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01 Jul 2018 18:54:29
This is getting ridiculous, England are arguably the best team left in our half of the draw. It doesn't really mean anything and it's still not likely we'll make the final but will England ever get a better chance.

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02 Jul 2018 02:27:24
Could you imagine if Japan do the unthinkable and get to the final, and play England. HA! We'd still probably bloody lose it.

01 Jul 2018 18:49:53
I'm not that into the world cup, I only watch the odd game IF I get a spare moment to myself but I'm in serious need of a rant.

England, every single time we play and win why is it we're so arrogant? Now according to so many people we're going to go all the way, it's the same old every 4 years and nobody ever learns. It really does wind me up, we've had quite possibly the easiest games so far, we come up against an average Belgium side and bloody lost lol imagine if they fielded their top players? we'd of got smashed.

The reason why I'm on this rant is because somebody tried telling me today this is ours for the taking and that we have a good team, what because we beat Costa Rica, Tunisia and Panama? lol you can't make this stuff up. Same goes for friendlies as well though you always hear 'I think this team will go the distance in the World cup' etc it's daft lol we never do.

I hope England get smashed by Columbia, there's no chance we'll win this World Cup. People need to open their eyes to how rubbish we are and have been for years. Liverpool and only Liverpool who I'll support, I can't support my country because the level of arrogance is through the roof, I wouldn't mind if they were good but they aren't.

Brazil to win it imo but I'd love for it to be a different final like Croatia v Columbia or something like that.

Hope those of you who are into the world cup are enjoying it so far.

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01 Jul 2018 20:50:30
Salah, quit whining. I have nothing against people who aren't into the world cup but someone who hopes England lose because other fans are enjoying themselves is going over the line.

England may well lose to Columbia, but they might win, they might win the game after that as well. It's not arrogance, it's optimism, it's what being a football fan is all about.

01 Jul 2018 21:36:26
I'm not whining Putney I was just stating my opinion. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one because it is arrogance in my eyes. Every single tournament we're gods gift in England fans eyes and we haven't been for years.

I'm all for fans enjoying themselves and being optimistic but people have to also be realistic.

I don't want them to lose because the fans are enjoying themselves, I want them to lose so they can come down a peg or two instead of thinking they're an incredible team when they aren't but nothing will change, 4 years from now we'll beat Peru and suddenly we'll be winning the world cup. Same old.

The majority of the players are lazy and show lack of passion to play for their country, it's been the same for years and it's not changing anytime soon yet they're good enough to win the World Cup? it's an arrogant attitude to have.

If we get as far as even the Semis then I'll hold my hands up and good on them but I'd put my mortgage on it we won't.

01 Jul 2018 22:34:28
For what possible reason do we have to be realistic? We want to win, we hope to win, it's as simple as that.

Your post was really bitter, it's sounds like you're desperate for England to go out because you nailed your colours to the 'England's sh*t' mast and are worried you're going to proven wrong. It was unsavoury and reflects poorly on you.

02 Jul 2018 00:29:26
You have a bad day or something Putney? bloody hell mate chill out, it's my opinion, am I not entitled to that?

'For what possible reason do we have to be realistic? ' did you really just ask that? just because you disagree you don't have to get personal do you? I'm worried about getting proven wrong? ok mate if that's what you think then fair enough but that's one of the most pathetic posts I have ever seen on these sites and usually I really enjoy reading your posts but this time you're going too far. 'reflects poorly on you' do you not understand how your post makes you look mate? I mean seriously, you come across as an intelligent man half of the time, please don't ruin that image I have of you.

You obviously have a hell of a lot of love for the England team, I don't and that's that! each to their own?

I'll leave it there because you're quite evidently the kind of guy who won't accept other peoples opinions or you're just having a bad day either way whatever mate I'm done discussing this with you because it seems you can't have a decent debate without getting personal, this reflects very poorly on you :) . Have a good evening.

02 Jul 2018 02:23:00
Columbia then either Switzerland or Sweden and in the semi finals either Russia or Croatia. I can see why people think we could go all the way. However, it's not like we've got the players we did 10 years ago. At the moment I don't consider us to have any real big game players, where as before we did in abundance and we only ever went out against top opposition (Germany, Brazil, Portugal, France etc) . England squads from different generations would be loving these potential fixtures, and we'd probably have a reason to call them the "golden generation".

However, for the sake of the competition and the great job the Russian authorities have done so far (according to the media), I want to avoid a Russia vs England semi final, so I hope Croatia beat them.

02 Jul 2018 06:27:13
Salah, your post was that you hoped England lost so that people supporting them would be proven wrong. That's not you sharing an opinion, that's just a pretty childish reaction to everyone enjoying something you're not. It was a poor post and I'd hoped you'd retract it. You're not making yourself look any better by doubling down on it.

02 Jul 2018 06:53:32
Retract it why because you don't agree with it? I don't think so mate I completely stand by what I said and I'm not going to suddenly change my mind because you don't like it lol. What's poor is your attitude to something you disagree with.

hsf, fair post mate.

02 Jul 2018 10:04:55
Salah, you have no idea why I'm upset, it's got nothing to do with your opinions. It's you wishing a team to lose for the sole reason that other people think they'll do well.

Let's look at it another way, did you hope that Liverpool went out of the CL early to prove all the people who thought we might win wrong? Of course you didn't. What would you have said to someone who told you they hoped Liverpool would lose against Man City to 'prove' that Liverpool weren't as good you thought they were? You'd call them a d*ck and to jog on.

If England lose to Columbia it doesn't prove we're a bad team, and if we make the final it doesn't prove we're a great team, it just means we've won the next three games against beatable opposition.

02 Jul 2018 16:51:43
We're just going around in circles here mate and it's getting boring. You're bringing up irrelevant nonsense to suit your own argument, can't you just accept other people have a different view to yours? I really can't be bothered discussing this further with you, I've said what I've had to say and I stick by it 100%, if you can't handle that then well that's your bloody problem mate. I have my thoughts and you have yours. I appreciate you don't like my views on this which is fair enough, I knew somebody might've got frustrated with it but I'm well within my rights to express how I feel about such an overrated team. We move on.

01 Jul 2018 18:18:51
Lots of big teams going out early in this tournament. Very interesting so far.

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01 Jul 2018 00:50:39
Hi ed001,

Quick question. Why does Messi play so badly with the national team/ not give a damn when playing for his country? I know a lot of people argue he doesn't have the same quality he has around him as he does at Barcelona but he's regularly dragged poor Barcelona teams through to wins so it's very odd that he can't do the same with Argentina.

Cheers.

{Ed001's Note - I can't remember the last time he dragged a poor Barcelona team to a win over a weaker side personally. I think this is the problem, people have selective memories when it comes to him and just think he is still the Messi of a few years back. He has got lazy. That he does nothing to get the ball or show for it, unless you count strolling around by the centre circle as the attack is building on the edge of the opponent's box, as doing something, is overlooked because Barcelona just force the ball to him at every moment. Even if it means going back to the halfway line from the penalty box. Argentina do not do that and so he offers nothing bar a sulk, as it is not all about him. That is the difference between Uruguay and Argentina. Not the ability of players, but effort and desire. Uruguay give their all, Argentina do not.}

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01 Jul 2018 11:44:15
I see, thanks for the reply. I have to agree Uruguay have a proper work ethic in their team, there's not a single player who doesn't put in 100% every game for them. I can see them going all the way this year, only Croatia have looked like they can break down that Uruguay side.

{Ed001's Note - Brazil still have individual brilliance and the graft and desire of a certain Roberto Firmino to come off the bench and rescue them if they are in trouble.}

01 Jul 2018 12:03:04
True, but having an inferior player play for the majority of the match over Bobby F has held them back so far.

{Ed001's Note - agreed, it is madness.}

02 Jul 2018 09:06:29
But can Brazil get past Mexico ed1? Brazil need to stop sucking Neymars balls and do what is best for the team. Jesus out Firmino in.
Although I am not a liverpool fan (I chose the correct team in red ;-) ) but Firmino has been better all year round and done a lot more in whatever minutes given to him.

I think Brazil need to be careful against Mexico but I think this game might just bring the dramaqueen out of vacation and actually inspire his yeam for once. Neymar could really do with a big performance today.

{Ed001's Note - they won't drop Jesus because he is Neymar's best mate in camp. Bit like Argentina picked Di Maria because he is Messi's mate. I would pick Firmino over Neymar personally, he is better for the team, but it won't happen.}

03 Jul 2018 03:14:32
At least Do Maria was better than Jesus ed1. Jesus has been rubbish, surprised he put Aguero on the bench. I think he has been the worst player still in the tournament. But like you said, Brazil have Firming to dig them out of trouble if necessary.
Also I saw Neymar was rated the lowest on BBC live player rating yesterday, was he really the worst guy on the pitch (for Brazil)? I think he was decent and wasnt play acting as much as he usually does (I missed a large chunk of 2nd half though so maybe missed some bits) .

Cheers.

{Ed001's Note - Neymar was marked down because he was ridiculously overacting. At one point Layun stood on his and one of the refs ankle, the ref probably got the brunt of it (not sure if it was deliberate or not) yet the ref never even reacted, while Neymar was screaming, rolling over and over and over and over and refused to get up for about 5 hours. He wasn't even on the pitch but the reaction by the Brazilians meant the game couldn't continue while the cheating little gimp was pretending to be hurt. If there is anyone more thoroughly dislikeable in this tournament than Neymar, I haven't spotted them.}

03 Jul 2018 06:59:20
I hate the way Neymar plays. There is undoubted talent there but I think he will end up on the long list of "what could of been". He is more focused on getting the camera on him by doing unnecessary tricks and flicks. And don't get me started on the play acting thing. Tite needs to ask him 'You want to win the Oscars or The World Cup? ', if it's the latter then get your head straight.

His ego will eventually cost him if he is not careful enough. I think he deserves each and every kick he gets and more. If you are hands down the most dislikeable guy in a tournament with Ramos, Pepe, Diego Costa and such guys, then it's hard to turn it around for yourself I am afraid.

{Ed001's Note - I don't think it is hands down, as Ramos would have won but I enjoyed seeing him pretend to cry so much that it made me like watching him. At least that one clip. Neymar was running him close though.}

03 Jul 2018 20:28:10
Ramos hasn't been as naughty this WC and Pepe has cooled downed a tad from his psycho days (still very dislikeable though) . Neymar on the other hand not only does dislikeable things but makes sure they are recorded on camera. He comes across very disrespectful.

30 Jun 2018 17:18:27
That kid Mbappe is some player.

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29 Jun 2018 16:34:47
Don't know if it's just me but does anyone else think pickford was at fault for Belgium's goal?
I mean if he used his right hand instead of his left surely he would of got it. I'm sure the pundits didn't mention that.

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30 Jun 2018 17:17:36
Yeah he was. I think the pundits did mention it actually, I'm sure the commentators did at least.

28 Jun 2018 15:21:32
How is that not a penalty for Senegal. That also after watching the replay. Sanchez doesn't get anywhere near the ball and clearly fouls Mane. VAR should be getting these decisions correct.

{Ed001's Note - agreed terrible decision.}

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28 Jun 2018 19:20:34
Turns out Sanchez got a slight touch on the ball.

{Ed001's Note - I am not disputing that, but the rules were changed and he still got the player, so it is a pen. He went through Mane, that is a foul. If it was outside the box it would have been a free kick every time and the refs and pundits would be talking about how it doesn't matter that he got the ball as it is still a foul.}

28 Jun 2018 04:27:15
Also Congratulations to Sweden. Well done everyone. First Netherlands in the qualifying group, then Italy in playoff, now Germany in WC group stage. Done awesome job. Proved that a team is greater than collection of individuals. Earned it, not fluked.

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28 Jun 2018 04:25:07
So it happened. The mighty Germany got knocked out of the group stage of WC. Defending champions coming in and one of the top contenders with a strong squad. Yet they finished bottom of the table. Germany lacked creativity and looked so stale and laboured. What happened so bad? Germany are always effective rather than elegant. But what went wrong this time around? What do Ed's and others (if there is anyone that comes here) think?

Is it simply that curse of being defending champions? Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014, now Germany.

{Ed001's Note - because Low picked players he liked over those who were playing well. Muller has been poor since the Euros but he was still first choice. Werner's strengths are not being utilised properly as Low sticks with the same system and just swaps a few players around. He is just not moving forward and making the changes that need to be made.}

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28 Jun 2018 05:15:14
Is loew starting to hold them back now? Has he gone as far as he could?

Totally agree with your point about him not utilising guys like Werner and even reus to their strength.

I would really love to see what someone like Klopp could do with this German attack. Also Ed what do you think about Ozil and Kroos playing together as kind of like a 3 man midfield. I think it doesn't give much protection to the defense. I know what you feel about Kroos and I agree with all of that. He just isn't anywhere good defensively.

{Ed001's Note - Low is a very poor tactical manager who got lucky and is now being found out. He is defo holding them back.

You simply only play either or with Kroos and Ozil, they are both looking to do the exact same thing, in a totally different way, but the same killer balls. You need something different in there alongside one of them.}

28 Jun 2018 07:09:57
Exactly my opinion on Kroos and Ozil. They are both quite similar. Germany should have gone with 3 man midfield of Khedira (or someone else as DM), Goretzka and Kronos/ Ozil and front three of Reus, Werner and Brandt and play a more quick game not this lethargic, 50 passes to get near opposition goal thing.

Also Ed why does Loew not play guys like Brandt and Goretzka more. This time it was Brandt before it was Sane. He takes them to the tournament but doesn't play them much.

Any chance the German FA might look for a change of managers? If so who might they turn to. I would like to see Klopp manage this bunch of players. That would also weaken our rivals. Two birds one stone thing.



Cheers.

{Ed001's Note - I do not get how Khedira is anywhere near the squad, let alone the team. He has been rank over the course of the season. Had the movement and pace of an 80 year old!

Low is one of those who is loyal to what he knows. It is difficult to drop those who have done well for you in the past, as you keep seeing their past exploits when you are thinking over who to pick.

I believe Germany would like him to stay, the issue is whether he will want to or not. I really cannot see Klopp taking any job right now, particularly international one. You never know I guess, but it is not really his thing. He likes the day-to-day involvement.}

28 Jun 2018 09:41:56
Klopp is more like me wanting to see fast pace football from Germany. And I don't even think Loew should go actually. Maybe a new face or two in the coaching staff just to give a bit freshness. All these situations just assure me Fergie was a rarity. He knew he needed to move on from past and try and refresh every few years.

Also Ed I don't think there are too many great shouts for German national post, unless they go for foreigner, all them German coaches seem to be in stable jobs.

{Ed001's Note - good point.}

28 Jun 2018 00:24:14
The big debate ahead of tomorrow's England-Belgium game is whether either team would quite like to lose so they can get the easier run to the semi-finals.

The question is whether England should pyay its first team to go all out for a win or play the 2nd 11 and hope their players are worse than Belgium's reserves.

I propose a third way, assume we don't know who our opponents will be and make the game about management. England should want to maintain its winning streak whilst managing the players. That means resting the players who could do with a break. The wing backs should be rotated as theirs is the most physically demanding position. Hendo should get a break to keep his injuries from flaming up. Finally RLC and Rashford should be given starts to see if they can look as good over 90 minutes as they do in their cameos.

We should want to win every game but Belgium is a game we can afford to lose. Test the players that need it, bring in the players that are knocking on the door and let's see how good or squad is.

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24 Jun 2018 16:27:30
U watched much of the world cup ed?
Any teams impressed you?

{Ed001's Note - I have watched most games and only really Mexico have performed above expectations.}

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25 Jun 2018 05:36:39
Mexico have been quite impressive. They have pace to burn and very quick to spring on the counter at the slightest of opportunity.
Lozano has really impressed me, reminds a bit of Sanchez.

Also ed1 what is your opinion on Germany. They have looked poor in front of goal, struggling to create much chances and poor defensively. What changes do you think they should make (if any)? Also who is having a poorer WC Hummels or Boateng?

Thanks ed1.

{Ed001's Note - Hummels is injured, hard to compare the two. As for Boateng just wait until the carthorse Maguire comes up against a decent team and then ask again!

Germany are a bit of a mess, but they are always like this, they get through without performing and usually end up in the final. It is very rare they look anything other than lucky to get through. I have to say I am worried Low has lost the plot. He is sticking with Muller, who has been woeful for a few seasons now, but won't take a chance on Brandt, who has been outstanding. Low is beginning to hold them back.}

25 Jun 2018 08:32:07
Exactly ed1. Muller has been under par for Bayern for two seasons now. And he has not played well for Germany either. Time to drop him. Low needs to make strong decisions and give them players a reality check. It's been plainsailing till now but now it's do or die. I think this might be the end for his tenure if he doesn't sort this out. I think even Draxler should be on the bench. Start Reus and Brandt on the wings. And Kroos doesn't work well in a midfield 2. I say release Goretzka. They still have the tools to dig themselves out of this mess.

In short the team looks a bit stale and dare I say it like Arsenal under Wenger last few years, comfortable and cosy.

Also Boateng and Hummels look so disjointed. The 3 of their back four play their club football together yet look so disjointed it's unreal. If Mexico vs England happens I think this England bubble bursts, Maguire might get torn to shreds.


Cheers ed1.

{Ed001's Note - I am sure pundits will still tell us Maguire is the greatest defender since Bobby Moore, no matter what happens!}

22 Jun 2018 04:47:13
Do the VAR officials really need to go FKW to do the job? Is it not a little, or even a lot, silly?

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23 Jun 2018 17:46:08
I had to Google FKW ed. Haha.

{Ed001's Note - in the illustrated dictionary, it has a picture of the VAR officials next to it....}

19 Jun 2018 12:43:33
England 2-1 Tunisia

At the twenty minute point you could have made a convincing argument that England were the best team in the World Cup, 1-0 up and cutting Tunisia apart with ease, the most remarkable thing was that England weren’t winning by a bigger margin. What followed was a far more familiar to England fans, a mistake at the back gave Tunisia a goal their performance didn’t deserve, England struggled to get their noses in front again and performance levels fell off a cliff. The one really surprising thing was that England broke the habit of a lifetime and managed to win.

In the first half England played superbly, they pressed as a team, their attacks were quick and incisive and the pre-tournament optimism that has been growing seemed fully justified, the only black mark was that the scoreboard didn’t reflect England’s dominance. The second half was the England we’re all familiar with, the game lost its tempo, England players stopped moving and the sense of dread that England were about to under-deliver again started to grow. The second half performance wasn’t completely surprising, no team can expect to maintain the tempo England had in the first half for 90 minutes and Tunisia did everything they could to kill the game defending deep, time wasting, cynically disrupting England and play acting, it almost worked as well.

Make no mistake, England should have won this game very easily but a mixture of poor finishing and desperate defending restricted England to just one goal in normal time. Thankfully Harry Kane was able to deliver the result the performances of both team deserved and England had one their opening world cup game for only the third time in history. The biggest talking point of the game was England’s lack of sharpness in front of goal, chance after chance went begging, if this was unusual it could be written off as a one off but this England team have consistently under-scored over the past 12 months. Thank god we have Harry Kane as one player who can consistently turn opportunities into goals.

The other major talking point was how poor the ref was. Tunisia’s penalty was the correct call, it was a foul anywhere else on the pitch so it should have been a penalty in the box but the refs failure to give England a penalty (or two) was scandalous and VAR’s failure to correct his mistake made a mockery of the system. The technology is fine but it’s implementation is awful, Harry Kane knew it should have been a penalty and captains should be able to call for a review when the ref and his assistants make mistakes. It wasn’t just the penalty decisions the ref failed with, in the second half Tunisia did everything they possibly could to disrupt England, feigned injuries, cynical tackles, encroaching free kicks, holding onto the ball and what must be the slowest substitution in Football history, the ref did nothing to stop this and it almost ruined the match.

Going into the Panama game Southgate has a few things to consider, the main decision being whether to start Sterling or not. There’s a brilliant player hidden inside the City forward but he just can’t seem to deliver in an England shirt. Rashford didn’t play much better when he came on but he terrified the Tunisian defence in a way that Sterling failed to and many will want to see Rashford given a start to stake his claim. The other decision is about Rubens Loftus-Cheek who looked a class above everyone else on the pitch when he came on, with Alli taking a knock a start against Panama would be justified.

The first half performance and the result will give England an excellent platform to build on and the second round is beckoning but the failure in front of goal and the inability to break down Tunisia in the second half show England’s weaknesses. We won’t be worrying the big guns yet but, just possibly, England have got their ‘bad performance’ out of their system already and bigger things are on the way.

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18 Jun 2018 21:58:53
We won when everything went against us, that can only be a good thing. Two great goals by Kane, a top performance from Hendo and a glimmer of how dangerous our young attackers can be.

When everything does click we are going to give someone a very bad day.

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18 Jun 2018 22:27:03
Not a bad performance at all really. Never a penalty against us and we could’ve had 2 given to us. Important thing is the 3 points, bring on Panama, win that and we’re through. Biased as a Chelsea fan perhaps but Loftus-Cheek was very bright when he came on. Kane is scoring goals which is all that matters, Sterling, Lingard and Maquire were poor for me but like I say the result is all that matters.

17 Jun 2018 20:13:22
First big upset of the tournament means Germany have a tough job to win their group.

If it panned out would England fans prefer to come second in their group in order to avoid Germany or Brazil in the QFs?

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