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Thread: World Cup Tournament 2018

  1. #221
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    It's been noted elsewhere that a record number of goals have come from set-pieces this time, no doubt a result of VAR and ref's pointing to the spot for pushing and shoving in the box. You saw throughout the quarters, but especially England/Sweden and Russia/Croatia, defenders stepping off from attackers, leaving them more room to manouvre and threaten. You wouldn't call it a potential revolution in the game, but it seems likely set-pieces are going to take on an even bigger importance at the highest levels. It's a great benefit to England for sure, and you'd imagine it should be for Belgium, what with Lukaku and Fellaini in the team, though they seem to favour speedy counter-attacks for their offence.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Shane Duffy would be Golden Boot at this WC if he was in England's team!

    In Duffy, Clark, Kevin Long and Lenihan we have players who attack a good dead ball delivery very well. Lenihan really impressed in that regard against USA.

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  4. #223
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    It's been noted elsewhere that a record number of goals have come from set-pieces this time, no doubt a result of VAR and ref's pointing to the spot for pushing and shoving in the box.
    I don't know how much of it is down to VAR. We've seen a lot of pulling and tugging, and penalties for that given without resort to VAR. The VAR may be helping, but not to that effect, I think.

    I think a bigger issue is simply that it's getting harder and harder to break down well-organised teams, so it's simply more likely that goals are going to come from set-pieces. As a result, I would say teams are putting a lot more effort into them in training. (The same goes for 25-yarders actually)

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    I think that's largely true Stu. Shots and set-pieces were overwhelmingly more prominent than well worked team goals, although there have been few of them now too.

    One thing that stood out for me after game series 1 and 2 was that well-drilled teams were hard to break down but that a good quality old fashioned 9 was worth its weight in gold. I was amazed Spain took Costa off against Russia. Despite their limp performances I think Germany would still be there if they had a Bierhof or Klose on the end of the chances Gomez and Hummels missed across all their games. Giroud hasn't scored yet but his addition to the team has made France a better team and Lukaku has been a total handful and when Fellaini has filled the 9 space he's been effective. Kane has been quietly impressive though his goal count is flattered by his penalties.

    I think there has been a less obvious dominant common theme since the k/o phase began. Teams have gone about their tasks in their own way.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I see Croatia have sacked a coach after the "glory to Ukraine" video. It doesn't seem like he was a vital part of the squad (RTE says he was an "observer" at the tournament), it couldn't have waited till after the tournament was over? Even if he was a minor player, seems like something bound to **** at least some members of squad off.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  7. #226
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Think George Hamilton has mistaken a different black player for Paul Pogba five or six times tonight.

  8. #227
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    So France into the final, and now probably favourites to win.

    But a poor game overall typical of the growing trend in international football anyway (don't want enough top-level club football to comment). Two very disciplined defences giving very few chances, and a game ultimately settled by a set-piece.

    This World Cup had a good spell in the middle, and it's had more than its share of games which have been dramatic rather than memorable, but overall, I think it's not been a great tournament. Too one-dimensional to be a classic for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    So France into the final, and now probably favourites to win.

    But a poor game overall typical of the growing trend in international football anyway (don't want enough top-level club football to comment). Two very disciplined defences giving very few chances, and a game ultimately settled by a set-piece.

    This World Cup had a good spell in the middle, and it's had more than its share of games which have been dramatic rather than memorable, but overall, I think it's not been a great tournament. Too one-dimensional to be a classic for me.
    France more than capable of boring fans and the opposition to death . Without Mbappe's (?) pace they would be a real bore fest .

    Would we be better if they don’t win it ?

    For all the good players that Belgium have how did they end up with having Fellaini out on the left in the second half . These are the situations where you need flying ( or skill full ) wingers that can cross the ball . Unfortunately teams don’t use these types of wingers enough to have them on call the they need them . Any rule change that could encourage / make it down right compulsory to have wingers would be great for entertainment .
    Some sort of Refuge / amnesty area from off side near the sideline . I love good wingers . who doesn’t.........

    Bring Back Wingers .....

  10. #229
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Plenty of mis-firing players last night on both sides. De Bryne, Lukaku, Fellaini, Chadli for the Belgians, Giroud and Griezmann to a certain extent for France, Mbappe wasn't stellar either. Maybe just the nerves or the fatigue setting in. Thought Pogba put in an under-rated shift, and Hazard has staked a claim to Player of the Tournament, he carried Belgium for large parts. I think France will seriously benefit from the extra day rest/prep.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  11. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    Plenty of mis-firing players last night on both sides. De Bryne, Lukaku, Fellaini, Chadli for the Belgians, Giroud and Griezmann to a certain extent for France.
    I don't think Giroud was mis-firing. He's just cr+p (probably get a hat-trick now in the Final). It could be a great BREXIT Final if England get's through. I'd like an England vs France Final. I expect England to beat Croatia and lose to France in the Final.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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    Belgium lacked something from the Bench or was it Martinez ?

    Jeez without Mbappe the French would be very boring . I actually don’t want to see them win it . Will England or Croatia be able to score against them and if the French score first they will close up shop and rely on Mbappe to get a second .

    Against the French in the Final hopefully the other team will score 1 or 2 first . I mean the French have Mbappe and Griezman . Do they need to be so negative . Unfortunately it has got them to the final .

  13. #232
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    What I think I am seeing is teams that don't fancy their chances of getting back into it if they go a goal down, so we getting so many teams that go for the 'keep it tight and disciplined' approach while hoping to nick something...which just adds to the original problem.

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    I was really impressed by France and don't buy into the boring tag. Only both keepers kept the score down. Lloris/Varane between them kept out 2-3 goals in the first half. Courtois made a strong save from Pavard. Two very accomplished teams were up against each other and I thought it was a gripping contest. Negating Hazard is a skill in itself and I think Kante, Pogba, Varane, Pavard, Mbappe and Lloris were all really good yesterday.

    Giroud is due a goal. Hopefully 3. I think he is valuable to the team in what he does. He focuses defenders' attention and allows Griezmann and Mbappe space. He is a good target man but his finishing was poor. If they play England they'll need their big guys on the pitch. If they play Croatia, I won't care!

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I'll second the thoughts on the keepers last night. Lloris' save from Alderweireld was the best in the tournament in my opinion.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Croatia already look gassed. Their cross-field balls and crosses into the box are terrible, and they're struggling to deal with Sterling's pace a half hour in. The English should really win this easily enough.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Indeed!

  18. #237
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Indeed!!

    Looking like a rematch of England B v Belgium B on Saturday so

  19. #238
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    Man, I wasn't crazy was I? The Croatians looked wrecked at half-time, were much the better in the second half, looked wrecked again in the first half of ET, then much the better in the second half. Just conserving energy I guess? I don't know, either way, an excellent comeback.

    Once the English conceded they really didn't know what to do. It was similar when they conceded against Columbia, I don't think they (currently) deal very well with adversity. The set-piece magic vanished after the first five minutes, Kane and Sterling were anonymous for large stretches, even Pickford was making mistakes. And Modric, holy God, talk about running the midfield.

    Loving Vida's kid running barefoot on the pitch.

    Hope Croatia win, but three straight 120 minute matches, and a day less to rest...they can't can they?
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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  21. #239
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    What happened at half time? England turned defensive or Croatia made changes? Croatia got on top and never really relinquished it. I though even in the first half of extra time England weren't really better, just not worse.

    Are Croatia just a bit more experienced and battle-hardened as a team?

    Modric was superb again. In the last 2 games, he has truly stepped up.

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  23. #240
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    Experience counted for a lot, definitely. After the second Croatian goal, England spent so much time in their own half passing it around, like they were waiting for the Croatian midfield to open up and let them through. There was no one trying to rally them, make things happen, the way Modric has constantly been doing for Croatia.

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