Your England XI

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Re: Your England XI

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:24 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:19 pm
I just hope it gets a bit more exciting…first half an hour loads better then we just got turgid. I think we have players with more ability than they are showing, not sure if it’s following management instructions or mentality that’s holding them back.
It’s midfield. The attacking forward line is good. But there isn’t enough in midfield to prime it or to control a game. So we end up doing neither. I don’t think Southgate helps. The problem with how we are playing is if we play a good side next round as seems inevitable and go a goal down it’s basically good night lights off. It’s very Freedman esque football. If he finds his Zaha who can single handedly win games we might get there but I don’t think we’ve got that quite.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by KeyserSoze » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:28 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:24 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:19 pm
I just hope it gets a bit more exciting…first half an hour loads better then we just got turgid. I think we have players with more ability than they are showing, not sure if it’s following management instructions or mentality that’s holding them back.
It’s midfield. The attacking forward line is good. But there isn’t enough in midfield to prime it or to control a game. So we end up doing neither. I don’t think Southgate helps. The problem with how we are playing is if we play a good side next round as seems inevitable and go a goal down it’s basically good night lights off. It’s very Freedman esque football. If he finds his Zaha who can single handedly win games we might get there but I don’t think we’ve got that quite.
I'm not quite in the nuke the midfield camp yet but I'm worried. A lot will depend on Hendersons fitness I think. I'm half expecting Southgate to go a bit nuts next game and change decent amount. Regardless one thing the next game will have different to the past three is that the tempo will be much, much higher.
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Re: Your England XI

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:35 pm

In fairness to Southgate he’s probably right in that I suspect not conceding and playing tight football probably is a recipe for success. And if Kane was top of his game you could say that we might be able to beat any side like that. Because we might only need one or two chances. And realistically if we go toe to toe against France say that might be our only chance. So there is method there. The problem is that it seems all we want to do. Again playing like we are if we had a world class midfield player might be more convincing too. Even a fully fit He Henderson. Phillips looked much more comfortable in the holding role second half and did try and drive the team on. But Henderson looked off the pace as you’d expect. So I don’t think Gareth is some terribly wide of the mark manager. He’s just not quite seeing the fact that it will be a very meek exit of Germany or France or Portugal beat us 2-0 in the next round. Sometimes you need to unleash a team like in 1990 when freed from their shackles players grew rather than shrunk. If we are to beat a big side we need a huge defensive effort but I also think we need more dynamism going forward than we’ve shown and by a long way.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by Harry Genshaw » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:49 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:35 pm
Sometimes you need to unleash a team like in 1990 when freed from their shackles players grew rather than shrunk.
I'm not sure that actually happened.

Agree on the expected meek exit though. Unless we can turn those first 15 minutes v Croatia into a near 90 minute effort, we'll likely go out with a whimper.
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Re: Your England XI

Post by Worthy4England » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:53 pm

For me, part of the problem is that every bugger is on the "great players" hype train. So he keeps rotating 5 of the front 6 (Kane being sorta ever present). I know he had to make some changes coz of COVID, but we need a bit of consistency. It's like friendlies where you make 5 subs at HT at the moment.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by GhostoftheBok » Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:05 pm

I don't necessarily think Southgate's view that organised, defensive football wins tournaments is wrong - it's just that teams that have won that way have had reliable threats. Greece's set pieces with Charisteas, for example. Our current tactics seems to assume Sterling will get one good chance and bury it and that anything else will be a bonus. Well done to Raheem for taking a couple of chances and winning us two games, but if we play the same way and he keeps doing that it's luck and not judgement.

For all out talk of Kane being the main man, even today - with Kane better and more going on in attack - the service to him was really poor. The best opening he got all night came from Maguire. 0-0 is no good in the knockout stages, so we need to figure out how to create more chances even if we want to be stolid.

It's still possible for England to win this tournament, even playing this poorly. However, if we do it will be despite Southgate and not because of him. I'd suggest even Gary Megson could do what is currently being done with this England team.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by Prufrock » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 am

It's very bobbins scared manager vibe. From a guy who took over a team who'd got to a European final, then quarter final, and went 13th 13th relegated.

He's baaad. Far worse than the players. We're so timid. The nature of international football where 5 or 6 teams can win it means you always probably lose. Do you want to lose without having a go.

I'm not distraught. Whichever team from the group we get had weaknesses (and will definitely have got fewer points from us from their three games). No goals conceded. But the worry for me is I don't see the plan. I think BWFCi massively overhypes the individuals of the 96 team, but the plan for every have made sense, even when it didn't really work.

My work is we've had two decades of great star individuals but who weren't collectively technically good enough and now we have those players we don't trust them.

The worry pre tournament was the defence. But I never got that. Even without one of the best three right backs in the world, now Maguire is fit you have at centre back: a league winner 3 years in 4 and CL finalist, the captain of the team who finished second and got to the Europa League final. At right back to pick between a champions League winner, a premier League winner or a la Liga winner (all this season and all regulars) and a left back a champions League winner/second and Europa League finalist. Trust them. It's arguably the best back four in the tournament (Italy's CBs are top draw and you can make a case for others but it's class)

And you have a world class #9 (albeit off colour right now, but I think that's because the midfield is wrong).

But then the balance in the middle is all wrong. And he does mad shit that makes me think the only hope is he flukes the winning combination.

I love watching middle aged men be confused by Grealish though. He was far from stellar tonight but he's absolutely top drawer. And the idea he's arrogant is nonsense. Just listen to his BBC interview today about his brother and sister. He has to prove it on the big stage and the jury is still out and he might not make it. But he commits people without being greedy (his timing of the pass out to the full back waiting until the last second to commit the defender as far as possible is glorious) and mostly importantly loves the pressure. I love him.

Fair feck* to the kid Saka too. I don't know how he's ahead of Sancho in the queue, but I loved his bottle and mentality tonight. Unfazed.
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Re: Your England XI

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:09 am

Jack Grealish is one of the most talented attacking players in Europe and if people don't understand that that's their issue. No top manager doubts it and every team he plays against changes their entire approach to try and deal with him. Guardiola is prepared to spend stupid amounts of money on him and Kane for a reason.

The general issue with Maguire and Stones isn't that they're not top level club players, it's that they both historically have a mistake in them. When you have two centre backs who are both capable of dropping a major clanger that's not good in tournament football. I do think Southgate is far more comfortable with Maguire back in there. That's the first game where Southgate hasn't insisted on double cover in front of the back four at all times, with one of the two pivots actually allowed to step up in the first half without another mid dropping in.

Saka arguably made as much of a case for himself in that game as Phillips did vs Croatia, so it'll be interesting to see if he plays next time out. With him and Grealish both able to transition us 30-40 yards up the pitch we looked considerably more dangerous.

As much as I think our general play would be better if we put Sancho on the left, we are not going to and Sterling is our only goal scorer so it seems clear he will be first choice all tournament. Same with Kane. If Harry isn't getting a rest against the Czechs he's just starting every game until he scores or breaks down.

We don't need France in the next round. Grealish can play against Germany (so long as Kimmich stays at wing back) and Portugal, but Kante will eat him if Grealish hasn't had another start or two before hand. Grealish's ability to attract 3-4 players to him is negated somewhat if Kante is there.

If Southgate takes the handbrake off we can do alright - turning the Germans around and finding spaces around Portugal's chugging midfielders. If Kimmich drops into midfield or Portugal start Sanches the equations change there. In both cases we can somewhat negate their counter with Walker on the cover.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:55 am

I love watching young people overrate the England players of their generation time and time again. You will learn. Like we all have.

Grealish is talented but let’s keep things in perspective on him. There are in all our potential opponents bar Hungary better midfield players than Grealish. He’s not proven and the comparison with Gascoigne is absolutely laughable. He has talent but last night for example he was in and out. Gascoigne played without anyone protecting him and did it all. Defended, won the ball, chased, passes it short, long and scored goals. He was at his peak the complete world class midfield player. There wasn’t one thing he couldn’t do. Grealish is not at that level. I thought he helped last night and would play next game for me. But let’s be real about what he is and isn’t.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by Hoboh » Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:26 am

I thought England looked a mid/bottom half table team last night if I'm honest and they are going to have to dig real deep if we are to progress any further.
You cannot rely on a couple of young still wet behind the ears youth to pull things round no matter how talented they are. Other than his goal last night Stirling was woeful, Kane is off the pace, our centre backs look like rabbits in the headlights when they have the ball, Henderson looks like he only has a reverse gear.
There really looks no urgency to do anything from the keeper forwards, that's my take on all this.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by dave the minion » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:17 am

Don't necessarily disagree with what's been said on this. 3 jobs have been done in 3 games. Certainly nothing more, but nothing less. If you can find me an England fan who wouldn't have snapped your hand off before the tournament if you offered them topping the group, 2 wins and a draw, not conceding, and all without the so-called best players not firing on all cylinders???

Part of the problem is the weirdly obsessive anti-Scot feeling: if we'd beaten them and the Czechs but drawn with Croatia I guarantee most people would be feeling a lot more chipper about things.....

Also - and I'm not getting carried away or trying to pretend we're the best team in this - but to a man the squad isn't half bad you know if you can review objectively; Solid keeper (who seems less terrified when the ball comes near him than he used to) / Defence of Maguire/Stones/Walker/Shaw with Trippier & James as backup / 2 from Phillips, Rice and Henderson as holding midfielders / Kane up front.

Plus - and this is the scary bit for me (in a positive way!) - we have to try to fill the remaining roles behind Kane with any 3 from Sterling, Rashford, Sancho, Grealish, Bellingham, Mount, Saka & Foden - think a lot of teams could be quite envious of this.......

Biggest issue for me if how we link up the defensive half of the team with the attacking half.......
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Re: Your England XI

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:41 am

Football Manager sales must be going through the roof.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by TANGODANCER » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:55 am

I had a question at the game and I still have it now. It concerns the team, not individuals, and it's this :

Did we (England) beat a good team last night and thus play very well, or just manage to do what we needed to (albeit a shade lucky at times) knowing we'd already qualified? I was never sure during the game as we seemed so even-paced, almost lethargic at times and the Czechs ( never a bad side) did so much decent attacking as to make us look in real danger at times, although we spent almost the whole game in front and with another clean sheet. But we were never dominant.

Nothing is easy at this level of football, sometimes seeming unfairly so
(Scotland, a team who played so well and held us to a draw are now out of the competition), and the real dangermen await in the wings.The game we played last night won't do against Spain, Germany. Italy, Belgium or France. We have just ninety minutes, not a group, to state our case, and it will be frantic.

The question remains.
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Re: Your England XI

Post by dave the minion » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:59 am

Czech are a far better team than they were in qualifying all those months ago when we thumped them 5-0.

A 1-0 win in that respect can't be seen as anything other than a decent solid performance.

Critically as well, we come out of the groups without confidence being dented in any way, egos in tact, no injuries and very few cards hanging over us.
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Re: Your England XI

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:59 am

TANGODANCER wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:55 am
I had a question at the game and I still have it now. It concerns the team, not individuals, and it's this :

Did we (England) beat a good team last night and thus play very well, or just manage to do what we needed to (albeit a shade lucky at times) knowing we'd already qualified? I was never sure during the game as we seemed so even-paced, almost lethargic at times and the Czechs ( never a bad side) did so much decent attacking as to make us look in real danger at times, although we spent almost the whole game in front and with another clean sheet. But we were never dominant.

Nothing is easy at this level of football, sometimes seeming unfairly so
(Scotland, a team who played so well and held us to a draw are now out of the competition), and the real dangermen await in the wings.The game we played last night won't do against Spain, Germany. Italy, Belgium or France. We have just ninety minutes, not a group, to state our case, and it will be frantic.

The question remains.
I mean I guess the question is can England produce clean sheets against the best sides and play like they did in the group. If so then sure we can win this thing. Or can we raise our game.

But so far we’ve got through but we don’t really seem
to know our best team or have much balance or pattern of play. I’m not convinced we’ve just done enough and are revving up from here though IF Kane hits form you could see that.

You don’t have to play well or have flowing football to win international tournaments. But as someone else said above what you need is a clear method to score and as yet England haven’t really developed that. From what I’ve seen we could be effective as a side that sits deeper and hits on the break. Grealish and Saka for sample seem suited to this as does Sterling to an extent. But again not sure that was the plan we’ve worked to.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:39 pm

There's also the fact that, whilst always a naturally conservative coach, Southgate has been more timid than normal this tournament and you have to wonder if that is because Maguire and Henderson were out.

If those players come back into the spine of his team will Southgate be more willing to play a bit against the better sides?

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Re: Your England XI

Post by The_Gun » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 pm

I actually completely agree with you on the above, Insano.

Saka came in last night because Southgate's hand was forced, and he ended up being by far our best player. Southgate claimed before the game that his staff 'know who our better players are', but the evidence presented in these past three games suggests that this is definitely not true.

The disjointed but defensively solid 'style' we've displayed thus far could perhaps be successful against the better teams, but only if we were still so effective from set pieces. As it is, we're not starting anyone who can take free kicks or corners, and have completely lost any kind of threat from dead balls.

We're far less likely to keep clean sheets vs Germany/Portugal/France, and if we're not creating anything from open play or set pieces then we've not exactly got a recipe for success.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:55 pm

The_Gun wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 pm
The disjointed but defensively solid 'style' we've displayed thus far could perhaps be successful against the better teams, but only if we were still so effective from set pieces. As it is, we're not starting anyone who can take free kicks or corners, and have completely lost any kind of threat from dead balls.
Which is why our double pivot should arguably have been Phillips plus JWP.

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Re: Your England XI

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:08 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:59 am
TANGODANCER wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:55 am
I had a question at the game and I still have it now. It concerns the team, not individuals, and it's this :

Did we (England) beat a good team last night and thus play very well, or just manage to do what we needed to (albeit a shade lucky at times) knowing we'd already qualified? I was never sure during the game as we seemed so even-paced, almost lethargic at times and the Czechs ( never a bad side) did so much decent attacking as to make us look in real danger at times, although we spent almost the whole game in front and with another clean sheet. But we were never dominant.

Nothing is easy at this level of football, sometimes seeming unfairly so
(Scotland, a team who played so well and held us to a draw are now out of the competition), and the real dangermen await in the wings.The game we played last night won't do against Spain, Germany. Italy, Belgium or France. We have just ninety minutes, not a group, to state our case, and it will be frantic.

The question remains.
I mean I guess the question is can England produce clean sheets against the best sides and play like they did in the group. If so then sure we can win this thing. Or can we raise our game.

But so far we’ve got through but we don’t really seem
to know our best team or have much balance or pattern of play. I’m not convinced we’ve just done enough and are revving up from here though IF Kane hits form you could see that.

You don’t have to play well or have flowing football to win international tournaments. But as someone else said above what you need is a clear method to score and as yet England haven’t really developed that. From what I’ve seen we could be effective as a side that sits deeper and hits on the break. Grealish and Saka for sample seem suited to this as does Sterling to an extent. But again not sure that was the plan we’ve worked to.
We've looked ok on the front foot in the first halves v Croatia and Czech Rep. Saka was probably the difference last night. He needs to take a pick, though, coz he can't play all world class, that'd be unfair and he probably struggles to drop Sterling or Kane because one is without a doubt our best striker and the other is the only one who's scored (and might have been on three). Mind with current logic he must be world class because City bought him...

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Re: Your England XI

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:16 pm

The_Gun wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 pm
I actually completely agree with you on the above, Insano.

Saka came in last night because Southgate's hand was forced, and he ended up being by far our best player. Southgate claimed before the game that his staff 'know who our better players are', but the evidence presented in these past three games suggests that this is definitely not true.

The disjointed but defensively solid 'style' we've displayed thus far could perhaps be successful against the better teams, but only if we were still so effective from set pieces. As it is, we're not starting anyone who can take free kicks or corners, and have completely lost any kind of threat from dead balls.

We're far less likely to keep clean sheets vs Germany/Portugal/France, and if we're not creating anything from open play or set pieces then we've not exactly got a recipe for success.
Not just about 'best players' - its also about the balance and best team. I'm not sure we really know what that is. Rooney made some comments about Foden and how he needs players round him to play off and to an extent its true. Foden is probably one we could and should have built around and got him playing with Saka and Grealish etc...but leaving him on a wing is not really his game.

I think we could be an effective counter-punching side and probably its our best bet but definitely not really by design any of this.

I also come back to - whatever they do domestically Phillips and Rice just aren't an international midfield and that's been a big weakness. Ironically they might do better against say a Germany who look to overload on the counter and having sitters becomes more critical. We'll just have to see.

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