12 Jul 2018 09:56:19
Oh England!

I really thought it could be our year, but to be honest we didn't play well most of the tournament. For all the commentator hype about how 'mature, calm etc' it was just waffle - the teams we beat we would expect to beat comfortably normally. Last night we resorted to long ball, had no control in midfield and whenever Croatia attacked it looked like we were very disorganised.

Ashley Young was absolutely horrific most of the tournament for me, Tripper and Maguire struggle to read the game positionally and there was absolutely nothing offered going forward. There is more to the game than set-pieces, but that was the only thing we actually did well for me.

Only player that looked like making something happen was Sterling and he has been getting pelters all tournament.

We were lucky to beat Tunisa, beat a bunch of League 1 players in Panama, got beat in a nothing game against Belgium, snuck through via pens against Colombia, beat a poor Sweden full of Championship players and then failed to lift it when it mattered. I don't get all the praise to be honest.

Pre-World Cup we would all be happy with semi-finals, but had we seen the draw we would have expected nothing less - it's all very simple praising the result but we should analyse the hows/ whys of things. People clinging onto the we did better than Germany, Brazil, etc, doesn't cut it for me.

The fact we kept playing it back to Pickford for a hoof all game should have told Southgate there was an issue with midfield, but he did absolutely nothing - picked the same team all tournament, same tactics and didn't adapt when things went wrong, we also looked very tired despite playing less minutes than Croatia. Poor management and that is why he didn't cut it where it matters.

Frankly we talked a good game, but we looked like lost lambs. As for our boys specifically, well Rashford looked out of his depth, not enough minutes but played with no confidence and disappointed me, Young brought nothing to the table and we have to sign a LB if Shaw isn't trusted, Rebic destroyed him, Lingard was anonymous as per usual. Most players underwhlemed and the good parts were over egged, so hard to be too critical of our lads as the Spurs players (aside from set-pieces) may as well not have bothered.

Manager should have changed things. Kane dropping 20 yards too deep most games, poor showing from him - didn't seem to lead at all. Gutted, but we didn't deserve to progress, just lucky we didn't get the other half of the draw otherwise the knives would have been out. Instead we have a false sense of how good we are now, we are not in the top 4 nations of the world, just got lucky with who we played and when.

1.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 10:21:23
I'm a Liverpool fan beast and you speak a lot of sense. I do think England progressing this far has been blown into some huge media storm. we weren't that good.
But its been a poor world cup really, no stand out players, no stand out team. Just poor all round in terms of football.

2.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 10:23:56
Last week

Beast: We're going to win, it’s coming home, I put money on us.


Beast: We were lucky to beat Tunisa, beat a bunch of League 1 players in Panama, got beat in a nothing game against Belgium, snuck through via pens against Colombia, beat a poor Sweden full of Championship players and then failed to lift it when it mattered. I don't get all the praise to be honest.

If that’s what you thought about the team, why did you put actual money on them winning the entire thing?

3.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 10:28:27
Top Post Beast.

4.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 10:31:54
May be because Beast saw the draw and rightly expected England to win against all those championship level sides. First real competition and England folded. The game was very poor from everyone yesterday while Peter Drury (madonna of commentary) made it like it was the best game he ever saw and Englans were the best team in the world.

5.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 10:53:00
Rashford did more when he came on than sterling did all game.

6.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 11:23:33
No stand out players? Mbappe? Pavard? Lloris? All been excellent for France.
I'm really enjoying this World Cup, thought it was going to be same old same old but plenty of good games.
England fluffed their lines, which was a real shame as the tournament opened up perfectly for them and they could of beat Croatia. I think Loftus-Cheek should of come on for Dier who I fail to see how he gets a place: very basic player in my opinion. Sterling is just another Walcott, he panics and makes bad decisions when he's done the hard work.
And we have got to stop It's Coming Home. It's a bloody awful song. How about Slade's Give Us A Goal. Or England Irie by Black Grape. If we we have to have a song, at least let's have no Skinner and Baddiel.

7.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 11:40:21
Beast - can't disagree with most of what you say.

I would say it's been a positive tournament for england

We got as far as we should of for me and meeting expectations is over achieving for England.

Hopefully the winter break will help us in the future. The drop off in the second half was scary and my one criticism of Southgate was that he didn't inject some more pace and freshness earlier. I would of Brought Loftus cheek and rashford on at around the 60th min mark.

But Southgate is learning and did well on the whole.

8.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 12:27:55
I know i was taking the mickey last week beast, but your 100% spot on.

I could go a little deeper on Kane. He got 3 pens, 1 off his heel and 2 tap ins. 1 was a good/ really good header. Over rated tournament he didn't do much.

EVERYONE was calling out Sterling, yet for me he was the main main performer, he maybe didn't score easy chances, but he tried ran and hassled the defences.

Rashford - Over rated same as Martial. I cba even going down them roads.

9.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 12:37:40
Im not an England fan simple as that so I will get that out of the way. I watched all the England games with my England supporting Hammers fan mate and we both agreed on one thing - just don't get the hype about the team. Yes they did better than expected but had they met Spain / Germany/ France/ Croatia/ Brazil in the first knockout game how far would they have got? Irrespective of some of those teams going out before England.90minutes against Germany or Brazil. no chance IMO.

Spain/ Germany/ Brazil all showed during 20 minute spells more flair and cutting edge than England all tournament, in fact I doubt England would have beaten the Japan team they lost out to Belgium in one of the games of the tournament.

They lifted the mood of the nation, a semi final was a wonderful acheivement no doubt. but are they a good team? no, just better than some of the dross in the last 30 years in major tournaments.

10.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 12:41:11
To be honest just really proud of the boys and Southgate for restoring the pride back into the National team. I’ve loved watching the games at the pub and the sense of togetherness the team has brought this seemingly broken country. No point going into whether we had an easy run or not because you can only play what’s in front of you. But for the first time in my lifetime I can genuinely say I have a connection and warmth to the players and manager of an england team. In an age of arrogance and lack of class in some managers, Southgate is a breath of fresh air and a throwback to the old school managers such as sir bobby robson. It’s been a really enjoyable World Cup and the players deserve a big welcome when thy return. But it’s time to turn our focus back to united and get behind the team as this is such a crucial season for us. I will always remember the summer of 2018 as one full of sunshine and hope that football nearly came home. Till next time.

11.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 13:09:29
I think it's a generation thing to be honest as well. No other footy on, the world is watching, it can't help but suck you in. That said I found the 1996 Euro's run more enjoyable, maybe because it was in England as well and I was obviously younger. But this squad said all the right things off the pitch, pundits/ commentators none stop praising averageness doesn't help as people are almost afraid to voice constructive criticism and the players have a false sense of worth. All this togetherness/ brothers talk, every other nation could say the same thing pretty much - we worked very hard on set-pieces and all our eggs were in that basket. Colombia showed that this was risky and we needed more to our game with Maguire being beaten by Yena or whatever he was called almost every time.

Ultimately, the so called 'calmness' is easy against teams like Sweden, Panama and Tunisia. Maybe a bit more passion was needed, a bit more umpf from the manager, rather than trying to play the psychoanalyst genius he was portrayed to be and clearly is not.

The fundamental point is that after 20 minutes it was obvious to non-football experts that Pickford was getting the ball far too much and having to hoof it. That would tell a pub manager that the set-up was wrong and we were losing the midfield. There was ample warning that the game was gradually turning in their favour after our great start, but he did nothing, absolutely nothing, reminded me of LVG. We rode our luck all tournament and rather than realising we had been lucky and needed to amend things, we just doubled down on the same thing. Weak management, I think we had the team to beat Croatia, not the tactics or fitness levels though - I think Southgate is a bit weak to be honest, nice guy and I get he is learning, but I don't buy that really, as I would have learned after Colombia that the tactics need a rethink as we created next to nothing all tournament.

12.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 14:46:16
I agree that there did seem to be a genuine togetherness amongst the squad which was great to see like they were all mates which hasn't always been the case and although Kane was the star player if I put it like that he seemed very grounded and it seemed that the football came first which wasnt always the case when we had the era of Gazza, wazza, lamps, becks, stevie G, incey etc etc.

13.) 12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018 17:10:21
Beast, i couldn't agree more on your summation. We played midiocre teams and struggled against tunisia amd Colombia. We didn't have one player in our midfield or attack who showed any sort of individual brilliance last night, apart from the free kick for the goal. The team played well within itself with no adventure or risk taking.
We then surrendered to the brilliance of Modric, perisic and Rakitic who ran rings around us. These three showed how far behind we are in terms of skill and application.
Players were going through the motions with no real zest or aggression in their game. Frankly, it was like watching United. The only difference is that at United we have world class players underperforming due to idiotic tactics by our manager. England were playing at the top of their game and that's not too high in my opinion.
Everyone needs to take a step back and swallow a reality check pill. We had an easy draw and we lost both games against decent opposition. that's no cause for major celebrations.