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Belgium 1 England 0 - The Belgium B team 'does the biz' to top the group!
#11
Aye! Good comments Devongone. As the saying goes, 'Truth hurts'. At the moment, two teams stand out as full of quality and able to 'raise their game' when threatened - Brazil and France! I reckon the winner of this trophy will come from this pair and the LHS of the draw - a bit like Wimbledon when you occasionally see the quality side of the draw and the other half of it provides the 'likely loser/runner up'.
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#12
I think Belgium did want to lose the game v England so that they could progress through the other side of the draw.
England managed to do that and so face far weaker opposition to get to the final. I really don't see that as a loser mentality. That's called common sense.
Why play the best in the world cup to try and get to a final? Why not play weaker opposition to try get to a final?
I would absolutely guarantee most of that Belgium team looking at the other half thinking 'shit....we wanted that side'.

I think the winners will come from the potential semi final of Brazil v France. But I think when they win the final, it could well be England that they beat. I'm not classing getting beaten in the final as a loser mentality....just beaten by a better team on the day.
In beer there is freedom, in wine there is health, in cognac there is power and in water there is bacteria
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#13
If England was a racehorse Timeform would be putting a squiggle against its name, which is basically a question mark against its desire to win.

If Mexico are so enthralled by their new left-wing leader they go out and beat Brazil you'd be saying we were in the wrong half of the draw.

Apparently we've only beaten Sweden twice in fifty years. Perhaps we should be hoping Breel Embolo's new baby has got a late goal in her to save us from that fate ........

And ask 65,000 Colombians who travelled who they expect to get to the last eight again ........ You have to admit Shep, we didn't only lose to Belgium, we looked really quite poor. To me it looked like an exercise in saving Gareth Southgate having to make substantial changes to his starting eleven. Maybe we can beat Colombia, but taking into account that our goalscorer is faced by arguably the strongest area of their team, one of whom knows Kane's whole game intimately, I couldn't give us more than that maybe and I'm dead sure we would have beaten Japan.

But, hey I'm wrong all the time, but I always played every sport to win. You surely have to play a good team sometime if you are ever going to be any good, which 0762 would probably identify as one of Scottish football's biggest problems .......... which it finally seemed to be beginning to address last season.

France clearly have the strongest squad but I doubted them all the time until they went 1-2 down against Argentina. At that point they reacted like a team. The other true team on show has been Uruguay, but their talent pool is so much smaller the loss, if it is loss, of Edison Cavani could ruin a really interesting confrontation. He may be physically and mentally unattractive but Suarez up front together with Godin at the back is doing what Argentina has been expecting from Messi for three World Cups.
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#14
You are right....we did look poor v Belgium. But at the end of the day, it was two B teams playing a glorified friendly. With the prize to the winner being a harder route to the final.
Call it a loser mentality if you will, I like to think it was the right thing to do to make 8 changes for a game and keep the better players fit for the knockout stages. Belgium made 9 changes after all.
It makes good reading to say things like...'England have beaten Sweden only twice in 50 years'...than it does to say England have beaten Sweden twice in the last 5 games they have played them'
Or 'England have only won two knockout games in 28 years'...than it is to say 'England have won two knockout games in the last 6 they have played'

It's all relative when the World Cup is only every 4 years. What matters is that none of the England team have ever been in a knockout game at the WC. None have experienced losing one.
I bet a few of those Colombians have lost knockout games. Let's just see what happens.
In beer there is freedom, in wine there is health, in cognac there is power and in water there is bacteria
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#15
Yeah England v Colombia will be interesting. Rodriguez being fit or not will be important as will whether they go with both Falcao and Muriel. Equally Kane up against Mina might cause problems which would be highlighted if we slipped Rashford in for Sterling. BUT I'd have been doing very little iffing and butting if we'd have been playing Japan.

"Let's just see what happens." would have been precisely the right approach to potential quarter final opponents when we were still playing the group stages. We should have been waiting to see if it was Brazil or who - and if it was, was Neymar going to be fit, had Willian been sent off against Mexico, had Firmino gone back to Merseyside in disgust, had Thiago Silva accidentally soiled the Brazilian flag and given their supporters conniption fits, had England just beaten Colombia 6-0 and become the new Bookies' favourite .........?
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#16
Dev, if we had beaten Belgium and therefore about to play Japan, all everyone would be talking about was how the result didn't matter because it was only against their reserves anyway, so thats no different. Also the mdedia and fans would now be talking about our exit in the quarter finals to a Brazilian team who would beat us, again forgetting about the small matter of beating Japan first. One positive of the Colombian tie is that few of us are under any illusion that it won't be a tough game, one we could lose easily if we do not show up and they do. There will be no complacency tomorrow, we know we have a tough game on our hands and that in itself will focus the team. Us fans can play fantasy football and look beyond this game, but the team cannot.
Devongone and 0762 like this post
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#17
(02-07-2018, 19:00)St Charles Owl Wrote: Dev, if we had beaten Belgium and therefore about to play Japan, all everyone would be talking about was how the result didn't matter because it was only against their reserves anyway, so thats no different.  Also the mdedia and fans would now be talking about our exit in the quarter finals to a Brazilian team who would beat us, again forgetting about the small matter of beating Japan first.  One positive of the Colombian tie is that few of us are under any illusion that it won't be a tough game, one we could lose easily if we do not show up and they do.  There will be no complacency tomorrow, we know we have a tough game on our hands and that in itself will focus the team.  Us fans can play fantasy football and look beyond this game, but the team cannot.

Precisely, but your last line is EXACTLY what England did do. They looked ahead, beyond Belgium all the way to the Quarters.

My OPINION is that Japan's high-octane style would have suited us down to the ground, much more than it did the Belgians, who in truth, had they played in a different style, would have won easily too. The very-South-American Colombians are a very different challenge is all I'll say, but it's one we're not used to.

In terms of individuals there aren't many of the Colombians who would seriously challenge for a place in the England team. I'd choose Ospina's experience over Pickford, but Pope's ability might lead me to plump for him! The two Colombians centre backs would certainly make our squad and I'd love the option of Rodriguez in midfield and Falcao on our bench ......... but they wouldn't have many starters in the Colenglian team.

Even if we win 6-0 you'll have a lot of trouble convincing me changing 8 players in a team is a good idea. Look how many Premiership teams can't beat teams from two or three divisions lower when they field the out-of-favour members of the squad who have spent months in training with the usual eleven. You learn nada from the experience.
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#18
I wonder if England would have came back from 2-0 down to japan ?
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#19
Have to disagree with you Devongone saying not to make wholesale changes at all.
Every team in the world looks forward to upcoming fixtures and adjust accordingly.
How many times have you seen a lower Premiership team rest players v Man City away, as their next game is in 3 days time at home to a relegation rival. Or how many teams rest players in the league before a big Champions League game. Or a team resting players in a meaningless league game before the FA Cup final.
It happens ALL the time. And not all those changes mean you will lose. And a lot of those times, the changes in the previous game means you actually win the next game.
It's all about managing a squad and a team. Putting your best 11 out every game is naïve at best.
In beer there is freedom, in wine there is health, in cognac there is power and in water there is bacteria
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#20
All the England squad now have a full game in their legs. For some of them, their season is now over. But any of those so called second string can now be called up with the manager confident that they're match fit, as opposed to not having played for 5 weeks.
It's what David Wagner did when we qualified early for the play offs. And if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me. Smile
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