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Belgium 1 England 0 - The Belgium B team 'does the biz' to top the group!
#21
Changing 9 players didn't stop Belgium from getting through their game!! Maybe the extra rest for the first 11 actually meant they were able to play right to the end and grab a late winner?? The Belgium game will have little to no bearing on this one aside from the fact we are playing Colombia instead of Japan.
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#22
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainm...r-12817195
This is a brilliant 'wind up' on Gary Lineker by Limmy, the Glesca comedian - 'reeled him in , hook, line and sinker' on his compromised position re manipulation of certain matches to suit a specific advantageous plan but England don't do that kinda thing lol! He previously brought up the fact that England don't field any 'divers' but the opposition always do it - based on some of the ridiculous comments on Lineker's bbc live match broadcasts! These kinda quips definitely come back to 'bite you on the bum' Gary esp with VAR analysis available now lol!
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#23
Lineker is such a knob.
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#24
Well Belgium being happy to win or lose against England didn't seem to knock their will to win against Brazil, though they did seem to me to expect Japan simply to lie down for quite some time.
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#25
Aye! You still hav to 'earn the right' v hi energy opponents who are not gonna turn up just to be 'cannon fodder'.
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#26
Losing to Belgium, changing 8 players, having a losing mentality, and looking forward to future games hasn't worked out too bad now has it?
It's all about managing a competition. Southgate has made the right decisions so far at every turn in this World Cup.
Whatever happens on Wednesday this will still go down as a successful tournament. Even if England's B team lost to Belgium's B team.
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#27
It's a moral opinion, simple as that, and I agree if it works out for the 'manipulator' or 'thrower' of a match result to suit an end/objective, then yes 'haven't we done well' eh. But it's still a moral issue. I tend to look at the methodology/system used by FIFA in the draw and IMO the solution is that group winners and runners up should be placed in a new KO draw with no same group opponents being drawn together. This should've been actioned years ago to avoid this kinda scenario ever arising!
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#28
I don't think we deliberately lost to Belgium. But we didn't mind losing.

Nor do I see a ready solution to two decent teams collecting six points apiece from their first two games and meeting in their final group match ......... unless you manipulate the order in which group games are played. And who decides which two teams are decent anyway, clearly FIFA rankings don't do it.

Bizarrely, had Poland topped their group (as expected) no one would have thought that England manipulating a result would even be a good idea, but as we saw in all their group games the 8th ranked side by FIFA - Poland - were piss-poor. And though everyone praises the Japanese for their performance against Belgium, ironically they also featured in the most manipulated result of the tournament, deliberately playing out a 1-0 defeat against Poland on the instructions of their manager.

We can always point out how fortunately things fell once results appear and hindsight kicks in. But if the Final turns out to be France v Croatia, what conclusions do we draw then? And which circumstances do we choose to have had anything to do with it anyway? Brazil lost to Belgium, okay for 25 minutes Belgium were good, but the own goal was laughable and Brazil really missed even having a goal attempt on hatfuls of occasions. Equally France cruised through, but write Cavani into the Uruguayan team and score out Muslera's inability to deal with a ball that moved a little in the air ........ and who knows? Certainly Sweden turned out to be poor quarter finalists as soon as they had conceded a goal - but up until that point it was exactly as I expected the whole game to go, one team in it but nothing much happening.

The draw looks quite nice for England now, but three of Croatia's midfield would waltz into our team ...... and could decide the result themselves. Equally what if Belgium beat France, but de Bruyne gets injured and Lukaku is sent off in the last five minutes. How fearful would England or Croatia be for the final?
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#29
There is no moral issue whatsoever. Belgium made 9 changes but won the game. We made 8. So Belgium are more morally wrong than England? How has this moral issue even arisen?
It's just simply called using a squad. If you have qualified with one game to spare, why on God's earth would you keep playing the same team? It's just stupidity to do that.
How about the scenario that to come 2nd in the group would give you a harder route? Would England still have made 8 changes and Belgium 9? Of course they would. There is no moral issue with that game at all.
And to say that England 'threw' the game is just ridiculous.

I have absolutely no issue with what Southgate has done so far. None. If you think he is a cheat who throws games then that goes some way to explaining your state of mind, not his.
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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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#30
Because Belgium played a weak team as England did makes it morally right!? Aye, in the eyes of some people with vested interest. It's a form of match fixing, definitely - just massage the description to a 'moderate'or 'mild' form of 'throwing a match'! I don't buy that argument one jot but it's done and there is an issue re certain 'individuals', like Lineker (and others), who was previously quick to condemn teams who practised in this manner. Suddenly, because it's England, it became a different issue. Back to the main theme of my thread and remove England & Belgium (btw they did play that game to win it anyway in the 'true spirit of the game'!!) from the 'emotive' equation - it's an issue that could so easily be avoided by staging a FIFA KO draw and stuff any 'reading' of who is playing who in the next rounds - so ###### simple that only FIFA could still practise in this way! A bit like VAR when FIFA deferred using it for years n years and came up with various excuses to dismiss it but then suddenly 'saw the light'.
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