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DE.

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DE. last won the day on June 19

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About DE.

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    Hacking To The Gate

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    Ipswich

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  1. Caddis hasn't been fit for purpose since day one. An awful signing, and even more baffling that he was given a two year deal. If he wasn't willing to accept a one year deal I'm sure we could have found a traffic cone willing to accept cheaper terms and which would have done the same job, if not better.
  2. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    When did counter attacking football become anti-football? It's been around for decades and some of the best teams in history have played a counter attacking style. Belgium and Croatia need to realise that being defensively solid isn't a crime, it's actually extremely important if you want to win things. Playing pretty football is pointless if you can't keep your opponents from scoring against you.
  3. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44847460 Strange comments from Lovren here. Granted France didn't exactly play scintillating football, but they were hardly playing anti-football either. Croatia's "beautiful football" mostly came through the genius of Modric. Take him out of the team and I imagine they'd play somewhat differently.
  4. Our first fixture is 04/08 - 19 days away. Any signing we bring in now will realistically only have about two weeks to bed in and a limited pre-season. By this time last season we'd already signed Whittingham, Dack, Smallwood &, Gladwin. The rest of July saw Samuel & Caddis come in. In August we signed Leutwiler, Chapman, Antonsson, Harper, Hart and Downing. So far this summer we've only signed Rothwell and Davenport. No players sold as of yet, but realistically we're going to need a stronger squad if we want to compete at the higher end of the table. Imo it's more likely we'll be fighting it out with the likes of Burton, Bolton, Ipswich, Rotherham, etc at the bottom end of the league.
  5. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    If Southgate has any sense or ambition he will watch that Crotia match back and pinpoint exactly when we lost the game and why. He'd do well to watch the Colombia match as well because there were similarities in how we lost control of a match we were dominating. His inability to react to Croatia's tactical changes are undoubtedly a big part of why we ended up losing, and he needs to learn from it if he wants to be successful going forward.
  6. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    Sterling can terrorise defences with his pace, but yesterday in the second half he was totally anonymous. He, Lingard and Alli all vanished from the game in an attacking sense. Lingard and Alli were at least attempting to contribute to the defensive side of the game which is probably why Sterling was brought off instead. I thought Rashford did okay when he came on. He wanted the ball and had control over it. Unfortunately everybody around him was tired, and as you say Kane had stopped running making it difficult to link up effectively. I couldn't decide whether Young was tired or just rubbish. Probably a bit of both. Rose should have started imo. I'm glad that's the last we'll see of Young in an England shirt. Set pieces aside he's been one of the weakest links in our team this tournament.
  7. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    I think if we'd have scored a second in the first half we would have gone on to win the match. Going in at 1-0 is always dangerous for a team as defensively suspect as England, and Croatia looked rejuvenated in the second half. Once they realised how well their tactical switch was working their energy and confidence soared. It was a matter of time at that point as Southgate either wouldn't or couldn't react to what was happening. We did well to get to extra time and I can't help but think come Sunday Croatia may rue adding another unnecessary half an hour to one of their matches.
  8. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    I should note that whilst my above post sounds a little negative, it's worth remembering that we only really started playing our current system during this tournament. For whatever reason we didn't play this way during the qualifiers, hence the low expectations going into the world cup. If we stick with this system and work on improving the parts that aren't quite working there's no reason we can't be much stronger come Euro 2020. There is a framework here and we need to stick to it.
  9. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    Not sure about that, I think Modric is talking nonsense. I don't think anyone was taking Croatia lightly, and if they were motivated they certainly didn't show it in the first half. Their dominance in the second half came about simply due to a combination of tactical nous from their manager and a lack of response from ours. That said... I have to agree with this. When Croatia began putting pressure on us we started punting it up the pitch like nothing had changed. Multiple times last night during the second half I noticed that nobody was showing for the ball, and if players are no longer willing to receive a pass the end result will ultimately either be a hoof or a loss of possession. It wasn't just the Croatia game either, in almost every game this tournament we've had a moment passing it around at the back where we've lost possession dangerously, mainly because of a lack of options passing wise. It's very noticeable that when the likes of Lingard, Alli and Sterling no longer want the ball the three of them will stay as far up the field as they can, leaving Henderson, Young and Tripper to try and find a way up the pitch (hint: not going to work very often). This is what led to Kane dropping back so far towards the end of the Colombia match. His three supporting attackers had lost their courage and didn't want possession anymore. This is why I don't buy into the media constantly pushing our "new identity". Yes we pass it around at the back, but it's led to as many dangerous situations in our own half this tournament as it has our opponents. We've created very few chances from open play. Most of our goals have come from penalties and set pieces, which contrasts against the supposed identity we've gained. We're a long way off establishing anything yet. At no point in this tournament did we ever look as dangerous as Croatia did against us in the second half last night - that's what we should be aspiring to. Once we can play like that then we can start crowing about new identities, philosophies, and whatever else.
  10. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    One other thing I'll note before I go to bed is that Southgate appears to struggle to counter tactical moves by opposition managers. We don't really seem to have a Plan B once Plan A starts to fail. Both Colombia and Croatia in these knockout stages were able to significantly hinder us by making fairly simple tactical alterations. We've got to try and work on being more flexible tactically and being able to adapt to the opposition as and when they change things. Just subbing players like for like (most of the time) isn't always going to be enough.
  11. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    Southgate pretty much nailed it in the post match interview when he said we lost our composure for most of the second half. We were obviously a bit rattled by Croatia coming at us so forcefully after the break, drastically improving across the pitch. We had it pretty easy in the first half and it must have been jarring to feel like we were facing a completely different team during the second 45. We lost a bit of our confidence and courage, and retreated into our shells. We needed an experienced leader or two out on the pitch to calm things down and sort things out (not a Rooney or Joe Hart, for the record). Unfortunately we just don't have that right now. Even so we pushed Croatia as far as we could. A few tweaks, a couple of new youngsters emerging and we could be right in the mix at Euro 2020 and WC 2022. The foundation is there, we just need to build on it.
  12. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    Pretty much. The Croatians put three forward, pushed us onto the back foot and we never really got back into the game. We ended up stuck in a 5-3-2, our attackers vanished, the Croatians suddenly had a lot more time on the ball and should really have put the game to bed before the ninety minutes were up. Extra time was just two very tired teams hoping to grab a goal. Croatia were the ones who nicked it through a momentary lapse of concentration from Stones. That aside it would probably have gone to penalties.
  13. DE.

    Premier League Stuff

    Imagine spending £60m on a backup player! The game has truly gone mad.
  14. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    Two current starters we need to improve on (imo at least) are Henderson and Young. The pair of them just aren't quite up to standard. I'd rather have seen Rose ahead of Young throughout the tournament in honestly as it felt like Young was only there for his set piece delivery and we came a bit unstuck in the end by relying on that so much. Henderson is industrious but I just don't see him as international class starting player. I hope we'll find somebody to challenge him for that position going forward.
  15. DE.

    World Cup 2018

    The problem we've got is that we'll never beat a good team with our current tactics. Relying on set pieces will only get you so far, especially when we have a habit of conceding at least one goal a game. We only kept one clean sheet in this tournament and we weren't playing great teams. We need to work out how to be more creative in that final third. We have the players but the system isn't quite right yet. Honestly I think France would have beaten us by two or three goals in the final. You never know but we would have gone in as major underdogs. This tournament was good in that it showed where our strengths and our weaknesses lie. It's up to Southgate to work out how to improve us before the next tournament.
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