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Walrus Feeder
27-06-2010, 22:43:53
Well, another tournament where England are tipped to do well and reach the final stages but fail. This time miserably though. No great moments to savour, poor performances. Players not translating their club form to international level, the manager's tactics and team selection critisized and questions being asked about what has happended behind the scenes. What went wrong?

TACTICS: Fabio Capello's tactics, team selections, and substitutions were naive and suspect for a manager of his record and experience. Mind you, this was his first International tournament. Playing 442 with Gerrard wide left didn't work. Nearly all fans, pundits etc were crying out for Gerrard to play off Rooney and j Cole on left. I think this would have worked, particularly against Germany in a 451/433 with Barry holding and closing down space Ozil freely played in.

PLAYERS: I think our squad overall is good, but with not as many World Class players as we like to believe. It was evident most players had a poor-average tournament, but with Rooney being unbelievably bad in all 4 games. Why? This is difficult to answer. Marked and hustled out of games by defenders aware of his quality, or just maybe not as good as he is made out.
Our defending was shocking at times, with no excuses for display against Germany.
I think the real problem though is that English players just aren't as good technically and don't show enough intelligence or a 'footballing brain' with the ball and also without out. Watching countries like Japan, South Korea, some of the African nations and less fancied European sides have looked miles better than us in the tournament. We hear far too much about England winning in 1966, giving us a false mindset that we can surely therefore win every tournament! That lead to me to...

EXPECTATION: In the betting odds, media and possibly players minds themselves due to their success at club level we are always hyped as possible winners. Our record isn't great though and how many times in tournaments have we beaten so called 'big' countries, like Germany, Italy, Holland, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain and Portugal? Whereas other less fancied countries in the last 10-20 years such as Croatia, Turkey and Sweden have reached the World Cup Semi Finals, and Greece winning Euro 2004. At the same time other countries all over the World are improving. Due to players gaining experience in foreign leagues and getting good coaching from foreign managers African, Austalisian and teams from Asia are far from whipping boys many expect. South Korea in 2002 and New Zealand in this World Cup surprised everybody.

King_Ghidra
27-06-2010, 23:07:40
it was just horrible. sadly it was the usual thing of not playing as well as what we see in the premiership (with perhaps one or two exceptions). they've gone out having played well as a team for perhaps half an hour or so in four matches.

rooney is every bit as good as he is made out imho but he did not play well at any point in four games. i don't think you can blame marking or anything other than his own form (or perhaps his fitness). he was not at it, his touch was extremely poor, it was a most un-rooney-like rooney in every way

i don't subscribe as a rule to to the idea that failing at these things mean there is some underlying malaise in the national game, it is what it is in each tournament, not fuel for some macro theory. you can cite the likes of turkey, croatia and sweden's past isolated successes, but none of those three even reached this world cup, so what does that really say about them at the top level? african teams have been absolutely dire in this world cup, as everyone knew they would, and ghana are far from deserving QFinalists on the quality they've shown. i don't see anything to suggest the general level of international football is any different to say, fifteen years ago, and in terms of african football, they are arguably worse off than then.

however what happened today was a fitting end to a poor wc campaign that was completely at odds with a highly assured qualifying campaign that had erased a lot of cynicism about what to expect from england. i expect capello is mystified by the team's reversion to type and so am i.

Greg W
28-06-2010, 00:33:24
Rooney has been somewhat average ever since he was rushed back early from injury by SAF to try and rescue their premiership run in. My guess would be just returning from injury and no real chance to play himself into form in unimportant matches? Dunno.

The funny thing is that Germany have only played two good matches to date. One against Australia and then again last night. Whichdoes make me feel somewhat better about our 4-0 loss. :cute: The other two matches (v Ghana and Serbia) have been pretty ordinarily as well.

Debaser
28-06-2010, 06:37:05
however what happened today was a fitting end to a poor wc campaign that was completely at odds with a highly assured qualifying campaign that had erased a lot of cynicism about what to expect from england.

Was it that assured? The results were there, but usually despite the performance rather than because of it. Yesterday's German team are by no means regarded as a great German team, but they played with a style and a relaxed understanding and sophistication that is alien to the English game. England's performances for years now have been too brittle, too edgy, and prone to many lazy/nervous unforced errors. They are consistently very average, they performed averagely in the World Cup, they went out to a better than average team. No mystery there.

Back!
28-06-2010, 07:01:30
The funny thing is that Germany have only played two good matches to date. One against Australia and then again last night. Whichdoes make me feel somewhat better about our 4-0 loss. :cute: The other two matches (v Ghana and Serbia) have been pretty ordinarily as well.

Incredibly, I agree with Greg on this one
must be a planets conjunction

Back!
28-06-2010, 07:08:28
'Ghost goal' no excuse (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidbond/2010/06/bond.html)

At 6:29pm on 27 Jun 2010, VFF wrote:
Capello picked the players to bring to the world cup. Walcott was left out for not following instructions. He played England's key midfielder, Gerrard out of position at left midfield. He stuck to a strategy and formation that clearly wasn't working. He returned to a strategy against Germany that had clearly failed against Algeria.

The players were struck down, particularly Terry for suggesting a different way. In dealing with Terry it is clear that it was his team and his strategy. The buck stops at Capello's door.

A good manager gets the best out of his player and produces a team that is better than the sum of its parts. Capello managed to do the opposite.

Capello has got to go.


LOL, substitute part in bold with Lippi, and you get same comments on italian team
:D

At 6:31pm on 27 Jun 2010, xpat73 wrote:
Fair play Germany they deserved to win. Having said that England were 2-1 down when thye should have been 2-2. So they were pressing up for a goal and were caught on the break for 3-1.....To say it wouldn't have made any difference is wrong.

But the Germans are a better side Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ozil are comfortable on the ball. The Germans created 6 or 7 genuine chances and were clinical. England...how many chances did they create? Two in the whole game.....


OK no excuse, but it can't be denied no one actually know how the match could have turned

I wonder:
can Germany call themselves LUCKY that they got rid of Ballack?
would have Ballack had any place in this Germany stile of play?
Or would have putting him in place of Ozil dragged team rythm, dynamism and creativity down?

Back!
28-06-2010, 07:15:09
New Zealand in this World Cup surprised everybody.

all respect and appreciation for NZL, but to be honest the suprise was made by their opponents failures more than by NZL themlselves

they said Italy got lucky with the easiest group
well that could be said for NZL too, and Italy proved indeed the weakest of the seeded teams

a never to be repeated in all our lifetimes event

Back!
28-06-2010, 07:19:14
and ghana are far from deserving QFinalists on the quality they've shown.

I agree with the rest of your post, but imho the one thing Ghana showed it's quality, they lack just everything else

:D

They didn't deserve QF in general, but they deserved to beat USA

Back!
28-06-2010, 07:22:16
more strictly on topic:

OK, Ferdinand, King, Carragher, etc...

But your defence is indeed too soft
If even Capello failed to make it sturdier, no one can
you might as well appoint the dressing room janitor and spare a few millions

Drekkus
28-06-2010, 11:20:39
http://www.geenstijl.nl/archives/images/1014281_3f6e2613.jpg

Funko
28-06-2010, 12:18:51
Italy and France were dreadful for their matches, and I don't see anyone claiming their players lacked quality.

Some weaker teams got through looking ok like Mexico, Japan etc. But they'll all get knocked out by the major powers before the quarters, realistically we should have won the group, won a reasonable second round match and then seen what happened.

Scoring 2 against Germany (hitting the bar twice) ought to have been enough, we just couldn't defend at all. Will be very interesting to see how Germany do against Argentina, I expect Messi will be relishing running at some of their defenders. Was the game really where someone like Lennon might have really been effective.

Capello's not the first coach to be stupified by the England players inability to perform at tournaments, and I'm sure he won't be the last. We probably ought to be good enough to get to a Quarter Final most times, and the occasional semi-final, which is actually what we've tended to do.

Fistandantilus
28-06-2010, 13:11:24
You guys must have a mancrush on J Cole or something.

Greg W
28-06-2010, 13:16:05
I was just listening to an SBS analyst pointing out what he thought was wrong with England. He simply said that England played the wrong style of football to win major tournaments.

Trying to remember the comments he gave after that. Something about teams that do well (I presume he's ignoring Greece Euro 04 in this) have short passing games, intelligent decision making and good movement off the ball. May have been a few other things he mentioned with that, I forget. He did mention that bringing in an Italian coach was supposed to change this, but apparently had failed to do so.

Talking about, say, Japan (my thoughts here) and the fact that Japan have done pretty well in the last few World Cups, compared to how you might expect Japan to go. I wonder if the main difference is that Japan play as a team. A well drilled team that plays to a game plan. I'm not so sure that you could say that of England. They do have good players, but looking at the team, what is the plan? You can't just shove a team of good players out there and expect them simply to win. Real Madrid and the Galacticos being a great example of this.

Just thoughts off the top of my head, I haven't really given it a lot of thought, just the comments from the SBS analyst got me thinking is all...

Funko
28-06-2010, 16:36:56
It's almost certainly true that the lesser teams are always underestimated, actually throughout the history of the world cup there have been some lesser teams that did surprisingly well and some big names that did surprisingly badly.

One of the great things about football is that anyone can beat anyone on their day.

Back!
28-06-2010, 17:09:33
PMS?

Mightytree
28-06-2010, 18:06:50
IMO it's pretty obvious why so many English players play so much better in the Premier League than in their national team. Playing well in their respective clubs is a lot easier for them because they don't have to carry as much weight there, especially offensively. They profit greatly from the presence of good foreign players in their clubs, especially players like Gerrard or Lampard. Don't get me wrong, they are both good players, but they're simply not the kind of players that can carry others offensively. In the national team they're stuck in roles they can't fulfill. They need to be carried themselves, but England don't have any decent offensive midfielders that can do that.

What England needs is the kind of philosophy change Germany had when Klinsmann/Lw became coaches after our dreadful EC2004. Don't let any naysayers tell you that you can't play good offensive football just because you're England and you never did. That's total bullshit and the kind of thinking that has you stuck in the past forever. The only reason Capello isn't fired yet is because he's a big name coach. Get rid of him and put somebody in charge who actually wants to make changes.

novacane
28-06-2010, 18:26:16
rooney is every bit as good as he is made out imho.

I just don't agree with that. There was a consensus that England could win the WC with Rooney at his best. I know his performances at this tournament need to be cut a little slack because of obvious issues with fitness but I find it very difficult to include him among the world elite. An excellent player, nobody would dispute that.

Personally I would trade him for a Tevez.

Mightytree
28-06-2010, 18:32:04
Rooney isn't the problem. The underlying issue is the midfield that can't create chances for him. I don't think any striker would look much better in his stead.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-06-2010, 19:13:31
Here's a telling fact. With the exception of 1966, England have never beaten a world-class team in the knockout stages. Never.

Ditch nearly all of the team. Start again with these players-

Hart
M Richards
Smalling
Wiltshire
A Young
A Johnson
Rodwell
Walcott
Welbeck

- or learn to accept that we have no grounds for considering ourselves to be contenders.

Fistandantilus
28-06-2010, 19:20:40
Offense is not the problem. As Mike said against Germany they scored twice, Defoe hit the bar, Lampard hit the bar, another couple of very good chances. And all this with Rooney undeperforming.
Should be enough, you can't pretend they score 5 goals to make up for defensive blunders.

novacane
28-06-2010, 20:25:48
Right, Rooney is not the problem at all. Just a shade overrated IMO.

Back!
29-06-2010, 07:04:19
England.
(no offense intended)

:D

Mightytree
29-06-2010, 10:23:23
Offense is not the problem. As Mike said against Germany they scored twice, Defoe hit the bar, Lampard hit the bar, another couple of very good chances. And all this with Rooney undeperforming.
Should be enough, you can't pretend they score 5 goals to make up for defensive blunders.

I was under the impression that were aren't discussing the Germany game specifically, but are more talking about what problems England has in general.

mr_B
29-06-2010, 10:30:35
http://www.geenstijl.nl/archives/images/1014281_3f6e2613.jpg

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

King_Ghidra
30-06-2010, 15:25:19
I don't agree with the tendency to suggest some kind of clear-the-board-back-to-basics strategy after these kind of exits.

Here's a telling fact. With the exception of 1966, England have never beaten a world-class team in the knockout stages. Never.

And to put things into context:

Spain have never made it past more than one knockout round of a World Cup.

Since 1966, France have gone out in the group stages three times in the seven world cups they've qualified for. England have never gone out in a WC group stage.

The dutch have an almost identical record to us in the last twenty years at world cups

etc.

At some point, some of the people who get hysterical about these things need to accept that cup competitions can not be reliably won simply by doing x or y. Being there (nearly) every time shows England's class. Getting out of the group stages (nearly) every time shows England's class. After that, it's a crap shoot on a match by match basis.

I don't forgive the particular failings of this particular England team at this particular World Cup at all, but they should be seen and considered in that light, not as part of some spurious macro theory of England's perceived inadequacies as a football nation.


IMO it's pretty obvious why so many English players play so much better in the Premier League than in their national team. Playing well in their respective clubs is a lot easier for them because they don't have to carry as much weight there, especially offensively. They profit greatly from the presence of good foreign players in their clubs, especially players like Gerrard or Lampard. Don't get me wrong, they are both good players, but they're simply not the kind of players that can carry others offensively. In the national team they're stuck in roles they can't fulfill. They need to be carried themselves, but England don't have any decent offensive midfielders that can do that.

??? Lampard and Gerrard are the attacking midfield lynchpins of two of the best teams in Europe of the past few years. At club level they have played behind foreign strikers, sure, but they are still running the show. Everyone knows their problems playing together for the national team, but that is because neither plays in the position or formation they do at club level. It's been the greatest conundrum of the England team for years now, but i don't see what it has to do with ability, or foreigners at clubs.

The gutsy and most significant move required of an england manager is to leave one of gerrard or lampard out and play the other in their normal position. But to my knowledge, it's never been done when they've both been fit. As they go beyond 30 it will be less of an issue, but what worries me even more is the generation beyond them. I don't see a really impressive central midfield talent coming up. There are some tidy players, but no creative/flair players.

Anyway, talking of this world cup, we had three games in the group where england didn't really click going forwards but were miserly at the back, and then one game where we were not too bad going forward and absolutely shite at the back. So good luck to anyone making sense of that.

Yesterday's German team are by no means regarded as a great German team, but they played with a style and a relaxed understanding and sophistication that is alien to the English game. England's performances for years now have been too brittle, too edgy, and prone to many lazy/nervous unforced errors. They are consistently very average, they performed averagely in the World Cup, they went out to a better than average team. No mystery there.

I don't really disagree with this analysis at all, but why is it so? It's clearly not the raw talent, it's hard to believe its nerves - you are talking about players who have won champions leagues - it hasn't changed under years of different managers, so why? I just see it as a mighty conundrum.

Greg W
30-06-2010, 15:43:55
And to put things into context:

Spain have never made it past more than one knockout round of a World Cup.

Since 1966, France have gone out in the group stages three times in the seven world cups they've qualified for. England have never gone out in a WC group stage.

The dutch have an almost identical record to us in the last twenty years at world cupsSpain and the Netherlands in particular are considered two of the biggest underperformers in World Cup history. And France's win was a shock to almost everyone, they just weren't expected to win. So I'm not quite sure how that helps your argument.

King_Ghidra
30-06-2010, 19:34:30
the argument is that no-one can win the world cup reliably. that's the context. england are up there amongst the contenders and that's all you can ask.

if france won unexpectedly it only helps that argument

King_Ghidra
30-06-2010, 19:45:25
as for underperformers, its bullshit. the dutch made two world cup finals with a team that is to this day regarded as the one of the greatest and most influential in world cup and football history. winning is not everything. the 1982 brazil team is universally regarded as one of the greatest in football history and they won fuck all.

if you can play well great, but you can win world cups without playing well. it's a cup. only one team can win. expecting every country to do well and judgng their entire nationa game on their wc performance is bollocks.

King_Ghidra
30-06-2010, 19:50:44
i rail against every mouth that shouts once england are out and says nothing before the tournament starts. it's too easy with hindsight.

I like Back!'s thinking re Ballack. This is the stuff that divides winning and losing teams.

Back!
01-07-2010, 08:35:20
the argument is that no-one can win the world cup reliably.

thank you for the assist
:)

OK, overall data tend to mask peculiarities occurred in specific editions, but here they are
Appearances (w/o current one), Semis, Finals, Victories
(Semis include Finals, Finals include Wins)
(allcaps played this one, in bold still running)



Team App Sem Fin WIN /app

BRA 18 10 7 5 28%
ITA 16 8 6 4 25%
GER 16 11 7 3 19%
ARG 14 4 4 2 14%
URU 10 4 2 2 20%
FRA 12 5 2 1 8%
ENG 12 2 1 1 8%

NED 8 3 2 -
Hun 9 2 2 -
Cze 9 2 2 -
Swe 11 4 1 -

(these no final but got 3rd)
Pol 7 2 -
Aut 7 2 -
POR 4 2 -
YUG 10 2 - (semis as Yugoslavia, now SRB)
USA 8 1 -
CHI 7 1 -
Cro 3 1 -
Tur 2 1 -
(these only ever got 4th once)
ESP 12 1 -
Bel 11 1 -
Rus 9 1 -
KOR 7 1 -
Bul 7 1 -


Top 3 teams can get reliably to Semifinals, if you accept to call 50% reliable (GER even 70%!)
BRA & ITA won 50% the Cups when they got to Semis, GER 27%

Following 3 teams got 40% to Semis (Arg 30%). From there on with smaller figures % are less significant. Lets just point out ARG won ALL their 4 Semis, URU won all their 2 Finals


So, no-one can win the world cup reliably
if you take out the two countries who only won it once at home, the remaining 16 Cups got shared between 5 teams
2 thereof won it 1 in 5 times, 2 won it 1 in 4

Greg W
01-07-2010, 12:06:49
the argument is that no-one can win the world cup reliably. that's the context. england are up there amongst the contenders and that's all you can ask.

if france won unexpectedly it only helps that argumentSo, England making the last 4 twice in 12 attempts is good enough? I was more taking the point about doing well consistently, not winning consistently being achievable. I don't think everyone here expected England to win. They did expect them to progress at least to the last 8 though, if not the last 4. They did not achieve that.

As for the Netherlands, I would suggest that only making the finals 8 out of 12 times is pretty underperforming. I also think that the criticism of them underperforming is more in the last 30 years. All those great players, nothing more than a 4th place in 1988 to show for it.

Same with England. One 4th place in the last 30 years (7 tournaments since 1982).

In that same period we have:
Brazil: 2 x wins, 1 x 2nd
Italy: 2 x wins, 1 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd
(West) Germany: 1 x wins, 3 x 2nds, 1 x 3rds
France: 1 x win, 1 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd, 1 x 4th
Argentina: 1 win, 1 2nd

In that entire period, only 5 teams have won the tournament. And those 5 teams are the only ones to have made the final. So that's 5 teams for 14 spots. Based on all that data, I would argue that performing well fairly consistently at a WC is not impossible.

maroule
01-07-2010, 15:25:52
Since 1966, France have gone out in the group stages three times in the seven world cups they've qualified for. England have never gone out in a WC group stage.




since you're talking about it; that's a bit misleading to pick the 3 worst ones... the other 4 are ; 2 semi finals (one shumacher-stolen), one final, one win... (beating brazil twice, Italy, portugal and spain etc.)... I think England would be happy to trade its record for half that...

In a way, France and England are polar opposites. For France, it's either a shameful exit, or a strong showing (if we get through the group stage, we perform strongly each time). For England since 1966, it's no exit, but then it ranges from fairly mediocre to downright disappointing every time, with no big scalp in 45 years.

Back!
01-07-2010, 15:52:44
For France, it's either a shameful exit, or a strong showing (if we get through the group stage, we perform strongly each time).


I had wanted to post about that, then forgot

'82 (Eur) 4th
'86 (NAm) 3rd

'90 (Eur) and
'94 (NAm) failed to qualify


'98 (Eur) WIN
'02 (Asia) most shameful exit (goalless, as champions)
'06 (Eur) 2nd (on penalties, probably deserving to win the final)
'10 (Afr) almost as shameful exit

you should have switched '86 and '90 results
you'd have a perfect alternance, and euro-dependence for good results

:D

maroule
01-07-2010, 15:58:23
the '10 is more shameful than the '02 because it mixed sport incompetence with a rotten attitude... that's really doing the extra-mile

in 02 loosing to Senegal was less the shame that was describded... they actually had a decent team with great belief.. it was shocking, but to say it is shameful belittles the value of the senegalese (who did well against others too)

to come back to England, the topic here, the draw itself against the US was not a shame either, it's just the way they played which was disapointing

Back!
02-07-2010, 08:44:04
OK, I gratefully accept the correction and distinction between shocking and shameful

:beer:

King_Ghidra
04-07-2010, 17:20:38
since you're talking about it; that's a bit misleading to pick the 3 worst ones...

In a way that was the point. France's performances veer wildly between amazing and shit. I am opposed to the idea that there is some overriding high level consistency in style and ability in International teams.

I think each nation's WC team must be considered on its own merits in context and against its own time. There is a lot of apples and oranges comparison in football analysis that is essentially meaningless.

I picked out the stats i picked out to show that there are many highs and lows for many of the so-called big teams. I can't dispute the statistically consistent trend that appears when you look at the results of some of the best three or four teams, but i dispute the idea that you can claim some consistency in the technical or physical ability, tactical or mental approach of the countries that produced those results across world cups years or decades apart.

some people haven't yet gotten over the idea that brazil 1970 was forty years ago, that the dutch played 'total football' for basically no more than one world cup, 35 years ago, that no one in serie a plays catenaccio any more, etc. etc. We've seen the netherlands and brazil at this world cup playing in ways totally at odds with their stereotypical historical counterparts.

So this is a long-winded way of saying: lazy recounting of historical statistical performance does not tell us anything about the state of the modern game, individual modern teams, or the state of the national or club game.

maroule
04-07-2010, 19:33:43
couldn't agree more

it has to do with the media bias of building a narrative on everything
much simpler and more colourful than going into the messy reality, that hates convenient labels

I was actually reading an article by a group of neurosurgeons and philosopers who said that the human brain is built to prefer nice/convenient narratives, rather than the messy collection of random facts we call reality

I see confirmations of that about everyday