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» One Touch Football - Archive » World Cup » Anti-Portugal Brigade (Page 5)

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Author Topic: Anti-Portugal Brigade
dalliance
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I think there has been precious little informed discussion on the real problems that England face. The tabloid fools went for the scapegoat theory, the more informed press preferred death by a thousand cuts for Eriksson, blaming him solely for 'wasting England's golden generation'.

Now undoubtedly Eriksson has a lot to answer for, but there's plenty of stuff wrong with the English national side that was wrong before he came and will be wrong long after he's shuffled through a few highly paid club jobs.

Eriksson can't be blamed for England's perennial uselessness at trying to adapt to different formations to suit different matches.

His club sides have been based around possession so he can't be blamed for the inability of England to hold possession for any more than a handful of passes before the movement dries up and the only option is to hump it forward lest you get caught in possession.

It's not his fault that the entire squad bar one player plays their club football in a League where lung bursting running is valued over craft and guile, the foreigners provide that useful component.

He is also not at fault because England are utterly, utterly useless at trying to pace themselves through a game when they must be well aware now that they are not going to be able to play Premiership pace for 90 minutes, at the height of summer, in a hotter climate than they are used to.

Eriksson must be scratching his head and wondering why a player like Lampard can record more shots at goal than any other player in the tournament and not come close to scoring, and asking himself why his midfield partner looks so brainless when not wearing a red shirt.

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The Toys R Us Stadium
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although...Urs Meier...are particularly unsympathetic targets

Yes, I can see exactly why he and his family deserved to be hounded by cunts for being spot on with a decision on the football pitch.

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Rory Bunk
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His club sides have been based around possession so he can't be blamed for the inability of England to hold possession for any more than a handful of passes before the movement dries up and the only option is to hump it forward lest you get caught in possession.

Speaking from my obvious Australian bias, I'd say that Guus Hiddink, drawing primarily from players plying their trade in England, managed in around 9 months to instil a respect for possession in the Australian side which Sven should have managed to do in his 5 and a half years in charge. This meant that we were able to dominate possession in games when it was in our interests to not have our opponents seeing much of the ball.

Neill, Emerton and to a lesser extent, Moore were all able to change their EPL habits, and even frequent Bristol City substitute Luke Wilkshire showed great composure in keeping possession against the eventual World champions.

Obviously, were Sven to pick such a left-field selection in Central midfield at the expense of one of the big names, his nuts would be hung from the tower of London by a hostile media and public within microseconds, but if he believed in what he was doing, the results would vindicate him.

Whereas he managed to make a stupid left-field gamble in Walcott, he wasn't good enough to have identified anyone else in his 5 and a half years watching football in England who could fulfil a role in a system, or who could adapt to different systems. Even Owen Hargreaves was only properly tried right at the end.

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dalliance
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Fair point about Hiddink, Australia certainly played the most assured football I have ever seen by them and they were decent at maintaining possession when attacking. They still attacked quite quickly and directly though - I don't mean long ball here.

England of course struggled to manage even though I was seeking to refer as much to the ability to keep the ball for no better reason than to allow players to take a breather or to make the opponents chase around a bit and tire them out. Quite important in the temperatures they played.

The Eriksson era undoubtedly fizzled out in ignominy but all of these problems are problems that we could identify with England under any manager you like from just about any era. The one exception in my lifetime was Venables Euro 96 team which could live technically with the best sides when it hit it's stride and didn't just rely on power and running to get them through.

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Hieronymus Bosch
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Australia did use the long ball a few times in the first round, against Japan and Croatia when they were in dire need of a goal and time was running out. This was the cue for the beanpole striker Kennedy to come off the bench and a number of high balls to be pumped in his direction.

However, they didn't use this tactic at all in the game against Italy which was probably their best performance of the tournament.

I think the Venables era (which essentially amounted to five home games) was too brief to be held up as an example of anything, and let's not forget that England were bollocks in two of those five games and fairly average in another.

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Joe Public
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quote:
Eriksson can't be blamed for England's perennial uselessness at trying to adapt to different formations to suit different matches.

His club sides have been based around possession so he can't be blamed for the inability of England to hold possession for any more than a handful of passes before the movement dries up and the only option is to hump it forward lest you get caught in possession.

In all the time he was in charge he should have made a significant difference, though. And he didn't. Rory Bunk was spot on in measuring Eriksson's failings against what Hiddink achieved in a few months.

I'm not for crucifying an individual for the shambles that was England's World Cup campaign but the man in pole position to make an impact on the football culture of our national team made absolutely none at all.

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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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Why would the players change though, they are superstars in their clubs, they are constantly told they are the best, the envy of the world, playing in the best league in the world. It's hard for them to fathom that what they are doing is not the right thing, whatever the coach in charge says.
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Joe Public
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Hiddink would have made a stronger case to them, I feel.
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ursus arctos
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Not to mention the fact that they may actually have realised that it worked.
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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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I'm not absolving SGE btw, he has been a weak manager, enthralled with his star players but for me the biggest problem is the mindset of the players.
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ursus arctos
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The theory, Moitie, is that mindset is largely (though not exclusively) of SGE's creation.

If the FA had canned Sven and brought in Hiddink (for example), and if Hiddink had dropped Becks (or stopped playing all of them in midfield, or made another unmistakable statement that things had changed), I think it is more than possible that the players would have responded.

Look at what Lippi was able to do with a group of players who are subject to arguably similar "bigging up" at home.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
Why would the players change though, they are superstars in their clubs, they are constantly told they are the best, the envy of the world, playing in the best league in the world. It's hard for them to fathom that what they are doing is not the right thing, whatever the coach in charge says.
Well, look at the sea-change in Gerrard's attitude and performance after a coach had the nerve to douse his heaed in cold water and tell him what he should be doing. This despite the fact that Roy-of-the-Rovers stuff has been happening in the pitch to Gerrard which ought to make his ego blast off into space.
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Hieronymus Bosch
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I Am The Man might be playing well under Benitez, but he is still as much of a raving egomaniac as he ever was.
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dalliance
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quote:
Look at what Lippi was able to do with a group of players who are subject to arguably similar "bigging up" at home.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The difference being that Lippi had players with a fallback position when they weren't playing well of not allowing the opposition much of the ball for them to play well instead.

Possession football was the enemy of the English as ever.

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and I am the life
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Yeah, the hypo-egotistical Hamlet really hasn't changed has he. I mean it's only a year since he was telling rafa who to buy.

That doesn't mean that he can't be told what to do on the pitch within reason. He does think that he is rivaldo, but he can be directed.

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