World Cup 2018 Russia

(Asa) #141

I think I’ve cheered on at least twenty teams at this World Cup. I was cheering for Croatia AND Russia the other day. And I ALWAYS cheer for Les Bleus. Actually, still being in a position to cheer for England this far into a major tournament feels bloody strange tbh. I mean, surely we’re out by now, aren’t we? Group stages were weeks ago. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Phil H) #142

This is very true and Moore also suffered from playing for a less well known team in West Ham. (waits for last.caress to pout indignantly) If he had played for Man Utd he would have been much better known for sure although he had certainly had some success with the Hammers domestically and in Europe by this stage.

I guess my point was that, in hindsight we can say they had the best team for the tournament but ahead of time I don’t think many would have picked them as favourites on paper.

(scherpschutter) #143

Franz Beckenbauer was by the way not in his mid-twenties (as I thought): he was 21 in 1966, four years younger than Moore.

(Stanton) #144

Yes, Beckenbauer was a young talent then, had debuted only 9 months before, and made his name in this tournament. Playing midfield, not the Libero (sweeper) position he revolutionised later.

Ohh, and Charlton was already 28 in 66.
Many of the English players had already played the EC 64 and the WC 62. and even if the results were far from great, they had experience, knew how to play a tournament.

(scherpschutter) #145

If I remember well, he still played in midfield during the 1970 tournament

According to thins link, Germany and Italy played 4-2-4 in what is often called the game of the century:

(Asa) #146


(Stanton) #147

He had to, as there were some older players for that position in the national team, but he played that part already successful for Bayern.
He had to wait until Schulz retired, and Schnellinger returned to Italy (those who played back then outside of Germany mostly only returned for the tournaments to the team).
Then he became also captain, instead of the older Overath, and then he was the chief of all.

(Stanton) #148

Not really. They actually played the then ususal 4 - 3 - 3.

After the already retired Seeler returned in late 1969 to the team, with the prospect of playing in the WC, they had a problem with 2 centre forwards. Before the WC it did not work to play with Müller and Seeler, so it was decided that Seeler went into midfield and played there behind Müller.
And that worked out pretty well.

(Stanton) #149

Back to the present.

A deserved win for France. The second final for that young team, and I expect them to make it this year. But I still will root for England.

(El Topo) #150

Yeah, France is a better team.
Belgium has some great players a fantastic team, but it’s a hard team to balance because clearly their best players are the ones in the attack, with the exception of Cortois of course, their Spanish coach made a fantastic job, they almost made it, but I’m afraid that iFrance scorIng first, they became a very difficult to beat them because they can make the game that suit them better, with fast and organized counters attacks.
Anyway they scored in the least expected way, beating the Belgium Air Force.
France would had an almost almost perfect team (perfect teams don’t exist), if Giroud could score some goals from now and then

For the final I believe England is a more suited team to beat the French than Croatia, but it’s not going to be an easy task to win against Croatia

(scherpschutter) #151

I went to the town centre after the match, where people had been watching the game on a big screen. Very downbeat atmosphere, as you might expect.

My wife and neighbor were very dissapointed as well; I had high hopes untill the one hour mark, then it became clear that it would be very, very difficult to score against this well-organized, physically strong and top fit team with players like Griezmann and Mbappe who are so quick on the break. Belgium couldn’t really push forward because their defenders are too slow. That’s a problem for every team that is a goal down against this French team: if you leave too much space after your defenders, they’ll punish you.

I’ll support England in a possible France - England final, but I’m afraid this french team will grab the title

(The Man With a Name) #152

I just find it strange when people cheer against their own country.

I cheer for other teams, too, but I’m always loyal to England regardless of whether we win or lose. Any Englishman who cheers for Croatia tomorrow is not a true Englishman in my opinion. So, regardless of whatever political problems The Guardian suggests Croatia is having with football (I don’t know anything about it), I still think they should be cheering for their own team. I think they will anyway. Croatian fans seem loyal to me.

(Asa) #153

Ah right, I see what you mean. :+1: I have to say though (and I’m talking in wide generalities now, and I’m not aware of the reference you’ve made re. any report in The Guardian so I’ll have to read up on that, plus I don’t want to get too political here), I’m an Englishman born and raised and still living in Essex, and because of the way the world is to a large degree I feel little to no affinity to my country whatsoever. Not much of our heritage, history or current global or social-political leanings make me particularly proud to be English, and those qualities within myself of which I’m proud I don’t associate directly with my Englishness. I feel my more positive or likable qualities are more about me than about where I’m from. Tbh I don’t necessarily believe that political national borders have ever been particularly helpful in human history ever. Flags and nationalism mostly seem to be rallying points for war and not much else. So if there are issues in Croatian football leading to them possibly not cheering their own team (and, now you mention it, didn’t @titoli tell us something about this once, some years ago?), well, I don’t necessarily think that makes them less “Croatian”. In fact in some ways, dependant on exactly what’s going on there, it may well make them MORE Croatian if you want to frame it in those terms.

All that said, I quite like Gareth Southgate, I like what he’s creating with the England squad - not just in this tournament but potentially for the next few tournaments - and, despite there being no West Ham representation (understandably at this point), I quite like this England team. So I’m certainly cheering them on tonight and I will be on Sunday if they beat the Croats this evening. But not because of anything as binary as: “They’re England and I’m English”. Piers Morgan is English. Nigel Farage is English. Katie Hopkins is English. Simon Cowell is English. Boris Johnson is English. The Sun is an English newspaper. The Daily Mail is English. ITVbe is an English TV station. Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away! is an English TV show.

(incidentally, I’m not disparaging anybody who does feel a sense of nationalistic pride in England or their English heritage in any way at all; I’m just saying I rarely if ever feel it for myself :+1: )

I f*cking DETEST that shitty England brass band though, and that tuneless f#ckawful dirge they keep playing all the way through every single England game. Seeing the back of those bastards is almost enough reason to support Croatia all on its own.

(titoli) #154

Caress, my friend, you nailed it on the head with this, you nailed it. I couldn’t have said it better, thank you.

Like I said, story of Croatian football is too long and complex, and this is not quite the forum where I feel I should bore you with that, although I am sure there are couple of football fans among you who would be interested. Also fans of a good crime story. So let me just say the story of Croatian football team is tightly connected with the president, the mayor of the capital, the chief of the intelligence service, various gangsters, players of the highest profile (both retired and active), court judges of the highest profile, owner of the biggest media company, some tycoons, influential right-wing extremists, etc. It could been made into a good movie or a season of Wire. Or John Le Carre novel.

Mayority of the country will be wholeheartedly cheering for the Croatian team tonight. Most of the country don’t pay that much attention to the football when it is not World or Euro Cup. But, many of those who care the most for the football and the national team will not be cheering for them. At least not wholeheartedly.

(The Man With a Name) #155

Well, that’s another discussion for another place but I can’t say I identify with you here since England has a remarkable heritage. Picking my club and national team is easy. I’m a Liverpool FC supporter since I was born and bred and Liverpool and the same goes for England. Anything else would feel false to me. As I said, I do support other teams and wish them all the best but never at the expense of my home club or national team.

Well, as I’ve said, I don’t know anything about Croatian football but I have really enjoyed watching this team and if I was Croatian, I’m sure I’d be excited. Except for tonight if course since England is going to beat them. :wink:


I was born and bred in Newcastle, and I wish our football stadium would be turned into a giant food court or something instead.

(scherpschutter) #157

Oh my God, England …

Congratulations Hrvatska, what a match. Nailbiting suspense.

(Asa) #158

Congratulations to Croatia. Tbh I always thought it was a bit too soon for this England side but they’ve shown, even in defeat, that there’s plenty about which to be very optimistic in the immediate future. Roll on Euro 2020, England are going to be a genuine, very real threat by then.

(The Man With a Name) #159

That ref was completely one-sided in favour of Croatia. England, however, allowed themselves to fall asleep in the second half and should never have allowed that first Croatian goal.

(scherpschutter) #160

I’m afraid England beat themselves tonight. They had the game in hand, but allowed the croatians to get back into it, and then the Croatian experience and the class of some of their players like Modric, Rakitic and Perisic was too much for this young English team.