One of the things I've slowly come to appreciate about the way England is playing is the headers; for years we've had journalists and analysts saying that cross it into the box for a header was old-fashioned and football had moved on from that to on-the-floor tiki taka. Maybe they were right, but the result is that most of the teams we've been playing against don't seem to know how to defend against it when it's done well. Southgate has really got them organised and the quality delivery added to the movement in the box keeps working. Was joking with a Spanish guy during the Sweden match whenever England, well, mainly Sterling, fluffed a shot on goal that scoring with your feet is too easy and we wanted another set-piece.
Ha ha yes!
From the first match onwards the german commentators have been insisting that England were the masters of what they call "standard situations" - free kicks, corners etc.
I had no idea why they would possibly think this but it turns out they know more about all this than me. And when it doesn't work (e.g. Columbia) we suddenly looked very toothless.
Struggling with Sterling. While my kneejerk reaction is to want him to prove the naysayers and nasty little racists wrong by playing and doing well, I just don't buy that he's the answer in current form. The plan against Sweden for Kane to drop deep and make space was perfect but then needed a target man who could actually either score or competantly cross the ball.
England fans have stayed behind at the Luzhniki and are singing Oasis' Don't Look Back in Anger#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Gn3twWZGJP— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) July 11, 2018
England fans have stayed behind at the Luzhniki and are singing Oasis' Don't Look Back in Anger#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Gn3twWZGJP
[small text] at least Trippier's goal was a thing of simple beauty [/st]
A few bad calls in favour of Croatia but yeah, one shot on goal just isn't going to cut it.
It was a good World Cup for a young team nobody expected to get this far, and I guess for a neutral or Croatian fan, last night was good entertainment. For me, I knew England would rue all those missed opportunities in the first half, and as the game wore on it became more and more obvious that it wasn't going to be England's night. The players on the pitch just weren't good enough.But England are the under 17 and under 21 world champions. Southgate managed those youth teams, and all of that youth success was planned to translate into football success at the next World Cup. This was a massive over-achievement. And a midfield of Jordan "back-pass" Henderson plus 20 yards of space to the forwards was hardly going to worry Pogaba & Kante.You want a Modric-esque schemer for the future, you've got one at Citeh Jimster:
"T3h Stockport Iniesta!"Not good enough for Gareth this time doe?
I think France will roll over Croatia without breaking a sweat.
France are favourites, yes. But as Modric said, smug opposition seems to bring out the best in Croatia - evidenced by a sense they really wanted it last night. But again, really, how much energy have they got left? Enough to shackle Mbappe? Nah. 2-0 Les Bleus.
Or superior wankers? Anyway, wankers. Lloris making Karius feel a little better.