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Roger · 17 · 713

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Online Roger

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Well England have flown through one of the easier qualifying Groups and as a reward, now face 'les formidables' - the reigning World Champions - France.

The 'Matt' cartoon in today's DT, shows the Coach pointing out this strategy on today's whiteboard -

"IF YOU ADVANCE UP THE PITCH IN SMALL RUBBER BOATS THE FRENCH WON'T TRY TO STOP YOU"

That may well be our best chance  :P

But England do have some very talented Players performing well at last - my main worry would be McGuire, Stones, Shaw and Co. maybe being exposed against these higher talents. I've seen hopes that Walker can hold Mbappe - we'll see.

Surely France, Brazil and maybe England all have a chance to win the greatest prize, maybe in that order.

The game against France is a must see for me   :D
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Teessider

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England's qualifying group was the only 1 in which all  4 teams ranked in the top 20.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaine Pascal


Online Roger

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That's interesting Teess.

I had a quick look - none of the other 3 in our Group were in the top 15 FIFA rankings prior to the tournament and neither were Senegal.

England are playing well - I'm happily surprised after a poor run up to Qatar. I'm just saying that France is the first major test for us.

I wonder if the Netherlands may pack a surprise or two ?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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I enjoyed the match and thought England played well and particularly in the 2nd half. Walker did his job and I thought Macquire, Stones and Shaw too.

Kane took his 1st penalty well but in going for the left again, I reckon he knew Lloris would expect that so he put it a bit higher - whoops   ::)

Disappointing for us Brits but at least, both teams played in a good spirit unlike some of the other games we have seen   ::)

France are a great side and I'd rather see them win than the 'orrible Argies !!

We can all catch up on sleep now   ;D
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Coolkorat

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I enjoyed the match and thought England played well and particularly in the 2nd half. Walker did his job and I thought Macquire, Stones and Shaw too.

Kane took his 1st penalty well but in going for the left again, I reckon he knew Lloris would expect that so he put it a bit higher - whoops   ::)

Disappointing for us Brits but at least, both teams played in a good spirit unlike some of the other games we have seen   ::)

France are a great side and I'd rather see them win than the 'orrible Argies !!

We can all catch up on sleep now   ;D

Agree completely Roger. I'm not a football fan but watched the game. The French goals were brilliant but both teams closely matched and none of the histrionics and nonsense other teams and players get up to. The best team won on the night, and England go out to the best team in the World Cup.


Online Roger

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Harry Kane's penalty miss was a major bloop but let's remember, we couldn't score from open play at all. Sometimes it happens that way with the run of the ball . . . .

I don't think Harry should carry the blame - we would still have had to go on and win in the game or the penalties - by no means guaranteed. So let's unload blame from Harry ?

But when you see the semi-final line up :-

Argentina v Croatia - what a punch up that might be. Argies have plenty of yellows and might have to field a weakened team in the final . . .

And Morocco v France  8) 

Not to be disrespectful to any team but I would have really fancied England's chances in that mix.

Will England ever get such a good chance again ? (i.e. no Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil etc.).

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Teessider

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Yellow cards are wiped at this stage Roger. I agree you can't blame Kane and second penalties are tricky. I would have some questions for Gareth. Did Saka have to go off? Was Sterling really the best option? 90 seconds for Grealish? Would TAA or Trippier have been a better set piece threat than Rashford?
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
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Online Roger

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Thanks Teess.

I agree with your points about Saka, Grealish and Trippier. I see Gareth Southgate is being proposed for Sainthood in some of the Press atm.

I'd temper that adulation with my opinion that he has had at his disposal, a far greater pool of special talents than has been available for some decades. But the World Cup is gone for us again and IMO it's time for Southgate to move on..

To this earlier, 'Will England ever get such a good chance again ? (i.e. no Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil etc.) I should add to that Holland, Denmark, Belgium and in the event that we had won, France !

There you go - I've missed the EPL and looking forward to getting back to MotD
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Teessider

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....and France were without Benzema, Pogba and Kante.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaine Pascal


Online caller

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Time up for Southgate as far as I am concerned.

I agree with Tees about Saka. The French were running scared of him, he wasn't tiring and the subs when he went off didn't materially change the way we played, so it was sort of like or like. Yes for Mount, but no for Sterling. Made no sense to me. Having both Henderson and Rice in midfield made little sense either. Whatever, when the chips are down, Southgate has a track record of failing with his substitutes, when he actually uses them, as we saw against Croatia, Italy and now France. At this level, that is a major, and costly failure.

Unlike others, I thought Maguire was plodding awfuleness throughout. No surprise that Giroud got the beating of him for the winning goal. The younger central defenders need to be brought through now and given time to forge relationships to hold us in good stock for the future.

The big question is, who is there to replace Southgate, who has clearly taken England as far as he can.

Tuchel is free! 


Online Roger

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Hi Caller. 'Awful' is a bit hard on Harry McG but maybe my comment came from feeling that he wasn't as bad as I feared he might be, after that dismal EPL so far.

England certainly missed a golden chance - on to 2026 !

Where's 2026 going ? Papua New Guinea ? Tristan da Cunha ? In the event the Qatar venue coped without disaster, (so far), but Qatar was a corrupt and disgusting choice in the first place.

All those effing stadiums are going to sit empty now, for eternity. What a waste of resources!

World Cups, Olympics etc. should IMO only be awarded to Nations that already have adequate facilities in place.

Oh Caller btw - Thomas Tuchel ?? How did that go at Chelsea ?  ;)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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Oh Caller btw - Thomas Tuchel ?? How did that go at Chelsea ?  ;)

Absolutely and it was so bizarre.

Maybe if he hadn't split with his wife and concentrated on football, maybe if he hadn't been Abramavich's appointment and others he was close to hadn't already left due to that connection, ultimately leaving him isolated and maybe if the new owners hadn't felt that it would be better all around if all those appointed by Abramovich, in view of his connections in Russia, should all leave, then he wouldn't have been a dead man walking.

He also did a Southgate. Widely praised for how he coped and managed events off and on the park, with losing players, not being able to buy others, coaches not being able to travel, and other Government rerstrictions, amid all the turmoil. Maybe verything took it's toll?

He's a top manager and will go onto succeed elsewhere. Circumstances at the end of his time at Chelsea were far from normal.


Online Roger

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Thanks for that Caller.

Pochettino is also being mooted as a possible successor to Southgate.

Tuchel is German. Poch is Argentinian I believe.

So the next England Manager may be from Countries with whom, we have not always been the best of Friends  ;)

Personally I'd like to  see Graham Potter in the England job - who knows ? Southgate might then take over at Chelsea LOL. I know how that would please you   ;)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


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Personally I'd like to  see Graham Potter in the England job - who knows ? Southgate might then take over at Chelsea LOL. I know how that would please you   ;)

Personally, I'd like to see him succeed at Chelsea first.

I see a meaningless friendly in the middle east has resulted in a season ending injury to Broja - just great.

A few seasons back a similar meaningless friendly in America, resulted in Loftus-Cheek being absent for the best part of 2 seasons.

We will never learn?


Online Roger

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It looks like Chelsea don't get Southgate (phew!) and England don't get Potter  ;)

Fantastic game last night and in the first half the Argies were amazing - one of the best halves you'd see. But the penalty - did someone sneeze? Matey was hitting the ground before there was contact with his legs. Soft!

But Argies deserved the win no doubt. Gotta say I doubt Gareth's boys would have beaten either team  :(

Players of African culture make up 9/11 (?) of the French team - nothing wrong with that but it's surprising. Griezeman looked real class. Mbappe too.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Teessider

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9 of 11 ?  Lloris, Griezemann, Rabiot, Giroud.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaine Pascal


Online Roger

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Cheers Teess  ;)  I did put a ? mark there and of course, Giroud went off in the 1st half. A Pal had said to me joking 'they're all black' which is what made me think of it.

I've always thought Africans were good footballers - I started 'Exide Sparkers' in Nigeria with their first set of boots 30 years ago LOL. Now there's so many of African origin in Europe and that's great. ATB

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein