis.

Next goal should be winning Euros.

I think the defense for the Euros is set.  The next step is fixing that midfield.  Perhaps RLC will be ready to start.  Maybe Ox will gain consistency.  Second step is hoping Sterling gains confidence over next two seasons.  As bad as he is at finishing, he has something no other player has.

Side note: Why does England love Rashford and hate Sterling?  Sterling scored 20+ goals last season.  He’s a stud.  Rashford is talked about as if he’s a future superstar yet his stats don’t excite anyone.  Very odd.

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1 hour ago, Sammy3469 said:

I actually think Henderson is fine.  Their real problem though was Croatia’s outside offensive guys (Perisic and Rebic) were simply better than England’s wingbacks and worked hard enough to neutralize England’s numbers advantage on either side.  Once Perisic started tracking Trippier and they gave help to Manduzic in occupying the 3 CBs, they could then overrun them by switching the ball and then crossing into the middle.  

More than Henderson being the problem, Trippier and Young simply aren’t good enough to stop that action on defense which forced Dele and Lingard to chase and isolated Kane/Sterling.

I had a lot of the same thoughts.  England was better in the first half, but Croatia got comfortable and pinned them back in the second half.  A switch from the 3 CB approach could have helped them perhaps.

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54 minutes ago, shader said:

Lallana and Ox have been the players Southgate had been using as the creative midfielders.  If you recall, Lallana was extremely hot and one of Englands best players in spring of 17 until injuries hit.  

Side note: Why does England love Rashford and hate Sterling?  Sterling scored 20+ goals last season.  He’s a stud.  Rashford is talked about as if he’s a future superstar yet his stats don’t excite anyone.  Very odd.

Rashford plays for Man U. Sterling played for Liverpool. That basically answers the question at the end. Playing for City normally doesn't get you hype either. London or United are your choices for the press.

Sterling is a speed demon with no brain. He scored a lot of goals at City in the first half and then was shut down. Andy Robertson crushed him v Liverpool. Andy is good, but not in a WC team. Presume the fullbacks in the semis are close to world class in general.

Kane isn't world class. Delle Alli could be, but won't become wc because of his attitude. Kane will set some records though. He scores a lot of PK's and can roast lower teams.

I could have at least scored a few at City last season.

I don't see Rashford being any better than Sterling in the long run.

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32 minutes ago, Texas Football said:

And where does the Croatian keeper play at currently and wages? Liverpool could and have done worse. The guy is going to be getting some $$ either way.

plays for Monaco.  Wages look to be 60k euro per week. Liverpool were linked to him last summer but he signed a new deal at Monaco through the 2020 season.  He is 33 years old now and will turn 34 early in the new season.

Edited by NewlyRetired

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12 minutes ago, NewlyRetired said:

Did you guys see this video of what happened after Croatia scored?   

https://streamja.com/A5jr

https://i.imgur.com/oy0eBzI.gifv

looks like this caused a huge controversy on reddit where English mods were made to look like tools.

The mods allowed a huge thread of English fans to crap all over Panama for doing this exact same thing but when these clips were posted today, the English mods immediately deleted them and perma ban the posters.

I am so glad the English fans on here are generally cool because on the rest of the internet they are toxic at best.   

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3 hours ago, NewlyRetired said:

Did you guys see this video of what happened after Croatia scored?   

https://streamja.com/A5jr

https://i.imgur.com/oy0eBzI.gifv

It’s kind of odd so many players don’t know the rules on a restart after goal. It’s come up several times this World Cup. 

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10 hours ago, Eephus said:

England scored three goals from open play in 600 minutes.  The other nine were from set pieces or penalties.

goals are goals, but this type of "scoring" is unsustainable to win a tourney, unless you're the 80s/90s Italy team - which neither england nor any other team on earth is, or will be again.

for all the JO'ing there was for Kane (and he IS a very good striker) 3 penalties and a deflected goal.... Not very inspiring. 

Timo Werner destoryed his stock the most this tourney. an absolute FLOP, and his touted price is around 80m. He looked like a lost schoolgirl out there for Germany

 

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Hup Perisic! Hup Inter!

I don't know how an exhausted, thin benched Croatia team won that game last night but it somehow managed to be a good one despite both teams dragging butt pitifully through extra time. But I can't see Croatia winning Sunday because Modric and Rakitic won't be up against Henderson and Lingard this time. That will be Kante back there and that man never seems to tire.

roadkillovic

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