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EmpireStateHuman
(grinning soul)
06/16/06 10:00 AM
Halftime: Argentina 3 Serbia 0 [re: NoGame]  

From the 135min I have seen already they would shit in the mouths of any of the other major teams but would need to see Italy and the Czechs face better teams.


Then again, I'm no football expert

A plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel...

Strawman
(acolyte)
06/16/06 10:31 AM
Turncoatin' in the neutrals [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

I think Eriksson's in a bit of a bind really. It's been obvious for decades that the English way of football isn't going to win you anything. The others have figured out how to play against it. So Sven probably thinks that with the top Premship sides playing a more continental style of game, he could get the English team playing proper football. But not enough of them play for top Premship sides, and those that do tend to be their club's weakest links. So you've got a kind of worst of both worlds scenario at the moment. They can't play real football, and they lack the fighting spirit, organisation and never say die spirit that English sides have traditionally used to help compensate for their lack of ability.


We'll see.

Sorry, Dara, but owing to the bulk of your statements there being so tremendously fucking stupid, that's all I can give you.

In reply to:

The teams that play proper football, the South Americans and southern Europeans,


Yeah, Serbia've done well.

How about your favourites from the west of Europe, France? You've always rated them as a nation that plays total football.

In reply to:

Christian Beylfuss - I wouldn't bet on that. Depending on the outcome of the Germany-Ecuador match England may well want to win the group in order to avoid Germany in the next round, if the Germans win their group. Not that I necessarily think that the surprisingly strong Ecuador is the easier opponent for England but the psychological factor in a match with Germany may not be welcome at a time when England is still struggling for their form.


The Ecuadorians are likely to garner a point at least against the Germans & nick top spot in the group via goal difference, in which case I'd rather England did the unlikely by fielding their strongest 11 against Sweden & go flat out for the win or single point required to top their group, because I personally think that the Ecuadorians pose more of a threat than the Germans at this stage, and it'd be wonderful to knock the crouts out of the competition so early on.

Laughing Poker

Dara
(acolyte)
06/16/06 10:58 AM
Re: Turncoatin' in the neutrals [re: Strawman]  

In reply to:

that's all I can give you



Damn. I was hoping to bait you into another foolhardy "England to win the World Cup" bet but I guess even a dog as old as you can occasionally learn new tricks, or at least not keep repeating old mistakes.

Not that you'd actually have paid up when you lost, but still.

In reply to:

France



Managed by a muppet who knows even less about football than you do, unfortunately.

Slan leat,

Dara

"I could count my friends on one hand, but I'd look like I was giving an invisible friend a hand job." - Shelle

EJ
(byroad singer)
06/16/06 11:14 AM
Messi-ahs [re: Dara]  

If Argentina keep playing like this we don't have to argue about other teams here anyway.

And I want to believe that a light's shining through somehow


Strawman
(acolyte)
06/16/06 01:29 PM
Yeah but Argentina versus who? [re: EJ]  

It'll be interesting to see how Argentina fair against stiffer opposition - so far they've narrowly beaten the copious in flair yet tactically naive Ivorians and crushed Dara's Serbs, who apart from Dara's Poland are the worst European team in the competition.

Unlike Argentina, Englands performances have been lacklustre against weaker sides - I'm hoping they will raise their game when playing better quality teams.

Laughing Poker

EJ
(byroad singer)
06/16/06 01:47 PM
Re: Yeah but Argentina versus who? [re: Strawman]  

Weren't you the first to give credit to the Serbs months ago?

And I want to believe that a light's shining through somehow


Strawman
(acolyte)
06/16/06 03:36 PM
Re: Yeah but Argentina versus who? [re: EJ]  

Possibly - and yes they did look pretty good throughout the qualifiers, but then so did Ireland for the best part & they're not even here.

Laughing Poker

NoGame
(acolyte)
06/16/06 04:25 PM
Holland - Ivory Coast: 2-1 [re: Strawman]  

The Holland - Ivory Coast game is over, and as against the Serbs, it costs me a few pounds of body weight. Don't worry, I have enough to spare.

Anyway, we won't see a 'on the edge' match between Argentina and Holland lateron this week. Both sides are through to the next round. And deciding who wins the group for being tied with the next opponent, doesn't matter much either. I'm pretty sure Holland will end up playing Portugal. Meaning that Portugal will win their group and Holland ending second in theirs. And against Portugal, I don't know. We have something to settle after the EC semi final in 2004. But I think the Portugese may turn out to be too strong for Holland to overcome. So, I am hoping for Mexico actually, a strong side, but we've won a friendly game against them three weeks ago, so that gives confidence.

How about the tournament so far? I haven't been swept away by the technique of playing. The attraction comes from the excitement. Germany - Poland being the best example. Were the Germans going to win or draw? It was fascinating to see them fight, and I think Odonkor should play all the time. Same goes for Lennon from the English side. What a refreshing addition to that most of the time very boring and uninspired playing team. They have the quality, they miss the fire. But the tournament isn't over yet, so, indeed Strawman, we'll see.

NoGame
I see your thing alright.

BungTheHole
(mortal with potential)
06/16/06 05:46 PM
Re: Turncoatin' in the neutrals [re: Dara]  

They are killing ze girl tonight, old man...

Edward the Confessor
Richard the Lionheart
Bung the Hole

EuropeanCanon
(crash course raver)
06/16/06 05:58 PM
Eriksson: overpaid, oversexed and over here [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

I think Eriksson's in a bit of a bind really. It's been obvious for decades that the English way of football isn't going to win you anything. The others have figured out how to play against it. So Sven probably thinks that with the top Premship sides playing a more continental style of game, he could get the English team playing proper football. But not enough of them play for top Premship sides, and those that do tend to be their club's weakest links. So you've got a kind of worst of both worlds scenario at the moment. They can't play real football, and they lack the fighting spirit, organisation and never say die spirit that English sides have traditionally used to help compensate for their lack of ability.


By common consent England have the most talented crop of players for over a generation. However, we'll never know if there is any substance behind such hype because Eriksson has consistently achieved the remarkable feat of producing a team that is some way short than the sum of its parts.

For far too long now Eriksson has been paid an absolute fortune to make fairly obvious decisions - simply picking the nation's best players and playing them in their club positions - at the expense of tough decisions required for team building.

Those decisions should have been taken long before now, but with England performing poorly, our tactical maestro is faced with the unsatisfactory prospect of having to make key changes during the World Cup if England are to stand any chance of progressing. With qualification for the second round assured the game against Sweden represents an opportunity for Eriksson to begin to justify his £5m a year wages.

England's strength in midfield is, paradoxically, its Achilles heel. This, in my view, cuts to the most obvious criticism of Eriksson - his failure to resolve the midfield conundrum to the benefit of the team. For all their excellence at club level a midfield of Beckham, Cole, Gerrard and Lampard should, it seems, be capable of producing a real impact at the highest of levels. But it doesn't. And nor did it in the last major championship: Euro 2004. Harsh as it may seem, Lampard should be dropped; a holding midfielder in Carrick or Hargreaves introduced (Carrick would be my choice) and the team should be built around Gerrard, now given free rein to drive forward in the manner that he does so brilliantly for Liverpool.

Problem number 2: England's forwards. England have a proven world class striker in their squad - and it ain't Peter Crouch. The record books show that a fully-fit, sharp Michael Owen scores big goals in big games and Eriksson desperately needs Owen to rediscover his edge. The problem being, of course, that Owen arrived at the World Cup short of match practice and he's certainly not going to find it when given 50-60 minutes of game time. He needs a full 90 minutes under his belt. Ditto England's playmaker extraordinaire Wayne Rooney.

Given their injury and fitness concerns, pairing Rooney and Owen together against the physical Swedes is a gamble. But to stand any chance England need to renew their first-choice pairing and hope that they regain some semblance of their former selves for the knockout stages. Dropping Crouch might seem unfair, given his recent goals, but England have not played fluently with the big man up front and dropping Crouch to the bench means that England can resist the temptation to over use the long ball and thereby use Crouch as he was originally intended - as an impact player late on.

And finally, David Beckham. Eriksson has never had the bollocks to drop or even substitute Golden Balls despite poor performances in the last two major championships and the inability to take his impressive club form of recent seasons into the national team.

Meanwhile, Aaron Lennon's much-needed injection of pace and zip to an England team, whose tempo this tournament has been such a disappointment (some suggest that Beckham is a cause of this problem), raises the previously unthinkable: should Beckham be dropped for Lennon? My answer is: no. In any case, Eriksson will not consider dropping his captain, and his other alternative - accommodating both Beckham and Lennon in a five man midfield with wingbacks - will only be considered in an emergency, the kind that we saw against T&T the other night.

Eriksson, though, as mentioned in my previous post, needs to insist his skipper stops drifting inside too often and get him playing further forward and in a conventional wide role. It's no coincidence that when Beckham actually achieved this he created two or three gilt-edged chances and, of course, the first goal.

England expects, it's time for the bespectacled, overpaid fuckwit to actually deliver.

In reply to:

And may I just say that the Swedish are the best fans I have ever come across in any football ground? No loudmouthed lager louts with bald heads, fat bellies and ridiculous tattoos but extremely pleasant, positive and joyful people, who gave a fantastic extra spirit to the game. And neither of them came close to anything violent or negative


And who are you refering to, EJ? Surely not the 60-70,000 Englishmen in Nuremberg whose behaviour there, and during the tournament as a whole, has been decribed as "exemplary?" Or maybe you were on about your fellow countrymen who made up the vast majority of the 400-odd arrests after the Poland match?

I think we all get that feeling “what can I do to help the human race” then you probably like me say fuck it theirs something on the TV - JamieSim


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