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FIFA World Cup 2018

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I think people are being a bit unfair to Adelaide Tiger, mostly through misunderstanding.

Of course getting to a SF is amazing, should be celebrated and enjoyed and the players and Southgate deserve their praise. That's one thing.

The other thing is - did this SF run demonstrate that anything in English football has changed fundamentally to suggest that England will now consistently perform as well at these tournaments as they should, given their population and resources. The answer to that is no, for all the reasons Adelaide Tiger pointed out. The width of a post could have seen England knocked out in the 2nd round to an average Colombian side and this amazing experience you've had would never have happened. Discussing these things doesn't negate the celebration, although I can understand that people maybe don't want to talk about it so soon after being knocked out. On the other hand if you've been watching England make the same mistakes since 1970 I can also understand thinking "when is a good time to talk about it?"

I'm speaking as a fan of Ireland who have the same fundamental problems multiplied several times but which never get addressed because we occasionally have a decent run in a tournament.

Edited by damp squib

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46 minutes ago, longboard said:

Croatia did enough to win. They controlled the game for longer periods than England, had more possession and got more shots in. Of course they have more experience than England and they had more skill in the midfield positions.

Could England still have won?

Yes, if they had converted one of the chances created in normal time. That's footie.

Agree with you, I just don't think Croatia were all that. Inexperience both on and off the pitch probably cost them the game. I'm peed off but when it finally sinks in, the players will be seriously kicking themselves. One bit of consolation is that I don't feel anywhere near as bad as the RLWC semi final defeat in 2013, where I had to be talked down from a cliff by a helpful lemming.

Still it's all tomorrow's fish and chips wrappers now.

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6 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Agree with you, I just don't think Croatia were all that. Inexperience both on and off the pitch probably cost them the game. 

They're not all that and will be beaten comfortably by France.

But they were still far calmer and more composed on the ball than England and didn't panic when they conceded. All of this is not because of experience but is down to the fact that their players, all but two of whom have less natural talent and athletic ability than anyone in the England team, were miles ahead in terms of technique. This is not a natural phenomenon and is down to fundamental problems with coaching in grassroots football. None of this should take away from your enjoyment of the WC run but it's still worth analysing what went wrong and how it can be improved so these moments aren't so rare in future.

Edited by damp squib

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Just now, damp squib said:

They're not all that and will be beaten comfortably by France.

But they were still far calmer and more composed on the ball than England and didn't panic when they conceded. All of this is not because of experience but is down to the fact that their players, all but two of whom have less natural talent and athletic ability than anyone in the England team, were miles ahead in terms of technique. This is not a natural phenomenon and is down to fundamental problems with coaching in grassroots football. None of this should take away from your enjoyment of the WC run but it's still worth analysing what went wrong and how it can be improved so these moments are so rare in future.

I actually thought England kept more composure than teams of yore.

I don't think it's time to immediately dismiss them as 'same old England' though. If in 2 or 3 major tournaments the same players are losing yet again, then yeah questions should be asked but let the dust settle first.

Gareth Southgate is doing things not many England managers are doing (checking out different sports, RL for example) so perhaps things might be different in future? Who knows, I certainly don't but for now I'm happy to give this squad the benefit of the doubt.

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8 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I actually thought England kept more composure than teams of yore.

I don't think it's time to immediately dismiss them as 'same old England' though. If in 2 or 3 major tournaments the same players are losing yet again, then yeah questions should be asked but let the dust settle first.

Gareth Southgate is doing things not many England managers are doing (checking out different sports, RL for example) so perhaps things might be different in future? Who knows, I certainly don't but for now I'm happy to give this squad the benefit of the doubt.

Yeah that's fair enough. I get that's its a buzz-kill to be talking about it right away.

Edited by damp squib

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For all the looking back several decades, including matches against some countries that don't even exist any more, the best comparison is to ask "did we do better than last time?"

The answer to that is a resounding YES. Excellent first tournament for a young, inexperienced team and manager; now let's see if they can go as well, if not better, at Euro 2020.


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. (Susan Ertz)

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It's maybe also worth pointing out that England u-17s and u-20s won their respective world cups last year (and not by getting an easy draw either - the u-17s beat Brazil in the SF and Spain in the final.)

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30 minutes ago, damp squib said:

I think people are being a bit unfair to Adelaide Tiger, mostly through misunderstanding.

Of course getting to a SF is amazing, should be celebrated and enjoyed and the players and Southgate deserve their praise. That's one thing.

The other thing is - did this SF run demonstrate that anything in English football has changed fundamentally to suggest that England will now consistently perform as well at these tournaments as they should, given their population and resources. The answer to that is no, for all the reasons Adelaide Tiger pointed out. The width of a post could have seen England knocked out in the 2nd round to an average Colombian side and this amazing experience you've had would never have happened. Discussing these things doesn't negate the celebration, although I can understand that people maybe don't want to talk about it so soon after being knocked out. On the other hand if you've been watching England make the same mistakes since 1970 I can also understand thinking "when is a good time to talk about it?"

I'm speaking as a fan of Ireland who have the same fundamental problems multiplied several times but which never get addressed because we occasionally have a decent run in a tournament.

I fundamentally disagree with this. No matter how this is viewed it represents a significant improvement. I don't think it is a sea change that will mean we regularly get this far but there was much more to be positive about than previously. 

Some people are determined to look at the negatives and put a negative skew on things. They point out the sides we've played but completely ignore how we've played against sides like that in the past. We beat Panama 6-1, how did we do against Algeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Slovakia etc in tournaments past? We used to get passed off the park by tiny nations. 

Even the draw isn't really a negative. It simply represents a rebalancing compared to recent tournaments where we haven't had one and often played big teams and eventual winners earlier on.

It is also completely ignorant of a lot of the work that has gone on behind the scenes to try and address many of the problems inherent in our game. Anyone who thinks this didn't represent a significant improvement on 2008-2016 needs their heads testing. 

 

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Just now, JonM said:

It's maybe also worth pointing out that England u-17s and u-20s won their respective world cups last year (and not by getting an easy draw either - the u-17s beat Brazil in the SF and Spain in the final.)

But don't you know we didn't beat anyone really and nothing has changed!!! 

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1 minute ago, JonM said:

It's maybe also worth pointing out that England u-17s and u-20s won their respective world cups last year (and not by getting an easy draw either - the u-17s beat Brazil in the SF and Spain in the final.)

It also means that a lot of the 2018 squad will be under pressure from the new generation, which is not always the case in British sport, as we in RL know.


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. (Susan Ertz)

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22 minutes ago, damp squib said:

Yeah that's fair enough. I get that's its a buzz-kill to be talking about it right away.

It's not about being realistic, it's about the tone of such posts which are not about talking about reality but are about trying to play down a very real achievement to nothing. 

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8 minutes ago, JonM said:

It's maybe also worth pointing out that England u-17s and u-20s won their respective world cups last year (and not by getting an easy draw either - the u-17s beat Brazil in the SF and Spain in the final.)

I think this is gonna be the next big issue . After every tournament players move on and / or you’re looking at who can emerge to bolster you and strengthen areas where you were weaker . 

Edited by DavidM

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7 hours ago, damp squib said:

They're not all that and will be beaten comfortably by France.

But they were still far calmer and more composed on the ball than England and didn't panic when they conceded. All of this is not because of experience but is down to the fact that their players, all but two of whom have less natural talent and athletic ability than anyone in the England team, were miles ahead in terms of technique. This is not a natural phenomenon and is down to fundamental problems with coaching in grassroots football. None of this should take away from your enjoyment of the WC run but it's still worth analysing what went wrong and how it can be improved so these moments aren't so rare in future.

Squibers, I think the bit in bold about all but two of the Croats having "less natural talent" is questionable but I get your general drift. There are some changes happening in English soccer but moving what happens with the younger representative teams and their success in terms of progression to PL appearances with clubs in the Champions League etc. I think it's likely we may see quite a few young English players moving to other countries to get regular first team football in the respective top divisions. We'll see what happens.

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7 hours ago, Johnoco said:

Agree with you, I just don't think Croatia were all that. Inexperience both on and off the pitch probably cost them the game. I'm peed off but when it finally sinks in, the players will be seriously kicking themselves. One bit of consolation is that I don't feel anywhere near as bad as the RLWC semi final defeat in 2013, where I had to be talked down from a cliff by a helpful lemming.

Still it's all tomorrow's fish and chips wrappers now.

Croatia didn't play brilliantly but that's not what tournament football is about.

France have some talented players but they play a pretty pragmatic game.

Anyway, Fartown had a good win tonight, so the country can cheer up.?

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14 hours ago, Futtocks said:

It also means that a lot of the 2018 squad will be under pressure from the new generation, which is not always the case in British sport, as we in RL know.

That’s if the new generation can actually get a game for their clubs to continue their progression, which is a fundamental issue in English football.

Edited by Derwent
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I’m not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally

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3 hours ago, Derwent said:

That’s if the new generation can actually get a game for their clubs to continue their progression, which is a fundamental issue in English football.

Very true. Even several of the current England squad have had to gain experience while being loaned out to lower-division clubs. If some of the next generation would be willing to tout their services abroad, that would be very good for them.


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. (Susan Ertz)

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The clubs have been applauding England so no doubt they’ll be backing them by picking more homegrown lads ... Foden gets mentioned a lot as City continue their cash splurge . Sessegnon plays regularly so I’ll be interested to watch him . Chelski hoard players and a few kids are in that set up so god knows there . I hope Everton keep and give a shot to Lookman he is a likely lad among a few others there . 

Edited by DavidM

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We can keep pass it around in unthreatening ways side and back , but whenever we get to the final third we lack the touch quality and guile to create anything and it all peters out . 

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1 hour ago, DavidM said:

We can keep pass it around in unthreatening ways side and back , but whenever we get to the final third we lack the touch quality and guile to create anything and it all peters out . 

We have no midfielders who can create; all ours are runners or deep lying specialists. All the genuine quality creative midfielders in the Premier League are foreign.

 

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5 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

We have no midfielders who can create; all ours are runners or deep lying specialists. All the genuine quality creative midfielders in the Premier League are foreign.

 

It’s a big issue . Loftus-Cheek was there but he couldn’t nail anything either . As you say no one is different there and we become a bit predictable .Ponderous , then final  third , opportunity , breaks down , no end product . This was a big talking point before the comp , I’d have definitely took Shelvey as he can do somethings on the ball the others can’t . Wilshere wasn’t deemed reliable , Barkley has regressed (when he gets a chance ) but you’re pulling out straws that give you a bit extra , nothing that’s kicking your door in . The other top sides show the difference in quality , technique and control . And in general over the whole that’s why a SF was amazingly good for this group

Edited by DavidM
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Southgate deserves a lot of credit. I think he’s identified a while ago that we don’t have any real top quality creativity available to open the best defences; that the likes of Shelvey, Wilshere et al wouldn’t cut the mustard at this level. So he found a way for this team to play together to their strengths and to beat sides in a different way; set pieces and then defend well. It’s been successful on a whole up to the SF but didn’t work against good quality defenders found in the Croatian and Belgium teams who then had top quality midfielders to open up our own defence. It’s the difference for me; we have no genuine creative quality anywhere in the league in the middle of the park to open up top class defences and dominate the ball. We need to rectify that ASAP to compete against the very best sides in the world.

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I do think the one of the problems is , in the qualifying rounds to get through to the world cup finals is , England always seem to play teams who are like a semi pro rugby league team , in other words they have jobs like painter & decorators , or waiters , so when they play real teams like say Belgium/ Croatia, good job they didn't meet France, who are full time players in proper leagues they lose, because they are used to playing semi pro type of player. Personally I don't think England have improved at all , they just seem to have put a bit more effort in than before previous tournaments but to no avail yet again. And remember this they have had the most easy route through in years in a world cup , just England football fans are so desperate for anything to wave a flag about.

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8 hours ago, GeordieSaint said:

We have no midfielders who can create; all ours are runners or deep lying specialists. All the genuine quality creative midfielders in the Premier League are foreign.

 

Spot on.  

If Shakespeare was around now as a Sun journalist he would probably write about the English midfield as 'Hustle, bustle, toil and struggle'.

IMHO in the last 40 years we have only produced Hoddle and Gascoigne that could unlock defences whilst other nations always appear to have someone that is capable of this.

 

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10 hours ago, hunslet ramone said:

I do think the one of the problems is , in the qualifying rounds to get through to the world cup finals is , England always seem to play teams who are like a semi pro rugby league team , in other words they have jobs like painter & decorators , or waiters , so when they play real teams like say Belgium/ Croatia, good job they didn't meet France, who are full time players in proper leagues they lose, because they are used to playing semi pro type of player. Personally I don't think England have improved at all , they just seem to have put a bit more effort in than before previous tournaments but to no avail yet again. And remember this they have had the most easy route through in years in a world cup , just England football fans are so desperate for anything to wave a flag about.

This is utter nonsense. 

Almost none of the teams that we play are like semi-pro RL teams. Virtually all of them are full time sides with players playing across Europe. This time we had a relatively easy qualifying campaign but it has no effect on our inability to match the top sides. We were still playing countries that have competed at the Euros and the World Cup. 

There is a parallel to English RL here. We also lack creativity but to suggest we haven't improved is quite obviously untrue. We are still some way from consistently challenging Aus when it matters but it would equally be madness to suggest that last year's defeat was no improvement on 2008.

We came to this tournament with no expectation because we had a young inexperienced squad and we'd lost to Iceland in 2016. People got excited because they saw a very different England than for probably the last 10 years and this had nothing to do with the opposition we played. We may have lacked class in the final 3rd but at least we were able to hold the ball and control games for long periods against decent opposition. I've watched England games where we've been unable to hold the ball against teams like Costa Rica and dominated by Montenegro. 

Some people are just desperate to put a negative gloss on what was a positive tournament for England. Rather than trying to fit players into a system that doesn't work, Southgate chose a way to play and England stuck to it. 

I don't think it means we'll suddenly win Euro 2020 or be one of the favourites at the 2022 WC but at least we didn't come home embarrassed and had something to be positive about which hadn't happened since about 2004.

 

 

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