Talk about anything you want!
I was so certain that there’d be a thread running about the World Cup that I almost didn’t bother with this but, unless I’ve missed something, there doesn’t seem to be.
So, the World Cup: who’s going to win, who’s going to surprise us and just how flaccid will England’s performance be? Post your thoughts, your reactions, your opinions, arguments, notes on how much beer you’ve drank and all the rest that both makes for a good footie thread and keeps the rest of the site free of it.
I’m torn between Germany and Brazil to win it and England to get out of their group but lose the next match.
Annoying distraction for the next month. Not even the pinnacle of world football in terms of entertainment and skill levels, the Champions league knock-out games are much better.
France to win, or maybe Germany or Brazil. England will be better than previous and will comfortably get to the quarters when a proper team will knock them out.
I’m really looking forward to it. Not sure why, but I still find the World Cup much more special than any other football comp, regardless of the quality. Ancient memories of when it was the only time you got to see the world stars; Brazil and Italy in 1982, Denmark and Maradona in 86 etc.
I’m hoping for England to perform well and just create some good memories, a great goal or two, and get out of the group obviously. Think we have a 50:50 chance against Poland/Colombia and a 40:60 chance against Belgium. I don’t think we’ll be super exciting, but at least we have a bit of a plan. I like Southgate, but I do wish that he’d signed up a coaching genius just to help him for the next three months.
In my work prediction comp, I have ended up with a Brazil v Argentina final. It would be good if one of the finalists wasn’t one of the big five though.
It would be good if one of the finalists wasn’t one of the big five though.
It would only likely lead to a boring one-sided game.
That’s one heck of an assumption.
Belgium has more than enough good players for an exciting game, maybe Croatia does too. Colombia could come good, or Uruguay. Portugal has some great players, though tend to play a fairly dull game. Then there’s England…
And what was the last great world cup final between two established teams? 1986? 1998 was a great final but that was France’s first ever final.
I’m torn between Germany and Brazil to win it and England to get out of their group but lose the next match.
England will scrape out of their group, win their next match, raising the hopes, and then lose to Germany or Brazil.
With England it’s not a question of whether they will win, we know they won’t, but there is always some level of novelty to the defeat. OK last time it was just quick and painless, in fact I was too busy cycling around Yorkshire to notice it had started before they were out. But on other occasions, we’ve had the hand of god or the goal that never was, Seaman beaten from the halfway line or a hero sent off after cheating by a swarthy foreigner. Actually, we’ve had at least two of those. Will England play brilliantly yet lose in a penalty shoot-out, or being utterly terrible and lose in a penalty shoot-out ?
England are 12-1 to win the WC. For those of you unfamiliar with gambling, this means if you bet £100 on England, you will lose £100.
5 Live were are asking the other day;
1. winner 2. surprise package 3. golden boot’
So, 1. Germany (coz they always do) 2. Uruguay (good team plus Suarez), 3. Suarez (he will get a netfull against Saudi Arabia) and they Uruguay will progress (otherwise Mo Salah))
Think England could fluke to the semi’s…..and Vardy will be the surprise hero when we start lobbing it long and they cant handle his speed coz not used to this style. Most pundits (Linekar, Waddle specifically) used to go and on about ‘England wont win until we start playing 5 in the mid field etc etc etc. But we havent got the quality of player for this continental style (only Scholes ever good enough) so we should play to our strengths – route 1 after 70 minutes !!
England could do ok.
I wouldn’t be shocked if we made the quarters.
You never know. There’s no super dominant team this year so it’s pretty open. I’d love for Messi to show how good he is but if he doesn’t play well Argentina will struggle.
Germany are Germany so you have to fancy them.
I’m just hoping England play without fear. They have a group they should get out of and have a good path to the quarters.
Uruguay didn’t start too well yesterday but they’ve got good players up top. I’d love to see a good upset and one of the smaller teams to get a long way.
England have a 43.7% chance of reaching the quarters according to this analysis: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/world-cup/
..but don’t expect the Scots to be cheering you on: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2018/06/14/third-scots-actively-want-english-football-team-lo/
Spain-Portugal more than made up for the boring games so far in the world cup!
I fell asleep at the Iran – Morocco game, only for the goal to wake me up again, and then had to work through most of the good game, only running to the TV when the commentator started shouting…
Interestingly, Iranians probably enjoyed beating Morocco, 12 years after beating the US, with Morocco being one of the few countries that cut diplomatic ties and imposed economic sanctions at the behest of the Saudis (who I would like to see stuffed two more times) and the US.
Poor from Germany. Looked like they could have played for 900 minutes and still not have scored. Müller looks like the version that turns up at Euros rather than previous World Cups. I think they’ll struggle to get out of the group now (probably means they’ll go on and win it now I’ve said that..)
What did everyone think of the England game last night?
Unfortunately, in my opinion, they’re missing a lot of quality and inspiration.
No Beardsley, Waddle, Gascogne, Lineker, Platt. 1996 was the last time we had a side capable of winning it and Baddiel and Skinners song no longer rhymes.
Steady on… they’ve played some of the best football of any team so far, and they’re a young side. Kane is a good player. With him in the side, they’ll be a threat to anyone and given how limited Germany, Brazil, Argentina and France looked, I think they’re not badly placed here.
Passion, drive, guts etc…. rarer qualities these days, but in abundance in many GB Olympic athletes. Wonder what it is that makes footie so different.
A sense of entitlement? Look at Iceland’s display. They have no chance of winning it but set out a stall, stuck to the plan and got a great result. Population the size of where I’m from and hold one of the favorites! That’s team spirit.
@pippy Maybe because football is the number one sport in over 100 countries, and rowing and track cycling are minor sports in about 15 countries.
And anyway, English footballers don’t lack for passion, drive and guts. If they could win just by trying harder they would; it’s the skill, guile and composure they’re lacking.
I thought they were quite skillful and composed. They maybe lacked a bit of guile. They need to sharpen up the finishing a bit and maybe a little more luck with some of the refereeing decisions.
1996 wasn’t a world cup..
We were good in patches but pretty poor in other games. Scotland and Spain especially and that Germany team wasn’t great.
Similar in 1990, we were lucky against Cameroon especially.
This was pretty good. Walker looks a liability but has pace. But he does switch off and takes gambles, lets balls run that a center half shouldn’t. He still plays like he’s a wing back. I thought the penalty was harsh but see why it was given but then so should the one on Kane. But holding is inconsistently dealt with, hence why defenders still do it. With VAR this should be cut out.
Loftus Cheek looked dangerous, Sterling had a poor game. Lingard missed chances but gets into good areas. Rashford was more direct than any of them.
I don’t know how Stones didn’t connect with that chance. 1 game in, and a big win in terms of qualification. We should have won comfortably but they created lots of chances and played decent football.
Thing is with one of the Kane corner tussles, just before that disgraceful rugby tackle, Stones, also waiting for the corner to swing in, pushed a Tunisian in the back and he fell to the ground. So if the VAR were to give it to Kane, they’d have had to have given the Stones foul moments prior to it. So they left it all well alone. Wise.
Not sure about the other one.
Sterling was poor, Loftus Cheek looked good for the limited time he was on against a tired team.
Thought Trippier was the best player on the park – apart from his two goals (which is why he is in the team) thought Kane was invisible, especially in the second half.
One question – can Vardy and Kane play in the same team? Know that Vardy is good in counter attack, which wasn’t required against Tunisia, just wondering if teh two can play together?
I wouldn’t play Vardy with Kane and Lingard, Rashford and Sterling are more fluid and dynamic. They can play outside or as a number 10.
I agree Kane doesn’t offer much but goals. He can be an outlet and play the target man but he scores. That wasn’t an easy second goal.
England deserved to win. They ran, they created chances. It’s the first team in a one time which has an identity, a style of play not just big names, square pegs in round holes.
I’m a big fan of 3-5-2 at international level, it’s a gamble as we don’t play as a back 3 much domestically but it lets us dominate the midfield.
Here’s an interesting conundrum for you all to consider
If England and Belgium win their next games and so both qualify before the final game, which merely becomes a question of who tops the group. Brazil and Germany improve on initial matches and qualify, but the latter is second to Mexico and so play Brazil in the last 16. This is known before the Eng-Bel match, whilst the winners of Group H (Japan, Poland, Senegal, Columbia) isn’t known but isn’t exactly terrifying.
Now then the winners of Eng-Bel, if they win their R2 match, will face Germany or Brazil. The losers, again if they win in R2, would face someone like Mexico or Switzerland.
Will either side try to win?
Argentina 0 – Croatia 3
The end of an era? Argentina were terrible. Lethargic, sloppy, lacking imagination, unable to string two passes together, crosses going clear over the head of everyone. Messi was peripheral, and infected by the same sloppiness as the rest of them.
It will take a miracle for them to get out of the group now, so we are probably looking at the final international games in the career of one of the greatest players ever. A sad end, the brilliance of his Barcelona performances never replicated on the biggest stages of all.
I’m not sure, right now there’s a good chance that a 1-0 win in there last game will get them second place.
I agree. Croatia is the class act in that group. Iceland are tough opponents but may not get a result.
As for Messi. He is exceptionally talented and the statistics do not lie. But they also bear witness to the exceptional Barcelona team, possibly the best club side ever, raising him on their shoulders. But I question his character.
Maradona lifted poor sides (Napoli as well as Argentina) to Scudetto and World Cup glory. And he did so as if singlehandedly with display after display of indomitable character. We see the same determination in Ronaldo. He may have played a small part in the final game, but his play and goals took Portugal to the decider two years ago. Messi’s skills rival both, but, when it comes to the crunch, Messi falls short of either.
Neymar was brilliant yesterday.
Serbia were robbed……how that wasn’t a penalty when their forward was wrestled to the floor by two defenders was even more baffling than the penalty that never was against Harry Kane.
Nigeria finally showed what African Football is capable of in this World Cup. As good as Iceland were in the first half Nigeria were superb and I hope they qualify from the group.
A great day for the World Cup.
England 6 Panama 1! I quite enjoyed yesterday’s game, obviously having stuffed possibly the weakest team in the competition (I’m not sure just how bad Saudi Arabia are), I can confidently say we are going to win the World Cup!
Seriously though, great to see a young team playing with confidence and plenty of ability. Lingard’s goal was wonderful. Stones first goal was the first England goal by a Manchester City player in about 35 years apparently, which says a lot about Stirling’s contribution to England.
I enjoyed it too and have the same good feeling about our youth and lets not forget that until the senior age is reached, England have been the best team in the world recently. I wonder how well that will ultimately translate to the senior squads.
Sterling is confounding. He has great skill and is super fast and slippery but when wearing the three lions has not performed. I wonder if he can continue to bother the players with his running and make space for Kane to get close to the goal then this combo might work.
Perhaps its time to try Vardy. Another super fast runner and skillful operator, who is also deadly in front of the net. If Kane gets injured we will struggle without another good striker and so we need to see if Vardy or someone else can act as a credible deputy so that the other teams don’t think we are a one trick pony. I know Lingard and Stones scored yesterday but I don’t think they would have had the space that they did with a better opposition.
Two things have struck me so far. The first is probably not surprising. The foreign pundits like Fabregas and Zabaleta can speak in a more grammatically correct manner than most of the native English speaking ones. Secondly, I am amazed at the numbers of fans from supposedly poor countries who are able to afford a trip to Russia. I know that Colombia has a flourishing export sector but still………
Glad I did watch the Argentina Nigeria game….fantastic match. Felt a bit sorry for Nigeria, they play some great football.
How embarrassing is the cheating Argentinian Gazza? Unveils a flag of himself, swears at opposing fans, falls asleep then gets led away by doctors…probably a bit too late but the man needs help!
Some interesting games today…Brazil Serbia and Germany S. Korea would be amazing if Brazil and Germany failed to qualify.
Loving this world cup!!!
It is turning into a fascinating World Cup (France/Denmark aside). There is a quarter of the draw that now contains France, Uruguay, Portugal and Argentina!
As for Maradonna – an utter embarrassment. I think the BBC will be a little more circumspect about using his images during the games now, after having to cut away last night during the idiot’s one-fingered salutes.
I’m not sure why all the gloating over Germany’s exit. Borne out of jealousy for a country with a much better structured football set up which almost always out performs ingurland, maybe ? I doubt whether our humiliation to Iceland two years ago hardly registered in Germany.
Its partly our national obsession with the underdog and being jolly good sports.
I heard on the radio that in German schools sport is taught that winning is all that matters at all costs whereas we know that here we have a thing about the taking part, best efforts and everyone’s a winner etc. which is a bit rubbish but deeply ingrained in the culture.
I’m generalising of course, but you get my drift.
Well, I was looking forward to the Belgium v England game but its now become a bit on an anticlimax, talk is of both teams trying to lose – which is rather disappointing.
Never mind, it all gets real from now on – lets hope the referee’s also get real and waken up to the criticism they are getting – lets play football!
It was a nothing game. Why risk bookings or injuries.
no side wants to lose but there was no real advantage to winning. It was a chance for squad players to make a case and they didn’t. I don’t buy the momentum argument as it was a different team out there.
it all starts again now. Columbia is a decent team but plays well and we will beat them especially without James if he’s out.
Ive never known the quarterfinals minus Germany, Italy, Argentina, Holland, Spain or Portugal. Surely England should win the world cup this year?
Unusual for all those sides to be poor at the same time- and they were poor, none of the results are a shock when current form taken into account.
Brazil, France, Uruguay and Belgium all still in though. But all in the other half of the draw. Losing to Belgium looking like a very good move now…
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