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Euro 2020 (in 2021)

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    Part of me wonders if you don't get a 3-4-3 again if he tries to match up in the midfield. Then, if Sterling and Saka drop off out of possession you've basically got six players in and around the middle of the park. Not saying that's a sure thing, but we've seen that formation and know they like it well enough, and if you have the two wing backs, the two pivots, and potentially the two wingers all getting into the mix.... yeah, that could be effective.

    Italy have also conceded more from open play than we have - no one has actually broken us down yet, even with the tournament wide clean sheet going against Denmark. And though you obviously have to praise the Italian defence I quite fancy Sterling's movement in and around two centre halves who are in their mid-30s.

    So - Italy favourites, but not by so much we can't dream a bit. Wembley a factor too, as Gooner says. If you played this final 1000 times I'd say England would probably end up winning it maybe one time in every three. Those aren't ludicrous odds, so let's just hope Sunday is the one in three.

    I will say - it feels like the kind of game, based on how both sides play, where the first goal might be crucial.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Originally posted by Oliver View Post
    I think we might struggle to control the midfield - Jorginho, Veratti, and Barella will likely dominate the ball - so it's going to be a case of our front players pressing to stop the ball getting to them and trying to get into gaps behind the Italy full backs.
    I think this is why it might be worth dropping Mount back to play a 4-3-3 or drop him or one of the other attacking players for Henderson, or if you really want to throw the cat among the pigeons then Bellingham, to match up against their 3-man midfield

    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    As for Sunday, I mean it's 50/50. Italy might be favourites, but I think a full Wembley balances it out. That said, Italy are the kings of shithousery, wouldn't surprise me if they spend half the game rolling down on the floor.
    Well if you're on Twitter you'd believe we spent the whole Denmark game rolling around the deck.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    I have no shame in admitting that Southgate has got his selections spot on all tournament, so I will trust him to choose the right one for the final, whether it's Saka, Sancho, Grealish, Foden or anyone else. One thing that has worked very well I think is thanks to our squad depth, any sub that comes on after 60 minutes has had an effect on the game, they've not just been token substitutes. Grealish has come on and made an impression each time, so has Foden and Rashford.

    Two things really stood out to me last night. The response to going a goal down was very good, equalizer within ten minutes including a sitter miss by Sterling just before the goal. They didn't have their heads down, they went right back to work. Also, I kinda like the fact that we've finally conceded in the tournament and got that record out the way. That would have been hanging over their heads on Sunday.

    The other thing was the last 5 minutes of extra time. I can honestly say I've never seen England manage a game like that ever. When Denmark would be at their wits end doing their best to keep their dream alive, with all the adrenaline, England kept the ball and tired the Danes out, passing all over the pitch and taking the sting out of the game. It's the type of thing many England fans might criticise, why not go for a third goal? But when Spain, Italy, Germany do it, it's great game management.

    As for Sunday, I mean it's 50/50. Italy might be favourites, but I think a full Wembley balances it out. That said, Italy are the kings of shithousery, wouldn't surprise me if they spend half the game rolling down on the floor.



    Last edited by Gooner; 07-08-2021, 06:38 AM.

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  • Oliver
    replied
    I don't think I've quite come to terms with it yet - I actually felt a bit more 'pumped up' for the World Cup semi final than I do this final right now. Maybe it's because all I've seen during this tournament is the inside of my house and not many more people outside of my wife who have interest in what's happening.

    It's huge though, isn't it?

    I can't see Southgate making major changes for the final - arguably the only question mark is Saka vs Sancho if he stays as 4-2-3-1. Now, the exception to that is if he switches the system I guess - but I don't think he will.

    Going to be a really interesting match, the final - likely going to be won on the flanks by the full backs. I think we might struggle to control the midfield - Jorginho, Veratti, and Barella will likely dominate the ball - so it's going to be a case of our front players pressing to stop the ball getting to them and trying to get into gaps behind the Italy full backs.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Yeah, the first thing my old man said after we won is that he never thought he'd see us reach a final (he was 5 in '66). Did I see us making one in the next 30 odd years when I'll be his current age? Possibly but that was largely based on our decent performance at the last World Cup because everything since I started watching in '98 was pretty much garbage.

    Spain gave Italy a bit more trouble than I thought they would and hopefully us having a younger squad will help with any potential fatigue. I'd definitely change one or two of the attacking players to begin with.

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    Well, England are in a final. There were times in the last 15 years where I'd honestly convinced myself this would never happen.

    Italy await. Definitely the hardest challenge we'll have faced so far.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by The Cook View Post
    I think Morata's performance for Spain summed up his spell at Chelsea. I feel he's looked decent and gotten into some good positions but he really has missed some great chances that contributed heavily to Spain drawing their first two games and thus not being in our half of the draw and probably facing us on Saturday night.
    That's very much the view in Spain, he misses way too many chances. I think most are actually clamoring for Gerard Moreno to start against Switzerland as he's a bit more composed on the ball. Morata snatches a lot at chances.

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  • Oliver
    replied
    Chelsea have this weird thing with strikers (a bit like West Ham but with higher spend/profile) - seems they can sign who they like but the moment they get to them they score less than before. Shevchenko, Torres, Morata, Werner - it's kind of regular with their 'big name' striker signings. Drogba could be an exception but equally they kind of signed him before his profile was super high?

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  • The Cook
    replied
    I think Morata's performance for Spain summed up his spell at Chelsea. I feel he's looked decent and gotten into some good positions but he really has missed some great chances that contributed heavily to Spain drawing their first two games and thus not being in our half of the draw and probably facing us on Saturday night.

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  • Freeman
    replied
    I've been one of his biggest critics so far in his reign, but fair fucks to him, he's had two good tournaments so far and beating Germany in the knockout rounds is no small feat. Yes, we got a bit lucky with Muller's miss, but we've had some dreadful luck against them over the years, so it's time it evened itself out.

    I found it interesting that he went back to his world cup formation for the game, with 6 of the same players who played against Croatia in the 2018 semi final. I always thought Walker, Stones and Maguire worked quite well together as a back 3, and it's nice that the team appears to be pretty tactically flexible at the moment.

    On a different note, speaking of writing people off, I think Alvaro Morata has looked pretty sharp in the few Spain games I've seen so far. Was he really that shit for Chelsea?

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Agree with all the above. I do wish the public would give Southgate a bit more respect because, despite plenty of people thinking he's going about it the wrong way and questioning his decisions (I will gladly put my hand upon doing this occasionally too), at the end of the day he's breaking down a lot of psychological barriers, and the perception is he's got the squad togetherness nailed on. There are no stories coming out about unhappy players, WAGs being difficult or anything of the like. They're focused on a gameplan that Gareth believes is the right one and it's working. Might not be pretty, but quite honestly I don't care when it comes to England. Arsenal, it's a different story, but with England I just want them to win by any means.

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    Denmark do have a bit more than just emotion - but yes, we'd have to be the favourites in our half of the draw. In a way, I think Ukraine/Sweden went as well as it could for us. They played later, they went to extra time, and while you don't want any long term damage to anyone - they have a land who probably won't be fully fit. And truth be told, I think we'd fare better against Ukraine than Sweden. I'd be pretty surprised if we went out in the next round now, to be perfectly frank.

    I wouldn't be staggered if Denmark kept it tight and knocked us out in the semis, or if the Czechs rebounded and won a tight one there either. And realistically, expectations shouldn't really change all that much (as in, if you were happy with a semi-final before the tournament, you should still consider it success regardless of the twists and turns along the way).


    But regardless of that, I think the narrative will be that if we lose to a Belgium or Italy in the final fair enough - but anything short of that and it'll now be seen as a missed opportunity and, ultimately, as a failure. Right now Southgate's stock as a manager is through the roof, but he's achieved that running against popular opinion, and so if he falls to earth that stock will fall with it.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Yeah we'll never have a better chance of reaching a final. Even the Sweden vs Ukraine game couldn't have gone better: quite a few injuries, 120 minutes, the slightly less able team going through...

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  • The Cook
    replied
    As far as I'm concerned we should now be making the final at the very least. Neither Sweden or Ukraine look great and they both look knackered in extra time. We already beat comfortably the Czechs and while Denmark are a decent outfit they're very much playing on emotion and that'll run out eventually.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Well, that worked a treat in the end. Bar a Muller sitter, I felt we controlled the game most of the time. Southgate got it all right,

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