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Thread: England v Croatia Prediction

  1. #61
    grecIAN Harris's Avatar
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteUSA View Post
    Excellent overview above, but I cant agree about Pickford. Throughout the entire tournament, he never had a serious breathtaking shot to save, with the exception of a penalty kick or two; everything he did was routine, and that left me going into the Croatia match with certain reservations. I dont think he played that well, with poor clearances in general. My biggest disappointment was when a Croatia player was clean through on him in the first half. He chose to go in with a boot, ending up with their player needing treatment. That could have been a pen and even worse a straight red. That was bad, yet no review? The other lash-up for me was Pickfords half assed endeavor at preventing their winning goal. I was screaming at the top of my lungs for him to progress towards the scorer! What does he do? Decides to dive across his goal for no apparent reason! If he'd stayed strong he might have stood a chance? I'm sorry, its too late now, but I'd have prefered the experienced Butland.
    Pete, cast your mind back to about 45 seconds before Colombia scored and how they got the corner that they scored from. I'll give you a gentle reminder, Colombia smacks an absolute screamer of a volley that really is only going one place.... top corner and we're talking postage stamp. But then this 6ft Mackem goes flying, and I really mean flying, across his goal to turn the ball away. The save from Mandzujkic in the first half last night was a top class reaction, not to mention brave, save. He made three very good saves against Sweden. I'm not really sure what happens to the signal when it goes to America but you really aren't seeing the same things as the rest of the world.
    Last edited by grecIAN Harris; 12 July 2018 at 08:08.

  2. #62
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by DB9 View Post
    So here we are after 28 years in a semi-final of a World Cup, How's this one going to go?
    You could have closed this thread after post #2 !

    <smugly grin>

  3. #63
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Modric has said the pundits dismissal of Croatia had motivated them. The pre-tournament media hype and hysteria for years has burdened our teams with the weight of expectation to win the trophy rather than hope for the team to perform at its very best when representing us. Little acknowledgement that lady luck always plays its part, as do the opposition.

    As Modric says, it's disrespectful to other teams/opponents and motivates them. I loathe the UK media, well a lot of it !
    Last edited by elginCity; 12 July 2018 at 10:45.

  4. #64
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    I genuinely dont know why people are saying Henderson had a good tournament.

    He's slow, doesn't create anything, can only pass backwards or at best sideways. I wouldn't mind those issues if he could shut players out and break up play like Kante or someone, but he doesnt even do that. He's like Englands answer to Lloyd James or Alex Russell. The most overrated player in an England shirt last night.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12 July 2018 at 12:26.

  5. #65
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
    I genuinely dont know why people are saying Henderson had a good tournament.

    He's slow, doesn't create anything, can only pass backwards or at best sideways. I wouldn't mind those issues if he could shut players out and break up play like Kante or someone, but he doesnt even do that. He's like Englands answer to Lloyd James or Alex Russell. The most overrated player in an England shirt last night.
    Only some of the defenders had a good game last night. Not sure about everyone else but my acknowledgement for Henderson this tournament is regardless of his performance versus Croatia, which wasn't great but nor was the rest of midfield or attackers.

    I had reservations about Henderson this tournament, again, as ever, so admittedly the bar I may have set was not the highest. That said in several games, especially Tunisia and Sweden I thought his passing was more proactive and he showed on a few occasions he has it his in locker. Whether he should have showed it more or if he can do so consistently enough could be debatable though.

    He's no Kante (who is?) but paired with such expansive partners in the middle the energy, cover and responsibility he provided can't be neglected. The amount of ground he was covering game in game out in particular. Fans will always appreciate that level of effort even if that bit of quality is missing. I do think the tournament and the season caught up with him last night. He was the first subbed if I remember correctly.

    That Liverpool system is unforgiving too and for me, it must take a hell of a physically fit player within their two advanced lines to assist with that high block. I do think it says a lot about Henderson when Klopp has entrusted him so much as well on reflection.


    Whether he is really top-class international level it's debatable. I think partnered with a technician to take the heat off in that respect would help Henderson (system permitting). Although tbh I'm not sure what the future holds for him internationally anyway, certainly in terms of a World Cup as he'd be what 32? Considering the physical side is so important to his game you'd imagine that it'd be in decline by then.

    I've personally learnt to appreciate what he has to offer a bit more this campaign.
    Last edited by D__Lo__; 12 July 2018 at 15:03.

  6. #66

    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    We over achieved but because of the way the groups worked out still had a great opportunity to make the final.

    We have a young team and manager who will get better but I feel it was largely due to the latter’s lack of experience, not having a plan B and failing to make the correct substitutions, that we lost.

    Croatia have quality in Modric and a team of terrier like players who do not give up. They also had width to their attack to stretch our defence which we did not have.

    As in the last couple of games Kane was less of a threat due to lack of crosses coming in for him to contest.

    Similarly he again spent most of his time in midfield as opposed to where he is most effective namely in our opponents penalty area. We were told that he was fully fit but to me he looked to be a spent force appearing to contribute very little both as a player and captain and as controversial as it might have been should probably have been substituted.

    Both Alli and Lingard had relatively quiet games although to be fair as a team we did not have enough of the ball to bring them effectively into the game.

    Stirling chased and harried the defence but his international goal scoring touch seems to have totally deserted him. He is also inclined to be selfish and I think that whilst Southgate obviously rates him he may need to have a rethink.

    The problem is we do not have anyone else in the squad with his pace other than perhaps Vardy but he is only really effective when balls are played over defenders for him to run on to. Rashford is very much work in progress and still flatters to deceive.

    Henderson unlike previously was far less effective and there was little evidence of the sweeping up field passes he had been contributing in earlier games.

    We were completely out played in midfield and if this team is to fulfil its promise we need to find a midfield general and someone capable of making defence splitting passes.

    We could and should have killed the game in the first half with both Kane and Lingard the latter in particular, missing good chances to score. The real disappointment for me was our propensity to keep passing back and in truth apart from a couple of occasions we did little to seriously threaten the Croatian keeper.

    Our defence was not as organised and compact as in previous games and at times both Walker and Stones look like accidents waiting to happen as proved to be the case with the latter sleep walking to allow the Croatian player to run in unmarked to score what proved to be the winning goal.

    The players who stood out for me were Trippier who has been the find of the tournament, Young who has also been a revelation since dropping back into a defensive position and Maguire, if we are looking for comparisons with England 1966, a no nonsense defender in the Jackie Charlton mold.

    Pickford produced some brilliant saves in previous games but on the night appeared less assured and although making a crucial tackle in the second half to prevent a Croatian goal perhaps might have done better for both the goals we conceded.

    As mentioned at the outset it was a missed opportunity simply because so many of the big teams with World Cup pedigree had fallen by the wayside.

    However we have yet to see how much promise there is within the squad because we never had to face any of these teams. Had we won our group and come up against Brazil I think it might have been a different story. Although even then had we gone out at that stage we would still have over achieved.

    The signs are positive but the honeymoon with the press is now probably over and Southgate and his team will now be expected to give a good account of themselves if not to win it, in the coming Euros. Only when we start the qualifying process will we be able to see whether this is really a new England or another false dawn. Hopefully for all concerned it will prove to be the former.

  7. #67

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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by Sexton Blake View Post

    Pickford produced some brilliant saves in previous games but on the night appeared less assured and although making a crucial tackle in the second half to prevent a Croatian goal perhaps might have done better for both the goals we conceded.
    Thank god somebody agrees with me, albeit in part. I didnt think he could do much about their first, since it looked to be too far out for him to go out for the cross; that winner though! I've never seen anything like that before! Diving across his goal while the ball went into an empty net to his right? Sorry, poor in the extreme.

  8. #68
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by elginCity View Post
    Modric has said the pundits dismissal of Croatia had motivated them. The pre-tournament media hype and hysteria for years has burdened our teams with the weight of expectation to win the trophy rather than hope for the team to perform at its very best when representing us. Little acknowledgement that lady luck always plays its part, as do the opposition.

    As Modric says, it's disrespectful to other teams/opponents and motivates them. I loathe the UK media, well a lot of it !
    To be honest that’s nonsense. No-one thought we’d roll over Croatia, no-one thought we’d get past the quarter finals! Of course we all got excited - it’s a World Cup semi final fer chrissakes, why wouldn’t you be dreaming of the final and even winning, especially after Croatia struggled to get past the Russians. No-one was disrespectful of Croatia, his motivation has come from his own insecurity rather than anything we’ve said or done.

  9. #69
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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    I'm feeling very confident about the national team's future having read through the posts. I'm certain that Southgate reads exeweb as he will have been alerted to the fact that there are expert tacticians who have dissected the team's performance for him to use. He will be grateful I know as, like sexton says, he lacks experience which is why he fekked up. It could very well lead to several exewebbers being approached by the FA and asked to help prepare for future tournaments. I think he might even use this valuable source even sooner to get rid of several of the abject failures in the squad now he has been alerted to them.

  10. #70

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    Re: England v Croatia Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffwp View Post
    I'm feeling very confident about the national team's future having read through the posts. I'm certain that Southgate reads exeweb as he will have been alerted to the fact that there are expert tacticians who have dissected the team's performance for him to use. He will be grateful I know as, like sexton says, he lacks experience which is why he fekked up. It could very well lead to several exewebbers being approached by the FA and asked to help prepare for future tournaments. I think he might even use this valuable source even sooner to get rid of several of the abject failures in the squad now he has been alerted to them.
    So you have no opinion about the England team? It seems some posters think we are only entitled to comment about players, tactics and managers if we are qualified coaches. Do we have to be members of the Michelin Guide to comment on restaurants? Do we have to be qualified civil engineers to comment on the Forth Bridge? Do we have to be qualified educationalists to comment on a school?
    This is a football website and the kaleidoscope of opinions is one of the things that makes football so great. But you often have a go at the poster without stating your own opinion. C'mon Geoff!
    I agree with several of SB's comments. I don't think he meant to criticize Southgate harshly : just pointing out that he lacks experience. Fair debating points about individual players, too.

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