England's WC campaign

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England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:49 am

Compared with many past tournament matches, I was impressed with much of that opening performance last night. Those who stupidly wrote off Italy, based on results in friendlies since their qualification, may now appreciate their grasp of what tournament football is all about. It was certainly no disgrace to lose by a single goal and for the 1st 75 minutes I thought we matched them in many areas. Many of our players were clearly on their last legs by the end and hopefully the conditions elsewhere won't be so draining.

Of course, just as with Beckham before him, all the fuss now centres on Rooney. Play him in his best position is the demand - in other words focus the whole team on one player, who as Scholes recently said, is clearly in decline. Would those people seriously move Sterling to accommodate a player who shows few signs of living up to the hype? His one real contribution came from the wing, yet his unwillingness to track back frequently left Baines exposed. Still, watching that I wonder if Roy now wishes he had included Cole in the squad.

Let's hope Uruguay are as awful in the next match as they were yesterday!

A couple of other thoughts - do Rooney and Gerrard have no other free kick options than to blast over the bar?

Had England been studying film of our cup winner at Cardiff? Although crossed from the other flank, for a moment I thought that was Deion stroking home the goal!


Your thoughts please!
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by Ashley on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:55 am

Thought we probably just about deserved a point. Definitely positive performance and hopefully we can beat the other 2 teams to go through.

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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:59 am

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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by the demon headmaster on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:08 pm

We did more than just about deserve a point. It was heartening to see England play with a bit of style and composure. I thought the passing and movement was much better than we have become used to, although our defence does look creaky. With such a young squad there is a feeling that we might just get better over the next few years and have something to shout about at last.

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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by Luton Roman on Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:24 am

Need more quality and penetration in final third. Uruguay must improve, I fear our defence will let us down again.

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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by Midsomer-steve on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:19 pm

I can think no further than to say that, given Sturridge is fit, there is no place for Rooney. As Comrade pointed out, with the exception of his cross that led to our goal, he was ineffective and wasteful, especially after he was moved back to his self-favoured central position. I would like to see Lallana start, and have Ox-Ch ready to enter the fray if or when it is felt that he is needed.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:10 pm

If Rooney is not prepared to play for the team rather than himself then he should be dropped. But would Roy be brave enough to do it?

I thought Italy were in complete control throughout except when they conceded the goal, which was a bit of a surprise to catch them napping having gone a goal up. Pirlo was majestic.

I still think we are not capable of beating a major side. Presumably Suarez is not fit and even if he plays we will have a decent chance against Uruguay.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:34 am

and while I am on the subject of Rooney but not exclusive to him - he was praised for crossing with his wrong foot by his fellow professionals (pundits). when you get paid 250K a week to play football you wouldn't expected one foot to be the standing foot.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by RUDI GULITS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:07 pm

all over bar the shouting.
we are not good enough.
10 min spell were we looked good but that was it
they should of been down to ten men and if the ref done his job it mite have been a different game
i took 3 hours off work and now wished i stayed there
totaly frustrated
totaly frustrated
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:43 pm

 No  No It was clear for everyone to see that England have no top class players. Indeed many are just average. We huffed and puffed but there was just no quality on the ball. That is what you need on this stage and we haven't got it.

Joe Hart is currently one of the worst goalkeepers England have ever fielded. The defence would just about do for a low premier league club. Midfield is pedestrian and striking options limited.

But at least Greg Dyke is on the case. No  
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:00 pm

The one thing Dyke got right was his knife across the kneck gesture at the draw. Did people really think we would seriously trouble either of these two teams? Both contain players with far more natural talent than our over-hyped artisans. And then of course there is the passion. I'm not talking about Grrrard's ineffective bawling and ridiculous Hollywood passes, but a steely determination to put right the problems which surfaced in their match against CR.

Hopefully the players will get most of the flack, but I forecast a Sun campaign coinciding with elimination to get rid of Hodgson. There's not a manager in world football who could work miracles with the products of the dreadful premier league, whose best England qualified keeper is Hart!
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:17 am

I agree with the entirety of that Martin. It was a tough group but they all are. I doubt this team could progress from of any of them.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:22 am

One of the main issues for me is this total lack of consistency in major tournaments. Even Euro 96 we were poor for half of the games. When did England last play well in back-to-back games in them? My expectation was if England replicate the Italy performance they will win, but they just didn't do it. The last World Cup was a shambles from start to finish with an aging squad just about getting out of a weak group before being taught a lesson from the Germans. This time I think we've called up the right players but there are still major problems to be addressed.

The defence being one. Every predicted line-up was "well, the back four picks itself". How demoralising is that? We have to accept that Johnson is the best right-back in the country? Cahill is decent, Jagielka I think is a good back-up defender but shouldn't be a first choice and Baines has been left exposed a lot. If we had the back four from something like 2006 (Neville, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole) we would have a lot more steel and rely on the exciting attacking players to pinch a few goals.

I'm not going to dare look at the covers of papers from today, which are probably like Powell's prediction. Getting rid of Roy would be senseless. We have a straightforward group to qualify for the Euros, lets see how we get on there and make a decision. Maybe in the next couple of years a possible long-term replacement will stand-out because at the moment I can't think of anyone.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:44 am

Excellent post, Junior. The thing that makes the likes of Italy, Uruguay and Germany regularly do better than us is that they have a mentality for tournaments. You're right about inconsistency - I always say England always have one good performance in them. That was against Italy. To win a finals tournament a team needs to produce at least 5 over about 3 weeks. The one thing the useless FA got right was their appointment of Hodgson, a manager with experience of tournaments, but even he couldn't raise the bar.

Yes, as Gerry warned above, our defence and keeper are not world class. What a pity that Terry's vile personality led to his leaving the set up. Alongside Cahill, he formed the best partnership at the back last season. Cole at full back with all his experience would have made us far tighter. I hate Chelsea but recognise you need to play to your strengths. The problem at the root of everything is that club always comes before country - in the middle of a WC the media is full of the Prem League fixture list!! The usual inquest of our latest failures will be forgotten come August and the usual easy qualification for the Euros in 2 years will be followed by more failure.

Hodgson is a clever bloke and his greatest contribution may not be on the pitch but off it with the building of a good staff. The hiring of Neville is a good start.

But I return to what I have been banging on about for weeks - we were in a very tough group and had no right to expect to progress from it. Of course, the idiotic assumption is that we just need to turn up to beat Costa Rica - we never, ever learn!
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:36 am

Did you listen to Chris Waddle yesterday? He ended a well thought out outburst about England similarly to your last sentence!

He also went on about building from the back and it's so true. You look at how City progressed through the divisions, we had a solid spine to the team with a near faultless goalkeeper in Paul Evans. Kept goodness knows how many clean sheets. England haven't got that, people can point the finger at Gerrard for the second goal, and maybe the first, but in (just) my opinion he is one of England's best players. Unless they go out knowing that one goal could be enough to win a game they're going nowhere, I'm telling you, Brian...
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:45 am

Yes, you have to get the defence right, them anything is possible. Listening to the multitude of phone ins since the match, someone made the point that it's time to change the whole mentality of the England set up. We are continually caught out by the streetwise teams, so why don't we learn from them? I'm not talking about Sterling's attempts to con the ref (almost as pathetic as Marcelo's), but learning how to take control of a game. Our equaliser last night led to the usual gung-ho tactics and Uruguay just needed to wait for the mistake which was bound to come. It would't be applauded but it works for many teams. We need Simeone to replace Roy!
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by yuffie on Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:12 pm

To my mind, although it is disappointing that we are (all but) out, the two performances have shown enough that maybe we are finally making some progress.

I don't think anyone with a ounce of common sense thought we'd get far in the competition and when we got drawn in almost the worse group possible even getting beyond that stage became a tough ask. What we got, though, was two games that could easily have finished 2-1 to England and neither opponent could have had any real complaints.

Clearly we are short of a real 'world class' player in any area of the pitch that can turn a game and the defence is the weakest area of the team, though I still am not going to jump on the Joe Hart bashing bandwagon that I thought had gone after he returned to the Man City line-up. I don't know enough about the Premier League (to be honest I couldn't name 4 or 5 of our players with certainty when the anthems were being played!) to know if there are any other defenders who can improve us in that area, but hopefully even if we stick with what we've got then they will improve with experience.

It does seem that the competition will see the end of Gerrard and it will be interesting to see if Rooney maintains his automatic selection but apart from that the majority of the rest of the squad are young enough to see us to France in 2016 (I had to look up where that was) and Russian in 2018.

Whilst, no doubt, the Talk Sport generation will be calling for Hodgson's head I would be very surprised if he doesn't remain in charge for at least two more years, which I think is the right decision.

Anyway, a couple of weeks and the real fixtures will be out and we can start discussing important topics, like why Stearn isn't starting every game.

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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:48 pm

Laughing 

an interesting question was posed on R5 last night. 'how many of last night's team are the best players at their club?' i suppose with half coming from liverpool and therefore eclipsed by suarez, it's not as revealing as it could be, but the answer is surely none.

i fear that we are going to see a repeat of the beckham saga with rooney - personally i'd look beyond him now but his inclusion is going to lead to the same tiresome debates from now on and, i predict, with exactly the same outcome.

i agree that under hodgson, some progress is finally being made. much of the italy game and the move which led to rooney's goal last night contained football that us long term england sufferers doubted we'd ever seen again. there is certainly a nucleus of young talent - i just hope their potential is fully realised. when you're a multi millionaire at 22, it must be tempting to think you have reached the top.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by Midsomer-steve on Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:25 pm

A very interesting thread. I agree with virtually everything that has been said. It is so sad that there appears to be no-one better who could have been included in the squad. I am still trying to get my head round why the inclusion of one person in the Uruguayan side made such a difference to their good fortune last night OR did they show us just how poor a side England were!

There is just one question that I am bursting to invite comment on - why oh why did we use the last warm up games (over there) to include giving fringe players some match time instead of using those games to field our most likely starting eleven in order to give them valuable collective match practise? I know this is relatively easy to ponder now, but, to my mind, those games were largely wasted as they had the potential to tune up the 'first eleven' so that they were in their starting blocks and preped to the full.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:41 pm

I agree. One of the things which bugs me is that England always go to tournaments with debate about our best team. The endless round of meaningless friendlies every season should at least provide the manager with everything he needs to know about the players available. And I've mentioned before, why was England's one off friendly in Rio last Summer the first time they had played in S America since 1984? There's always the likelihood we will face teams like Uruguay in a tournament and I'd suggest visiting them might be more beneficial than playing the likes of Scotland to celebrate the FA's latest anniversary.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:29 pm

So farewell England and congrats to Costa Rica. Perhaps the usual root and branch enquiry by the FA into this latest fiasco should instead investigate their running of the game. They have the national team they deserve! Never mind, we have a lovely white elephant of a national stadium and that centre at Burton might just give us a team to be proud of by 2050....
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:15 pm

I think there should be a national stadium but it sums up the FA that they built it in London where it cost £500m more than it would where they should have built it - in the centre of the country. But that is all water under the bridge.

I don't think the FA is capable of reform. Any enquiry is going to run up against vested interests. FIFA need to ensure that governing bodies have control in their own country - not the premier league.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by comrade powell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:09 pm

Germany, Spain and Italy, to name just 3, don't have a a national stadium. When Wembley was being rebuilt, England played at several club grounds. The atmosphere was a vast improvement each time and enabled fans from other areas to feel connected to their team. Of course the only thing which registers with the powers that be is to maximise earnings. England will never play away from Wembley again and I predict their appeal will continue to lessen.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:43 am

It isn't just about England playing there it is the finals of all the other cups and the play-offs. It is really something for fans to follow their team to Wembley.

If only Bath City could get a cup run going.
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Re: England's WC campaign

Post by BenE on Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:46 am

How will we perform tonight? will it be an embarrassment or a plucky nearly did the job or a rampant side with the shackles off?
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Re: England's WC campaign

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