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a neutral - a football enthusiast, if you will - might have decided that Ukraine - England was the game with most at stake, and potentially the most entertaining, or at least important match to watch. two teams likely to finish anywhere between 1st and 3rd, you know, a lot on
instead we got Switzerland-Ukraine from WC06 mark 2
at least that would've been entertaining
they should be banned from international football.
They got the worst World Cup qualifying group ever, so they'll be back at Brazil 2014! It's Switzerland III: Electric Boogaloo (or something)
Tbh I kinda enjoyed watching Kyle Walker try to figure out what sport was happening all around him
RVP x 2
Wanted to poke my eyes out with hot spears, but job done. Given the players unavailable, not matchfit and out-of-form a point was by no means a bad result. They're the sort of games that the extra quality a player like Rooney offers can often make all the difference.
Don't see why everyone's assuming England will breeze their final two games given their results so far against the three non-amateur teams in the group, like. Four points from six and a play-off is much more likely. Two draws wouldn't surprise.
Also, Cahill's really become England's best defender. Other than that, everyone did 'okay', bar Walker, who's amongst the worst footballers i've ever seen, and Wilshere, who just runs around looking angry and touching his quiff.
Think Gerrard cleared more danger away in the 6 yard box than Jagielka managed...
I think the fact that he looks, even by football's standards, incredibly stupid might have blinded me to his qualities, but thought he did what he always does; a solid, 6/10 display with the odd bit of suspect positioning. Jagielka's better imo.
Thought Walcott was fucking dreadful too, just not quite as bad as Walker
he has the heroic last-ditch block/header thing down to a tee. Defender for the cameras
Also, the fact he can rock up with 30yard screamers is pretty ace.
Isn't that just a symptom of him quite often having been stood in the wrong place though?
Don't think he's a bad player by any means and him/Jagz are the best pairing England have (think Dawson probably deserves another go at some point) until Smalling or Jones can sort themselves out, just not sure where the high praise comes from.
Not really a fan of that line of criticism (surprise!) anyway. Up there with guff about full backs being great going forward but suspect at the back (i.e. instructed to get forward and then not capable of being in two places at once).
Cahill had a good, 7/10 game while surrounded by people who were either painlessly anonymous or unavoidably terrible so he's rep is probably a little inflated today. There are flaws to his game but he is a very decent, dependable player generally.
As for last ditch challenges = poor positioning - I agree it shouldn't always apply (and you're probably right about last night), but a lot of the time I think it's valid.
If you're making last minute blocks or lunges because you've let a player run in behind you or they've got the space to line up a shot from the edge of the box then there's a decent chance you've fucked up at some point, just like a fullback getting caught hoplessly out of position isn't always blameless simply because one of his jobs is to supplement the attack
who play in the better teams, is that most of the attacks against you will be breaks and by nature they'll result in last-ditch defending. Pretty normal for CBs and keepers, the final line of defence, to be completely dick-moved by their teammates, too.
Cahill is the complete opposite of what that guy down there is saying. One of Cahill's biggest problems is his unwavering predilection for playing the ball out of defence, regardless of how few passing options there are and how many opponents he's surrounded by. He could do with being more of a clogger if anything.
Put Phil Jones in, at least he can bring the ball out of defence. No wonder we can't retain possession for more than two minutes.
Last night was awful, and I'm not buying into the 'job done' thing. It's the same every time England play anyone half-decent - they have no idea. I didn't even care if we were to concede in the end. Almost would like the World Cup, where I can watch it without dealing with the frustration of watching England.
Euro 2008 was great.
The answer is complete reformation of the way football is going in this country. But with the power of the Premier League and pressures on managers from chairmen, despite what the FA said last week I can't really see it happening.
Nice to see us picking up a couple of victories of late. New boy Anya looks like he could be pretty decent.
understand the frustration at the performance but happy with a point. enjoyed people saying that the likes of argentina, germany, brazil etc won't be scared of us if we play like that. That's because they are far better teams than us. We need to accept we are not a good side.
Never appreciated Glen Johnson more than last night though. Christ
Gary Cahill <3
(the guy on the left who had walker on toast abotu 12 times)
I couldn't face watching it. Looks like I'm supporting Costa Rica at the World Cup.
austrian flatmate had in on stream - tbf seemed like a relatively fair result.
Our performances in this campaign have been abysmal. Still, it could be worse, we could have lost 3-2 to Luxembourg.
It would eliminate the two biggest gripes about him - too interested in faffing about in the opposition box, gash at defending - in one fell* swoop. He'd probably be quite decent at it
*or is it Foul? Fuck knows
His pace and muscle does make him tricky to get past, but he's not agile enough to be a winger. Also, take note of his attempted shot against Arsenal the other week.
To be honest I think he'd be better off going down the Adam Gemili route.
I've seen him knock in plenty of decent crosses
I only started watching football again properly this season so this is based on last night and the north london derby
Bit like Clichy*. Supports the attacks well but can't cross.
*I know Walker doesn't come close to being as good as Clichy.
With a summary of everyone who's qualified so far, likely to qualify, be in playoffs etc. talking more about the rest of the world than Europe but wouldn't mind seeing a breakdown of that too
The Wikipedia pages give you most of the info though:
started their campaign with a 0-0 draw in Somalia as one of the lowest ranked teams in Africa, got through a group, then knocked South Africa in a further group stage, and now one tie away from the finals. Think I'll support them if they get through
they'll be fine
Now back to real/good football - for four weeks anyway
who do they play in the qualifying tie?
thought they'd be a comfortable second in the qualifying from South America (presuming Brazil aren't in the qualification)
Uruguay have struggled in this qualification, only started to string some wins together lately
which has been made even softer with the absence of Brazil
There's only ten teams (nine without Brazil), hard to do it any other way anyway - and since they've moved to one group there's no longer any makeweights as the worse teams have improved.
We'd still need the tournament for mini-nations to do something similar in Europe though.
and also because they'd be humped 20-0 every time in CONMEBOL
I thought New Zealanders were supposed to be nice and gentle, like Daniel Vettori. Shame on New Zealand footballers.
Also, there was a young kid sat about two rows back from me who, every time the ball went anywhere near Danny Gabbidon, would start shouting "Go on Danny!" "What a touch" "Great play", etc, immediately after which Gabbidon would give the ball away, mis-control it or fall over. Couldn't work out whether he being sarcastic or not.
to the international stage
can you start playing micah richards again man city?
did we ever find out why capello hated him so?
'you don't need to be a great player to be a top international player.' so, can we name some good examples of these?
Fringe player for Germany now, but ridiculous amount of caps/goals over the years
There are loads of other German centre forwards too - Bierhoff and Janker, for example.
I don't think he was a top international player. I'm sure he was considered a bit of a joke at the time.
fantastic for club and country.
just scored a lot of jammy goals. apparently gerd muller is pissed off that he might overtake his goals record.
Not saying he's a great player or anything (he belongs in this list clearly) but still.
Muller = 68 goals in 62 games (!), all against Brazil or something
Not sure even he thought he should be playing in the 1966 World Cup ahead of Saint and Greavsie.
They were England's Shearer and Sheringham back in the day.
(although he is actually properly great, just can't be arsed most of the time)
...need to add a player who isn't a forward to make this list credible, so Tobias linderoth
In a similar vein: Robert Earnshaw.
its my game i'll say what i like.
A ten year stint in the national team and a European and World Cup win brought on by being the only left back in Spain.
given you have him on your list does this mean Rickie Lambert is a top international player now?
Similar to Postiga, got in the team because of barely any competition for his place (Pauleta?). But he was half decent. That highly rated young forward at Benfica is probably chuffed that he can have a 10 year international career without much effort.
dont think he scored once.
footballer. I thought so before the Scotland game and I think so now.
I suppose the question then becomes whether he deserved his place in the side. Can't argue there...on merit and based on the options available I'd say just about. He possess skills and attributes that I don't particularly value. He's far from useless though, in truth it's Roy's regressive football that I have most issue with....utter dross which in mind is signified by such players.
People *actually* rate him!
didn't play very well yesterday but he's good
but he's no winger. No brain and can't cross
His crossing is pretty woeful for the most part, but I think the 'no footballing brain' thing is harsh. His reading of play, positioning and timing have all improved a lot over the last few years (for Arsenal anyway), decision making still lets him down sometimes, but he's hardly the only member of the England team who's guilty of that
not a winger as such.
does he just fool everyone by occasionally Gareth Bale-ing the ball forward past an ever slower LB?
also: when is Jack Wilshere going to be good again? or have his injuries ruined him already?
Cleverly doesn't have half the invention and penetration of Wilshere on a good day, but he doesn't really give the ball away all that much. should have started in his place.
MON's the early favourite for the job, an appointment which would certainly put an end to all that unambitious hoofball...
Two things would then have gone right for Irish football in one day.
i think MON would be a decent appointment
I'm fucking chuffed with that. Costing enough, mind. Thompson Sport package, inflated hotel costs etc. Never mind though. Kind of wish I could afford both that and the Milan game.
It'll be good to play Barca again, although we're probably not as good as last season and they've bought Neymar, so we might have a tough time of it.
we're a bit weaker and have struggled to get up to speed this year and deal with the loss of Wanyama especially, plus Barca don't have the same coaching issues as last year with Vilanova's treatment. BUT I couldn't pass it up, and you just never know (insert condescending in-studio badinage about "the atmosphere" and "nobody wants to come to Celtic Park" etc.)
No matter how good the opposition is, our home record in the CL group stage is fantastic - I think we've only ever lost once.
this was a passive-aggressive reply to Severed[numbers] up thread
Sometimes it feels like you're not even watching football. They players just don't seem to know what to do. When they've got the ball they don't know what to do with it and when they haven't they don't know where to move to. A complete lack of ideas.
It's not just this crop of players. I remember it being like this in the 2006 World Cup when we had much better players, and in 2010 when we had slightly better players, and def a better team. Vs Trinidad & Tobago in 06 anyone? Algeria in 10?
I mean, I'm sure other countries have some tension between clubs and country, but from the inside it seems particularly bad here.
Which is worrying on a number of levels. First half wasn't actually that bad. They pressured Ukraine from the front, made them give the ball away and although the final ball wasn't quite there they still looked as if they might find a way through eventually if they carried on playing that way and maybe made a positive change or two.
Then the second half came and Hodgson clearly told them to stop attempting anything that resembled football and revert to humping it up the pitch aimlessly and drop as deep as possible to protect the point. There was a number of times where Lampard started to go and close down one of their defenders only to look round and see his winger retreating back to midfield instead of helping him out.
It just baffles me, Ukraine are not very good, put a bit of pressure on them when they've got the ball and they'll give it back to you but if you retreat behind your half way line and let them pick out their front man they might cause a few problems.
Also, why on earth was Young picked? It can only be because he plays for Man United. Agbonlahor is playing at least as well as he was when he was last picked for England and understands how to play that left forward role.
aaargh, rant over. Thank god for domestic football.
I remember reading a few years ago that Italian fans were really negative about their national team - half empty grounds, booing rival club's players etc. and I think the Spanish were largely apathetic about their side too. Obviously there's nothing like winning a World Cup to stop the grumbling
where qualifying for major tournaments is going through the motions somewhat, especially as the European Championships and World Cup have expanded (the Euros now being 24 teams is probably going to make that qualifying campaign even more interminable). So I guess it's unsurprising if the fans can only be bothered to pay attention come an actual tournament.
defensive midfielders: necessary for a good team right? i think so. what i dont like is when former attacking midfielders and wingers turn defensive (due to age or shitness) but still think they are performing the same role. lets take the example of steven gerrard against ukraine. did he have a bad game? no. but he did he have a bad game for a defensive midfielder? yes. that player should being doing pointless, simple sideways passes, not launching hollywood balls. if you're in that posistion, you should accept your place. i'd rather someone with less ability who plays the role better there, i.e. carrick or barry. actually i think carricks better than him anyway.
someone like (cos he was mentioned earlier) gilberto is perfect. everyone thinks he's shit cos he doesn't do anything. which is exactly what you want.
not really sure what the point of this is. probably just to cuss steven gerrard a bit.
actually, ryan giggs and arteta have been good converts to defensive midfielders.
no one is in the office.
Seems an age ago now, but for a while he was one of the best box-to-box players in the Premier League. There were three or four seasons for Villa when he scored 10+ goals, often blooters from distance. The reason he became a holding midfielder on a permanent basis was because City bought about six international midfielders at once and didn't know where to put them all.
Pirlo fits your description of semi-retired attacking midfielder, the difference is his Hollywood balls are Hollywood, whereas Gerrard's are...I dunno, Basingstoke.
but he's always been terrible at performing the tasks expected of a DM.
A midfield of Gerrard, Lampard and a half-fit Wilshere is terrible for just so many reasons.
deep lying playmaker?
Hurried home after watching one of the worst films I've ever seen but thought 'at least I have the football, at least I have that'. Smugness levels were pretty high as I skipped through about 45 minutes of ads and shite talk and then......the game.....the terrible, terrible game
As much as it pains me to have to admit I will rarely enjoy an England game until at least 2015 (by which time they might have had to sack him), it'll never get boring for Liverpool fans to say 'told you so'.
Regardless of your thoughts on his successors, it all seems like deja vu, albeit on a national scale. Anger with his tactics, bafflement at his selections, despondence at his comments after games, praising himself for achieving very little, and absolutely 100% refusing to shoulder any responsibility or admit room for improvement.
Sorry to go on about it, like. Actually that's a lie. I'm not sorry at all...
A manager unbeaten in all 12 games shouldn't be getting the amount of shit he's getting today. The fact he is shows that people expect more from England, maybe too much, than he can provide.
I'm sure some cool kids will still try to defend him, but if any of them could say they genuinely believe England could be a dangerous attacking side under this manager, they'd be lying to themselves.
you seem to be quite angry that King Kenny rode in to Anfield on a white horse, spent about £150m on some of the worst players in the country, then had to walk the plank with his little nuts out, his sole achievement a League Cup, won on penalties, against a mid-table Championship side.
most Liverpool fans i know think Kenny's tenure was at least as embarrassing as Royston's.
And there it is! Priceless.
HE WUZ JUS TROLLING, GUIZE!
And don't be so worried about being 'embarrassed' all the time! Seems a bit insecure.
but there was a very real chance that a strange alignment of timing and circumstances might have delivered Pardew into the hot seat had Roy turned it down. Just IMAGINE that
I can't think of a single fan who wasn't of the opinion that Liverpool had sacked a great manager based purely on wanting someone else, and therefore were a disgraceful set of idiots who knew nothing about the game.
It's tough to tear your colours from that mast.
Have to say I'm surprised no one's mentioned Dalglish, Andy Carroll or Stewart Downing yet in defence of Roy, actually. That's normally been (bizarrely) trotted out by now.
Most don't give a shit about Hodgson and he's certainly never got the easiest ride from the press. He got a bit of a rep as gentle Uncle Woy from places like DiS and f365 but they're hardly representative of your average football fan.
What most fans did was take an opportunity to stick the boot into a set of supporters who have a reputation for being very, very pious about supporting their managers and their record of not kneejerk sacking them. There's was no strong affection for Hodgson, just a bit of schadenfreude at Liverpool fans having to climb down.
if i supported Liverpool i'd be a bit embarrassed to read this sort of shit. it's bordering on drawbridge levels of delusion.
The scousers were right all along.
been to a game yet?
Good effort, but your Dalglish post coming at exactly the same time as I called it might look a bit 'embarrassing' to the people you're very eager to impress.
I'm glad someone's still behind Roy though. Keep it up. No point admitting you were sorely wrong when there's face to be saved.
just ignore him, wrightylew.
There's nowt funnier than a deluded bin dipper. Sadly the other Liverpool fans on here don't live up to the stereotype.
The fact that you still have such a hard-on for Roy's a bit puzzling but kinda cute. Don't know why your ass is so hurt over that one. I hope something happens on the pitch for your club at some point so being right or wrong about a managerial sacking three years ago isn't still a huge deal for you, like.
but there is this sinking feeling that we are now gonna be stuck in a joyless rut for the foreseeable future. He just seems so unadventurous and lacking in ideas. Also his comments on games lately being fantastic and the best things hes ever seen are comical and makes him look like an idiot.
I dont care about results because if we get to the finals of major competitions playing dogturd but scraping through it only delays any major changes. Scraping 1-0 past poland and montenegro probably puts England back two years in terms of development because it will reinforce the status quo.
taken a mediocre and disjointed set of players and made them difficult to beat. That is all that can be hoped for for as long as the English game is in the doldrums it is. It's already been proven thoroughly that nobody could do a better job than he could.
But debating this with you is obviously futile, because you had the script written the moment he got appointed.
found that it wasn't irregular, but why on earth would you say that on radio?