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Maximus Decimus

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Everything posted by Maximus Decimus

  1. What the incessant passing around the back demonstrated for me, was that there were no credible options in midfield and we were getting overran. This was obvious from 10/15 minutes in and didn't change. It needed changing up, but Southgate seemed happy enough to persist with it for 70 minutes. I'm sure there is some tactical reason that I don't understand why passing it back is the best option (I've heard it's about resetting or something?) but it sure is frustrating and we seem to do it more than anyone else. Some players seem permanently faced that way.
  2. It was disappointing but far from disastrous. At the end of the day, we've basically qualified after 2 games. The US were nowhere near as dominant as made out, they had 1 or 2 decent chances. In a game where Wales are going to have to try and win, you'd have to fancy that there'll be enough space for us to exploit and do the job. It's easy to forget that during our success in 2018 and 2021, we still put in some performances like this. Scotland is the most obvious parallel, but we didn't play great against Germany for 80 minutes either. Southgate has made it clear that he thinks that disciplined defensive teams make it far in tournaments. The biggest concern for me was the lack of energy. We looked really lethargic and unable to press them like they pressed us. I laughed when I saw us walking out of the tunnel at half-time, we looked so obviously shattered. I was also concerned that Southgate didn't feel the need to change things until the 70th minute when it was obvious at half-time that it wasn't working. The likes of Bellingham, Kane, Sterling, Saka and Mount did next to nothing in the first half. It's also concerning that he can't seem to find a place for a player of Foden's talent.
  3. They were clearly on a passing bonus, it was truly bizarre. I almost felt a bit nostalgic seeing England play so dreadfully and passing it around the back aimlessly.
  4. I was more talking on a technicality, I'm a nerd for statistics. Essentially, if England dominated the group then it wouldn't matter much if the US lost regardless of what happened today. You can actually get through with 2 points if one team dominates. Depending on what happens today, could make the USA-Iran extra spicy.
  5. I bet on a draw and my finger hovered over cash-out in the 92nd minute. Goddammit.
  6. Wow, hadn't realised who they had in their group. Pretty much like a knock-out tournament for them from now on.
  7. 15 shots on goal to 3 for Argentina, with a couple of disallowed goals. Not panic stations yet but they can't afford to slip up anymore.
  8. A loss to England by the USA will unlikely mean they are virtually out. Not only would Wales have to beat Iran (not guaranteed), they would also not have to lose to England. There is a possible situation where England and Wales could know that a draw puts them both through, and this could complicate matters. However, I wouldn't be a big fan of this. One rogue shot by Wales and we could find ourselves finishing second.
  9. Not great for Wales in their return after 64 years. USA only had one real chance but dominated otherwise.
  10. I've watched far too many dire England performances to not take anything but total joy out of a 6-goal scoring victory. I'm thinking Trinidad, Algeria, Slovakia etc
  11. I'm sure it's been proven that stoppage time nowhere near makes up for missed time?
  12. It wasn't the best ever, that was 2013. There were a lot of positives that IMO mask over what wasn't a great tournament. The wheelchair final was great in the same way that Tonga's amazing run masked the disappointments of the 2017 event. When I judge whether it was great, I'm looking not at easily-skewed statistics but at whether it has a) provided a much needed boost to RL in this country and b) whether it has furthered the legitimacy and profile of the RLWC in general. The answer to both of these is no IMO. Yes we might have had 61 live games, but if the spectacle isn't positive then how many fans does it make?
  13. I'll have one each for my alteregos, Dutoni, Dally Messenger and Bob8.
  14. Thinking about favourite World Cup moments, here's a short list in no particular order. Michael Owen's goal against Argentina. Germany beating Brazil 7-1. Ireland beating Italy. Finally winning on penalties.
  15. Watching Sky's Italia '90 documentary is slightly getting me in the mood. It's also tinged with more than a bit of sadness in that it is wrapped up in the context of Italy. Qatar will not and cannot come close to replicating that. I'm hoping that when the football starts, it will do the talking. The first game is hardly inspiring though...
  16. My earliest WC memory is pretty boring unlike everyone else's. I can remember England drawing 1-1 with ROI in 1990. I remember a fair bit of the England games in that tournament. 1998 was when it mattered the most and felt like life and death, and my dad let me have a day off after we lost to Argentina .
  17. I don't feel apprehensive like i usually might, I feel like we've been spoiled the last two tournaments and it simply can't continue. I'll be happy enough if we make the knockout stages, just so long as we don't lose on penalties.
  18. Everyone needs to stop moaning, we just beat them 86-33 on aggregate. Now's the time for the RL authorities to organise a true fudge and award England the result. Go England!
  19. I didn't say they dominate it in the same way because of increased competition, but it's inarguable that the best RU team throughout its history has consistently been NZ. And they are a nation much much smaller than its rivals.
  20. NZ RU have won 77% of their all-time international matches. The next best is 62% from SA. Not bad for a team that has 'held its own'.
  21. They are almost always the team to beat, like say Brazil in football. They are a country of 5m compared to England, France, SA who are all 10 times bigger and Australia who are multiple times bigger. It's even starker in RL, it's 'embarrassing' that NZ competed with Aus last night. They are a relatively small sport in a country of 5m, compared to a big one in a country of 25m. It's about culture and dare I say there's a genetic aspect IMO. Pacific-Islanders have started to dominate the NRL for a reason I reckon.
  22. I've been reflecting on the 60-6 turnaround in a few weeks, which I think a lot will be made of. Personally, I don't find it that surprising and it indicates just how strange a sport RL can be and the effect of momentum on a game. I said at the time of the first game, that there was a spell in the first-half where Samoa were getting on top and a disallowed try could've turned the whole game. They collapsed after England went a couple of scores ahead, which tbh was a reflection of a poor attitude. I used an example of the Super League playoffs in 2000 where Wigan and Saints both had blowouts against each other in the space of 2 weeks.
  23. Because it's nonsense. Is it embarrassing that NZ dominates world RU?
  24. I don't think it represents some major crisis like others do. We started really flat which was likely a result of having previously well-beaten them and also having it relatively easy. In hindsight, Samoa had a fair bit of luck too. The bombed England chances, the interception and the wonder pass that 9/10 probably doesn't lead to a try. Ever since I've been alive there has been the adage that Eng/GB can produce one team to compete with Aus and they can raise 5/6 to compete with us. With no disrespect to Samoa, this is a reflection of that. I don't believe they are a heritage side comparable to Scotland/Ireland or Italy, but they are definitely a product of the Australian system. It's easy to criticise perceived failure to bridge that gap, but the game over here is minute to over there. They have far more players, far more money and a much greater profile. We are a struggling regional team sport that is dwarfed by others.
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