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Football Thread 2021/2022


Plissken
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Nick Pope and James Tarkowski have been better in pretty much every area this season than Pickford and Maguire but the latter hasn't got anywhere near the squad.  To the extent that part of the reason Tarkowski wouldn't sign a new contract at Burnley was so he could move to a bigger club just so that there would be more of a chance of getting picked.

 

Edit: The fact that Aaron Ramsdale (who had an excellent season) has overtaken Nick Pope (who was better over the season) is more proof that it isn't necessarily how you play, but who you play for.

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My impression is that Southgate likes to be loyal as much as he can to try and help the togetherness of the squad.  Hence sticking with Pickford, Maguire and Sterling when they might not have had the best club seasons.  And to be fair they all played pretty well at the Euros.  He's also been very vocal in supporting the players who rarely get a game like Conor Coady.  I think for the World Cup it will be difficult to see past his first XI being very similar to the Euros.  Pickford, Stones, Maguire and Walker at the back with the only question being a Left-back.  I'd like to see Chilwell if he can get fit in time, but I suspect it might end up being Trippier if they play a back 4.  Rice and Phillips in the midfield with Bellingham and Henderson subbing in as required.  And then behind Kane it's going to be Sterling, Mount and one other, possibly Saka, although I'd really like to see Foden get a good run in the starting XI.

 

This set of games seems to have been the last chance to look at some outside prospects, but even then I don't think that justifies the level of performances we've seen, and being unable to really create many good chances.  I think the 2 Nations League games in Sep will look much more like an established XI and that will be a much better barometer of where the team is.  However I don't see anything there that's going to magically solve the problems of creativity, it's all very good being defensively minded but if they don't score they aren't going to win much.

 

After the World Cup, assuming Southgate stays, I think he will start to replace some of the core players.  One of Pope or Ramsdale should become the new No 1, and I think it might be time for either Reece James or Trent to be the first choice Right-back.  Maybe his thinking is that by then Tomori or Guehi are ready to step in for Maguire or Stones?  Something needs to be done at the top of the pitch to generate more attacking options I think. Who knows, that's just my random thoughts.

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Saka has been garbage for England. I think Bowen is better than him right now.

 

Foden should be starting every game, he is clearly better than Mount, Saka, Grealish and the rest of them.

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The problem with Foden and Grealish is that they don't seem to fit into the style that Southgate wants to play. To be honest, I'm not sure what that style should be to suit them.  Both of them play the Pep way for Man City which is subsuming themselves to the system and the set patterns, even though they feel like they should be more central to a team than that.

 

It's an incredibly talented group of players but massively uneven in terms of fitting them all together.  All the defenders want to pile forward, leaving a Phillips/Bowen/Rice type to try and shield the centre backs and a massive gap to the attackers.  Kane is a brilliant finisher but Foden/Grealish/Sterling/Mount aren't setup guys.

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While Southgate was more or less forced into making changes, nine was too many.

How can a side that is always so cautious be that vulnerable?

And Maguire is just blown, always said he was overrated and this season proves it.

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46 minutes ago, Plissken said:

The problem with Foden and Grealish is that they don't seem to fit into the style that Southgate wants to play. To be honest, I'm not sure what that style should be to suit them.  Both of them play the Pep way for Man City which is subsuming themselves to the system and the set patterns, even though they feel like they should be more central to a team than that.

 

It's an incredibly talented group of players but massively uneven in terms of fitting them all together.  All the defenders want to pile forward, leaving a Phillips/Bowen/Rice type to try and shield the centre backs and a massive gap to the attackers.  Kane is a brilliant finisher but Foden/Grealish/Sterling/Mount aren't setup guys.

It's the golden generation issue all over again - incredibly talented players, but no real plan of how to get them to all function in a team.

 

I do empathise with Southgate, as I did with Sven, but then it is his job to pick the best team, not the best individuals, and I don't think he is doing that. Look at other big, successful teams and they will usually have at least one workmanlike player in them, because they know how to do a job, and do it well, even if there are technically better players in that position.

 

The fact we only have Kane as a striker doesn't help when plan A doesn't work, either.

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2 hours ago, Gabe said:

It's the golden generation issue all over again - incredibly talented players, but no real plan of how to get them to all function in a team.

 

I do empathise with Southgate, as I did with Sven, but then it is his job to pick the best team, not the best individuals, and I don't think he is doing that. Look at other big, successful teams and they will usually have at least one workmanlike player in them, because they know how to do a job, and do it well, even if there are technically better players in that position.

 

The fact we only have Kane as a striker doesn't help when plan A doesn't work, either.

He's got us to a World Cup semi final and a Euros final with a system based team that left out certain talented individuals (Grealish etc) that didn't fit that system. He played Kalvin Phillips for most of the Euros as a workmanlike midfielder that knew how to do a job. 

 

Last night he basically "put all the good players" on like the press/certain fans have been asking for and we got absolutely thumped. Whether that's because that was a bad idea or if everyone was just knackered I don't know but I'd really base England's chances in the World Cup on previous tournaments rather than an iffy four game run in a fake league invented to make friendlies more interesting. 

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Fair to say that some of the flak Southgate will be getting will be down to his stance on issues of race, division in society, bending the knee, fan behaviour etc. He’s been braver than any other England manager in confronting the ills of society and putting his head above the parapet.  Some folks have been itching to get at him and these results give them an opportunity to. 

 

England don’t have a central midfielder who can run the game and get the other attacking talents ticking. Rice and Phillips do the grafting in the midfield and are technically decent but they’re no playmakers. Hungary’s formation and defensive tenacity allowed them to soak up England’s attackers. We don’t have a Thiago, Modric, Veratti, etc. who can run the midfield. Arguably, we’ve relied on our wingbacks to bring the creativity and guile. 
 

It’s a few bad results at the end of a tasking season. The defeat isn’t a worry, the manner of the defeat was. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Plissken said:

The problem with Foden and Grealish is that they don't seem to fit into the style that Southgate wants to play. To be honest, I'm not sure what that style should be to suit them.  Both of them play the Pep way for Man City which is subsuming themselves to the system and the set patterns, even though they feel like they should be more central to a team than that.

 

It's an incredibly talented group of players but massively uneven in terms of fitting them all together.  All the defenders want to pile forward, leaving a Phillips/Bowen/Rice type to try and shield the centre backs and a massive gap to the attackers.  Kane is a brilliant finisher but Foden/Grealish/Sterling/Mount aren't setup guys.

 

Foden and Grealish aren't? They are aren't they? That's all Grealish did at villa, delay and delay and wait for runs, and Foden at City has done it memorably with a run leading to a perfectly timed pass to Gundogan that finished with a goal in the champions league once (iirc cos i can't find it now), and didn't he come on recently and immediately in a champions league game nutmeg a player by slipping a pass to De Bruyne? People always make so much of Foden playing under Guardiola, as though he wasn't named player of the tournament at the u17 world cup and won the game for England after them being 2-0 down by taking it to 4-2. That he has been great for England in the past won't mean anything to people, now he's just Pep's player, a gem who can only flourish in City's machine by sort of entering it and causing moments or chaos.

 

some great assists here, vision, execution, pace on the ball

 

 

I'm a big fan of Foden and thought he'd have a better season in terms of goals and influence. Somehow, despite playing more and you'd think he'd be relaxed he's missing more chances, his shooting has gone way off. It's not hating on Southgate because he's not playing your favourite player, it's just looking at the talent available and thinking he's getting so little out of them. I don't forget Sterling has been brilliant for England under Southgate, or Shaw, Phillips, Maguire, Pickford have been good, or that Kane scores although that's just what he does.

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21 hours ago, deerokus said:

Why not?

 

For Scotland for example, Callum McGregor must be on close to 70. Players from lower down leagues have so many qualifiers etc to play.

I had to do detention duty earlier so spent some time looking at the number of games each player has played. Hungary average was 34, England average was 41. (I didn’t add international appearances) 

 

Callum McGregor had 52 appearances. 
 

I admit this isn’t the greatest use of taxpayers money. 

 

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This will play to a few I guess, but Football Weekly is in Brum tonight and I got tickets. Just had a nice chat with Baz outside: 

 

 

B3182ECB-FA75-4F4E-9DA9-A47EF4784F1F.jpeg
 

Update:  it was fantastic.  JJB went full heel with his stance on the Villa, a couple of fun bits from the pod that were left out for legal/taste reasons were played (including an incredible advert for Pizza Hut) the Munich story was told and John Brewin makes me laugh.  Would recommend going if you’re even slightly interested and can get to Manchester or Hackney.  

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3 hours ago, BitterToad said:

a fake league invented to make friendlies more interesting. 

 

It was definitely invented to replace friendlies (your opinion on how successful that has been seems to correlate with how much you give a fuck about international football anyway) but I don't understand how it's a "fake" league. 

 

Were domestic leagues found naturally growing in the fertile soil of Albion or something? Or perhaps they arose because it turned out they're a better outlet than a friendly...

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Some World Cup 2026 details coming along. All games from quarters on will be in the US. Canada and Mexico will be getting 10 each in the preceding stages. They want the knockout stages to flow from west to east rather then just randomly jumping around the countries. With that in mind, they've picked stadiums split into West, Central and East.

 

West has LA's SoFi Stadium, San Francisco's Levi's Stadium, Seattle’s Lumen Field, Vancouver’s BC Place and Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron.

 

Central has Dallas’ AT&T Stadium, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, Houston’s NRG Stadium, Monterrey’s Estadio BBVA Bancomer and Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.

 

East has New York/New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, Boston’s Gillette Stadium and Toronto’s BMO Field.

 

Semi's in Dallas and Atlanta. Final in MetLife.

 

Some of this is apparently still subject to possible change, with the official announcement of what games play at each location to come at a later date.

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Still not sold on the format - 48 teams just means too many also-rans. But it should be a decent tournament all the same, with an extra knockout stage perhaps making up for a few dead rubbers in the group stage should the final round matches involve teams that have already qualified.

 

At least they plan to host it in the summer.

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25 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

At least they plan to host it in the summer.

 

It's going to be fucking hot in some of those locations! I wonder if water breaks will be enough to deal with it. There's plenty of those places even now are having advice to stay indoors.

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If Scotland reach 2026 I hope the games are in Canada or Mexico. 

 

I don't want to set foot on American soil. 

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4 hours ago, milko said:

It's going to be fucking hot in some of those locations!

 

It'll be fucking disgusting in Toronto in June/July. Hot, humid and with good chances of thunderstorms. BMO Field is not a fully-covered stadium, either. It'll need some renovations for more seats and to shade the fans.

 

Yesterday it was 32 here with the humidity taking it up to feeling like it was in the 40s. Lovely.

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8 hours ago, JohnC said:

Some World Cup 2026 details coming along. All games from quarters on will be in the US. Canada and Mexico will be getting 10 each in the preceding stages. They want the knockout stages to flow from west to east rather then just randomly jumping around the countries. With that in mind, they've picked stadiums split into West, Central and East.

 

West has LA's SoFi Stadium, San Francisco's Levi's Stadium, Seattle’s Lumen Field, Vancouver’s BC Place and Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron.

 

Central has Dallas’ AT&T Stadium, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, Houston’s NRG Stadium, Monterrey’s Estadio BBVA Bancomer and Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.

 

East has New York/New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, Boston’s Gillette Stadium and Toronto’s BMO Field.

 

Semi's in Dallas and Atlanta. Final in MetLife.

 

Some of this is apparently still subject to possible change, with the official announcement of what games play at each location to come at a later date.


The AT&T stadium is ridiculous. Sat in the club seats for WrestleMania with brisket on tap. Seats like armchairs, LED screen that’s bigger than Norwich above the pitch. Total prawn sandwich megadome. It’s not in Dallas but Arlington (about half an hour in a taxi) although it does have a Six Flags nearby, should Frank Lampard want to give his brave squad an afternoon off.

 

Can’t believe the new one in Vegas wasn’t tended as a venue but guess Vegas in June isn’t the best in terms of weather for visitors.

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Atlanta's stadium is probably the best stadium in the world in any sport at the moment, it's amazing.

 

 

Anyway, weirdly, terrible Scottish ref Bobby Madden is moving to the EFL. I've never heard of a referee transferring like that. Weird.

 

 

And sorry league 1 and 2 clubs for how bad he is.

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1 minute ago, deerokus said:

Atlanta's stadium is probably the best stadium in the world in any sport at the moment, it's amazing.

 

 

Anyway, weirdly, terrible Scottish ref Bobby Madden is moving to the EFL. I've never heard of a referee transferring like that. Weird.

 

 

And sorry league 1 and 2 clubs for how bad he is.

It was the best stadium in the world, the Sofi stadium is even more incredible. 

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11 hours ago, SaintAnselm said:

It was the best stadium in the world, the Sofi stadium is even more incredible. 


Yup. Every time and NFL team opens a new stadium it becomes the best. That is until my Commanders finally get their new stadium which will probably be built out of straw and mud because Dan Snyder is the absolutely worst and all the local politicians hate him and therefore the team. 

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11 hours ago, deerokus said:

Anyway, weirdly, terrible Scottish ref Bobby Madden is moving to the EFL. I've never heard of a referee transferring like that. Weird.

 

And sorry league 1 and 2 clubs for how bad he is.

Wasn't Bobby Madden the guy who had his life ruined by trolls saying he shagged dogs? I remember reading a thing about it on The Athletic and it sounding really awful. 

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12 hours ago, deerokus said:

I've never heard of a referee transferring like that. Weird

 

Mark Clattenburg did move to Saudi Arabia but that was to take up a head referee role. He subsequently moved on to China for regular old refereeing. 

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16 minutes ago, BitterToad said:

Wasn't Bobby Madden the guy who had his life ruined by trolls saying he shagged dogs? I remember reading a thing about it on The Athletic and it sounding really awful. 

 

That was Bobby Madley, the poor bastard.  

 

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2 hours ago, BitterToad said:

Wasn't Bobby Madden the guy who had his life ruined by trolls saying he shagged dogs? I remember reading a thing about it on The Athletic and it sounding really awful. 

Nah. Bobby Madden is just a bad ref with a shit beard.

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