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We weren't unlucky to not go through, we fu cking blew it.

 

This easy draw was supposed to be a route to the final but it wasn't because we didn't get there so ultimately meaningless.

 

If we'd have beaten Belgium and Japan there would gave been just as much excitement into a match with Brazil, that's all. And if after watching that match you genuinely think we were "unlucky" against Croatia then we could have been equally "unlucky" in a memorable QF against Brazil.

 

We got to a semi and very enjoyable it was too, but if we'd have got to a quarter final against Brazil then it wouldn't have been much different, and still a reflection of our actual level, which is, pretty obviously, quarter final standard.

 

We aren't good enough to win the world cup therefore wan king on about "easy draws" is just horsesh it. How about we win the world cup like every other fu cking team that's done it and beat someone good?

 

Croatia were the better side in the end but if we had made the most of when we were on top and got a second we probably could have held out. Croatia were all over the place in the first half, we blew our chance at getting to the final but at least we gave it a shot. Brazil would have took that team to pieces.

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I agree with him. Been saying it all tournament: games are won and lost in midfield and we barely had one. Two guys who constantly run away from the ball and Jordan effing Henderson. You can't beat a proper team by giving them both the ball and the freedom of the midfield to play in. It's madness.

 

We lost tonight once Croatia established dominance in the middle of the park after half time. And Southgate did nothing at all to try and address it - a like for like substitution, Dier for Henderson, when the Liverpool headless chicken ran out of gas predictably made no difference.

 

Lingard and Alli stayed on, in spite of neither creating chances, retaining possession nor shielding the defence. Even just one of those things would've been nice. But they're not really midfielders. Alli's entire game is stupid flicks, trying to draw fouls and ghosting late into the box to finish off other people's creative work.

 

As a central midfielder, he's very poor - not a patch on his unfortunately injured teammate Harry Winks, who can actually play the role properly.

 

England can take some positives from the tournament, of course, but the entire midfield was dysfunctional from the get go and needs a total overhaul.

 

Sent from my F3311 using Tapatalk

 

Don't disagree that from half time onwards our midfield imploded a bit and we couldn't keep a hold on the ball. Give a team like Croatia the amount of possession that we did and eventually they will hurt you, it was so ball achingly predictable.

 

However - the biggest culprit in England's loss was our forward line esp Kane - if you miss chance after chance then you won't win.

 

Even in the 2nd half the flagging mid and full backs still managed to provide quality but there was no one there to stab it in. When Trippier supplied a couple of superb balls from the right that flew across the penalty area our no 9 was nowhere, Kane should have gobbled them up. A guy like Suarez would have.

 

Midfield did get ragged in 2nd half but we would have won if we hadn't ignored so many good chances. Where was the hunger from Kane? Was he carrying a knock or is he a bit soft?

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Croatia were the better side in the end but if we had made the most of when we were on top and got a second we probably could have held out. Croatia were all over the place in the first half, we blew our chance at getting to the final but at least we gave it a shot. Brazil would have took that team to pieces.

 

Nonsense. Rewatched the game and England were very good for 20-25 mins but Croatia were clearly coming back into the ga and finished the half the stronger side. There were plenty of warning signs for the second half. ITV's analysis at HT, especially Gary Neville's complacency, was frankly embarrassing. All in all, his stock isn't much higher than Ashley Young's after this WC.

Edited by shurlock
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Nonsense. Rewatched the game and England were very good for 20-25 mins but Croatia were clearly coming back into the ga and finished the half the stronger side. There were plenty of warning signs for the second half. ITV's analysis at HT, especially Gary Neville's complacency, was frankly embarrassing. All in all, his stock isn't much higher than Ashley Young's after this WC.

 

Nonsense pal.

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Seems to me throughout the competition England's best spells of play where always the first 20-25 minutes of a game and then we seemed to tail of in most games.

 

We did better than I expected but can't say I really ever thought we looked like a really good team we never really had much creativity from open play.

 

Having said that Southgate did a good job of playing to the squads strengths I think especially attacking set pieces. We kind of a world cup version of last seasons Burnley and worked for us up to a point.

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I understand it's easy to get swept up in the emotion and drama of it all pal.

 

It is true. They were getting back in to the game after 30 mins.

The ball from then was just coming back to easily (and quickly)

 

Thank god Ashley young is 32 and will probably retire. Easily Southgate’s blind spot

 

Bigger picture, really enjoyed England again.

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It is true. They were getting back in to the game after 30 mins.

The ball from then was just coming back to easily (and quickly)

 

Thank god Ashley young is 32 and will probably retire. Easily Southgate’s blind spot

 

Bigger picture, really enjoyed England again.

 

Yep that's the bigger picture.

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England did very well this tournament but our ability in possession is massively lacking and it ultimately cost us. We progressed through great organisation and belief, but the quality has not been there.

 

There are loads of things to be pleased with, but equally still lots to improve on too. To say we were unlucky is wrong - we got what we deserved last night.

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Surprised at the final, as I thought after the Spanish were knocked out, that it would be Belgium vs Croatia.

 

We started out thinking we had no chance. The side of the draw opened up nicely, and after Russia beat Spain, it was possibly the best chance for all the remaining teams to ever get to the final. So the press and "its coming home" got off their tits on self-aggrandisement. Me, I've been bored rigid by all the England performances. I don't enjoy the way we play, not least because our midfield is sub-par and lacks creativity, or what creativity there is, is used selfishly rather than for the team. We aren't very good. Haven't been for years. Why we think over the course of a couple of weeks at the WC we suddenly have become world beaters is a mystery. We weren't much better than Tunisia. Panama was a joke. Belgium's B team was far better than our B team. Colombia could have beaten us but for the cross bar. Sweden didn't bother turning up and actually are even worse than us. So we come to Croatia. A team that plays as a team - I think that the crap that the country has been through might focus them and bring them together more. But the big difference between the two teams was the midfield.

 

I look at the England team. The GK, CB and CF seem to be well grounded people. The rest wing backs, winger, midfield seem to largely saunter around with an arrogance that doesn't match their ability. Alli was crap. Sterling was crap. Lingard was crap. Young was crap. Henderson was crap for a different reason - he is more an anchor than creative.

 

While I did of course want us to win last night and then on Sunday, if one looks at it without being revisionist nor biased, we are a very poor side. It is the same as last season watching Saints under MP - we were very poor. You can't polish a turd.

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Overall it was an even game, England should have won it and been out of sight in the first half but consistently got behind Croatia all game, they just didn't always make the most of it or some last gasp tackles just saved Croatia.

 

In the end Croatia's greater experience showed through, but they required a mistake on England's part to win the game, a nothing header, Stones switched off and that was it game over, especially after going to down to 10.

 

England over the course of the game had the better chances, they just didn't take them.

 

I thought Kane had his poorest game of the tournament, his passing was awful. Alli went missing for most of the game but was not helped out by Ashley Young, he got dragged wide consistently because Young sat inside next to his centre backs for no reason instead of getting out to their right back.

 

End of the day though we were good, we played good football at a good tempo and were genuinely enjoyable to watch, more so than many of the other 'big teams'.

 

This is IIRC the youngest team ever to reach a World Cup semi, and they did so whilst Argentina, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Portugal went out earlier and Holland and Italy didn't even make it. That is a great achievement whatever way you look at it.

 

Most of this team are like 20-24, they have 2 more World Cups in them, they will get better and we have successful U17, U20 and U21 teams who's players will start coming through, the likes of Foden, Brester, Sessegnon etc.

 

I can't see another 30 years of hurt, I'll reckon we'll win a Euros or World Cup in the next 10 years.

 

Also I reckon the Ox, Wilshere and Lallana were missed, they would have added to that midfield and given us more options/better control.

Edited by tajjuk
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Surprised at the final, as I thought after the Spanish were knocked out, that it would be Belgium vs Croatia.

 

We started out thinking we had no chance. The side of the draw opened up nicely, and after Russia beat Spain, it was possibly the best chance for all the remaining teams to ever get to the final. So the press and "its coming home" got off their tits on self-aggrandisement. Me, I've been bored rigid by all the England performances. I don't enjoy the way we play, not least because our midfield is sub-par and lacks creativity, or what creativity there is, is used selfishly rather than for the team. We aren't very good. Haven't been for years. Why we think over the course of a couple of weeks at the WC we suddenly have become world beaters is a mystery. We weren't much better than Tunisia. Panama was a joke. Belgium's B team was far better than our B team. Colombia could have beaten us but for the cross bar. Sweden didn't bother turning up and actually are even worse than us. So we come to Croatia. A team that plays as a team - I think that the crap that the country has been through might focus them and bring them together more. But the big difference between the two teams was the midfield.

 

I look at the England team. The GK, CB and CF seem to be well grounded people. The rest wing backs, winger, midfield seem to largely saunter around with an arrogance that doesn't match their ability. Alli was crap. Sterling was crap. Lingard was crap. Young was crap. Henderson was crap for a different reason - he is more an anchor than creative.

 

While I did of course want us to win last night and then on Sunday, if one looks at it without being revisionist nor biased, we are a very poor side. It is the same as last season watching Saints under MP - we were very poor. You can't polish a turd.

A bit harsh.

IMO we should have kept Sterling on and taken Dele and Jesse off and put midfielders on to flood the midfield. Delph would have as much creativity as either of those two.Dier (who is not my favourite player) could have helped add some physical play to stem their midfield. The ref only booked players for throwing the ball away etc,he didn't for some poor challenges by Redic(?) and Lovren.

We were leading and creating very little except for Sterlings pace.

Pickford's distribution was awry and so the ball kept coming back at us.

I was very calm in the lead up to the game and expected us to win, and very surprised that we didn't have the victory I expected.

There is a very hollow feeling today and hopefully we get over this quickly.

I doubt we will ever get to see England in a final as this was probably the best chance any of those young players will ever get of getting there. A second goal would have finished Croatia off, but it was not to be. I assume Kane was carrying an injury?

 

Young should also have been taken off earlier as he was off the pace from the start.

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Croatia were very fluid up front and ran our defence ragged. Kane was well held. Young not a good night. However, enjoyed the run while it lasted. Some nice football before the disappointment.

Don't think we will have any chance in Quatar. Too hot. Euros could be our chance.

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England did very well this tournament but our ability in possession is massively lacking and it ultimately cost us. We progressed through great organisation and belief, but the quality has not been there.

 

There are loads of things to be pleased with, but equally still lots to improve on too. To say we were unlucky is wrong - we got what we deserved last night.

 

And Southgate has to decide whether he wants to persist with the same formation and leave Henderson isolated or thinks he can get away with two attacking no.8s (Lingard and Alli), hoping they can put in a defensive shift -despite it not being their natural game.

 

Maybe Henderson needs a partner in games like this, especially if England struggle to keep possession. It's clear what Croatia were doing: with the fullbacks bombing on, both their wingers pushed inside and swamped the space in front of Henderson. With technicians like Modric and Rakitic -why not put a man on Modric like the Portugese did in the Euros- it was always going to be difficult without extra support.

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And Southgate has to decide whether he wants to persist with the same formation and leave Henderson isolated or thinks he can get away with two attacking no.8s (Lingard and Alli), hoping they can put in a defensive shift -despite it not being their natural game.

 

Maybe Henderson needs a partner in games like this, especially if England struggle to keep possession. It's clear what Croatia were doing: with the fullbacks bombing on, both their wingers pushed inside and swamped the space in front of Henderson. With technicians like Modric and Rakitic -why not put a man on Modric like the Portugese did in the Euros- it was always going to be difficult without extra support.

 

That's my thinking too. He was left too exposed time and again by Lingard and Alli who aren't defensive minded players.

 

If we're going to play with just one CDM then we need someone much, much better than Henderson ever has been or probably ever will be.

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Apart from a good performance against a pub team, I really don't get all this 'so proud' nonsense?!

 

210 countries entered and we got to the semi final.

 

WC didn't start 3 weeks ago and we have done well to get to the semi final of the whole tournament

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What annoyed me about the tactical approach that Southgate took to the Croatia game is that in every other match, Sterling was dropping deep and joining the midfield to create an overload so we could retain possession.

 

In this game, as soon as we scored, Sterling stayed on the shoulder of the centrebacks and tried to play in behind for Kane's flick-ons. This meant that we sacrificed the ball to a side with better technical players and reverted to hoofing it.

 

We should have stuck to what we tried to do in the earlier matches, the worst that would have happened is that we would have lost with bravery. We tried to play anti-football and got done for it. Craotia deserved to win. I hate Lovren.

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210 countries entered and we got to the semi final.

 

WC didn't start 3 weeks ago and we have done well to get to the semi final of the whole tournament

 

I don't disagree BUT with the players we had & the way the draw opened up, we should in that final on Sunday. Trying to sit on a lead for most of the game has cost an opportunity we are unlikely to see again for many, many years!

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I am pretty certain Croatia should have been down to 10 men, Rebic elbowed Walker in the face and Mandzukic got the yellow card for it. Rebic then through the ball away, much like Walker did, did not get a yellow for it and then got a further yellow for a late challenge on Danny Rosee.

 

He should have been sent off and I am pretty sure VAR was supposed to correct mistaken identity.

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I am pretty certain Croatia should have been down to 10 men, Rebic elbowed Walker in the face and Mandzukic got the yellow card for it. Rebic then through the ball away, much like Walker did, did not get a yellow for it and then got a further yellow for a late challenge on Danny Rosee.

 

He should have been sent off and I am pretty sure VAR was supposed to correct mistaken identity.

 

It wasn't mistaken identity pal. Rightly or wrongly, the ref didn't think Rebic's challenge deserved a yellow. He walked over to Mandzukic and booked him for throwing/kicking the ball away afterwards. The ref was clear who he was booking and why. If you're not happy that Rebic's challenge escaped punishment, focus on that. Has nowt to do with mistaken identity.

Edited by shurlock
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It wasn't mistaken identity pal. Rightly or wrongly, the ref didn't think Rebic's challenge deserved a yellow. He walked over to Mandzukic and booked him for throwing/kicking the ball away afterwards. The ref was clear who he was booking and why. If you're not happy that Rebic's challenge escaped punishment, focus on that. Has nowt to do with mistaken identity.

 

Mandzukic didn't do anything as far as I saw, they replayed the incident and the ref was pointing at the foul, not at Mandzukic, it also looked like the VAR people replayed it as well.

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Mandzukic didn't do anything as far as I saw, they replayed the incident and the ref was pointing at the foul, not at Mandzukic, it also looked like the VAR people replayed it as well.

 

I watched the game again on the BBC and they showed a replay of ref walking directly over to Mandzukic and booking him for kicking the ball away.

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I don't disagree BUT with the players we had & the way the draw opened up, we should in that final on Sunday. Trying to sit on a lead for most of the game has cost an opportunity we are unlikely to see again for many, many years!

 

Tend to agree. It's not just about understanding we got to a WC semi-final, it's understanding that the opportunity only comes around every 4 years and it's highly unlikely we will get such a favorable draw for many years to come. We started well yesterday and were in pole position, even going into the second half we were one nil up in a 'next goal wins' game and we blew it. If we had got a second I think we'd have done it, but as soon as they scored you knew how it was ending.

 

Credit where it's due, we did well to get that far, but under analysis, you'd be foolish to think that we are close to the real top sides.

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I don't disagree BUT with the players we had & the way the draw opened up, we should in that final on Sunday. Trying to sit on a lead for most of the game has cost an opportunity we are unlikely to see again for many, many years!

 

I think it's unlikely ever to open again in this way, for lets face it an average team to reach the final. That's Croatia now beneficiaries of that. Don't forget Croatia were even runners up to Iceland in the qualifiers. Iceland probably thinking what might have been.

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I watched the game again on the BBC and they showed a replay of ref walking directly over to Mandzukic and booking him for kicking the ball away.

 

Yeah it was pretty obvious even at the time it was a booking for kicking the ball away.

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Croatia defended well and their class core of players turned it round but I predict ! France will win.

With hindsight he should of subbed young at half time and perhaps put Loftus Cheek on as well. Croatia obviously targeted Kane and should of had a few more yellows etc but we were getting tired and sloppy just like Belgium did so fair result as class prevailed.

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The team did well but I never expected to get to a World Cup Final without any World Class players

 

Trippier innit?

 

Can't believe, a few years ago, I was watching Guly skinning him at Turf Moor in the championship.

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I watched the game again on the BBC and they showed a replay of ref walking directly over to Mandzukic and booking him for kicking the ball away.

 

Fair enough didn't see it and ITV commentators didn't seem to pick it up either, neither did the host broadcasters, though that no.11 should have had about 3 yellows anyway.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

Don't really understand all the negativity, everyone seems very quick to jump on the loss with sort of 'I told you so' comments, which I don't get.

 

Overall the game was balanced, people saying Croatia were the better team seemed to forget the first half where England completely dominated and should have been 2-3 up.

 

Our 2nd half game management was poor, and the Croatia's stepped it up. But people also seem to be forgetting the experience factor. Modric has 111 caps alone, Mandzukic 88, Rakitic 98 etc.

 

These players have champions league titles and the core of that Croatia team has been playing together for like 10 years, with many coming through the same youth teams together.

 

England haven't, they key now is that we keep this team together, and don't heap too much pressure or change the plan that has clearly been working.

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Our midfield were/are simply not good enough when up against better sides and

up till last night we have only played one decent side and we lost that too.

 

We did well but had we been on the other side of the draw we would not have got beyond last 16..

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Dejan Lovren being typically modest. He needs to be careful, his head might be too big to get back to Liverpool.

 

https://twitter.com/ESPNFC

 

Dh5Ms0-X4AAjr4R.jpg:large

 

Is he tucking serious? Struggled with sterling all the time he was on pitch, should’ve been booked, took out Kane when Kane would’ve been away on his own. Terrible cb. France will embarrass him. Clown.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Knowing he was on the winning side made last night even worse. Apparently he waited at the tunnel to hug every England player as they went down the tunnel. Smug git

 

"I believed more that I could win the Champions League – I believe that from day one because we had the power and speed at Liverpool – than coming here to Russia. Here we have different players, but we have showed we can manage..."

 

Did he... did he just before a world cup final insult his own team mates?

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Fair enough didn't see it and ITV commentators didn't seem to pick it up either, neither did the host broadcasters, though that no.11 should have had about 3 yellows anyway.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

Don't really understand all the negativity, everyone seems very quick to jump on the loss with sort of 'I told you so' comments, which I don't get.

 

Overall the game was balanced, people saying Croatia were the better team seemed to forget the first half where England completely dominated and should have been 2-3 up.

 

Our 2nd half game management was poor, and the Croatia's stepped it up. But people also seem to be forgetting the experience factor. Modric has 111 caps alone, Mandzukic 88, Rakitic 98 etc.

 

These players have champions league titles and the core of that Croatia team has been playing together for like 10 years, with many coming through the same youth teams together.

 

England haven't, they key now is that we keep this team together, and don't heap too much pressure or change the plan that has clearly been working.

 

We were the better side for the first 25 minutes or so but as the half went in Croatia were getting progressively better and we were saying we needed to make changes in the second half as we were starting to struggle. Agree that a second goal would have done it though but taking the match as a whole, Croatia were the better side.

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The spine of the team is there, we can add in some creative young players over the next two years and try and get a better balance in the midfield. Also need someone who can play alongside Kane up top. We should comfortably qualify for Euro's - I am interested to see how we treat the Nations League. I am going to the Croatia game in November with my 6 year old daughter. Nice opportunity for a little revenge. If I were Southgate, I would use those games as a way to blend in the young players like Foden, Sancho, Sessengnon - get them used to International football.

 

My prediction for the final: Le Foot rentre a la maison.

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We were the better side for the first 25 minutes or so but as the half went in Croatia were getting progressively better and we were saying we needed to make changes in the second half as we were starting to struggle. Agree that a second goal would have done it though but taking the match as a whole, Croatia were the better side.

 

Disagree don't think Croatia had a look in the first half, they were awful. Trouble is when you are on top so much and then don't score that second goal it gives the opposition heart. If they had gone in 2-0 down then I don't think they would have got back into the game.

 

Maybe if you add extra time, but even then England wasted some good opportunities throughout the match, many a time we got in behind them but the final ball was lacking.

 

We lacked some nous and experience, we really needed a better centre mid in there to control the game more.

 

I reckon had Winks been available or we'd taken Wilshere then we'd have won that game.

 

The spine of the team is there, we can add in some creative young players over the next two years and try and get a better balance in the midfield. Also need someone who can play alongside Kane up top. We should comfortably qualify for Euro's - I am interested to see how we treat the Nations League. I am going to the Croatia game in November with my 6 year old daughter. Nice opportunity for a little revenge. If I were Southgate, I would use those games as a way to blend in the young players like Foden, Sancho, Sessengnon - get them used to International football.

 

My prediction for the final: Le Foot rentre a la maison.

 

I think get Winks into that team could be crucial, looking at his assured performance for Spurs at the Bernabeau he's the sort of player England needed last night to bring some balance to that midfield and control the game. If he continues to progress and not fall apart from injuries he could be our main centre-mid for the next ten years.

 

If you add the likes of Sessegnon, Foden, Sancho in as well as you say exciting times for the England team.

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

On a side note Lovren is a plonka, Sterling tore him apart in the first half and imagine Mbappe and Greizman will as well.

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If we had a ref who had been less lenient he would have booked Lovren and Resic earlier. They then would have been on a tightrope. Overall Croatia deserved to win, but they got into that position due to our shortfalls.

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