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Euro 2020 (in 2021)

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    Yeah, better team won. I said on Twitter, they played for 100 minutes of normal time when you add the stoppages, and Italy bossed 60 of the 100. Then one half each for ET.

    Still proud. Gave us more than I honestly thought they were capable of, to be honest with you. The best team of the tournament shaded the game and ultimately nicked it by a shootout. Worthy winners. But still proud, prouder than I have been of an England team in so very long.

    People who get sport - really get it - know it's not all about the trophy, it's about the journey. And we had that this time around. Fair play to them I say.

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  • Freeman
    replied
    Better team won for me, really feel for Saka, hopefully he can bounce back from that.

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  • Shee
    replied
    Hard luck lads. Awful way to lose it. Cracking little team there, hopefully there's a big one there for ye yet

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  • The Cook
    replied
    Fuck

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Prime Time View Post

    The two areas for me are team spirit/management, and tactical sophistication. The golden generation played a fairly rigid 4-4-2, that none of the club teams we had dominating Europe were playing by that point. England now seem to be able to shift between a 4-3-3 and a 4-5-1 and a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-3 almost at will. That and they seem to have more team spirit in the national camp than the golden generation had - those would be the two major differences for me.
    This for me is the biggest difference. The football intelligence this team has shown is miles ahead of the one from the Golden Generation, which is reflected in the teams ability to switch formations games to game and put on an equally good performance. And yes, the team spirit is noticeably better.

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  • Freeman
    replied
    Agree Prime, tactical sophistication and technical ability have definitely seen a big improvement since the Golden Generation. I think the likes of Guardiola and Klopp in the Premier League have had a hand in that, plus the redevelopment at grass roots level.

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  • The Cook
    replied
    I also think a big part of it is hunger and desire for success. The core group of the golden generation from 04-10 were constantly winning league titles and the champions league as well as the FA and League Cups whereas hardly any of the current squad, outside the City players & Henderson (the former of which still haven't done it in Europe) have won anything. And while that's not to say Gerrard and co. didn't give a toss about winning something with England perhaps the knowledge that they'd be challenging for something the following season meant they were 1-2% off it and that's all it takes at such a high level.

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    I'd disagree with 3. For example, the Portugal team that knocked England out twice, I don't think they are as good (on paper, at least) as the ones who went out limply here. Germany are probably better now than in 2004-2008, France are certainly better.... you know, I just don't buy that when you add it all up.

    You can make a case for 1-2. There wasn't much pace in the golden generation, whereas even players we don't think of as fast (like Grealish) are actually pretty rapid.

    The two areas for me are team spirit/management, and tactical sophistication. The golden generation played a fairly rigid 4-4-2, that none of the club teams we had dominating Europe were playing by that point. England now seem to be able to shift between a 4-3-3 and a 4-5-1 and a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-3 almost at will. That and they seem to have more team spirit in the national camp than the golden generation had - those would be the two major differences for me.

    Oh, and maybe add technical ability? I don't mean this to knock Gerrard and Lampard, but from a technical perspective neither of them hold a candle to our current crop of attacking midfielders. Yes, they had other advantages - no one worked harder than Lampard, for instance. But this is the most talented 'ball playing' generation I think England have ever produced.

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  • Freeman
    replied
    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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  • Gooner
    replied
    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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  • Prime Time
    replied
    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).

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  • Gooner
    replied
    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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  • Prime Time
    replied
    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.

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

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  • Prime Time
    replied
    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.

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