World Cup 2018 Russia

(The Man With a Name) #61

Feels like England lost on purpose just to face Colombia next.

(Stanton) #62

Feels like England lost on purpose to avoid Brasil in a possible QF.

(The Man With a Name) #63

That’s what I mean.

(Stanton) #64

But France nearly won the WC again in 2006 with a pretty old team. Maybe they need to have the patience and wait another 4 years, or why not just pass the first tournament after a win …

(scherpschutter) #65

Right. But maybe they will have second thoughts before/during/after the second round game against Colombia. That looks like a strong, technically skilled team. They had a good team four years ago, and seem to be at least equally strong now

(scherpschutter) #66

True of course.

It’s all a bit puzzling. I still don’t understand what happend in that Korea game. If you can turn around a match against a very strong side like Sweden, you must be able, even on a bad day, to beat Korea … But we’ll have discussions in the German press on the subject for the next two or three months or so, of that I’m sure …

(Stanton) #67

I don’t understand that either. Even Messintina made that one goal, and Germany should have had at least some undeserved luck … :wink:

Another fact: it is already clear that it becomes another classic tournament dominated by Europe and South America.
All 5 African teams are out, and only one team from Asia is left, and one from 3 North/Middle Americans. I expect the QFs without those 2.
Some things never change …

(scherpschutter) #68

And they’re going to expand the tournament to 48 teams in 2026 …

Like I said before the tournament: It’s not going to work for Africa ever. At least not in our lifetime. Nigeria looked virtually unprepared, the North-African teams used to be well-organized but are no longer. Morocco had several great players (I know them well because they play in Holland or Belgium) but no team, eleven players playing their own match. Only in the third game, against Spain, they showed some sense of discipline. Tunesia and Egypt had better remained at home. Japan did better than anyone would have guessed, but I don’t see any reason to talk about an ‘Asian revolution’. And Mexico? Well, they showed us both faces of Mexican foorball: they were great against Germany, hopeless against Sweden. I wonder what face tey will show in that game against Brasil.

(Phil H) #69

If we did I think that is a mistake. We have lost to plenty of “lesser” teams in tournaments over the years so are in no position to take any opponents for granted as being easier than any other. At the end of the day we are not in the quarter finals yet and we now have to beat Colombia before we are. That won’t be easy. For my money you should try and win every game and just play whoever is put in front of you. Frankly, I haven’t been impressed by Brazil any more in this world cup than I was in the last. A fired up Sweden could be just as difficult a hurdle to get over.

(Stanton) #70

I think they tried, and Belgium tried also, but of course both without trying too hard in a game which was not that important anymore for both.

Of course Colombia and Sweden are both not easy either, but Brasil is one they never have beaten in a WC so far.

(Phil H) #71

True, but we lost to all sorts of countries we should theoretically have beaten over the years. At the end of the day the only thing that actually counts is winning the bloody thing and you can only do that by being able to beat whoever is in front of you on the day. No point in avoiding Brazil until the final or semi final if you still wind up losing to them.

(scherpschutter) #72

I don’t think they started the game with the idea not to win it, but there was an incident near the end that looked suspicious: Danny Welbeck, who was just sent on the pitch by Southgate, and got an opportunity. He didn’t even try to score, just kicked the ball in the audience. had he received some instructions? I don’t think you decide not a win a game beforehand, but I could imagine that you say to yourself, 5-10 minutes before the end: Okay, we’d better be second and avoid Brazil. But, as @Phil_H pointed out, Colombia will be a strong opponent.

(Stanton) #73

On the other hand if they had met Germany and Brasil more often in the Finals (or say, in the HFs), the WC reputation of England could be much, much better …

In football luck and coincidence are important factors, the more strong opponents you have on the way to the final, the more difficult is it to win (not only because they are strong). Just check Portugal in 2016, they had some strength, but also a lot of luck.
To be able to beat every team, does not mean that such a team will beat every other team.

Strangely Germany and Brasil, the 2 teams with the most WC participations, met for the first time in a WC not before 2002, and that was the Final.

(scherpschutter) #74

Porgufal is in my opinion such a team: on a good day, they’re able to beat any opponent, even France or Brasil, on a bad day, they can be beaten by any team, even Iran. I wonder if they can repeat the masterstroke from two years ago. I guess not, but you never know


When I went to Amsterdam in 2010, a coffee shop owner was asking us if we were from Spain so he could throw us out. Took me a moment to realise the context.

(scherpschutter) #76

Yes people tend to take these things very serious

(Asa) #77

Messi and Ronaldo both out on the same day…

(scherpschutter) #78

Tournament is becoming increasingly weird every day: No Italy, no Holland, Germany out after the first round, now Messi and Ronaldo out …

Suppose we get semi finals like this, without any of the so-called greats:

Belgium - Uruguay
Sweden - Croatia

(Stanton) #79

Both are the best players in the last 10 years (and more), but both could never really show their qualities in one of the tournaments. Well, Ronaldo at his beginnings in 2004, but both never dominated a tournament like some other of the really great players did.
(But I don’t know about the South America Cup, where Argentina lost 2 times only in the penalty shooting).

Ronaldo won at least the EC, but not by showing his individual skills, but by being a team player. He has at least his title with the national team, even if they won it rather lucky.

2002 was already a tournament coined by a surprising weakness of many favorites. But why should Brasil not reach the HF? They have become stronger, and they have individual class for the case the team as a whole does not deliver. And by that they won this 2002 WC.

Now, France - Uruguay looks like a quite promising game.

(Asa) #80

I would absolutely love to see that semi-final line-up, and although you’d still have to say it’s unlikely, it’s far from unthinkable by any means. I’d love a “new” nation to win the WC, and I very much include Uruguay in that (and England for that matter) given how long ago they won it.