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Thread: England v Croatia Prediction

  1. #71
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    lovin your sense of humour here Michael.
    Last edited by geoffwp; 13 July 2018 at 08:42.

  2. #72
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by Alistair20000 View Post
    Why did you bite Mr Dozen ?

    Seconded though.
    Apologies but my tongue is sore from biting - it needed some relief

  3. #73
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Whilst pleasantly surprised at getting to the semis, that team isnít going to win anything soon without some changes.

    As other have said, the problem seems to be the midfield. Iíve never been Hendersonís biggest fan because heís neither one thing nor the other - he doesnít really play a holding/defensive role (still awaiting clarification from 007) Ė but itís more the balance with him, Alli and Lingard. Based on from Alli shouldnít have been a first choice and I donít really know what it is that Lingard does. Combine these two with Sterling playing the more advanced role and there isnít a huge amount of variety.

    The lack of creativity then causes the wing backs to concentrate too much on attacking play which creates bleddy great gaps on the wings pulling an already cobbled together back three all over the place (when they arenít getting in each otherís way that is).

    And finally, for all of the top class saves he pulled off, Pickford makes me nervous and I worry that his over confidence is going to start costing us silly goals sooner or later. He just needs to calm down a bit I think, and that could come with age and experience.

    There isn't a huge amount wrong with it though and a few minor changes of personnel would improve it significantly. The issue is though whether those personnel exist.

  4. #74
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by LOG View Post
    Whilst pleasantly surprised at getting to the semis, that team isn’t going to win anything soon without some changes.

    As other have said, the problem seems to be the midfield. I’ve never been Henderson’s biggest fan because he’s neither one thing nor the other - he doesn’t really play a holding/defensive role (still awaiting clarification from 007) – but it’s more the balance with him, Alli and Lingard. Based on from Alli shouldn’t have been a first choice and I don’t really know what it is that Lingard does. Combine these two with Sterling playing the more advanced role and there isn’t a huge amount of variety.

    The lack of creativity then causes the wing backs to concentrate too much on attacking play which creates bleddy great gaps on the wings pulling an already cobbled together back three all over the place (when they aren’t getting in each other’s way that is).

    And finally, for all of the top class saves he pulled off, Pickford makes me nervous and I worry that his over confidence is going to start costing us silly goals sooner or later. He just needs to calm down a bit I think, and that could come with age and experience.

    There isn't a huge amount wrong with it though and a few minor changes of personnel would improve it significantly. The issue is though whether those personnel exist.
    I've seen a few people suggesting that if Harry Winks had been fit, and in the squad ahead of Delph, he may have been alongside Hendo in midfield in place of either Alli or Lingard. We'll no doubt get to see that in the next 2-4 years and Winks does look a good prospect.

  5. #75
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by Terryhall View Post
    I've seen a few people suggesting that if Harry Winks had been fit, and in the squad ahead of Delph, he may have been alongside Hendo in midfield in place of either Alli or Lingard. We'll no doubt get to see that in the next 2-4 years and Winks does look a good prospect.
    I couldn't have seen any circumstance where Alli or Lingard weren't starters for Southgate. Lingard's form this season and Alli seems nearly undroppable for some reason, despite a decline in form this season (although people will look at the stats and say he's had another good season).

    The only player who could have been in a serious position to dislodge either, likely Alii (and even then I'm probably talking about after 2/3 games of the tournament and most likely due to the injury he was carrying) would have been Oxlade-Chamberlain. He'd have needed to produce some serious form to dislodge Alli otherwise.

    Loftus-Cheek did himself no favours versus Belgium but I'm not sure whether he had the pace, movement and/or engine Southgate was looking for in midfield anyway really, like Winks, which is probably why he was reluctant to change personnel. With 3 CBs and the wing-backs inevitably being behind the ball frequently, 3 forward looking players isn't really sufficient thrust going forward, unless Henderson was going to be pushed up and given more freedom (which I'm not particularly keen on) to incorporate the likes of Winks, hypothetically, ignoring the injury of course.

    5-3-2/3-5-2 and the low block is naturally a defensive formation, even though we could employ the high-line against a lot of teams, we saw versus Croatia when we faced a side good in possession there's an inevitability about being pushed back. Getting up the field is one of the challenges of this formation which is why I strongly suspect he opted for two expansive players/roles like Alli and Lingard to try help and get us up the pitch quickly.


    I really like Winks but this W/Cup came too soon for him even ignoring injury. He's still got the tough task of establishing himself as a Tottenham starter; he did make big strides this season.

    I also can't knock Southgate. Right now 5-3-2 did make a lot of sense and was arguably the best choice given who we had to choose from and our weakness in the middle. Going forward I hope we change as the formation has terminal weaknessess imo against top class opposition but that's me.


    <<My preference is reliant on far better CMs coming through though so easy for me to say. I wouldn't completely rule out Loftus-Cheek, he has the presence and technical ability. Personally it'd be him Winks & Shelvey competing for the deep-lying play-maker role. Accompanied by someone mobile and capable of making a big impact without the ball, less so with it but still no slouch. My hopes here are pretty much pinned on Chalobah atm but there should be 1 or 2 good options to come through to challenge Henderson judging by the youth teams. I like the 3 CBs and what they bring with the ball so I personally lean towards a 3-4-3, Southgate has been astute tactically in some areas, so it'd just be a midfield alteration I'd like to see not a complete re-write. Last paragraph is just personal opinion/speculation/dreaming. Probably highly unlikely to happen.>>
    Last edited by D__Lo__; 13 July 2018 at 15:37.

  6. #76

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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by D__Lo__ View Post
    I couldn't have seen any circumstance where Alli or Lingard weren't starters for Southgate. Lingard's form this season and Alli seems nearly undroppable for some reason, despite a decline in form this season (although people will look at the stats and say he's had another good season).

    The only player who could have been in a serious position to dislodge either, likely Alii (and even then I'm probably talking about after 2/3 games of the tournament and most likely due to the injury he was carrying) would have been Oxlade-Chamberlain. He'd have needed to produce some serious form to dislodge Alli otherwise.

    Loftus-Cheek did himself no favours versus Belgium but I'm not sure whether he had the pace, movement and/or engine Southgate was looking for in midfield anyway really, like Winks, which is probably why he was reluctant to change personnel. With 3 CBs and the wing-backs inevitably being behind the ball frequently, 3 forward looking players isn't really sufficient thrust going forward, unless Henderson was going to be pushed up and given more freedom (which I'm not particularly keen on) to incorporate the likes of Winks, hypothetically, ignoring the injury of course.

    5-3-2/3-5-2 and the low block is naturally a defensive formation, even though we could employ the high-line against a lot of teams, we saw versus Croatia when we faced a side good in possession there's an inevitability about being pushed back. Getting up the field is one of the challenges of this formation which is why I strongly suspect he opted for two expansive players/roles like Alli and Lingard to try help and get us up the pitch quickly.


    I really like Winks but this W/Cup came too soon for him even ignoring injury. He's still got the tough task of establishing himself as a Tottenham starter; he did make big strides this season.

    I also can't knock Southgate. Right now 5-3-2 did make a lot of sense and was arguably the best choice given who we had to choose from and our weakness in the middle. Going forward I hope we change as the formation has terminal weaknessess imo against top class opposition but that's me.


    <<My preference is reliant on far better CMs coming through though so easy for me to say. I wouldn't completely rule out Loftus-Cheek, he has the presence and technical ability. Personally it'd be him Winks & Shelvey competing for the deep-lying play-maker role. Accompanied by someone mobile and capable of making a big impact without the ball, less so with it but still no slouch. My hopes here are pretty much pinned on Chalobah atm but there should be 1 or 2 good options to come through to challenge Henderson judging by the youth teams. I like the 3 CBs and what they bring with the ball so I personally lean towards a 3-4-3, Southgate has been astute tactically in some areas, so it'd just be a midfield alteration I'd like to see not a complete re-write. Last paragraph is just personal opinion/speculation/dreaming. Probably highly unlikely to happen.>>
    It was primarily Sterling's role to get us up the field quickly. Our main problem was that Ali, Lingard and Sterling couldn't hold onto the ball, so we quickly lost possession upfield.
    Last edited by IndoMike; 13 July 2018 at 20:27.

  7. #77
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by IndoMike View Post
    It was primarily Sterling's role to get us up the field quickly. Our main problem was that Ali, Lingard and Sterling couldn't hold onto the ball, so we quickly lost possession upfield.


    I don't really believe the intention was to be quite so one dimensional, that frequently. It would call into question the use of players like Alli and Lingard in the system for me personally to accept that as the only/main plan, especially against deeper defensive lines. Surely the emphasis in midfield would be less on physicals if that was the case as no matter how good the midfield was physically it'd struggle to consistently catch up with play if that was the main strategy. Expecting Sterling to hold-up the ball sounds a bit surreal. I struggle to believe Southgate intended that too.

    Sterling's running did prove effective at times against high lines but I don't think we were really wanting to consistently 'bypass' the midfield transitions at every/or most opportunities. It's too much responsibility for Sterling alone as well.

    I still firmly believe Lingard was in the team for his ball carrying ability too and both he and Alli were included for their off the ball movement and the perceived attacking impetus they'd provide as a unit rather than rely heavily on just one of the 3. They just ended up too deep or were just simply ineffective.

    Versus Croatia there were other tactical issues meaning we plumped for the long-ball a lot but that was due to lack of composure/alternatives IMO rather than it being a conscious plan.


    Emphasis on intention as you can definitely argue the effectiveness of Lingard and especially Alli in the system. I would like to think Southgate's tactical plan was more sophisticated though even taking into consideration the different complexions of each game depending on the opposition's defensive strategies/lines.

  8. #78

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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by D__Lo__ View Post
    I don't really believe the intention was to be quite so one dimensional, that frequently. It would call into question the use of players like Alli and Lingard in the system for me personally to accept that as the only/main plan, especially against deeper defensive lines. Surely the emphasis in midfield would be less on physicals if that was the case as no matter how good the midfield was physically it'd struggle to consistently catch up with play if that was the main strategy. Expecting Sterling to hold-up the ball sounds a bit surreal. I struggle to believe Southgate intended that too.

    Sterling's running did prove effective at times against high lines but I don't think we were really wanting to consistently 'bypass' the midfield transitions at every/or most opportunities. It's too much responsibility for Sterling alone as well.

    I still firmly believe Lingard was in the team for his ball carrying ability too and both he and Alli were included for their off the ball movement and the perceived attacking impetus they'd provide as a unit rather than rely heavily on just one of the 3. They just ended up too deep or were just simply ineffective.

    Versus Croatia there were other tactical issues meaning we plumped for the long-ball a lot but that was due to lack of composure/alternatives IMO rather than it being a conscious plan.


    Emphasis on intention as you can definitely argue the effectiveness of Lingard and especially Alli in the system. I would like to think Southgate's tactical plan was more sophisticated though even taking into consideration the different complexions of each game depending on the opposition's defensive strategies/lines.
    It's just that in your initial analysis you didn't even mention Sterling, who was clearly an important player, thus making your detailed analysis faulty. Sterling's job was to bring the ball up from midfield to attack, but then things broke down. In the Croatia match the team was constantly looking for Sterling, which emphasizes his importance to the team. Lingard is a similar player to Sterling in that he is attack minded and breaks from midfield. What we needed but don't have was an Eriksson -type player that could link up with Deli Ali and Kane a la Spurs. So, as I said, we had nobody to hold the ball up or act as a playmaker. This is nobody's fault - we just don't have enough quality English players, as indicated by the poor performance by the "reserves" against Belgium. Southgate did a very good job with limited resources and in the end we come home with honor - no WAGS, excellent disciplinary record, and 100% effort.

  9. #79
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Against Croatia we simply ran out of steam. We could quite easily have been 3-0 up at half time and for the first half an hour especially Croatia were all over the place. So to suggest we had no midfield, this was wrong, that was wrong, we didn’t do this, that or the other seems daft to me.

    We DID do all that, unfortunately we couldn’t keep it up and began to falter when we should have been out of sight. Plus, on the day, Kane and Ali decided to have their worst games of the tournament and the defence switched off twice for their goals. Note it wasn’t anything particularly spectacular that led to the Croatia goals, it was our mistakes. I know it’s all ifs buts and maybes, but if Kane and Ali were on song and the defence stayed awake we’d have won the game reasonably easily. As it is, against a team apparently much more experienced with much better players and a world class midfielder with arguably the player of the tournament we lost by a single goal that wasn’t scored until extra time.

    We’re not the best team in the world, but we’re not quite as disjointed and lacking as some people are now making out.

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