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TheGunnShow

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Everything posted by TheGunnShow

  1. I see it a bit differently as whilst there is more English talent playing at the highest level, they're not star players in the teams that are. They're good squad players, or in Mount's case, having a breakout season so potentially quite close. In Grealish's case, he's a star player, but in an average Premier League side that has the potential to crack the top six this upcoming season. Much of this rests on a definition of world class. I suspect mine is more stringent than most. I also maintain that Southgate's style is bang on considering the stature of the players missing and the need to get through the group, as the fact they have qualified after two games amply demonstrates.
  2. I disagree with the last bit. If Mancini were in charge that England side would look bloody entertaining, but get beat 4-2 by the first genuinely quality side they faced (France, Italy, Belgium, Germany for sure, and probably Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands too) and not a Croatia side that's three years past its best. People really have forgotten how shockingly bad some of the defending in the qualifiers was. Go back to both games against Kosovo. Even when they won 4-0 in Prishtina, the Kosovans could easily have had two or three themselves, not to mention the 5-3 when they did, and as far as European sides go, they're bang average. Passionate as a new country, but absolutely bang average. My suspicion is that Southgate's playing this way as he knows he's missing arguably his key defender in Maguire (not to mention his main set-piece threat) and arguably his key defensive midfielder in Henderson. If England keep the ball, the other team aren't scoring. Worked well enough for Farke when he bedded his team in, even if we could have been sponsored by a computer company with all the binary scorelines that came up.
  3. Possible, they did beat England 2-1 in the qualifiers in Prague, and seem far better compared to the shower that got planted 5-0 at Wembley in same qualifiers.
  4. Got turgid draw all over it for me as England have already qualified. Can't decide between 0-0 and 1-1. I think I'll go 1-1 where England are consistently a step ahead for large swathes of the match, but a lapse of concentration lets the Czechs in.
  5. That's EXACTLY how to do it. Good spot.
  6. It was dreadful for me last night - kept timing out.
  7. I wouldn't expect a team that had already qualified to go absolutely flat-out. Belgium's defence is, relatively speaking, their weak link too in that their best defenders are about two years past their best whilst the rest of the team is pretty much at its peak. Finland were trying to counter, but when they lost to Russia there was no real cavalry charge to turn it around, they stayed pretty methodical - and that Russia defence was dire. You just saw the difference between one of Europe's top sides and a makeweight in these competitions. That's all.
  8. My guess is that's exactly what happened, especially considering that the Euros are on, so ready-made shop window for Berghuis to up his wages if he shops around.
  9. Green and white one should have the Lotus badge in green rather than yellow, then that would be a decent away or third kit. Black kit is decent too, but on that the Lotus badge should IMO either be in white or a much paler shade of silver-grey. Current version is a bit too faded / dark for visibility. This, IMO, is the best concept kit I've seen. Swap dafabet with Lotus. Alternatively, I'd have one sleeve in that rainbow and put in a little swoosh, picked out in rainbow colours, around the club badge and / or sponsor, all on a predominantly white shirt.
  10. I don't think so. Belgium probably just weren't quite mentally at full tilt as they'd already qualified, and Finland's MO, as it was throughout the three matches, was very much to keep things as tight as possible and try to get a counter or set piece to stick. Net result was always likely to be a game where one team wasn't quite pushing as hard as usual, and the other team didn't really have the capability. Then throw in a Denmark side faced with their last chance after dominating against Finland but not scoring, and giving Belgium a fright before falling short - and facing a very average Russian side that was one of the weakest teams in the whole shebang. On home turf to boot. With the motivation of doing it for their stricken talisman who'd collapsed in such dramatic circumstances in the first game. Occam's Razor tells me this is straight-up legit.
  11. Think that's the nature of their flag / kit, as basically it's just a transposition of their flag onto it.
  12. If Wales are facing Denmark then they're outsiders for that one, Eriksen or no Eriksen. Croatia look shot as far as their best men go, but whoever scores first in their match with Scotland will probably win it. England had better hope they get Portugal from that group as either France or Germany will definitely beat them, and I'd make Portugal favourites.
  13. You get the sense that something big is coming...
  14. "A long ball was hammered into the box, the opposition defence couldn't get a head on it here at the Deep Throat, and Norwich take the lead!"
  15. If it's Denzel Dumfries, I'd be delighted. If it turned out we sell Aarons, that's the guy to replace him, IMO.
  16. Disagree, as ultimately the discussion boils down to team performance.
  17. Disagree re. Jako - I doubt the likes of Bayer Leverkusen or VfB Stuttgart would wear poor kit. Jako make pretty decent stuff if you ask me and even though Cottbus have fallen through the ranks in German football, they've pretty much had Jako gear for the last twenty years if not longer.
  18. I'm biased as I've worn their kit when I played in Germany, but I'd have liked to see Saller get a go. Incidentally, they do Paderborn's kit...
  19. Not sure re. the bit in bold. For a guy of his size, Ajer looks a bit timid in the physical aspect of the game/bit less imperious to me, and you can't coach cojones. If I were 6' 6" and his size, I'd come with a health warning. He is a good ball-player though, and in that regard would fit in quite well. But both Gibson and Hanley in particular (Hanley always looks, to me, as if he's about to deck someone) look like they have a lot more mongrel about them. Good shout with Van Dijk though, but I'd argue that Celtic fans were unanimous about van Dijk's calibre when he went. They're more mixed re. Ajer - certainly plenty of complimentary voices, but more than just a few critical ones here and there.
  20. We've gone past each other a little bit, but I maintain you missed a key point of mine re. partnerships between players superseding individual talent. I'd take Vertonghen and Alderweireld together over ANY permutation of England centre-halves by dint of the fact they've played together at club level and international level for so long and the synergies gained from proven teamwork, IMO, outweigh any perceived deficits in individual ability. Are they as good as England's centre-halves? I'd say they're both slightly on the slide and possibly that Stones is ahead of both now, but I'd definitely say the problems at Spurs have rendered playing in that environment difficult compared to the much more harmonious environment at Man City. When you look at England's team, where are the partnerships? Maybe Gomez and Alexander-Arnold in defence if both were available? Maddison and Vardy would be a good shout together too. Possibly Rashford and Greenwood, or if Sancho comes to Man Utd, then add him. I mentioned Chiellini simply as he is only 2 years younger than Pepe, a player you looked a bit critical of and indeed mentioned his age, yet as you said, Chiellini is an excellent centre-half. I agree that the right-backs in England ranks are better than Semedo (who is still a proven Premiership quality performer so whilst they are better, I don't see a particularly big difference), indeed I said in an earlier post that right-back is a position where England is very well stocked. Totally agree with the first sentence in your last paragraph, but not convinced about the rest of it. Possibly a bit more depth at a certain level, but not necessarily better quality.
  21. His contract runs out next summer. That's why he's potentially on the cheap.
  22. Considering that Hanley was getting a bit of flak when he got back into the team, that's an impressively quick volte-face from Scotland supporters!
  23. To some extent, sure - but not to the same extent, particularly the last one, assuming we all agree that the English league is more congested and physically more arduous to play in considering the number of games / cups and also the speed/physicality at which it is played. I see Portugal a bit differently in terms of talent. Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix might not be stars in the Ronaldo mould, but they're talented enough to be star players in their own right in most teams, indeed Fernandes already does that at United. Pepe's still a good centre-half at 38 and let's face it, Ruben Dias showed himself to be a star centre-half at Manchester City this season. I'd also say Spurs is more of a poorly managed team than a poor team, not to mention Vertonghen and Alderweireld together are a Belgian pairing which are together inherently more than the sum of their parts. You can also say the same of veterans Bonucci and Chiellini for Italy and Juventus - not to mention Chiellini is 36. That leads me to a different matter, namely the notion of partnering players from the same club. I'd argue that Sterling and Foden should be paired up as obviously they know each other's games intimately. In the medium term, if Pickford remains England's number 1, I'd expect to see Godfrey knocking on the door for similar reasons. In other words, partnerships may supersede individual talent to the benefit of a national team. Denayer plays for the fourth best team in France. Pickford and Mings play for mid-table Premier League sides. Agree with the last bit, and I think there's a cogent argument that Grealish or Foden could become that player in the not-too-distant future, particularly Foden. (I think Gilmour might beat them all though from the bits I've seen though. He looks a really complete deep-lying playmaker who is rock-solid in possession).
  24. The bit in bold is why we disagree. I do sort of agree that there could be a mental strength issue as ultimately winning is a habit, but I'd say there are three more prosaic explanations for why England don't do as well as many seem to think they can: 1. Many of the players are somewhat overrated. No-one's said they're crap, they're just a little bit short of being genuinely top-tier / world class in many cases. To use a boxing term, I see a lot of gatekeepers, but very few champions. And I suspect many are somewhat overrated simply as we see them most of the time, and see far less of the rivals. 2. There's often a lot of talent, but with the result that there's a naturally very imbalanced team. If you were to ask me where the real class in English football lies right now, I'd say attacking midfield and right-back. I'd say they are somewhat short in goal, centre-half, defensive midfield and there could be a depth issue up top. In other words, there's a relative weakness in the spine of the team. Very hard to build around that, and I don't blame a manager for being more cautious when confronted with such imbalances. 3. Fatigue. If the Premier League / Championship are not the most physically arduous major national leagues in Europe, I'm hard-pushed to think what is. Throw in the end of a congested, Covid-affected season, and you're more likely to get leggy performances. I think much of this boils down to people erroneously conflating the strength of a Premier League - with a very high proportion of foreign players - with the strength of the national side.
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