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GoliathGrunt

Russia - The World Cup

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At the end of the day, England didn't beat any team ranked higher than 16th in the world. They did reasonably well and avoided the abject failure and humiliation that has characterised major tournaments of the last 20 years, but when the draw opened up like the parting of the Red Sea, they still weren't up to the task and a wee country ranked lower than them turned out to be a fair bit better and more deserving of a place in the final. The OBEs can go back in the box.

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1 hour ago, Kingsmills said:

Let's never accept the tired old excuse about Scotland being too small to be successful ever again. The population of Croatia is significantly less than Scotland and they are in the World Cup final for goodness sake.

We are not too small. We are just not good enough. We need a root and branch change from youth football up. If Croatia can do it there ought, in theory, to be no reason why we can't.

Fact - Scotland have played Croatia five times. Beat them twice and drawn the other three. 

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7 minutes ago, Caman said:

Fact - Scotland have played Croatia five times. Beat them twice and drawn the other three. 

Fact, we are at home yet again watching a major tournament take place without us even in the group stages when they are in the World Cup final.

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I think a sober reflection of England's performance will demonstrate that it didn't quite live up to the rather belated hype.  There is certainly much to be positive about with a very young and inexperienced squad playing in a rather more adventurous way than has been the case in recent years.  Players like Trippier and Maguire  were outstanding and there was a good understanding through the team.

Whilst Croatia ended up as worthy winners, England could and probably should have been 2 or 3 up at half time.  They were much the better side in the first half but a failure to be clinical in front of goal during that period will have cost them a place in the final.  Their frailties at the other end were displayed when Croatia came more into the game in the 2nd half and began to show the kind of form that swept aside Messi and co in the group stages.  I suspect that had England made their 1st half superiority count, France would have shown up their defensive frailties a bit more clinically on Sunday.  

The forthcoming Euros will perhaps give a better indication of how good this England team can become, but I think they have demonstrated enough to suggest they will be a real force in the years to come.  As for Sunday's final, I think France have got that bit more quality up front and I expect them to win in normal time.  It would, however, be great for the game if a country with such a small population could win the biggest competition in the world.  Should be a great game.

 

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If I were English, I would be fairly pleased with the overall performance of my young and relatively inexperienced team and my, until now, unheralded manager. They exceeded the unusually modest pre tournament expectations.

However, that pleasure would be tempered by frustration that an opportunity, perhaps a once in a generation opportunity, had been lost. With the pre tournament favourites such as Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Portugal all departing early there will never be a better opportunity. France would have been formidable opponents and favourites to beat them in the final but at half time they had one foot in the final but, for whatever reason, frankly played poorly for most of the second half and the period of extra time.

However, credit should be given to Croatia who, that first fort five minutes apart, showed more skill, tactical awareness and, perhaps most significant of all, enegy and desire.

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It was fun whilst it lasted...England stayed in the competition longer than Brazil, Argentina, Ronaldo, Germany and Spain. A few players didn't turn up for the second half yesterday, but many came out of the tournament with enhanced reputations, maybe carrying injuries. In the end the team that should be most gutted is Belgium.

Anyway a short interlude ...then we can get back to the serious stuff; Can ICT get out of the Championship (upwards!) and can Palace avoid another nerve-shredding season in the EPL

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Sadly the mindless, thuggish English support and the arrogant English media turned many in the remaining "home" nations against a very promising, competent young side!

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The ‘It’s coming home’ thing will probably be jumped on but I don’t blame the fans for that - they can and should dream.  Roy Keane on ITV had something to say about media pundits looking/speaking too far ahead and was quite persuasive.   I doubt though the England players or staff believed any of that.  Sadly, the BBC in England/UK is a continual embarrassment - not just in football but in many respects.  In this instance, the BBC could have acknowledged or set the tone and been  balanced/impartial, like ITV but their very first go-to was a parody of what life would be like in England after them winning the WC - that was how they opened their coverage.  ITV had Bilic and Keane and O’Neill and it’s a sad day when ITV are the pragmatics.  It would have been tongue in cheek for Scotland, Ireland etc. but the BBC were just sophomoric and really didn’t strike the right tone.  Croatia/Modric said the media’s hang up on them being tired and discussing plotting the draw and it being a clear path motivated them, but again that was media driven, not squad or fan - the latter from what I read wanted a test.  Friends from England were content with getting to a semi final and had huge concerns over the team and their frailties.  

The BBC have spun what is, and what should be, a very promising first foray, into a failure from the outset, and most English fans, and I’m sure the squad in time,  won’t see it that way.    It’s another stumble by a BBC that needs some checks on its representativeness, impartiality, and Reithian values.  It’s a sad day when ITV come out on top.

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Typos
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5 hours ago, buckett said:

Sadly the mindless, thuggish English support and the arrogant English media turned many in the remaining "home" nations against a very promising, competent young side!

I disagree.  Yes there were a few incidents that were poor show but nobody was stabbed and nobody died.  OF games until the millennium could be counted on for that.  I won’t tar tens of millions of fans partying on the basis of the action of, at most, a hundred who vandalised  stuff.  We’d have the same and so would any country, though anlot would be worse.  I never met any thugs at the 2006 World Cup and was bought many a beer.

Edited by Glover

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2 hours ago, Glover said:

I disagree.  Yes there were a few incidents that were poor show but nobody was stabbed and nobody died.  OF games until the millennium could be counted on for that.  I won’t tar tens of millions of fans partying on the basis of the action of, at most, a hundred who vandalised  stuff.  We’d have the same and so would any country, though anlot would be worse.  I never met any thugs at the 2006 World Cup and was bought many a beer.

Precisely..no news of trouble in Russia (who'd risk it!) and some silly stuff after the Sweden match (but in the couple of case where cars were  damaged, crowd funding by other supporters raised money for repairs) Wasn't impressed myself by the beer throwing as goal celebrations, but little else

And I've never held it against the Scots when some broke the Wembley goals all those years ago and dug up the pitch.

Not sure the media were arrogant, just over-excited

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Are the BBC allowed to get over excited?  Or should they inform and/or educate and/or entertain?  In this instance the entertain is from the football, we only need inform and educate - sadly lines were blurred.  BBC WC coverage was arrogant and drifted into the One Show or All Together Now territory and what’s more did not reflect public broadcasting service values. That’s the standard, like it or not, and why we have to put up with UK laws and fines to protect it .  The role reversal where ITV were the more sober of the two surprised me - I never ever wanted to watch ITV over BBC before for the WC.

I’m with Brian Clough on this.  The BBC should have let the football do the talking, and not treat it is an ex-pro lads away hol, like we were watching a WC Big Brother and  the tone should have been the same had they been  reporting it for Sco, N.Ire, Wal or Eng, as its a PBS.

To reiterate I think the fans and team were let down by the BBC.  It’s another nail in their coffin now TV comes from Apps inside Smart TVs and Netflix and Amaxon and Now TV etc. need paying.  Easier to delete the app...

 

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We often complain about refereeing at ICT games but it is a great shame that two refereeing errors changed the course of the game.  Certainly there was some terrific football to admire but I can't help thinking what the result might have been had the referee not awarded the free kick and the penalty which gave the French a grossly undeserved half time lead.  I suppose one can forgive the referee for the free kick when he was conned by some skilful and probably well rehearsed cheating by Greizmann, but the award of a penalty was simply farcical.  The VAR system has been generally positive but there is no way that was deliberate handball and the fact that the referee took so long to make his mind up should have told the referee that it wasn't clear and obvious as required by the VAR rules.  France came out and played much better in the 2nd half and scored 2 excellent goals but you can't help thinking that it might have been a very different game in the 2nd half had it been level at half time.  Full marks to Croatia though who pushed to the end and played top quality football throughout.

My fears for this world cup have been well and truly been put to bed.  It has been really good and there have been good reports of the atmosphere and visitor experience outside of the grounds too.  Putin will be a very happy bunny.  There may have been a large number of goals from set pieces but there have have been some wonderful goals from open play too.  It's been a good World Cup.

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Not just a good World Cup but a wonderful one. The most entertaining tournament for decades with the Russians proving surprisingly good hosts.

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No Netherlands or Italy, a below par Brazil, Argentina and Germany.   I wonder how those teams will or won’t shape the next World Cup.  Sadly it’s in Qatar and I won’t be watching.  Anyway, very few 0-0, VAR, lots of upsets, some new players emerging and all the main news from on the pitch.  It was a successful tournament and credit where credit is due.

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I think football just found a new hero in Kylian Mbappe though .... not only was he very good, but he's just donated all his world cup earnings to charity. 

https://mashable.com/2018/07/16/kylian-mbappe-world-cup-charity-donation/#TV_Yl8c4bSqW

 

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31 minutes ago, Laurence said:

A lot of promise for the future is coming home , me thinks

I wasn't aware that Daniel McKay had been away.

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It was a reasonably exciting and dramatic competition. Not really 100% convinced about VAR though. I`ve not studied it enough in detail but what outcomes would

have potentially changed without it. i.e would France still be Champions?

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It was a good tournament but personally still think the Brazil one was the best for ages in terms of entertaining football.

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2 hours ago, Ten4 said:

It was a reasonably exciting and dramatic competition. Not really 100% convinced about VAR though. I`ve not studied it enough in detail but what outcomes would

have potentially changed without it. i.e would France still be Champions?

VAR has been used in MLS for the last couple of years now (with former EPL ref Howard Webb in overall charge of the programme) .

Overall it seems to be a good thing IMHO ... but like normal refereeing, the system is only as good as the referee himself !!! Webb was on the commentary team for the final over here and was absolutely slaughtering the referee's decision for the penalty in the final despite the opportunity to use VAR and be sure. I was impressed with how quickly it operated in Russia. In MLS it has been slower than that up to now.  

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I think the VAR system has had more positive than negative outcomes and on balance must therefore be considered as an improvement.  But why oh why can't the football authorities swallow their pride and accept that the Rugby Union authorities do things so much better?  If there is doubt in a decision let the video referee make the decision from a less pressurised and more informed position.  If players contest a free kick decision just move it on 10 yards or instead of just awarding a penalty award a penalty goal,  It would soon stop some of the appalling, disrespectful antics we see on football pitches.  We complain (rightly) about the standard of referees, but who in their right minds would want to be a football referee when they are treated with such disrespect on the pitch and get so little support from their employers.

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Thoroughly enjoyed what turned out to be a very entertaining tournament. Only sour point for me was Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot when 3 of his 6 strikes were from penalties. Given some of the fantastic goals we saw during the tournament I just felt his winning of the award was a bit of a let-down and slap in the face to some of the exciting strikers who were far more capable in front of the goal from open play than he was.

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23 minutes ago, CaleyCanary said:

 Only sour point for me was Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot when 3 of his 6 strikes were from penalties.

And another one he knew nothing about (and was offside). He takes a mean penalty though.

But I think it is fair to say that for the first time ever, there won’t be many kids around the world pretending to be the World Cup’s golden boot winner, as there were many better strikers.

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Mbappe was indeed the star of the tournament.  Let’s see where England are at Qatar with all of Russia 18 players well within age to play there also and with four years for players to push on/fall out.

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