baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Hoddle was good but unlucky (probably to do with sins in his past life), so you'd probably go back to Venables.

England over-rate themselves consistently, is the main problem. Too much pressure, too mcuh scrutiny, will kill even good managers, let alone the Hodgsons and the McClarens. Luka's right though, elite managers can have an extraordinary impact, and you don't even need to look to rugby. Conte completely out-thought Del Bosque on Monday, when Spain had a patently superior side player for player. Agreed however that it is harder for a national team coach to affect games the way a club coach can. Harder to shape the players as a group.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I think you're being hard on Iceland. they showed real grit and determination, were well drilled and organised and continued to chase the game even when winning.
They were well organised, and you're right, they were much more adventurous than one might have expected. But what I mean is, after the second goal went in, England didn't present them with any problems, their crosses were massively overhit even from a dead ball situation (as an aside, I don't understand why there are crap corners, shouldn't a pro be able to deliver it where they want every time - in other sports where there are things like that they can learn the muscle actions and just always do it - even rugby kickers are better at kicking a dead ball than footballers - and I don't just mean England here) - right out of ply often. They could't put passes together so they could't get through them that way and they lacked confidence to dribble - take people on. Though apparently, according to stats England had dribbled more than any other team in the group stages, how they work that out I'm not sure.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Though apparently, according to stats England had dribbled more than any other team in the group stages, how they work that out I'm not sure.
https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...ages-france-cristiano-ronaldo-microphone-lake

As those of us glued to France 2016 take a breath, avoid watching the news and mentally pixelate the image of the nation’s most visible unelected one-time fascism-curious teenager beaming like a vampiric little pug that’s just laid a great steaming mess in the middle of your antique Aubusson rug, there is, as ever, some solace to be taken in the football.

It was, lest we forget, just getting good. Not only off the pitch where the benevolent engagement of the Irish, Northern Irish, Welsh and English (in Saint-Étienne) supporters was helping to defrost some of France’s chillier extremities. But also on it, where the football had shown some signs of shedding its group stage caution.

Perhaps future historians poring over Euro 2016, the last great tournament before the Dark Times, will divide the action up into pre- and post splash. Certainly something seemed to shift on the final day of group matches, around about the time Cristiano Ronaldo threw an interviewer’s microphone into a lake in Linas-Marcoussis, resembling in that moment a kind of spray-tan King Arthur, tortured by his own curdled powers, hurling his fuzzy-tipped Excalibur into the waters.
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Euro 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo throws reporter’s microphone into lake

A few hours later Ronaldo finally blew his load against Hungary in the tournament’s most riotous match so far. Pre-splash the goals-per-game rate had stood at just under two. Post-splash the last round of group action brought 11 goals in four, plus last-minute thrills, Icelandic death-metal commentary hysteria and a decisive advance for cajoling, tyre-changing, sing-songing aggressive imperialist Irish bonhomie.

Really, though, the most significant thing about that mic-chuck was its graceless but still welcome sense of mischief. This was, let’s face it, pretty much the first spontaneous thing Ronaldo had done since he got to France. Against Austria three days earlier he was almost a parody of new‑era Ronaldo, so intent on applying himself as a reduced, distilled presence, high-grade footballing plutonium, that for long periods he barely seemed to move at all.

Against Hungary he was more animated, demonstrating that he is still a physically inventive athlete, just in miniature form, creativity poured almost exclusively into high-precision movements near goal. In this sense Ronaldo is the gold standard of modern attacking play. Gone are the long-dead frills and jinks, the sense of trying to invent the game on the run, create his own imaginative patterns. Tough guys don’t dance. Ronaldo doesn’t dribble.
David Squires on … a review of the Euro 2016 group stage
And then there were, oh, still 16. Anyway, David Squires looks back at the opening fortnight in France
Read more

But then who does these at these Euros? Apart, that is, from England. In perhaps the most curious stat of a curious group stage, England were the most prolific dribblers in the competition, with a total of 85 attempted over 270 minutes. This is, for the avoidance of doubt, the same England whose possession‑based play has been criticised for its lack of thrust. But who have, according to the website WhoScored, 12 outfield players with more successful dribbles than Ronaldo, once the master of the fast-twitch shimmy, the slaloming surge.
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Euro 2016: Croatia and Portugal stars meet in knockout contest

The first thing to take from England’s spot on the dribble list is the generally risk-averse nature of much attacking play elsewhere in the early matches. The tone has been cautious, every team in that bloated first round balancing on a raft from which only a few will fall, the trick being to lurk in the centre and just keep scuttling away from the very edges.

The second thing is the basic change in the idea of what constitutes a dribble. The power-running of the modern game is one thing, using speed and athleticism to ferry the ball into unoccupied space. It isn’t the classic definition of a dribble, for which a defender must be engaged and beaten by some element of trickery, taking the space your opponent was protecting rather than simply surging off elsewhere.

Gareth Bale has been the top individual dribbler and a genuinely destructive runner in the surging modern style. Bale’s talent is to make the game look suddenly as though it has stopped, a rugby league-ish ability to see a gap and slingshot through it, all power and balance and purity of movement, seeing a running lane the way others can see a channel for a pass.

There are more traditional dribblers around. Nolito has an almost indecent feathery touch on the ball. Dimitri Payet will always slalom and jink. But the more bolshy ones start to edge out toward the fringes. Leroy Sané hasn’t had a kick yet. Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, who had a Brazilian crowd on its feet at his malandro trickery two years ago, has been dispossessed more than any other player at this tournament. Oi. Xherdan. No. Hold it, mate.

We are unlikely to experience a sudden wave of matadorial dribbling from here on. This has not been an expressive, chancy tournament. And yet the optimist likes to hope that, post mic-splash, as we edge out of the grapple of the group stage, a little high-end risk will begin to find some reward.

Something somewhere will have to give to separate this well-matched field. How refreshing if it could be the odd moment of improv, if coaches and players could find the boldness to take that calculated chance. The past two weeks have been steady and feverishly contained. Who knows, it might just be the moment to dance a little.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I disagree and point to the impact Eddie Jones has had on the national rugby team
Manager can change things for sure - but the problem here isn't that. It doesn't matter who you put in charge of England I don't think that they would do better. I think that Hodgson had a point when he said that nothing in the previous performances had caused him to believe that they would play as badly as that. If your players can't hit a two yard pass what tactics will save them? I think it's to do with the expectation, pressure from the fans and papers who will turn on them the second they fuck up. Well, of course it's that - I'm stating the obvious. They need to look at the psychology of players in England - I think they work more on that in Germany say. Not in the national team but from the start.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Wales played incredibly. I hadn't rated them that highly before tonight, and with good reason I think. But this was just magnificent - coming back from 1-0 down to win convincingly against surely one of the best three teams in the competition. I can't quite believe it. Smallest nation in history to be in a major tournament semi-final (before Iceland,at least)? (Also they've now matched England's Euro Champs best at the first attempt)

I agree that Portugal would be one of the worst sides ever to grace a euro final, so the neutrals must be rooting for Wales. I'd be supporting anyone against Portugal at this point
 
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trza

Well-known member
I have watched nearly all the Portugal games and they have been snoring boring unwatchable football.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
France vs fucking portugal.

Presumably France will win. Hard to know whether to support the smug and underwhelming or the arrogant and lucky.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
That final was terrible, but the human drama was engrossing. Who knew Ronaldo could end up being a sympathetic character who looked like he actually cares about something beyond himself. I thought he played a blinder from the bench, I have to say. Pity Griezmann didn't show up, as he's a fantastic player. Sissoko gave an awe-inspiring performance, especially in the first half, can feel aggrieved his teammates were mediocre at best.

International football is awful in general though. Italy-Spain, Germany-Italy, France-Germany (to a lesser extent, as Germany were on a different level to the French, and lost god knows how) and Wales-Belgium seemed like islands of exquisite drama in a sea of cheap telenovelas. And I love a good telenovela....but it's not proper sustenance.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
it's about #5968758 on the list of mad things that have happened recently, but the prospect of a £100m bid for Pogba from Man U? Very good player no doubt, but clearly from the Euros not yet in the ranks of the truly great. Crazy money. Jose's budget looks pretty solid anyways.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
good game so far. i like ronaldo in a way just becasue hes a living god. ever since that roma game. 7-1. ascended to godhead
 
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