Van Basten II

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooool

1,752 posts in this topic

14 hours ago, erwbol said:

On the VRT it was immediately and clearly acknowledged both De Bruyne and Hazard had off nights.

My point was that Hazard was significantly superior to De Bruyne, and that the people lumping them together (as having been equally poor) were being lazy, or weren't paying close enough attention.

As in the first semi-final, one team really failed to compete with courage and confidence in the second half today.  Some are saying that England didn't have the quality in midfield to try to keep the ball and play out of the back, and that may be true, but it was astonishing the number of times Pickford was asked to boot the ball 60 yards and hope.

In the first half, I thought England's problem was that they played too much one touch, "hot potato" style.  They didn't seem to value the possession they were able to establish, didn't seem to really have ideas about how to create more chances, and seemed carefree about allowing the ball to turn over to Croatia.  It came back to bite them, of course.  All in all, I do think the better side won (and the energy Croatia showed after three straight games of added time was truly admirable), but England should have done more with their enormous opportunity to reach a final after a relatively easy path.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mjazzg said:

But also Martinez changed formation to make Lukaku the spearhead and therefore became overly reliant on him performing. Against Brazil it was three up front, with Lukaku out wide and they were unstoppable at times going forward

Bad luck...it exists.

Now, will the Belgians care enough to beat England again, and will the English manager have his troops charge with the open visor, or sit it out...that is the question.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pointlessness of the third place play off feels even more acute when your team's involved. It will not be long before no one remembers the runners up let alone third and fourth place.

I predict it'll be a Belgian victory but will both manager's play their second XI's as a group match rematch? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was expecting a dillema as I’ll be at Swanage for the jazz fest this weekend. Problem averted ! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brad said:

Croatian Press Reactions to their Semi Final Victory

Humility must not be in their alphabet. 

The British media were no less jingoistic in the 48hrs or so running up to kick off. The commentary on TV here was as overinflated as it gets but a least it didn’t disparage the Croatians (too much) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it’s to be expected.  The run up to the final should make for some good reading. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a way I find it oddly comforting that the press in other countries can be as bad as ours.

as for the TV commentary, just laughable in its pomposity at times. Don't get me started on Roy Keane's punditry (Oh, Ok then I will, if you all insist) - the man who walked away from WC pressure criticising players for not being able to handle the pressure of a WC semi-final...maybe true but pot meet kettle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read about Keane today in The Guardian.  

Speaking of which, Jorge Valdano has written a few good articles for them during the Cup.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't care much for Roy Keane, he's like Geoff Boycott in cricket. What some people consider blunt and refreshing, I feel is just a front for not actually having anything particularly interesting or insightful to say.

 

Anyway, England, it was nice while it lasted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Brad said:

Croatian Press Reactions to their Semi Final Victory

Humility must not be in their alphabet. 

Have you read the English tabloids coverage of the Cup? It's pretty much all garbage.

Universal literacy doesn't mean universal enlightenment.

And BTW the Croats did IMHO trounce the English yesterday, even though the score may not reflect the disparity in class. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dmitry said:

Have you read the English tabloids coverage of the Cup? It's pretty much all garbage.

Universal literacy doesn't mean universal enlightenment.

And BTW the Croats did IMHO trounce the English yesterday, even though the score may not reflect the disparity in class. 

No, I haven’t had the pleasure. I confine my reading of the WC to the Times, Marca, AS and The Guardian.

It would be like me reading the NY Daily News to find out what’s going on in the world. They’re best used for kitty litter.  

They beat the English but trouncing, no. The Croats were not that great in the first half or the early part of the second. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed this analysis of the French side and Deschamps approach to forging a team rather than focussing on individuals

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/12/didier-deschamps-france-world-cup-final-belgium

made me think that you could substitute Southgate for Deschamps in many of the sentences. England just need the players of experience and quality. Two or Four year's time :rolleyes:

54 minutes ago, Brad said:

I'm not always convinced by Lowe's writing but this is a good read.

By any measures Ronaldo's an astonishing player and the way he has managed his career and maintained that physical prowess shows nothing but great dedication. I could do without the narcissism but I suspect that's all part of the same package.

Totti played until he was 40 in Italy so I can't see why Ronaldo won't. As Lowe points out the way he's changed his game to adapt to advancing years is very clever and, in an entirely different way, reminiscent of Pirlo and his golden later years at Juve.

He's just a very exciting footballer and as that free-kick against Spain in the opening match showed there's an uncanny inevitability about him performing. Having said that, the less I see of the shorts hike at free-kicks the better, especially around meal times...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Lowe as a writer and, for me, he is the expert on Spanish football.  I mentioned this earlier but I highly recommend his book about Barcelona and Real Madrid, Fear and Loathing in La Liga.  Not just a sports book but sports and politics intersecting.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that book's on the "to read" list. Maybe good WC replacement therapy for next week.  Fascinating relationship between the cities and the football clubs. 

I just find Lowe's style a bit unnecessarily florid at times. I invariably enjoy the subject of his articles but find his writing style trips me up (a bit like a Colombian defender :))

What's your take on Ronaldo's transfer as an RM fan, Brad? Timely good business or short-sighted error?  And, can Bale step up or will they need Hazard plug the gap? I'd love to see Bale given the chance as I think he's another great footballer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ronaldo didn't feel they appreciated him sufficiently. When the tax authorities hit with a big fine, he thought they should have publicly supported him and he also didn't like the club chasing Neymar.  Basically, his ego (which is swollen already) was hurt and clashed with another big ego, that of Florentino Pérez, the president of the team. Zidane' leaving is due in part to him and Perez not agreeing on personnel decisions.

They will obviously miss him because you just can't make up that amount of scoring. There's talk of them getting Mbappe and James coming back but the man is a goal scoring machine. Impossible to fully replace. I don't think Bale has fully committed to them yet, plus he always seems to get hurt so they can't fully count on him.  Even a healthy Bale can't replace Ronaldo's goals. I think Barcelona is interested in Hazard and he in them so he may not wind up at RM  

Depending on who they sign, I can't see them competing for the league title or another Champions League this coming year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, thanks. I'd not heard of the Hazard/Barca flirting. Mbappe would be an exciting option though.

It the short to medium term it might be better all round if they can develop options that mean they don't rely so heavily on one player to score.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently, Madrid has announced a large bid for Hazard.  Let the bidding begin!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hazard and De Bruyne a class apart today and it was very apparent that the Belgian team has 3 times as many international caps as this England side.

A good WC for England nonetheless, exceeding expectations and making the most of their strengths and the draw they were dealt. It will be interesting to see how Southgate develops the team (by leaving Sterling out, hopefully) over the two years to the Euros when football will be coming home again!

For Belgium, has to be an opportunity missed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

A good WC for England nonetheless, exceeding expectations and making the most of their strengths and the draw they were dealt. It will be interesting to see how Southgate develops the team (by leaving Sterling out, hopefully) over the two years to the Euros when football will be coming home again!

Typical English self-delusion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

Hazard and De Bruyne a class apart today and it was very apparent that the Belgian team has 3 times as many international caps as this England side.

A good WC for England nonetheless, exceeding expectations and making the most of their strengths and the draw they were dealt. It will be interesting to see how Southgate develops the team (by leaving Sterling out, hopefully) over the two years to the Euros when football will be coming home again!

For Belgium, has to be an opportunity missed

I think England did have a good WC. They were a young team and this will only help them in the Euros and the 2022 WC.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, mjazzg said:

Hazard and De Bruyne a class apart today 

IMHO right now DeBruyne is the most universal footballer in the world. He’s amazing to watch, when he’s on.

Edited by Dmitry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, erwbol said:

Typical English self-delusion. 

How did Holland do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.