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Football Thread 2021/2022


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Ireland started brightly in the first ever game against Ukraine, pressing hard and forcing mistakes, but only a few long range efforts to show for it. When they do get opportunities to create, they're not picking the pass right, or they're dwelling on the ball, and you'd kill for a young Hoolahan or someone. Kacharaba scored an absolute peach that ended up not counting because of a toenail, in one of those rare occasions where VAR is absolutely bang on, actually. 

 

It's a massively changed Ukraine too, swapping out ten players from the Wales game and giving fresh legs and a very young side, but they're still looking the more dangerous. 

 

Mostly, I'm annoyed that after the weekend's RTÉ bliss, I find the match tonight is blocked and have to subscribe to Premier Sports like some sort of paying customer.

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There are a few misconceptions about Rooney's goalscoring record.  He's currently the top scorer, although Kane will overtake him soon, but he's also the second highest scorer in competitive games (after Kane) and fourth in England's top scorers at major tournaments with 7, after Lineker and Kane on 10, and Shearer on 9.  Rooney was an excellent player for England on numbers alone.  Kane, however, is an order of magnitude better.

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Terrible defending for Ukraine's goal, Duffy should have scored but the keeper made a great save, tipping it onto the bar. Ukraine could probably have had a couple more but for some bad decisions of their own. Touch seemed to desert pretty much every Irish player on the field, so many half decent chances to build something falling away because of overrunning, or a bad pass, or failure to beat the first man. On top, they seemed too easily shrugged off the ball.

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17 hours ago, Stoppy2000 said:

He's probably had a better England career hasn't he? But club career Rooney is obviously miles ahead. 

 

Kane has definitely had a better England career, and if someone wants to say he's a better player than Rooney I'm not going to argue about it. But the idea that he's had the superior overall career is absolutely deranged.

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I just woke to discover that:

 

1] Wales lost to an even later goal than they equalised with.

2] Wout Weghorst is Dutch?  Absolutely showing my ignorance here, but I thought he was German. Probably because Burnley signed him from the Bundesliga. 

 

 

Chiming in on the Kane vs Rooney thing?    I think it just shows that you can't order things like footballing ability in neat little lines.  Kane has clearly had a better England career than Rooney, their records at tournaments is night and day, Rooney scored six goals at major tournaments and four of those were in a week during Euro 2004. He never scored at a World Cup.     Kane is playing in a much better England team though, for all the "golden generation" bullshit we had during the Rooney era, the team we have today would batter them.   At club level?  Take your pick I guess.  Rooney was much more gifted than Kane and personally I'd take peak Rooney over Kane, but not by much.   Rooney played in better teams than Kane has, but he was never really the main man in any of them even during the very early days when he had a lot of star power.  He was always a key player, but did Manchester United ever really build a team around him in the way that Spurs have around Kane?   

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On point two I had the same revelation when I saw that he’d scored. Even to the point that my brain tried to work out how and why Germany had sent him out on loan to the Oranje.

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15 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

He was always a key player, but did Manchester United ever really build a team around him in the way that Spurs have around Kane?   

 

Does it matter?

 

Norwich could build their team around Teemu Pukki, it wouldn't mean he's had a better career than a guy who's won five Premier League titles and the Champions League, not to mention the other trophies.

 

Side note: Teemu Pukki has won more trophies than Harry Kane. But I think Harry's probably had the better career there.

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It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, I guess what I'm saying is Rooney would have almost certainly have had more goals for Manchester United if he'd not been playing in teams alongside Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo.  You'll sometimes see players achieve extraordinary stats if they play in teams built around them and this definitely happens all the way up to the top of the game.  Look at Benzema's career since Ronaldo left Madrid, he's not magically became a better player but people will remember him more now he doesn't have to pass the ball to Cristiano.  

 

(at no point did I mention trophies btw, it's not always the best measure of a player.  Djimi Traore has a Champions League winner's medal.  Paulo Ferreira has two!) 

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8 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

He was always a key player, but did Manchester United ever really build a team around him in the way that Spurs have around Kane?   

You are giving Spurs senior management far too much credit here. They have often built a team with seemingly zero plan. Kane has made the best of it. 

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After Northern Ireland extended their Nations League run to 13 games without a win, I figured I'd find out which other countries have yet to win a game in the competition. Obviously, there's the other, bigger Ireland, but they're not yet alone. In all, the ranking would be:

  • Andorra: P14, D7. One of the few times Andorra will top a table.
  • Ireland. P12, D5. 
  • Northern Ireland. P13, D3
  • Iceland. P12, D2. Lost their first ten matches in the competition, but all in the highest league, so the toughest games for them.
  • San Marino. P12, D2. Only team yet to score a goal at all. Indeed, every other team scored at least one goal in each of the last two competitions, so they're the true whipping boys.

 

Andorra play Liechtenstein tonight, but it remains to be seen if they'll break that duck. Ireland probably won't beat Scotland tomorrow, but Northern Ireland may finally get a win when they host Cyprus on Sunday. San Marino have never won a competitive football match*, and they're not about to start. Iceland host Israel on Monday, as good a chance as any.

 

*San Marino have only ever won once, a 1-0 win over Liechtenstein in a friendly in 2004. 

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Bale to Cardiff rumours continue with added Ramsey to Cardiff rumours.  I assume nothing will happen until after all the international games are played.

 

Still don’t get the logic it’s better for him to play in Cardiff before a World Cup in Qatar and I reckon my Welsh supporting Cardiff mates need to be careful what they wish for as the excitement of Bale coming on as a sub against Luton will be quickly replaced by 25 minutes of stress if any opposition player goes to tackle him (and repeat and increase as we get closer to November)

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Ramsey was dreadful for Rangers and looks finished as a club player. Can still do it for Wales but not regularly for a club playing every week.

 

 

Anyway delighted with this, he's been absolutely stellar for us on loan.

 

 

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So apparently the Italy squad was training at the little stadium literally across the road from my house today. 
 

We’re only 20 mins or so from the Molineux but a team of multi millionaires must have loved coming to this shithole town. 

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22 hours ago, deerokus said:

Ramsey was dreadful for Rangers and looks finished as a club player. Can still do it for Wales but not regularly for a club playing every week.

Like Bale, it happened after he got his mega move and a huge payday so it leads you to question their motivation if the ability is still there but only when they put on a Wales shirt.

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31 minutes ago, BabelRich said:

So apparently the Italy squad was training at the little stadium literally across the road from my house today. 
 

We’re only 20 mins or so from the Molineux but a team of multi millionaires must have loved coming to this shithole town. 

 

Gotta prep before venturing into Wolverhampton.  

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Really, I don't think Ireland are playing much better than they did over the last two games, they've just had more luck. They still look very shaky at the back, giving away possession too easily, some atrocious passing from Duffy that hasn't been capitalised on.

 

That said, the changes are helping. I don't see Robinson or Ogbene playing that perfect ball for Parrott, or even seeing the run, so credit to Obafemi. Similarly, no Hendrick who has been poor in the last two matches.

 

I wouldn't call the last two games the worst football they've ever played (for me, that's the arse end of the O'Neill era) but certainly it's felt among the most impotent.

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1 hour ago, BabelRich said:

So apparently the Italy squad was training at the little stadium literally across the road from my house today. 
 

We’re only 20 mins or so from the Molineux but a team of multi millionaires must have loved coming to this shithole town. 


The Dell?
 

Someone sent me a photo, but wasn’t sure if it was real.

 

Once they’ve finished training, they’ll be off to Fags and Mags in Tipton to get a Racing Post and 20 B&H for Mancini.

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1 minute ago, theredstar said:


The Dell?
 

Someone sent me a photo, but wasn’t sure if it was real.

 

Once they’ve finished training, they’ll be off to Fags and Mags in Tipton to get a Racing Post and 20 B&H for Mancini.


Yeah The Dell. 
 

They put up some tarp around the pitch so no one could peek and locked the car park but it didn’t stop folks turning up and lining the road. Which isn’t ideal as it’s quite a busy road. 
 

Weird to think the European Champions were 50 yards from my front door and I was sitting in my car waiting for my daughter to finish her dancing lesson. 

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A more comfortable second half, shame Obafemi had to go off because he was doing great. Hogan will be kicking the VAR/goal line tech to bits after his almost-but-not-quite fourth.

 

Another big difference between this and the previous matches is Ireland seemed to be willing to fight harder to win back the ball. Obafemi's goal in particular came from not letting Scotland settle enough to play out. Also, the delivery of the ball into the box has just been much better, responsible for two of the three goals, plus Duffy's decent effort from a corner and Hogan's effort.

 

I'd like to see that confidence carry into the game in Lodz on Tuesday, though think a point would be a tremendous but unlikely result. The big U21 game against Italy earlier that day - winners qualify for the Euros - should be fun too.

 

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