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Everything posted by Boothjan

  1. 23. A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin Only the 2nd time I've read this, and it's SO much better the 2nd time around, nods to future plotlines and characters improve the experience, and knowing a bit more about the history and the key protagonists helps. I raced through this, and I'm looking forward to reading through the rest of the series. I might take it slowly though, as Winds of Winter isn't going to arrive any time soon.... 9.5/10
  2. I thought that was the best team performance of the tournament so far. Frightening at times, plenty of individual quality, very hard to play against. I didn't see Portugal as a genuine contender before that, but a performance of that quality should make everyone take note. There are some very capable teams in the last 8. And it feels great to say even without bias that England are one of them.
  3. Remarkable what can happen when you leave a clear hindrance on the bench. Portugal look so much better when their game plan isn't 'give it to the narcissist'.
  4. My mate has just come out with the perfect metaphor for Spain's football: "It's like someone painting a faithful, 100% accurate depiction of the M6. Yeah, I get the skill to make it look so realistic. But it's not interesting, is it?"
  5. Brazil were excellent but the lack of respect really pissed me off. That wanky dance at 4-0 up? Fuck off. Doesn't help that so few of them are likeable. Everything about the penalty annoyed me too. The stupid dive, the stupid stuttery run up, the stupid celebration. I'm just getting old and grumpy, aren't I?
  6. Those penalties were like watching someone playing a shootout on FIFA when someone has swapped the shoot and pass buttons around
  7. Japan deserve their lead - they're the better side and I love watching them.
  8. But I really don't think it was that bad. The first 20 minutes or so it was us in control - but then the period before the 1st goal was definitely our weakest and we were guilty of squandering possession too cheaply due to a lack of patience but it was far from 'terrible'. I agree a lot more with your 2nd paragraph though - Senegal do deserve a lot of credit for that period mind you, they weren't allowing our runners any space at all and they pressed excellently. But as you say, we combated that well. We'll have to do better against France but we're a good team - there's no reason why we can't.
  9. Thought last night was incredibly promising and it really does show what a good side we've got - some top quality players actually playing to their potential. Dumbfounded just how little respect Southgate gets though - he got the personnel and the tactics spot on again yesterday, was justified in who he left out and has made the most out of some difficult decisions. Yet if we're not 2 up after half an hour, the doom merchants come out of the woodwork. Ironically, the difficulties we had in that opening period echo the complaints - just a lack of patience. We seemed desperate to get the ball forward, but Senegal weren't allowing our midfield any space at all to receive, meaning our centre halves cheaply gave away possession. Nothing wrong with keeping a hold of it across the backline and slowing the game down, because whenever we did get it in the midfield, the change of pace in attack was frightening and we always looked dangerous. Sure enough, when we got Bellingham on the ball, things happened and we made the breakthrough, after that there was only ever one winner. The USA match was very frustrating and too conservative (which as it stands hasn't done any damage to our tournament whatsoever), but aside from that I think Southgate has got everything right so far. Of course, the next test is a far, far bigger one that we've had so far and we will have to be at our very best to win, but I don't see why we can't play at our highest standard when the character and confidence is clearly so high in the camp. Hopefully France and their pesky #10 can have an off day.
  10. Poland have been much better today than they were in the group games but when Mbappe plays like this, you've got to take your chances and Poland have had a few. France are definitely not unbeatable but with that guy in their side, you need to be at your best to beat them.
  11. I really didn't enjoy Aliens: Fireteam Elite. Thought it was yet another waste of the license. Looking forward to High on Life - that looks like great fun. Hope it plays well.
  12. I agree that it's changed - there seems to be a lot more respect in football these days, which is a very good thing. There's nothing wrong with rivalry, but it should never stop hinder respect and professionalism.
  13. Restarted A Game of Thrones a few weeks back - only read through the whole lot once, and it was a very long time ago and you know what? I'm REALLY enjoying it - certainly more than I did originally. If I take my time with the series, maybe Winds of Winter might drop as soon as I finish Dance With Dragons....? (Sorry. It won't, will it?)
  14. Really enjoyed that performance - very different to the USA game in terms of approach, helped of course by an abject Welsh performance but you can only beat what's in front of you. @Gotters has already said a lot of what I was going to say - but to add to that, I think Southgate is a very good tournament manager. There's a big difference between the top tier PL coaches and someone who can influence and oversee a successful tournament. Southgate is very much the latter - he doesn't have to be the best tactician in the world - the players all get that week in, week out at their clubs. Tournaments need a togetherness and a bond - Southgate seems to get this and has delivered. No question in my mind who is the better tactician and coach out of Fabio Capello and Gareth Southgate, but whereas Capello was one of the most respected head coaches in the world at the time, he was a terrible tournament coach due to OTT discipline which meant massive disharmony throughout the camp. And you've got no chance if that's the case. And we were really shit in 2010 as a result. The players quite clearly hated it. Southgate is far from perfect (the USA game frustrated the hell out of me) - he's too conservative at times, but ultimately he's a very decent, likeable man who the squad all like and respect. Once you have that, a hell of a lot of the hard work is done. I'm not for one moment suggesting we should win this tournament because I don't think we've got quite enough quality but I look forward to seeing how we get on in the knockout stages. When Southgate does call time on his England tenure, I don't think he'll go back to coaching in the Premier League because I don't think he has the required tactical ability for club level football, but he deserves a lot more respect from the public and the press for what he's doing for the national team.
  15. I really hope Wales defend like Senegal did from that corner when we play later.
  16. Well Clive is on the other one so this wins by default
  17. Just watched this and I think it might be up there with Band of Brothers as a quite incredible piece of film making, full of amazing cinematography, excellent performances and just bleak and harrowing as fuck. Couldn't take my eyes off it - why this hasn't had more hype is beyond me. I really rated 1917 but IMO this does a much better job of showing the brutality and futility of life on the front line. Superb stuff.
  18. 48 teams will not be a good thing for the tournament - there will be too many shit teams qualifying which will massively dilute the quality of the finals, and having 3 team groups is a stupid idea. We're going to get plenty of Austria v West Germany situations. 32 teams with 4 teams in a group is the best setup. I also want it back in the summer because it's just not felt right this time, and not just because of the unsuitable setting. The build up was wrong, and having BBQs, spilling out into packed beer gardens etc is one of the things I look forward to most about the tournament.
  19. Homes Under the Hammer is a good shout - need that Dion Dublin fix
  20. After all that - it's the correct decision!
  21. Pah - this Brazil lot are boring. Bring back Cameroon!
  22. This is another awesome game! My son is off school today as he's hurt his leg - he's picked a good day to be able to watch the football!!
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