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Euro 2020 (in 2021)

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  • #76
    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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    • #77
      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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      • #78
        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.

        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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        • #79
          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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          • #80
            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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            • #81
              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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              • #82
                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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                • #83
                  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.

                  "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                  • #84
                    Gabriel Marcotti's combined XI:

                    Donnarumma

                    Walker
                    Chiellini
                    Maguire
                    Shaw

                    Jorgino
                    Verrati
                    Mount

                    Sterling
                    Kane
                    Chiesa

                    6-5 to England, interesting.... but still, you can see that potential thought that Italy might end up dominating the middle in the way he's picked.


                    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                    • #85
                      Not hating on Maguire, but that combined XI is immediately dismissed by choosing Maguire over Bonucci.

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                      • #86
                        In general, maybe.

                        On the strength of this tournament? I'm taking Maguire, actually.

                        And I think you can argue Stones might be hard done by. Conversely, Barella/Insigne might feel the same.

                        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                        • #87
                          Oh well, not for me.

                          I think the way England have defended has been strength in numbers, no one's been exposed at any time, and they've done that incredibly well.

                          Italy has been much more adventurous because of that defensive solidarity, specifically with the two CBs. Also, they've arguably come up against two "bigger" opponents in Belgium and Spain and kept them largely at bay. Belgium got their goal via a penalty and despite controlling the game, Spain only managed to score one, though obviously they lack a striker to do much better.

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                          • #88
                            I wouldn't base it purely on defence, though. Yes, Maguire's been part of a really good system defensively but actually his work in helping the team going forward has been exemplary. Put the two together and I think both England defenders have been superb and I certainly think it's really harsh for that to be an 'instant dismissal'. They've been as good as any of their defensive peers if you look at the whole of their contributions.

                            Now, in fairness you have to add in the fact that I'm not sure either would be able to play like this without Walker in the team, too - but I guess that's irrelevant in a tournament XI because they are playing with Walker, here and now, and he does have the pace/workrate to give them that sort of additional cover. It just doesn't mean that you'd immediately expect Maguire to be able to replicate this after the tournament.

                            But all in all, I have to say that as someone who was a bit of a sceptic I must admit he has won me over. There'll be no more knocks on Maguire from me in the future. Nor on Luke Shaw either, for that matter. The number of Man United players I quietly have to respect is growing (and honestly I'm a little uncomfortable about it).


                            "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                            • #89
                              Maybe "instant dismissal" is being a little harsh, but I stand by the fact that his performances haven't stood out individually for me, whereas the two Italians (and a couple more elsewhere in the competition such as Kjaer and Laporte) have. I think what I'm trying to say is if Mings came in to replace Maguire like he did for the first two games, I wouldn't be massively preoccupied. Before the competition I may have been, but that unit, which I'm including Rice and Phillips in, is strong with or without Maguire.

                              On your other point regarding Man United players, you could argue they've all had magnificent tournaments with the exception of Bruno Fernandes ironically.

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                              • #90
                                Interesting debate on another football forum at the moment: What makes this current England side better than the "Golden Generation?" Personally, I'd be tempted to go with the following:

                                1) More pace

                                2) Better depth, if perhaps not as many world class players in the starting XI. I don't even remember who the back up right back was in the 2006 England squad, for example. Southgate has a headache in many areas of the pitch.

                                3) Slightly inferior opposition. I don't think the big sides are as strong as they were back then.

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