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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

I honestly thought it was a decent idea that would fail because it was too fiddly and didn't really mean anything. Well, happy to be completely wrong on that.

Same here. I really wasn't sure, but it is working straight away, as far as I can tell. 

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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8 hours ago, Bleep1673 said:

Salford get beat in the Cup.... Now where have I heard that before?

A couple of rounds after I heard "Swinton get beaten in the cup?"

?

Rethymno Rugby League Appreciation Society

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4 hours ago, tonyXIII said:

A couple of rounds after I heard "Swinton get beaten in the cup?"

?

I'll set'em up, you knock 'em down. I was asking for that really. ?

Although we have won it more than you. But 1928 was the last time, 1938 was Salfords last time (I have the programme).

Salford RLFC are the only Superleague Club NOT to make a CC final appearance, in fact since 1969, half the championship have made an appearance in the final.

Edited by Bleep1673
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42 minutes ago, Bleep1673 said:

I'll set'em up, you knock 'em down. I was asking for that really. ?

Although we have won it more than you. But 1928 was the last time, 1938 was Salfords last time (I have the programme).

Salford RLFC are the only Superleague Club NOT to make a CC final appearance, in fact since 1969, half the championship have made an appearance in the final.

I know! I know! There's no need to rub it in. ?

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On ‎11‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 7:57 AM, tim2 said:

You'd have got very good odds on the Nations League finals having England, Portugal, Switzerland and Holland in.

Even though it's a bit complicated, UEFA seem to have hit on a winner with this format. It's certainly better than friendlies.

I agree. I've really enjoyed the Nations League, whereas I had very little interest previously in friendlies.

I was very surprised that Switzerland got through instead of Belgium. I hope England get them in the SF.

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20 hours ago, 17 stone giant said:

I agree. I've really enjoyed the Nations League, whereas I had very little interest previously in friendlies.

I was very surprised that Switzerland got through instead of Belgium. I hope England get them in the SF.

Do you not still think of them as friendlies though?

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19 minutes ago, Damien said:

Do you not still think of them as friendlies though?

Qualification for World Cups can be gained by success in the competition, so the Nations League will never be the same as a normal friendly.

Plus the minnow nations get fixtures where they have a chance of a contest, instead of a one-sided thrashing by some bored professionals.

Edited by Futtocks

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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6 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Qualification for World Cups can be gained by success in the competition, so the Nations League will never be the same as a normal friendly.

Plus the minnow nations get fixtures where they have a chance of a contest, instead of a one-sided thrashing by some bored professionals.

That's true and perfectly valid. I do think it's a great concept myself and much better than the old friendlies it replaced. They still have a bit of a friendly feel to me though.

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24 minutes ago, Damien said:

Do you not still think of them as friendlies though?

No, I honestly don't. Plus, the players themselves are demonstrating that they're more than just friendlies. There is no way that England would have celebrated a friendly goal in the same way that they did Kane's winner against Croatia.

We've played twice against Croatia and twice against Spain. There have been some really good games to watch. The friendlies were almost always dire. The best one was probably Columbia in 1995, because of the goalie doing a scorpion kick.

I'm looking forward to the SF next year. I think this competition has re-invigorated international football.

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23 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Qualification for World Cups can be gained by success in the competition, so the Nations League will never be the same as a normal friendly.

Plus the minnow nations get fixtures where they have a chance of a contest, instead of a one-sided thrashing by some bored professionals.

Yes , this is the point . It’s giving games a meaning . Playing for a trophy , playing for a potential play off spot , playing to get a higher group , a higher ranking etc . That was the aim , and when you see it in action you understand that and how teams are taking to it . And as you say the groups are pretty evenly matched . Just look at the friendlies now in between these games and see the difference 

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Do you not still think of them as friendlies though?

Anyone that does is only doing so because the concept is new. But look at the teams being fielded. They're first teamers. Friendlies had wholesale changes throughout. NL only three subs and teams making substitutions in line with competitive matches.

1 hour ago, 17 stone giant said:

No, I honestly don't. Plus, the players themselves are demonstrating that they're more than just friendlies. There is no way that England would have celebrated a friendly goal in the same way that they did Kane's winner against Croatia.

We've played twice against Croatia and twice against Spain. There have been some really good games to watch. The friendlies were almost always dire. The best one was probably Columbia in 1995, because of the goalie doing a scorpion kick.

I'm looking forward to the SF next year. I think this competition has re-invigorated international football.

...in England and perhaps the broader British Isles. 

International football, outside of the British Isles, is in most cases the most important type of football, and has been for a long time. But Little Englanders like to think that their perceptions of intl football are shared broadly across the world, which couldn't be further from the truth. 

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36 minutes ago, Mr Wind Up said:

International football, outside of the British Isles, is in most cases the most important type of football, and has been for a long time. But Little Englanders like to think that their perceptions of intl football are shared broadly across the world, which couldn't be further from the truth. 

I was meaning only that it has re-invigorated the international game in terms of replacing some of the meaningless friendlies. The World Cup and European Championships have always been massive for football fans in the UK. However, even with those - as an England fan - the tournament qualification process wasn't much of an attraction. Generally speaking, England qualified fairly easily (with some notable exceptions!) and there weren't many games that commanded huge levels of interest.

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36 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

I was meaning only that it has re-invigorated the international game in terms of replacing some of the meaningless friendlies. The World Cup and European Championships have always been massive for football fans in the UK. However, even with those - as an England fan - the tournament qualification process wasn't much of an attraction. Generally speaking, England qualified fairly easily (with some notable exceptions!) and there weren't many games that commanded huge levels of interest.

I agree with you.

The Scotland v Israel game was a fantastic match.

Both sides knew it was their best chance for years of securing a play off spot. It was so competitive and close.

I've watched a lot of the games and really enjoyed them. 

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4 hours ago, 17 stone giant said:

I was meaning only that it has re-invigorated the international game in terms of replacing some of the meaningless friendlies. The World Cup and European Championships have always been massive for football fans in the UK. However, even with those - as an England fan - the tournament qualification process wasn't much of an attraction. Generally speaking, England qualified fairly easily (with some notable exceptions!) and there weren't many games that commanded huge levels of interest.

Again...in England, for Englishmen. 

Little Englanders confer their experiences to mean that the rest of the world felt that way about international games as well (I'm not referring to tournaments here, but qualification/friendlies). 

The Nations League reinvigorated interest in international football outside tournaments in England. It's highly likely that the French and Germans enjoy the the Nations League more than friendlies, but interest in international football of any kind in those countries wasn't lagging prior to the NL. They never had trouble at the gates nor with media/fan interest. To imply it has reinvigorated intl football outside of England is to ignore the reality prior to the introduction of the NL. A reality in which, for most countries around the globe, the national team is the most important footballing institution. 

Edited by Mr Wind Up
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2 hours ago, Mr Wind Up said:

Again...in England, for Englishmen. 

Little Englanders confer their experiences to mean that the rest of the world felt that way about international games as well (I'm not referring to tournaments here, but qualification/friendlies). 

The Nations League reinvigorated interest in international football outside tournaments in England. It's highly likely that the French and Germans enjoy the the Nations League more than friendlies, but interest in international football of any kind in those countries wasn't lagging prior to the NL. They never had trouble at the gates nor with media/fan interest. To imply it has reinvigorated intl football outside of England is to ignore the reality prior to the introduction of the NL. A reality in which, for most countries around the globe, the national team is the most important footballing institution. 

When it comes to International football friendlies, the "Little Englanders" normally turn up in larger numbers than most other European nations. Since 2010 (I couldn't be bothered to look any further back) only two England friendlies (at Wembley) have had attendances below 50000. The majority of the meaningless friendly have attendances of between 70000 and 85000.

Looking at the other European nations, England supports International football more than other big footballing nations, especially when the game is against one of the less glamorous sides. 

You're, obviously, trying to live up to your moniker 

 

Edited by Wiltshire Rhino
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9 hours ago, Mr Wind Up said:

Again...in England, for Englishmen. 

Little Englanders confer their experiences to mean that the rest of the world felt that way about international games as well (I'm not referring to tournaments here, but qualification/friendlies).

The Nations League reinvigorated interest in international football outside tournaments in England. It's highly likely that the French and Germans enjoy the the Nations League more than friendlies, but interest in international football of any kind in those countries wasn't lagging prior to the NL. They never had trouble at the gates nor with media/fan interest. To imply it has reinvigorated intl football outside of England is to ignore the reality prior to the introduction of the NL. A reality in which, for most countries around the globe, the national team is the most important footballing institution. 

I'm not really sure what your issue is with England, Englishmen, Little Englanders, etc. You seem to want to repeatedly bring that into the discussion when it doesn't have any relevance. I think that maybe says a lot about you and your prejudices.

Equally as irrelevant is your use of the phrases "rest of the world" and "around the globe". The Nations League is a competition for European teams only, and therefore what people in South America, Africa, Asia and everywhere else outside of Europe think about international football, is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

Now, I can only speak as a casual observer - I haven't studied every aspect of the situation in a scientific way - but my impression is that a lot of fans in a lot of European countries, were not particularly enthralled by international football friendly matches. That doesn't mean to say that there wasn't any interest - but it wasn't particularly strong. I would say it was probably not much different to the attitude towards friendlies felt by fans in the UK and Ireland. If anything, attendances for England friendly matches were higher than what most other European countries were getting - with the possible exception of Germany.

What the Nations League has done is give some meaning to the matches - through promotion and relegation, as well as the chance to be in the semi-finals and eventually win the competition. The big teams are also playing one another more often - this time we had Germany, France, and Netherlands playing each other, and likewise Spain, England, and Croatia. I think fans in those countries would have preferred that to playing meaningless friendlies, and I'd also imagine that neutral fans quite enjoyed seeing those matches too.

You seem to be objecting to my use of the word "re-invigorated". Is there an alternative word that you think is more appropriate? If it makes you happy, I have no problem with just going with the line that the Nations League has "improved" international football in Europe. Would that be better for you?

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Another ground, another league even, ticked off yesterday.

As a way of catching up with a friend that I don't normally see, decided to take in the delights of the Combined Counties League Division 1. Godalming Town 1-3 Chessington & Hook United in the end. Not a bad a game at all. Probably around 50 people there. Nice bit of niggle and comedy swearing.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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