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Euro 2020 (in 2021)

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  • Oliver
    replied
    I can't help but feel that we really need to attack Germany to have a good chance this evening. I'd normally not be thinking that, and would hope we kept it tight at the back, but I've not been that impressed with Germany at either end of the pitch - both Portugal and Hungary kind of dug their own graves defensively while creating chances and putting them away.

    I don't think it's Southgate's style to go out and really try and attack a team, but I'd be a bit let down to see us start with a back three and sacrifice one of an attacking four.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Well... what a couple of matches. France out will be the headline, for obvious reasons, but from an England perspective everything is falling into place... provided they get through Germany tomorrow.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Yep, although I see Denmark beating the Czechs and I wouldn't rule out Ukraine against Sweden. Either way if we get past Germany then not reaching the final will look like a real disappointment.

    I thought Belgium were excellent last night but with potential losses of de Bruyne & Hazard Sr. I can see Italy doing a job on them in the quarters.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    The Czechs have just blown that side of the draw wide open. Potential England route to the final is now Germany > Sweden > Czechs/Denmark

    Gareths detractors will point to easy draws in the World Cup and this Euros, but you can only beat who you play. Huge chance for a final appearance now.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Looking forward to listening to that Prime!

    Just a side note that just proves how tiny the margins are at times - England have hit the post within 10 minutes in all three group games. Foden vs Croatia, Stones vs Scotland and Sterling vs the Czechs. A matter of inches could have potentially made a real difference on the perception of England performances. And yet I agree with Prime, against the better teams, we have at best a 50% chance or less of winning.

    EDIT: With Sweden winning group E, they're potential quarter final opponents for England. Perfect for us, provided we get that far. Sweden have almost sleepwalked through their group.
    Last edited by Gooner; 06-23-2021, 02:08 PM.

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    I think I'd shade towards the way Gooner's interpreted it, though I understand the point about an extra game to play your way into form. But you have to play the good teams at some point, and if we get through the 2nd round the advantage of the favourites being clustered into the other half of the draw is pretty clear.

    As for the performance the other night - big improvement first half, tepid in the second. I actually get the feeling we've played broadly the same way all three times, with the idea to get the lead and protect it, first and foremost, once we've got it. On the one hand, judged in that light, we've actually played rather well. On the other, it won't work against better teams. It's a Sven-esque strategy with inferior defenders and since it always got found out before, no reason to think it won't be found out again.

    In short - we're going to need a second goal from this round on.

    More thoughts coming when we record our next Euro 2020 episode of Four at the Back, which should be out before the 2nd round kicks off....

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Yeah I don't think Southgate would've actually said calm down because it doesn't matter if we don't win but I feel if we needed to score a few more we'd have played the second half better.

    I did look at the potential quarters and semis based on where we finished but I'd say we need an "easier" game first to allow us to play ourselves into a bit of form because we've not played well yet, bar bursts here and there in games. Going straight into a tough game against a potential favourite doesn't allow for that. Having said that I can't disagree that winning games and playing whoever you're drawn against is the way to go as it prevents any potential overthinking of things.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by The Cook View Post
    But then it seemed like Southgate told them to calm it down in the second half, probably because drawing or even losing wouldn't have been the end of the world as it would most likely result in an "easier" next game.
    I can't quite believe that Southgate would actually say that, but the second half was much more subdued.

    Also, this idea that finishing second would have resulted in an "easier" route is full of holes for me and the way the draw is panning out, we're actually in a far better side of the draw by winning the group.


    If we go based on the most likely scenarios...

    If we had finished second, we'd likely hit one of Sweden, Slovakia or Poland (or even Spain, it's a weak looking group E granted) in the round of 16. Then France in the quarters, one of Italy or Belgium in the semi finals, probably the two form teams thus far.

    By finishing first we hit a hard first game against Portugal or Germany most likely, but after that in the quarters you have the winner of that weak group E and then Netherlands who I think are a little overrated. And all games bar the quarters at Wembley.

    Second place -> Sweden - France - Belgium
    Winners -> Germany - Spain - Netherlands

    Considering how the tournament has gone so far, I think winning the group looks quite a bit easier. Bare in mind also that they'll likely be a surprise package as there always is (my money's on Denmark) so all to play for.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Yeah I thought Saka & Grealish's performances in the first half were our best of the tournament. But then it seemed like Southgate told them to calm it down in the second half, probably because drawing or even losing wouldn't have been the end of the world as it would most likely result in an "easier" next game.

    Thought Mings was unlucky not to start but also agree that Maguire had to play and he looked like he hadn't been away which is a major benefit because otherwise we'd have only had 2 centre halves play so any injury or suspension would've resulted in someone coming in cold in an important game.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    England win in a match that I've seen people lambast as boring as well as other people describe it as composed.

    Can't win eh?

    Saka was superb tonight. I shouldn't be surprised as I've seen him do it all season, but he brought a lot of energy to the team and performed his defensive duties when needed, so his selection was completely vindicated. Grealish was great in the first half too.

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  • Shee
    replied
    Saw that. England qualify without kicking a ball, nothing wrong with that.

    Will be great for them to have the pressure off. Can see the merits of sticking with Kane but he could also just unleash Saka, Sancho, Grealish and Bellingham. Even give Ben White some minutes and make sure everyone else is fit and fighting for the round of 16. Mount, Foden and Sterling. Form aside, looking at their 2020/2021 stats they have played over 150 games between them. That's some going.

    Probably other players in a similar situation. Great chance for Southgate to fine tune a few bits
    Last edited by Shee; 06-21-2021, 07:07 PM.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by The Cook View Post
    Defence has been perfectly fine in both games so I'd keep Stones/Mings and probably James/Shaw too, although if Maguire doesn't play some part tomorrow then it really will have been pointless bringing him. I think he'll come in for the second half or last 30.
    Yeah I kinda feel the same way, just I'd probably give Maguire the start and see how he is, but it's either or really.

    I'd imagine it might be a straight swap between Grealish and Mount, with Sancho coming in for Sterling.

    Also, thanks to results tonight, England have qualified for the KO stages as they have 4 points and cant finish lower than 3rd.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Yeah I can see that costing Chilwell any involvement in the tournament now. As for replacing Mount? I'd say bring Grealish in and play him in the no.10 or put Foden there and move Grealish wide

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    Chilwell and Mount are both out for coming in close contact with Gilmour. Chilwell won't get his run out but it'll be interesting to see who gets the nod in place of Mount.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    I agree that Kane should start against the Czech's and apparently he will be. However I would make changes elsewhere with Sancho definitely coming in and maybe switching out one of Rice/Phillips for Bellingham or Henderson. Defence has been perfectly fine in both games so I'd keep Stones/Mings and probably James/Shaw too, although if Maguire doesn't play some part tomorrow then it really will have been pointless bringing him. I think he'll come in for the second half or last 30.

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