World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Lamb of BOD » June 20th, 2014, 8:07 am

blockhead wrote:
QUALIFYING CRITERIA FOR WORLD CUP GROUP STAGES
(...........)

Thanks for that, blockhead.

England are by no means out of the competition. After their shock defeat by Costa Rica, Uruguay will (presumably) still have to get something from the Italy game. If Italy win that game, England would just have beat Costa Rica by a couple of goals to qualify. I'm assuming Italy will top Costa Rica today, of course.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby ichabodscrane » June 20th, 2014, 8:43 am

If Italy beat Costa Rica today I can see Italy playing a slightly weakened team in the third game. Couldn't see Pirlo, De Rossi and the likes playing, they'll have one eye on the knockouts. So presuming Italy do that you would have to say that Uruguay would be the favourites for 2nd place.
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World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby ichabodscrane » June 20th, 2014, 8:54 am

I don't get any pleasure (well just a little if I'm being honest) in England losing but there seems to be a common theme with the teams that have underachieved in this tournament, most notably England and Spain and that is picking players who should not be in the starting 11.

I am a Liverpool fan and I can honestly say that Henderson should not be on that team, also how the hell does Welbeck get into that team, he does nothing apart from a nice bit of skill followed by giving the ball away. Surely Lalana would be a better option, even Milner to cover Baines. Hodgson got caught somewhere in between being different & listening to the media/public.

As for Spain: for the life of me I don't know how Casillas has gotten away with so much in the last 2/3 yrs of his career. Have you ever heard the like of having a goal keeper for cup comps and another for league games? Casillas has not performed all year but still gets to lift the champions league while the real hero Diego Lopes looks on with nothing.
Pique is the most overrated centre back in world football along with David Luiz, terrible defenders, and has anybody told Spain that Martinez is NOT a centre back.

And it's for those exact selection problems (Paulinho, Fred, Marcelo) that Brazil will not win the World Cup barring divine intervention, Neymar growing four legs or Messi getting lost in the vavellas and getting addicted to heroin never to return from his drug haze again. At the same time Ronaldo could be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave just like in Taken (except it would be Forentino Perez or Fergie doing the Liam Neeson speech).
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby AwayTheWell » June 20th, 2014, 9:19 am

ichabodscrane wrote:I am a Liverpool fan and I can honestly say that Henderson should not be on that team, also how the hell does Welbeck get into that team, he does nothing apart from a nice bit of skill followed by giving the ball away. Surely Lalana would be a better option, even Milner to cover Baines. Hodgson got caught somewhere in between being different & listening to the media/public.


Based on performances in Brazil, Gerrard should certainly not be on the team. Certainly agree about Wellbeck too when it is Rooney who has been getting most of the flack for being the star player.
Defensively, they looked all over the place. Johnson and Baines are great going forward but seemed extremely lazy when having to track back or cover a player - in particular Baines for the first goal and Johnson for Cavani's chance at the start of the second half. As a West Brom fan, would have expected Hodgson to instil more defensive rigidity in the team.
Didn't think they were too bad going forward and could well be the team with most shots on goal after two rounds, but have never seen a keeper been so able to easily hold onto the ball with so many tame shots going in.
Also, if Italy win tonight, with a bit of game theory - I don't think England will not want to win too comfortably against Costa Rica - not that I think that in normal circumstances, such a result would be a foregone conclusion. If England are guaranteed a win, Italy and Uruguay could happily play out a draw. Not that it could be pre-arranged like the Sweden v Denmark 2-2, but if scores do become level, we could have a Holland v Ireland from 1990 situation if England are almost certain to win.
Whereas the potential of a result would require Uruguay to push for a win - which could knock out Italy too, so giving the Italians incentives to get a result.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby fourthirtythree » June 20th, 2014, 9:20 am

How does Gerrard get on the team either? It's not that he's too old and past it, it's that he is, and always was, a genuinely stupid player, and if you are going to be good and stupid you have to be young. He has been dreadful. Beaten for both goals and delivered one decent ball last night. Never been a great tackler either. Telegraphed his passes. You need a really smart player alongside him to compensate for his airheadedness and lack of positional nous. That wasn't the other guy.

Wellbeck was awful last night, Jagielka has been dodgy both games Kay-Hill was terrible last night also. That's the heart of the team and one winger that were out of it.

Against that Sturridge, Rooney, Lallana, Barklay, and Sterling would trouble any defense. If they had a couple of midfielders of competence behind them. But tournament football needs a rock solid defense first off. Strikers can usually get you through the first round but after that it get's more cagey.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Flash Gordon » June 20th, 2014, 10:09 am

fourthirtythree wrote:How does Gerrard get on the team either? It's not that he's too old and past it, it's that he is, and always was, a genuinely stupid player, and if you are going to be good and stupid you have to be young. He has been dreadful. Beaten for both goals and delivered one decent ball last night. Never been a great tackler either. Telegraphed his passes. You need a really smart player alongside him to compensate for his airheadedness and lack of positional nous. That wasn't the other guy.

Wellbeck was awful last night, Jagielka has been dodgy both games Kay-Hill was terrible last night also. That's the heart of the team and one winger that were out of it.

Against that Sturridge, Rooney, Lallana, Barklay, and Sterling would trouble any defense. If they had a couple of midfielders of competence behind them. But tournament football needs a rock solid defense first off. Strikers can usually get you through the first round but after that it get's more cagey.


Agree with all of that but Sterling plays like he's in a school yard. He has incredible skill and pace but he runs into corners and lost the ball repeatedly last night. Very unimpressed by the defence - especially Jaglielka - both goals were soft. I'd also add that the only time Hart came off his line was for the corner at the end, that lad does not inspire confidence or control his box.

Generally though I thought England were very very poor technically, even the goal they scored came from a sloppy touch from Johnson on the right. Ball control was poor, passing and moving never happened - we were watching the forward players and they honestly could hardly have been more static as the ball moved forward/sideways. Honestly, that's the poorest England team I've seen at a world cup finals in my lifetime.

You've also got to look at the coaches. I think Roy Hodgson is an absolute gent and I want him to succeed but I have no idea what the game plan was last night!

Even if by some miracle they do get through from the group, they won't go further, they're just a very very average side.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Dave Cahill » June 20th, 2014, 11:55 am

The problem is that the England manager has his hands tied, no matter who he is. How good or bad a coach he is is almost irrelevant. He can't pick the best team to implement that tactical plan he has in place. He has to pick the players the media have perceived to have been playing well and the players that the media like (i.e. who write columns for their papers) and players that play for bigger clubs. Everyone in England goes on about the necessity of holding on to the ball, but can you imagine the explosion in Wapping if England picked Leon Britton or Leon Osman?

For example, Steven Gerrard. Of all the midfielders in Englands squad, he was certainly the best performing over the season just gone. But that was because he fulfilled a specific role in a specific tactical plan in the Liverpool team. I worship the ground he walks on, but I'd never pick him as an orthodox central midfielder - all of his best seasons for Liverpool have been seasons where he hasn't played that in role.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Avenger » June 20th, 2014, 12:21 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:For example, Steven Gerrard. Of all the midfielders in Englands squad, he was certainly the best performing over the season just gone. But that was because he fulfilled a specific role in a specific tactical plan in the Liverpool team. I worship the ground he walks on, but I'd never pick him as an orthodox central midfielder - all of his best seasons for Liverpool have been seasons where he hasn't played that in role.


Any LFC fan who has half a clue about football could tell you that Gerrard cannot play in a two man midfield. If England wanted to play Gerrard, and it appears they did because they made him captain they should have played a 3 man midfield and put Gerrard as the deepest of the 3 like Liverpool do.

And anyone who thinks that Hodgson is up to it tactically is fooling themselves. He's basically letting the media pick his squad and team for him.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Dave Cahill » June 20th, 2014, 12:36 pm

Avenger wrote:
And anyone who thinks that Hodgson is up to it tactically is fooling themselves. He's basically letting the media pick his squad and team for him.


Ultimately, with the England job, it matters not a jot how good or bad a coach is. Either he plays a media approved plan with the players they like or they will f%~k him up like a car crash. It is the worst job in football, bar none. The only way a manager could be successful is if they were pretty sociopathic
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Avenger » June 20th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:
Avenger wrote:
And anyone who thinks that Hodgson is up to it tactically is fooling themselves. He's basically letting the media pick his squad and team for him.


Ultimately, with the England job, it matters not a jot how good or bad a coach is. Either he plays a media approved plan with the players they like or they will f%~k him up like a car crash. It is the worst job in football, bar none. The only way a manager could be successful is if they were pretty sociopathic


Hodgson's career win percentage hovers around 33%. For England its 50%.
Capello's was 67% (the highest of any England manager) and they couldn't wait to get rid of him.

The good thing from an England POV is that a number of this squad will be finished after this tournament. Gerrard, Lampard, Johnson, etc. should be finished with England now. They should pick a young team and put it with the growing pains while the team develops over the next 2 years or so. Guys like Barkley, Sturridge, Sterling, Shaw should be put in and told they will be given time to develop in to a team. They can keep a few lads in their late 20s / early 30s for experience in the short term - like Rooney but under no circumstances should he be an automatic selection.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Flash Gordon » June 20th, 2014, 1:09 pm

Avenger wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:For example, Steven Gerrard. Of all the midfielders in Englands squad, he was certainly the best performing over the season just gone. But that was because he fulfilled a specific role in a specific tactical plan in the Liverpool team. I worship the ground he walks on, but I'd never pick him as an orthodox central midfielder - all of his best seasons for Liverpool have been seasons where he hasn't played that in role.


Any LFC fan who has half a clue about football could tell you that Gerrard cannot play in a two man midfield. If England wanted to play Gerrard, and it appears they did because they made him captain they should have played a 3 man midfield and put Gerrard as the deepest of the 3 like Liverpool do.

And anyone who thinks that Hodgson is up to it tactically is fooling themselves. He's basically letting the media pick his squad and team for him.


Did either of you figure out the tactical plan? I was looking for patterns and saw nothing to be honest! Also you've got to play what's in front of you - if you look at Holland, who are actually a pretty average team with 2 or 3 very good players, Van Gaal has them set up to play to a clear system - and in both games they've played thus far they came out in the second half with a game plan that was adapted to break down what Van Gaal had seen from the opposition. In some ways, the way Van Gaal has approached soccer is similar to the way Joe coaches rugby - hold and defend then blast the opposition with pace and skill in the final quarter.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Avenger » June 20th, 2014, 2:24 pm

Flash Gordon wrote:Did either of you figure out the tactical plan? I was looking for patterns and saw nothing to be honest!


I don't like to keep harping on about it but I honestly don't think that Hodgson has a clue what he's doing tactically. His 7 months at Liverpool is the worst I've seen a Liverpool team coached in 30 years of watching them. There were stories of his pre match talks consisting of nothing more than "go out there and get stuck into them".

An international manager to a certain extent is restricted by the players he has at his disposal as he cannot just go out and make a signing in a position of weakness but Hodgson clearly is more interested in keeping the media happy than he is in picking the best available squad and then first 11. Based on form this season, Welbeck or Rooney should not have been in that team. Lallana and Barkley should have been in there IMO.

The defence is a massive problem. Both CBs looked lost and not capable of marking any of the attacks they have faced so far. Cahill looked good at Chelsea so I have to assume that having someone like Terry beside him was the reason for that and neither himself or Jagielka are confident enough to play their own game and lead/control the defence. In the Italy game, Baines was getting destroyed by being overloaded against two players and Hodgson did nothing other than swap Sterling and Rooney at half time (when Sterling had been by far their best player in the first half).
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby fourthirtythree » June 20th, 2014, 2:38 pm

On the plus side I always thought that Hodgson would make an excellent Ken Dodd impersonator.

EDIT
Just looked at teh Wikis: £30 odd million for Carroll! Farkmeragged!
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Lamb of BOD » June 20th, 2014, 2:53 pm

England rely a lot (as many teams do) on the full backs getting forward. Indeed, I thought both Baines and Johnson have looked somewhat threatening going forward in both games. However, in order to permit this, you need a defensive midfielder guarding the pocket ahead of the centre backs in case the ball is lost (I was going to cite Busquets as a good exemplar of this position, but I;d better not...). Hodgson would surely have been better playing a 4-3-3 with Gerard in the holding mid-field position he played so well at Anfield this season. Have a combination of Sturridge, Sterling and Rooney floating around and picking their positions relative to where the attack was building from might not have been such a bad idea. It's all easy in hindsight, of course. Dunphy has repeatedly asserted that John Terry would have sorted out that back 4 (5 if you include a poor John Hart - although his hair was looking remarkably dandruff-free) and, again with hindsight, he is probably right. Hodgson was under some pressure to pick youth and let them go out and attack, but he seems to have fallen between two stools. He picked a goodly amount of young talent, but employed a decidedly humdrum tactic (if any existed). England are boring, and have little cutting edge. They also look like a side utterly consumed with the fear of losing. I was impressed with Suarez last night - half-fit as he was, he was better than all the Englishmen opposing him. Whilst I thought his first goal was a thing of rare beauty, I was almost equally impressed with his finish for the second. I was also thinking at the time would an English striker in the same position have had the composure to have finished so adroitly? Given Rooney's howler about 10 mins previously (I think - it was the time he had an almost open goal, but managed to shoot straight at the keeper), you'd have to presume not
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World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby ichabodscrane » June 20th, 2014, 4:42 pm

The simple fact of the matter is that in the PL these English players have better European/African players playing around them to allow them to play offensively.

The amount of times where Glen Johnson has been covered defensively by either Skrtel or Gerrard is shocking for a supposed world class full back, there is a reason why Liverpool won't give him the contract he wants, if he was in the mould of a Costacurta or a Denis Irwin then Bren would be trying his hardest to keep him.

The same can be said for Baines with Pienaar or Distin covering for him defensively. As for Welbeck I think Ferguson's legacy got to his head, he had not produced a decent academy based player since the class of 1990 and coerced Man Utd fans to buy into his hype.

English premier league clubs have so many foreigners leading their teams:

Man City: Yaya, Aguero , Kompany.

Chelsea: Terry, Oscar, Hazard.

Arsenal: Mertesacker, Ozil, Ramsey, Giroud.

What I'm trying to say is bar Liverpool the other three teams in the top four rely heavily on foreign talent. So when an English player comes along they overhype him and plague him with this saviour complex. Can we say that Wilshere or Barkley are better than Ramsey? NO
Is Sterling better than Hazard? NO, the same can be said in regard to Henderson and his positional counterparts in the premier league. I like Barkley but that poor lad has so much pressure on him, being likened to Gazza who is one of my all time favourite footballers, remember that goal against Scotland in the Euro's.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby ichabodscrane » June 20th, 2014, 4:49 pm

And Scholes comments in regard to Wilshere were bang on , and the media frenzy that was stirred up was crazy. Wilshere asking Gary Neville for Scholes number so they could 'discuss' his comments. Get a fu€k!ng grip, such absolute megalomania again powered by the media' heralding Wilshere as the new Paul Scholes.

A few names: Hendrick, McCarthy, Gibson & Meyler ;)
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Avenger » June 20th, 2014, 5:10 pm

ichabodscrane wrote:Can we say that Wilshere or Barkley are better than Ramsey? NO
Is Sterling better than Hazard? NO, the same can be said in regard to Henderson and his positional counterparts in the premier league. I like Barkley but that poor lad has so much pressure on him, being likened to Gazza who is one of my all time favourite footballers


Ramsey has had one good season where he has spent a good portion of it injured so I wouldn't say he's made it just yet. Very talented lad but still has a lot to prove just like Wilshere and Barkley. What all three of them have is massive potential. Barkley is very strong technically so if he puts in the work he could become an exceptional player. The problem is that when these young lads come along, the British media treat them like they have already made it when all they really are is potential. Barkley will eventually have to move to a club that can allow him to play at the highest level (thats Champions League before anyone asks) and in a top team I think he could become a very very good player. As I said he's technically very good, he's quick, has a great engine. He has everything physically to succeed. The question is does he have the drive and mentality to do it?

Sterling is 19 and Hazard is 24 so its a little unfair to compare them like for like. Sterling can be as good as he wants to be IMO. If he continues to show the level of improvement he made last season then the sky really is the limit for that lad.

Henderson is vital to Liverpool's way of playing because they press very high and his energy is vital to that and he's also capable of picking a pass. England don't press and I'm not sure there is any real tactic so he does look a little lost in that midfield to me. The likes of Dunphy have been slating him but when he wasn't in the Liverpool team - the difference was noticeable.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby Avenger » June 20th, 2014, 5:12 pm

ichabodscrane wrote:And Scholes comments in regard to Wilshere were bang on , and the media frenzy that was stirred up was crazy. Wilshere asking Gary Neville for Scholes number so they could 'discuss' his comments. Get a fu€k!ng grip, such absolute megalomania again powered by the media' heralding Wilshere as the new Paul Scholes.

A few names: Hendrick, McCarthy, Gibson & Meyler ;)


My understanding was that Wilshere wanted to talk to Scholes in order to help him understand how he could improve and kick on. Not that he wanted to debate the merit of Scholes comments.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby ichabodscrane » June 20th, 2014, 5:22 pm

Avenger wrote:
ichabodscrane wrote:And Scholes comments in regard to Wilshere were bang on , and the media frenzy that was stirred up was crazy. Wilshere asking Gary Neville for Scholes number so they could 'discuss' his comments. Get a fu€k!ng grip, such absolute megalomania again powered by the media' heralding Wilshere as the new Paul Scholes.

A few names: Hendrick, McCarthy, Gibson & Meyler ;)


My understanding was that Wilshere wanted to talk to Scholes in order to help him understand how he could improve and kick on. Not that he wanted to debate the merit of Scholes comments.


No to the contrary, that's how the phone call ended up but his initial reason for calling was to discuss his comments. When he rang Gary Neville to get Scholsey's number Neville said 'Go easy on him'.
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Re: World Cup Finals 2014-Brazil

Postby ichabodscrane » June 20th, 2014, 5:30 pm

Avenger wrote:
ichabodscrane wrote:Can we say that Wilshere or Barkley are better than Ramsey? NO
Is Sterling better than Hazard? NO, the same can be said in regard to Henderson and his positional counterparts in the premier league. I like Barkley but that poor lad has so much pressure on him, being likened to Gazza who is one of my all time favourite footballers


Ramsey has had one good season where he has spent a good portion of it injured so I wouldn't say he's made it just yet. Very talented lad but still has a lot to prove just like Wilshere and Barkley. What all three of them have is massive potential. Barkley is very strong technically so if he puts in the work he could become an exceptional player. The problem is that when these young lads come along, the British media treat them like they have already made it when all they really are is potential. Barkley will eventually have to move to a club that can allow him to play at the highest level (thats Champions League before anyone asks) and in a top team I think he could become a very very good player. As I said he's technically very good, he's quick, has a great engine. He has everything physically to succeed. The question is does he have the drive and mentality to do it?

Sterling is 19 and Hazard is 24 so its a little unfair to compare them like for like. Sterling can be as good as he wants to be IMO. If he continues to show the level of improvement he made last season then the sky really is the limit for that lad.

Henderson is vital to Liverpool's way of playing because they press very high and his energy is vital to that and he's also capable of picking a pass. England don't press and I'm not sure there is any real tactic so he does look a little lost in that midfield to me. The likes of Dunphy have been slating him but when he wasn't in the Liverpool team - the difference was noticeable.


I'm in no way slating their individual talents nor am I forgetting the age difference. What I mean is overall these players in Hazard & Ramsey have proved it, and Ramsey had more than one good season, prior to getting his leg broken by Shawcross he was having a very good debut season. I'm just trying to get people to see that these positions of influence (midfield, wing, striker) are all being held by foreign players and it's these players who grab the headlines for their play, Yaya Toure, Suarez, Hazard, Aguero, Ozil, Ramsey, even lower down the league you've got players like Coleman, Amalfitano, Lukaku, Jedinak etc. I'm not saying that the English players are no good, because they are but it's very similar to the Irish situation now, with so many foreigners playing in England the 5/10% of English or Irish players that actually make it through the system have HUGE pressure thrust upon them and they end up getting picked for the World Cup and hence England flop because it's either too early or they unbalance the system of play.
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