European Finals.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by GhostoftheBok » Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:15 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:05 am
Not sure it needs to improve much. What it needs is a Verratti. Or a modern day Gascoigne. Someone with real all round class in midfield. If we’d had such a player we’d have had a great chance rather than chasing shadows against Italy’s midfield for much of the match.
When you sit as deep as we did against a side like Italy then it doesn't matter if you have Gascoigne reincarnated in midfield or not. We knicked an early goal and then played for 1-0. Once we conceded we played for penalties. If I'm honest, I found it infuriating; but like I say nobody wants to hear criticism of Southgate right now.

Southgate had a decent Plan A for 15 minutes, but Mancini tweaked it and Southgate had no clue how to respond. After that it was just a matter of whether Italy would win in the 90 or we could hang on and get lucky. They drew along side us with the minor tweak and then Mancini saw how to hurt us, made proper changes and Southgate just let it happen.

When we finally started to step up in extra time we looked like we might have a chance, but Southgate refused to make the changes needed to take the game to them.

Like I say, I know nobody wants to hear it, so I'll shut up. It's just a shame. That was a winnable game.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:57 am

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:15 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:05 am
Not sure it needs to improve much. What it needs is a Verratti. Or a modern day Gascoigne. Someone with real all round class in midfield. If we’d had such a player we’d have had a great chance rather than chasing shadows against Italy’s midfield for much of the match.
When you sit as deep as we did against a side like Italy then it doesn't matter if you have Gascoigne reincarnated in midfield or not. We knicked an early goal and then played for 1-0. Once we conceded we played for penalties. If I'm honest, I found it infuriating; but like I say nobody wants to hear criticism of Southgate right now.

Southgate had a decent Plan A for 15 minutes, but Mancini tweaked it and Southgate had no clue how to respond. After that it was just a matter of whether Italy would win in the 90 or we could hang on and get lucky. They drew along side us with the minor tweak and then Mancini saw how to hurt us, made proper changes and Southgate just let it happen.

When we finally started to step up in extra time we looked like we might have a chance, but Southgate refused to make the changes needed to take the game to them.

Like I say, I know nobody wants to hear it, so I'll shut up. It's just a shame. That was a winnable game.
We huffed and puffed and out ran them for twenty minutes. Then they started to play triangles round us in midfield. We ended up deep because our midfield couldn’t play their way out in the way Italy’s did. Clearly ran out of legs with Italy’s possession. But came down to real class in midfield vs Rice who had an outstanding tournament and Phillips who was a runner. There was always a point where we needed a midfield player of top class and we just lacked one. Against Denmark as they tied we grew and grew. But tonight Italy has better quality possession and the opposite was true. It’s not tactics it’s the limitations of the players we have available.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Prufrock » Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:04 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 10:59 pm
What I said at the start of the tournament did come back to bite us in the end. The played like heroes but Rice and Phillips for all they did are just not a midfield that is versatile or good enough to play against Verrati etc and Italy exploited that.
It's not (really just) about quality. Their front three are bobbins relatively. Chiesa is a good player, ish, the other two are very average. Their midfield 3 are very good. So we take one out and cede it. He manages England like it's Middleborough. We got there despite him, and we lost because of him.

I've taken stick at the pub from people saying look we got to a final. But it's the same thing. We lose as soon as we play someone good. I love him as a guy. But in two major tournaments we've beaten one top tier team and they were ropey and badly managed. Most tournaments to win you need to beat at least two. He's just got lucky with the draw, and it's wasting a generation of English talent.

Foden and Sancho are in the top ten U-21 footballers in the world, and they've barely played.

Really ruined a few kids on the penalty front though. What a legacy.
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Re: European Finals.

Post by Prufrock » Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:15 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:57 am
GhostoftheBok wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:15 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:05 am
Not sure it needs to improve much. What it needs is a Verratti. Or a modern day Gascoigne. Someone with real all round class in midfield. If we’d had such a player we’d have had a great chance rather than chasing shadows against Italy’s midfield for much of the match.
When you sit as deep as we did against a side like Italy then it doesn't matter if you have Gascoigne reincarnated in midfield or not. We knicked an early goal and then played for 1-0. Once we conceded we played for penalties. If I'm honest, I found it infuriating; but like I say nobody wants to hear criticism of Southgate right now.

Southgate had a decent Plan A for 15 minutes, but Mancini tweaked it and Southgate had no clue how to respond. After that it was just a matter of whether Italy would win in the 90 or we could hang on and get lucky. They drew along side us with the minor tweak and then Mancini saw how to hurt us, made proper changes and Southgate just let it happen.

When we finally started to step up in extra time we looked like we might have a chance, but Southgate refused to make the changes needed to take the game to them.

Like I say, I know nobody wants to hear it, so I'll shut up. It's just a shame. That was a winnable game.
We huffed and puffed and out ran them for twenty minutes. Then they started to play triangles round us in midfield. We ended up deep because our midfield couldn’t play their way out in the way Italy’s did. Clearly ran out of legs with Italy’s possession. But came down to real class in midfield vs Rice who had an outstanding tournament and Phillips who was a runner. There was always a point where we needed a midfield player of top class and we just lacked one. Against Denmark as they tied we grew and grew. But tonight Italy has better quality possession and the opposite was true. It’s not tactics it’s the limitations of the players we have available.
I disagree so, so strongly. It's 100% tactics. Well no, it's not, but it's hugely, hugely, tactics.

I like Rice, I think he's been disappointing in the tournament but he had his best game in an England shirt tonight and was excellent. Phillips is a weird one to judge. Excellent for a good (midtable Leeds) side but had good games. But you're off your head of you expect them to be able to keep the ball against 3. Especially when one of those three is world class (and one of only two of Italy's front six who you could even argue get into Tottenham's (7th, just for GG) team.

It was Croatia all over again. Score early, look comfortable until half time, but never having the ball kills you. And for the first time in our lifetime it's not because you don't have the players. I'm not talking individuals. But we've spent 15 years waiting for St George, and the young ones. And then he won't pick them.

15 minutes in extra time we pushed them right back. Because we're better then them. So so winnable.
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Re: European Finals.

Post by Prufrock » Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:23 am

And the pens.

The pens will get too much attention. It's to an extent a lottery and we shouldn't have been there. But what mad, mad set.

I sort of get the thinking of Rashford and Sancho on. Rashford has scored big pens and (I've never seen him take one but they must have backed him given he came on with a minute to go) I assume Sancho is good.

But a) give them enough time so that the first time they kick the feck* isn't the pen (I think the case for both) b) they're top quality attacking players so use them to try to win the game anyway and c) most bafflingly in the scheme of things... Marcus Rashford played his 90 seconds at right back. He understandably looked lost, but fine, you're getting him on the pitch to take a pen. Except staying on the pitch, on the wing in his position, was Raheem Sterling. Who didn't take one. Wtf is that you mad c*nt??

I don't buy the "bottle" idea. I don't think it's Sterling or Grealish's fault. It shouldn't be a whip round. You shouldn't have a 19yo having to step up. You've brought two on to take a penalty and Harry Maguire is #2 (and what a pen tbf).

Shouldn't have even got to pens.
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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:37 am

Prufrock wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:15 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:57 am
GhostoftheBok wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:15 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:05 am
Not sure it needs to improve much. What it needs is a Verratti. Or a modern day Gascoigne. Someone with real all round class in midfield. If we’d had such a player we’d have had a great chance rather than chasing shadows against Italy’s midfield for much of the match.
When you sit as deep as we did against a side like Italy then it doesn't matter if you have Gascoigne reincarnated in midfield or not. We knicked an early goal and then played for 1-0. Once we conceded we played for penalties. If I'm honest, I found it infuriating; but like I say nobody wants to hear criticism of Southgate right now.

Southgate had a decent Plan A for 15 minutes, but Mancini tweaked it and Southgate had no clue how to respond. After that it was just a matter of whether Italy would win in the 90 or we could hang on and get lucky. They drew along side us with the minor tweak and then Mancini saw how to hurt us, made proper changes and Southgate just let it happen.

When we finally started to step up in extra time we looked like we might have a chance, but Southgate refused to make the changes needed to take the game to them.

Like I say, I know nobody wants to hear it, so I'll shut up. It's just a shame. That was a winnable game.
We huffed and puffed and out ran them for twenty minutes. Then they started to play triangles round us in midfield. We ended up deep because our midfield couldn’t play their way out in the way Italy’s did. Clearly ran out of legs with Italy’s possession. But came down to real class in midfield vs Rice who had an outstanding tournament and Phillips who was a runner. There was always a point where we needed a midfield player of top class and we just lacked one. Against Denmark as they tied we grew and grew. But tonight Italy has better quality possession and the opposite was true. It’s not tactics it’s the limitations of the players we have available.
I disagree so, so strongly. It's 100% tactics. Well no, it's not, but it's hugely, hugely, tactics.

I like Rice, I think he's been disappointing in the tournament but he had his best game in an England shirt tonight and was excellent. Phillips is a weird one to judge. Excellent for a good (midtable Leeds) side but had good games. But you're off your head of you expect them to be able to keep the ball against 3. Especially when one of those three is world class (and one of only two of Italy's front six who you could even argue get into Tottenham's (7th, just for GG) team.

It was Croatia all over again. Score early, look comfortable until half time, but never having the ball kills you. And for the first time in our lifetime it's not because you don't have the players. I'm not talking individuals. But we've spent 15 years waiting for St George, and the young ones. And then he won't pick them.

15 minutes in extra time we pushed them right back. Because we're better then them. So so winnable.
Anyone can say tactics. To me it’s a bit meaningless. He changed the system and it didn’t improve things massively. Henderson came on and was hopeless. Saka came on and was clearly overawed when he’s not been before. Grealish was late but frankly didn’t make me think he was a game changer. And in reality hasn’t really any of the times he’s come on.

Matching them 3v3 in midfield meant playing either Bellingham or Henderson. Realistically I don’t think it was an option.

Mount has been poor this tournament.

I think Southgate has created a bond in the team we’ve never seen before and got them playing for him in a way we’ve also not seen. Are there points where perhaps we could be more positive? Yep. But I also think broadly we’ve worked with what we’ve got. And nobody has beaten us. Italy are 34 unbeaten you can tell us all they aren’t a great side but our eyes and the clear form they have say otherwise. They know how to win. They have huge experience. You can see what they do well.

But bottom line is England are and were so so close. They were one centre mid short in my view. And even then could have won it on penalties and didn’t. I’ve been here before. The fact is that anyone saying Italy are not a great side probably needs a reality check.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Harry Genshaw » Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:54 am

Fine margins at the very top of the game and lots of world class players go their whole careers without winning an international trophy. We might come close again with this amazing group but will we ever have a better chance than we did this time?

My biggest concern with the late substitutions was that we were defending a corner at the time and in Walker, had just taken off one of our best headers of the ball (& one of our best players on the night)

The pressure on poor young Saka for that last penalty but kudos to him for having the courage to step up.

Overall though what a tournament for England. Amongst the many bright spots - Shaw, who I've never been a fan of previously, just grew with each game. Maguire,often shocking in possession, was a colossus and what a penalty, Rice and Phillips covered every blade of grass, Kane was practically unplayable that first half and finally Sterling, our player of the tournament.

To quote Frank Skinner in 1996 "Football came home, it just couldn't get its key in the door"

Very, very proud.
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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:05 am

Harry Genshaw wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:54 am
Fine margins at the very top of the game and lots of world class players go their whole careers without winning an international trophy. We might come close again with this amazing group but will we ever have a better chance than we did this time?

My biggest concern with the late substitutions was that we were defending a corner at the time and in Walker, had just taken off one of our best headers of the ball (& one of our best players on the night)

The pressure on poor young Saka for that last penalty but kudos to him for having the courage to step up.

Overall though what a tournament for England. Amongst the many bright spots - Shaw, who I've never been a fan of previously, just grew with each game. Maguire,often shocking in possession, was a colossus and what a penalty, Rice and Phillips covered every blade of grass, Kane was practically unplayable that first half and finally Sterling, our player of the tournament.

To quote Frank Skinner in 1996 "Football came home, it just couldn't get its key in the door"

Very, very proud.
Yeah. I never like the whole ‘don’t worry we will come again and the group will improve’ stuff. International tournaments are snapshots and chances to take now and here. In 18 months time there is a World Cup but literally anything can happen before then.

Nobody, not a single soul would have thought that night in Turin would be Gaza’s last moments at a World Cup. But they were.

I’m incredibly proud of the way we played. I think we did as much as we could. I’m still frustrated by the penalties as for me if you save two and lose that’s a chance missed. This wasn’t the Germans taking 5 unstoppable ones and never once even looking like they’d miss. This was a huge chance and we somehow conspired to mess it up. The only thing I can really say Southgate got wrong was the penalty takers. I suspect Shaw, Walker and Stones would have done better given experience. Easy to say in hindsight. But it was a huge opportunity missed and these players might not get another one.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:17 am

I was ok when Rashford stepped up. We've seen him take some great penalties, last night's wasn't one such. The last two, Sancho and Saka, complete mystery. Neither looked at all comfortable, I thought of my 18 year old sat watching it, wondering how he'd have coped, and just thought no way on gods green earth. Stupidity in the extreme, for me.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Harry Genshaw » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:30 am

^ absolutely re Rashford. He has a great record and it would have been mental not to get him on the pitch to take one. His penalty was almost the best of the lot too but....

God must be Italian or can't exist because no way would Rashford have missed after the year he's had!
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Re: European Finals.

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:58 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:05 am
Yeah. I never like the whole ‘don’t worry we will come again and the group will improve’ stuff. International tournaments are snapshots and chances to take now and here. In 18 months time there is a World Cup but literally anything can happen before then.
I don't disagree the tournaments are in the here and now. Having one, effectively at home, doesn't come around often. I'm not sure I'd say "this group will come again", but the World Cup is only 16 months away. One or two might fall by the wayside, but the majority of that team, you'd think would feature. 8 of our players were in the semi final team v Croatia. They've improved since then.

What I would say, is the planning to try and improve isn't in the here and now. That started a way back, because we were getting fed up of the here and now, going out at the group stages.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:13 am

Worthy4England wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:17 am
I was ok when Rashford stepped up. We've seen him take some great penalties, last night's wasn't one such. The last two, Sancho and Saka, complete mystery. Neither looked at all comfortable, I thought of my 18 year old sat watching it, wondering how he'd have coped, and just thought no way on gods green earth. Stupidity in the extreme, for me.
The thing is and I said this Pre shoot out that those lads had been sitting on the bench knowing for the last hour or so there was a good chance they’d have to take a kick. And they’d not played much during the tournament. So as extra time goes on they know their major contribution to the tournament will be a singular penalty kick. I know that it could have worked but I sort of think shoot outs are 99% in the head and actual technique far less important. Jorginho a good example. Never misses. Missed last night.

There is no sure fire route to winning one I just felt it was a big ask for players to come in cold and take one not because of anything physical but more the mental strain. If you were on the pitch you’d have thought less about the prospect as you’d still have had to focus on the match.

The more I let it sink in the more annoyed I am that we let a 19 year old take the last one. I knew he’d miss before he’d started the run up and the lad all night had struggled. That for me was not good. Senior players could have stepped up. If Maguire can knock one in like that then I’m sure Walker, Stones and Shaw could have. Grealish too.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by officer_dibble » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:42 am

Yep nothing new from me…think it could have gone either way, perhaps using our bench earlier on and being braver with substitutions would have helped avoid penalties. We’ve been able to cut out mistakes to an extent where one goals been enough and after the first twenty five minutes that’s definitely where our heads were. Mancini obviously changed it at half time and had we been two up we would have been ok.

Penalties, two subs used to take them, neither scored. Saka shouldn’t be taking the last one. Not dwelling, we did better than I thought and I can’t see us going backwards from this. However I do wonder if that’s the beat chance we’ll have in my lifetime of winning one…

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:44 am

Sorry, yes of course, absolutely not ideal bringing them on for two minutes. But in general not worried about Rashford, but, no way could he have been fully loose and ready...It was a bit surreal.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:50 am

Worthy4England wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:44 am
Sorry, yes of course, absolutely not ideal bringing them on for two minutes. But in general not worried about Rashford, but, no way could he have been fully loose and ready...It was a bit surreal.
Yeah you'd have wanted Rashford on for a penalty. But like I say its the mental side of sitting knowing and thinking for so long. I guess the issue was we really could have only brought him on for Sterling who in fairness looked most likely to create something last night, right till the end.....I guess you could have taken Saka off during ET for Rashford...but he'd put Saka into midfield after Grealish looked a bit lost there.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:23 am

Oh and whilst we're about it, the racist abuse they're getting, we should go to any lengths to find and punish the perps. Preferably entirely unfairly.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:34 am

Worthy4England wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:23 am
Oh and whilst we're about it, the racist abuse they're getting, we should go to any lengths to find and punish the perps. Preferably entirely unfairly.
Indeed. And all those including that Tory MP who've said 'Maybe stick to penalties not politics eh Marcus'? Chop their hands and tongues off.

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Hoboh » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:49 am

Prufrock wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:15 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:57 am
GhostoftheBok wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:15 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:05 am
Not sure it needs to improve much. What it needs is a Verratti. Or a modern day Gascoigne. Someone with real all round class in midfield. If we’d had such a player we’d have had a great chance rather than chasing shadows against Italy’s midfield for much of the match.
When you sit as deep as we did against a side like Italy then it doesn't matter if you have Gascoigne reincarnated in midfield or not. We knicked an early goal and then played for 1-0. Once we conceded we played for penalties. If I'm honest, I found it infuriating; but like I say nobody wants to hear criticism of Southgate right now.

Southgate had a decent Plan A for 15 minutes, but Mancini tweaked it and Southgate had no clue how to respond. After that it was just a matter of whether Italy would win in the 90 or we could hang on and get lucky. They drew along side us with the minor tweak and then Mancini saw how to hurt us, made proper changes and Southgate just let it happen.

When we finally started to step up in extra time we looked like we might have a chance, but Southgate refused to make the changes needed to take the game to them.

Like I say, I know nobody wants to hear it, so I'll shut up. It's just a shame. That was a winnable game.
We huffed and puffed and out ran them for twenty minutes. Then they started to play triangles round us in midfield. We ended up deep because our midfield couldn’t play their way out in the way Italy’s did. Clearly ran out of legs with Italy’s possession. But came down to real class in midfield vs Rice who had an outstanding tournament and Phillips who was a runner. There was always a point where we needed a midfield player of top class and we just lacked one. Against Denmark as they tied we grew and grew. But tonight Italy has better quality possession and the opposite was true. It’s not tactics it’s the limitations of the players we have available.
I disagree so, so strongly. It's 100% tactics. Well no, it's not, but it's hugely, hugely, tactics.

I like Rice, I think he's been disappointing in the tournament but he had his best game in an England shirt tonight and was excellent. Phillips is a weird one to judge. Excellent for a good (midtable Leeds) side but had good games. But you're off your head of you expect them to be able to keep the ball against 3. Especially when one of those three is world class (and one of only two of Italy's front six who you could even argue get into Tottenham's (7th, just for GG) team.

It was Croatia all over again. Score early, look comfortable until half time, but never having the ball kills you. And for the first time in our lifetime it's not because you don't have the players. I'm not talking individuals. But we've spent 15 years waiting for St George, and the young ones. And then he won't pick them.

15 minutes in extra time we pushed them right back. Because we're better then them. So so winnable.
And there's me thinking Rice was shocking last night, well that is if you aren't blinded by someone legging it round whilst actually doing now't.
First 20 we actually played across the park, men seeing others in space, goal a classic example then we slowly started to revert to piss about across the back and it went downhill.
Stirling did now't last night wasn't worth a place, well I suppose he did do that stupid skip every time the Italians passed around him whilst laughing at his pressure on them!
Big shout to the keeper, he's not bad and his distribution much improved last night.
Agree with someone earlier, Southgate froze and should have changed things.
Feel for the two young lads on the penalties though, not your fault, that falls to Mr soon to be appearing on strictly twinkle toes Rashford who deserves to be derided for many years for that abortion of a penalty

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Re: European Finals.

Post by Prufrock » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:54 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:37 am


Anyone can say tactics. To me it’s a bit meaningless. He changed the system and it didn’t improve things massively. Henderson came on and was hopeless. Saka came on and was clearly overawed when he’s not been before. Grealish was late but frankly didn’t make me think he was a game changer. And in reality hasn’t really any of the times he’s come on.

Matching them 3v3 in midfield meant playing either Bellingham or Henderson. Realistically I don’t think it was an option.

Mount has been poor this tournament.

I think Southgate has created a bond in the team we’ve never seen before and got them playing for him in a way we’ve also not seen. Are there points where perhaps we could be more positive? Yep. But I also think broadly we’ve worked with what we’ve got. And nobody has beaten us. Italy are 34 unbeaten you can tell us all they aren’t a great side but our eyes and the clear form they have say otherwise. They know how to win. They have huge experience. You can see what they do well.

But bottom line is England are and were so so close. They were one centre mid short in my view. And even then could have won it on penalties and didn’t. I’ve been here before. The fact is that anyone saying Italy are not a great side probably needs a reality check.
No, it didn't. It meant playing the way we played in the quarter and the semi. I'd have picked Sancho, on his fecked up terms it would've been Saka. Mount in there with Rice and Phillips. Instead on the transitions you had two (who both played well) against 3, and otherwise you had Kane half dropping in on Jorginho which meant we couldn't get out. We had 20odd % possession in the second half. That's tactical. He made the weakest part of the pitch for us weaker (where they are strong) to bolster the bit where we're excellent and they're weak.

We got Ukraine in the QF and Denmark in the semi. We *should* have got to the final. But you have to win them when they come, and for the second major tournament in a row we couldn't. He's beaten a ropey Germany across two tournaments. He',s not up to it.

100% hard agree on the c*nts going after Rashford Sancho and Saka, mind.
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Re: European Finals.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Jul 12, 2021 11:04 am

Prufrock wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:54 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:37 am


Anyone can say tactics. To me it’s a bit meaningless. He changed the system and it didn’t improve things massively. Henderson came on and was hopeless. Saka came on and was clearly overawed when he’s not been before. Grealish was late but frankly didn’t make me think he was a game changer. And in reality hasn’t really any of the times he’s come on.

Matching them 3v3 in midfield meant playing either Bellingham or Henderson. Realistically I don’t think it was an option.

Mount has been poor this tournament.

I think Southgate has created a bond in the team we’ve never seen before and got them playing for him in a way we’ve also not seen. Are there points where perhaps we could be more positive? Yep. But I also think broadly we’ve worked with what we’ve got. And nobody has beaten us. Italy are 34 unbeaten you can tell us all they aren’t a great side but our eyes and the clear form they have say otherwise. They know how to win. They have huge experience. You can see what they do well.

But bottom line is England are and were so so close. They were one centre mid short in my view. And even then could have won it on penalties and didn’t. I’ve been here before. The fact is that anyone saying Italy are not a great side probably needs a reality check.
No, it didn't. It meant playing the way we played in the quarter and the semi. I'd have picked Sancho, on his fecked up terms it would've been Saka. Mount in there with Rice and Phillips. Instead on the transitions you had two (who both played well) against 3, and otherwise you had Kane half dropping in on Jorginho which meant we couldn't get out. We had 20odd % possession in the second half. That's tactical. He made the weakest part of the pitch for us weaker (where they are strong) to bolster the bit where we're excellent and they're weak.

We got Ukraine in the QF and Denmark in the semi. We *should* have got to the final. But you have to win them when they come, and for the second major tournament in a row we couldn't. He's beaten a ropey Germany across two tournaments. He',s not up to it.

100% hard agree on the c*nts going after Rashford Sancho and Saka, mind.
In the Semi Final Denmark broke on our midfield in the first half and we had huge holes. I'm not convinced that Mount (who dropped in a lot anyway - and effectively made a three with Sterling up top nearer Kane at times) was the answer - for me he was anonymous all tournament. Italy would have loved the shape we played vs Denmark. It was the wing backs that caught them out initially.

But I think you're having to face we were up against a side who know how to get things done. They were always going to stay in the game regardless and try and grind us down. If we had their quality in midfield - we'd have won that game its as simple as that. But we had to find a way to be effective with Rice as a sitter (who seemingly was a bit knackered too) and Phillips on the press - neither are if we're honest particularly good on the ball and they had three Italians who once they sorted themselves out ran absolute rings round them. I think the back 3 did well at stepping out and blocking midfield but as ever over time and legs start to go. We still only conceded a scabby goal from a corner. You can talk about tactics all you like but it was pretty obviously going to be a slog against Italy and their back 4 midfield and Chiesa were all very very good on the day. I suspect that IF the semis had been the other way round and we'd played on the Tuesday that extra day MIGHT have made the difference too. Fine margins as ever. My frustration is having battled to pens we saved two and still lost. Takes some spectacular balls up to do that. Its a shame. It was a huge chance against a side who haven't exactly been penalty kings down the years either.

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