England Squad

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Rover the Top
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Re: England Squad

Post by Rover the Top » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:46 am

I'm guessing opinions on Sterling have changed since the World Cup?

Whilst we won the game, can't say I was happy with the excessively negative line up. Our defence looked confused as to who was supposed to be picking up which runner, and we gave away enough openings for the score to be different. In the end we took our chances when they eventually came along, but it seems unnecessarily risky to concede more possession and more attempts on goal when you have the talent on the bench to control the game.

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Re: England Squad

Post by mcteeth » Wed Jun 30, 2021 1:14 pm

Strange feeling after the game as neither side has been that impressive as yet this tournament and Germany have conceded 7 in 4 games which is unheard of at a tournament.

I didn't have too much issue with the 3-4-3 as Southgate is cautious that's no secret and it was to stop Germany's wing backs exposing our defence high up the pitch which we did nullify really well but it was alarming the couple of occasions the passed straight through the middle of our side to get through on goal.

Grealish made a big difference eventhough Saka was good, just worked much better with Shaw as he was coming inside and creating space for Shaw to attack. Both our goals were really well worked and clinical so we deserved to win the game and 4 clean sheets isn't to be sniffed at.

Always think Pickford is a bit naff for Everton these days but he's been faultless for England.

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Re: England Squad

Post by Dan » Thu Jul 01, 2021 1:19 pm

There's been a fair bit of moaning about players being dropped, negative tactics, boring games... but, it's working. 4 clean sheets is fantastic for a team that only managed 1 at the last major tournament.
Southgate has always been cautious, he played as a defender so I imagine it's ingrained by now. It's not particularly entertaining, but what he's doing with a young group of players seems to be producing as good an overall team as we've had for a while. It's been a while since the entire subs bench has been full of decent players that you wouldn't mind being on the pitch, rather than players on the fringes making up the numbers. England has sufferend for years with managers trying to shoe-horn the best 11 players into positions where they don't necessarily fit or work alongside each other (see Gerrard and Lampard, or trying to make Alli/Young/Sterling/Kane/Lingard/Loftus-Cheek/Trippier work in attack at the World Cup), and Southgate seems to have put a stop to that and appears to be picking a system and starting 11 based on the opponent which is refreshing to see. Dropping Foden, Sancho, Grealish Bellinhgam etc has had plenty of criticism, but if they don't fit into a system he wants to play, they aren't getting on the pitch.

I'm not a fan of Sterling, he spends more time running into trouble than he does doing anything useful, but he has got the talent to produce something special.

It'll be interesting to see what happens vs Ukraine.

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Re: England Squad

Post by Rover the Top » Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:32 pm

Dan wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 1:19 pm
It's been a while since the entire subs bench has been full of decent players that you wouldn't mind being on the pitch, rather than players on the fringes making up the numbers.
That only works as a positive if the players on the fringes aren't the ones making up the starting XI... ;)

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Re: England Squad

Post by mrblackbat » Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:52 pm

Rover the Top wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:46 am
I'm guessing opinions on Sterling have changed since the World Cup?

Whilst we won the game, can't say I was happy with the excessively negative line up. Our defence looked confused as to who was supposed to be picking up which runner, and we gave away enough openings for the score to be different. In the end we took our chances when they eventually came along, but it seems unnecessarily risky to concede more possession and more attempts on goal when you have the talent on the bench to control the game.
Sterling has been incredibly frustrating. Yes he's scored three goals, but the number of times he should have passed is amazing. When he finally did against Germany, we scored, ironically him doing the scoring. Could be soooooo much more effective.

But yeah 8 defensive players is complete overkill, and we were still opened up on a few occasions.

Against Scotland James was being praised for his stats... not taking into account it's easy to have a super high pass success rate if all you do is pass to the man stood next to you.

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Re: England Squad

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:10 am

Massive difference in the overall performance on Saturday, for the first time in the competition we looked like we wanted to take the game to our opponents and it showed in the scoreline. It was great to see that we didn't just settle for 2-0 and sit back too. I saw an article over the weekend saying it was unfamiliar territory for England fans to be able to enjoy a match at this stage of a tournament.

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Re: England Squad

Post by Gibbon » Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:53 am

It’s just refreshing to see players taking responsibility with opportunities in front of goal. I was getting tired of them getting into great positions and then going backwards.

They’ve looked much better recently, and players like Shaw, Grealish, Sterling and Sancho adding an end product to their play is encouraging.

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Re: England Squad

Post by mcteeth » Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:22 pm

Southgate selects a side and system to be effective against the opposition at hand. Ukraine posed different problems to Germany hence reverting back to 4-2-3-1 and giving Sterling and Sancho a lot of freedom.

I suspect we will see a slightly more conservative approach against Denmark as again they pose different threats.

Generally it's a huge breath of fresh air to have an England manager select teams, formations and tactics to win each game in turn and instill a mentality that we can control knock-out games and win the tournament. We've just beaten Germany and Ukraine without too much fuss and look capable of only getting better.

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Re: England Squad

Post by Dan » Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:55 pm

Rover the Top wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:10 am
I saw an article over the weekend saying it was unfamiliar territory for England fans to be able to enjoy a match.
Fixed.

Seriously though, it was refreshing to be able to watch the last half hour not expecting them to throw away a lead, or wondering if they'll be able to snatch a point. The early goal completely relaxed them and set the tone for the game.

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Re: England Squad

Post by Rover the Top » Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:59 am

First final in 55 years! :hyper:

Back to that familiar feeling that we were going to throw it all away again last night. No doubt those who think we're doing everything right will point to the result as "proof" the right decisions were made. As with the Ukraine game, we got in front by controlling the game and forcing Denmark back. But unlike the Ukraine game, once we had the lead we subbed the sub who'd transformed our performance for another defender, and spent the last 15 minutes struggling to ease the pressure. We held on, so you could argue the end justified the means. But it's hard to see how inviting a side on to you will create fewer openings for an equaliser than keep the ball in your possession in the other half of the pitch. Especially when the other team is tired and playing a man short. Can we make the same strategy work against a much stronger Italy side?

Let's just hope Sterling keeps running into trouble and forcing own goals and penalties... :yeahright:

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Re: England Squad

Post by Gibbon » Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:57 am

I thought we played very well in patches, but I was bemused by the decision to bring off Grealish for Trippier and then sit back for 20 minutes. Still, it worked. :D

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Re: England Squad

Post by Rover the Top » Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:21 am

Indeed, and no one is going to complain too loudly if it works again in the final.

Let's hope the luck doesn't run out and we're one win away from Sir Gareth Southgate.

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Re: England Squad

Post by mcteeth » Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:36 pm

I thought we managed the final 15 minutes of extra time really well considering the pressure. I was worried about us overly sitting back which we did in a couple of brief spells but the final 5-10 mins it felt like we had control of things, especially with the 53 pass move killing about 3 minutes.

Not sure why people are talking about luck, we were the better side overall and deserved to get to the final. As soft as our penalty was, depending on your point of view, the freekick for their opener was likewise. The foul on Kane in the 90 minutes was a penalty and wasn't given.

From a substitutions perspective replacing Mount and Rice with Foden and Henderson made a lot of sense. Like for like and Rice was looking very tired and had had a difficult time of things in moments. Likewise Mount was tiring. It made sense that at some point if winning he'd sacrifice an attacker for a more defensive player and it's hard to take off Sterling or Kane. Whilst subbing a sub always draws attention it did make some sense and Foden was still on the pitch and proved pretty useful.

Alarmingly it's probably the worst penalty I've ever seen Kane take :o :o :o

Unreal levels of pressure though!

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Re: England Squad

Post by mrblackbat » Fri Jul 09, 2021 3:06 pm

Rover the Top wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:59 am
First final in 55 years! :hyper:

Back to that familiar feeling that we were going to throw it all away again last night. No doubt those who think we're doing everything right will point to the result as "proof" the right decisions were made. As with the Ukraine game, we got in front by controlling the game and forcing Denmark back. But unlike the Ukraine game, once we had the lead we subbed the sub who'd transformed our performance for another defender, and spent the last 15 minutes struggling to ease the pressure. We held on, so you could argue the end justified the means. But it's hard to see how inviting a side on to you will create fewer openings for an equaliser than keep the ball in your possession in the other half of the pitch. Especially when the other team is tired and playing a man short. Can we make the same strategy work against a much stronger Italy side?

Let's just hope Sterling keeps running into trouble and forcing own goals and penalties... :yeahright:
I actually didn't think Grealish was all the great against Denmark. Still wouldn't have subbed him of course, and sitting back like that could have been very costly.

I think it was actually our best game overall though. Against Ukraine, contrary to the opinions here, I thought we were terrible; we should have won by 20 or more they were that poor, yet we had huge spells of Philips and Stones passing to each other.

But against Denmark we played at a higher tempo, managed to get back into the game after losing our way a bit, which is the first time we've done that, and had some great attacking play through the wings and the middle (though the Danish choked the middle up well). Aside from the second half of extra time of course, where we struggled a bit against a side who had subbed all their best players. Yes the last three or four we completely controlled it, but when we didn't have the ball we looked very nervy. Odd substitution....

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Re: England Squad

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:28 am

Well there we go. As was always inevitable, the defend, defend, defend strategy eventually backfired and Italy are deserved Euro champions. Gotta say I told you so. :shrug:

And if you're going to play for penalties, at least make sure the players are practicing putting the ball in the net rather than silly over-elaborate run ups.

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