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Author Topic: The Final: Portugal v Greece
The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
TV - I, on the other hand, have not seen enough of Gerrard ... from what I have seen (he) ... can't tackle
Excellent argumentation there - he makes an assertion and then backs it up with supporting evidence. Well done, that man. Now go and watch Gerrard sufficiently that you no longer say such mad things.
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Defensive-minded
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I haven't seen Gerrard and Lampard playing in the Premier League this season, so I can't make a judgement on who of them should be playing the central role. But I saw enough at Euro 2004 to see that England's midfield were having problems in dispossesing the opposition. Gerrard's lunging tackle which was awarded with the yellow card was proof enough here. They were also quite often standing too deep and allowing the other side to take shots (Portugal's 2-1) and crosses instead of challenging their midfield further upfield.
In any case, that wasn't the point I was making, Minotoro.

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Phoebe Disco
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My suggestion before Euro 2004 was to play Hargreaves in a holding role. He's quick, fit, can pass, tackle and is also good at taking corners and free kicks. He's good on the overlap and gets back to cover up for defenders going forward.

I've probably seen more of Hargreaves in Euro 2004 than I have before, but as I said on a previous thread, he was probably England's best midfielder, with Phil Neville second. Bearing in mind how little both played, it's hardly a glowing endorsement of those who started. He sounds like the sort of player who can cover Frank Lampard the way that Makelele has for Chelsea this season.

I haven't seen Phil Neville play much (due to not living in England) but whenever I have, he's either been crap or very ordinary and I can't see anyone else who is able to play the defensive role in a constructive way.

Solid, but unspectacular would be my description. Doesn't make many mistakes, but doesn't do anything to really stand out.

Hargreaves would actually also be a good replacement for Beckham. He would give the right side more pace and allow Neville to go forward more.

From what you've said about Hargreaves, he sounds a better bet in the centre. Wright-Phillips and Dyer both have pace, both have the ability to beat players, and both have played fullback and wingback, and seem to understand the defending aspects of the game more than Captain Ego. They would allow Neville to get forward more, and also have the wherewithal to cover for him if he gets caught out on one of his forays upfield.

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Mat Pereira
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Fucking hell. Look at the size of this thread, man.

It's practically a fucking book now.

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Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan
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quote:
Art, all I said was that players deemed "average" in the Premiership might have another dimension when playing in a different setting, be it national team or a different league. The same reasoning applies to other leagues. Take Tomason who was a failure at Newcastle and therefore by Premiership standard, a waste yet with Denmark and AC, he has flourished. The reverse applies to Henry, say.
I know, but it doesn't mean that there's nothing in it - you have to judge a player to an extent on how they play at club football, of course you do - it's not the only thing, but it's a pretty major thing. Plus your point only really holds true if the player has looked unsuited, or has underperformed in the Premiership. Obviously a player can fail in any league for reasons other than their ability - both Tommasson here, and Henry in Italy, were played out of poosition, for example - but none of the players that I mentioned fit that description, or have looked better, worse, or in any way different in international football to the Premiership, or to any other league.

quote:
I personnaly think the influx of foreigners has not influenced English players, it had a different effect, the foreigners do a job, the English another one, both essential to a team competing in the country, but with the consequence that when a team with only English players they lack the element that the foreign element brings. A situation which also affects Spain, Italy. It’s strange, when the foreign influx started, I just arrived in England. I also thought it would affect the game here but it has remained very much the same and so far there seems to be little effect on younger players. For every Beckahm who took at heart Cantona’s after hours training sessions, how many wasters like Dyer have squandered their talent and got away with it by "well, being able to run all over the pitch really".

You see, I don't think this is true. Firstly, I don't think that home and foreign players (anywhere) do different jobs. Certainly here there's a mix - creative foreign players, creative english players (really), as well more pragmatic players from home and abroad. There's no clear divide, and managers don't think "Oh, we need someone who can pass now, we'll go abroad" - foreign players aren't generally signed for different reasons to home players (ultimately, to improve the squad in whatever way), except for the fact that they're usually cheaper.

[quote]England, when taken into consideration the amount of money available to its clubs, the number of licensed players, the strength in depth of professional football, has not produced nearly enough top club teams and a top national team. Denmark and the likes have nowhere near what England has hence starting to compare England with them is a moot point. A bit like comparing what a city like Reading has to offer set against London... Fact is Greece can win an Euro and you can’t. No matter how you look at it, there is something wrong with that state of affairs (glorious unpredictability of football aside obviously...)

I know that England have underachieved (although if I'd said that...), and being better than Denmark doesn't ordinarily prove anything. But in this case, people are acting like we're worse than everyone, when we're clearly not - the automatic "foreign = good" attitude ignores the fact that we're better than most teams. All I was saying in my last post, is that if you compare us to the entire continent, of course we're going to come off second best. But compared to most countries, we do OK.

quote:
As for Rooney, the minute he stops getting "stuck in" and he has a few off games, he will get slaughtered by comments about his "attitude" and his lack of hunger just like Beckham has been during this Euro. I put this comment about Rooney being better off abroad. I said the same about Joe Cole when he was still a talent talked about in the same hushed tones we talk about Rooney nowadays and look what happened to him, he stayed here and now he has lost his sparkle but he can get stuck in like the rest of the lads. It’s not good for a national team to have 95% of its players playing in the same league, it limits their adaptability to different situations.
You see, this is exactly what I mean. If Rooney stops playing well, or producing, then people will naturally be frustrated. If his attitude (no inverted commas) is actually wrong, or he is actually lazy, then he'll be criticised - which is the right thing to do. Nothing to do with "getting stuck in". Players all over the world get dropped if they're lazy, unprofessional or ineffective, it's no different to here, but when Milan drop Rivaldo because of his bad attitude, then as if by magic, the inverted commas have gone. It's a question of perspective, and like I'm saying, you (two) see identical things that happen here and abroad with a completely different perspective, based on your pre-conceived ideas about us. And it becomes self-fulfilling, and as a result, your opinions are unlikely to change in the face of anything.

Edit -

Oh, and I forgot to mention. You can't really compare Joe Cole to Rooney - although both of them were spoken of in similar terms before, and at the very beginning, of their professional careers, but beyond that, Cole hasn't had nearly as much praise as Rooney. Why? Because he hasn't delivered nearly as much as Rooney has. Also, Beckham's not a very good example - he's not criticised for not showing enough hunger - if anything, his problem is showing too much hunger, as TG has pointed out. People are criticising him because he played badly in Euro 2004.

quote:
TG, myself and other are not having a go at the English people for being stupid,
Well...

quote:
we are having a go at a coaching system which does not evolve and a football culture which values effort over talent (obviously if the talent comes with effort, it’s fine as in the case of Rooney) and quite frankly, this is something which goes beyond football in my opinion. We also totally oppose the idea that English people are unable to become as sparkling as any Brazilian or Spanish, with a bit of vision this country could be streets ahead but heck, better blame the ref and conspiracies...
I'm not saying everything is perfect in the English game, and that everyone's attitude to the game is spot on. Of course it isn't - and nor is it anywhere. What I am saying is, it's not nearly as bad as is being made out. If you dismiss all the coaches as being sargeant-major types, if you dismiss all the players as being clueless neanderthals, and all the fans as dour cynics, then it ignores all the people that aren't like that - the coaches that are trying to do the right thing, the players that do have talent, and fans that do want to see good football - which is much more than you'd think, massively so in the case of the fans. If you put every defeat and every failing down to our "footballing culture", and foreigners just being better, then you end up missing any other reason there might be.

[ 12-07-2004, 11:55: Message edited by: Art Vandelay ]

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ooh aah
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quote:
Fucking hell. Look at the size of this thread, man.

It's practically a fucking book now.

And most of it isn't even about Portugal v Greece.
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Mat Pereira
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Ah, no, I wouldn't have expected it to be either. That was probably talked-out about eight pages ago.

I wasn't actually having a pop or owt, it's just, you know, fucking hell, look how big the fucking thing is..

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ooh aah
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I'd certainly say the thread was more interesting than the game
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Malcolm X
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Hello all I’m back……

Art I will now continue the rebuttal to your post from last Friday. I would also thank you for persisting as I like a good argument and I am sure you are learning quite a lot from our encounter.
Also to all the other OTFers who feel that they can smell the TG’s blood and are circling like piranha’s biting occasionally, well lets have ya with your error strewn posts that bear the hallmarks of the football you advocate. Plenty of effort, very little skill and an example of your tactical naivety. I call it determination posting. Get stuck in lads.

Art.

“This is more circular reasoning:

"Foreigners are the only decent players in the Premiership"
"Why do you think that?"
"Because the only English players that look decent are carried by the foreigners"
"But why do you think that?"
"Because foreigners are the only decent players in the Premiership"

Well in Euro 2004, 11 Englishmen had the opportunity to show how good they are without the guiding hand of their foreign teammates and as a whole were not very impressive. Whether you agree with me or not it must be a factor worth considering.

“There will probably always be foreigners in every Premiership team, so that excuse will always be there, irrespective of the facts. Just like the examples that you mentioned - I mean, Hamman's a decent player, but no one in their right mind would think that he carries Gerrard. And Makelele - well, he's a great player, but he's been slightly disappointing - Lampard's been much better. But no, it must be the foreigners - they are better. Why? Because they are.”

I have not been disappointed with Makelele, he has done a sterling job and Chelsea look a much better team with him in it. If Gerrard and Lampard were so great, then they would have performed without their club mates holding their hand. In Euro 2004, they looked like 6 year old who have lost their parents in Tesco’s.

“Again - how does this fit in with your point about Italy's draw with Sweden being Trappatoni's fault? Double standards, again.”

Not double standards that is Italy’s style of play. Italians are bred to play that type of football the English are not. Although this tournament has shown that this tactic is no longer as successful as it once was, if anyone is going to carry it off, I would have more confidence in the Italians achieving it than the English.

“Yes, I know full well that we could, and ought to do better. But if a lot of what you, and other England detractors here say is true, then we would be a lot worse than this. The attitude that continentals, and foreigners in general are automatically, always, better at football, doesn't square with the fact that England are a fairly consistent Quarter-Final team, which is not great, but it's not evidence of a bad team.”

England get far in tournaments, as they are very difficult to beat and are ruthless in taking their chances. Quarter Finalists on a regular basis is pretty good, it is the performances that upset people. It is the tactical inflexibility, the technical deficiency that is worrying.

“Oh, even I know that Germany's run in the World Cup was pretty lucky - easy opponents, and at least three really crap performances.”

The same could (and has) been said about England.

“Most of the rest of Germany's team is pretty mediocre, far worse than the England team that you're looking at in a far less favourable light.”

So is England’s on what I have seen, If Germany had strikers of the quality of Rooney and Owen, they would have got a lot further than the Quarter final. Both teams are difficult to beat and concede very few goals in competitive games, England took their few chances and Germany fluffed theirs.

“Liverpool's academy does teach football the right way, the players that have come through are all technically able. And Steve Heighway is hardly Tommy Smith.”

Can you please name the technical able players please?

“Well, firstly, I did acknowledge the first point - of course Greece (for example) has foreigners, but less. They have less money, and the league is considered weaker, so the foreigners that they attract aren't as good, or aren't as proven, so it's easier, or just as easy, to develop your own players.”

It would be interesting to see the percentage of foreign players in the Greek Premier league to the English Premier League.
Anyway the calibre of players is relative. The Greek players in your opinion are not as good as the English ones. The foreigners in the premiership are probably slightly better or similar standard to the indigenous lot. This is probably the same for Greece. So the pressures on the local youth to make it are probably the same. I just think the young English players are poor and the good ones cannot develop as they are hyped out of all proportion and stop improving at an early age, (Dunn, Cole, Owen, Dyer, Wright etc…..) again, it is the fault of the coaching system.

“The fact that there's more money also means there's more pressure, and greater expectations, so you're going to go for the easy, short-term, and less risky option.”

This is as valid in every professional league in the world, not just in England.

“There used to be a lot less money in the English game, so a lot more players came through the youth team, and were bought from local clubs.”

There used to be more younger players coming through, not because of the financial situation, but because our labour laws made it almost impossible to bring in a foreign player. The criteria that had to be met for a work permit to be granted made it not worth the hassle.

“To put it another way, most of the successful teams in Euro 2004 had a significant proportion of their players playing abroad, whereas the four countries I mentioned had very few. Like I say - exporting nations are doing better.”

I think a large number of the Greek squad were home based. Ditto Portugal. And the players who were based abroad were playing in the big leagues. With the same star players that flopped. So I don’t know what point you are making.

“I said, they have, and you said, well, its just talk - which is all you were asking for, in that instance. The goalposts moved slightly there.”

Not moving the goalposts, before Euro 2004, nobody mentioned the technical inferiority of the English players. It is only brought up afterwards after failure, then there is a debate about learning from other nations, nothing gets done and then the 2 year hype begins again until the next tournament failure.

Granted, England had better results this time around, but I seriously think they played better football against better teams

“But if all the football in the premiership is played by foreigners, why is it unfair to judge foreign players by their performances in the premiership?”

Because there is more to football than just the premiership.
There is also international and pan European football.
Some English players look great in the premiership yet are rubbish in Internationals, which leads me to think that maybe they are, not as good as they are made out to be.

“5 - Milan Baros (CZE)
4 - Wayne Rooney (ENG), Ruud van Nistelrooy (NED)
3 - Frank Lampard (ENG), Henrik Larsson (SWE), Jon Dahl Tomasson (DEN), Zinedine Zidane (FRA)

fuck me there seem to be a lot of premiership players there.”

And a lot of foreigners too.

Okocha was top scorer in the last ANC, but that doesn’t matter cos it is a tin pot tournament unlike the Euro and the Copa America.

“The attitude that foreigners can't be judged by their Premiership performances somewhat contradicts the idea that foreigners are the only decent players here. And of course, it's usually from the same people.”

People like me I suspect. My point is you cannot rate people only on their league performances; you have to take it as a package. Henry has shown in the last two tournaments that he is not as good as we first thought. RVN has shown in Euro 2004 that he can be as prolific in the big competitions as he is at club level. John Dahl Tomasson has shown that his form in WC2002 is no fluke.

Ooh Ahh.

“But to be successful will need to have a player with genuine pace.”
So they can have yet another player to chase the long balls.

“And England need to bring in Keiron Dyer or Wright-Phillips or anyone with some sort of pace. They'll still go out in the quarters mind, but at least it won't be so painful to watch for the neutrals.”

I agree with this point though.

“Like I say, clever, and good passers of the ball, but they don't have the genius that can turn a match, and there's no-one there that can really take players on.”

So in effect they have decent basic ability but lack a creative spark. But these are good players you tell me. What is it that makes them very good players? Hard work and graft would be my reply and when they do not display this hard work and graft? Well they become they players you saw at Euro 2004.

“And I don't buy the idea that our players can't. One of the examples you point to is Deco playing at right-back, well if we put an attacking midfielder at right-back, then you'd have a go - it would be tactically inept, a waste of talent. And evidence of the clueless, backs-to-the-wall tactics that we so love.”

That is a poor poor argument and you know it. Portugal took off their defenders and threw on more attacking players to get the equaliser against England, when that objective was achieved they reverted to a more orthodox formation with deco moved to right back. If they started with that formation, then I would have passed scathing comment.

“What, all of them? Even the ones that didn't do any better? Like, all of the Swedes and Danes there?”
Did England have a holding midfielder that preformed better than Tobias linderoth in Euro 2004? Did they have a playmaker that played better than Thomas Gravesson in this tournament (or the last to that matter)?

“Does this mean that Greece's midfielders are better than France's?”

In the tournament, they definitely were and when you said the English midfielders would walk into most teams, I said, that based on their performances in Euro 2004 no.

“England made negative substitutions too, against France (Heskey for Rooney!), and they didn't really retreat until about this point - of course, they shouldn't have at all, but the idea that England were under the cosh from the moment they took the lead is wrong.”

I suggest you watch the game again. England were well into defensive mode when Rooney left the pitch. And replacing him for Heskey is not in my opinion a defensive substitution.

“So England should play Neanderthal football, now? So what have you been complaining about? This is what I mean - we can't win. Like I say, England have put in good, composed defensive performances recently, but in Euro 2004 they changed to much more cowardly, and ultimately inept, tactics.”

No they should not have defended on the edge of their box and punt the ball upfield every time they won it. It may have worked against Argentina in WC2002 and the Qualifier in Istanbul, but France and Portugal of Euro 2004 are better sides.

“Sorry to stumble into this thread like this, (and unless TG was making a joke) but surely the above ranks as the one of the weakest arguments I have ever seen. Its seems based upon the fact that Englands inability to win Olympic gold medals or African Cup of Nations is to do with being inferior to Nigeria rather than, just for example, its inability to enter these second class competitions.”

My point is that Nigeria’s performances in International competitions are superior to Englands’. I was not comparing tournaments. Nigeria are one of the top teams on their continent in a way England like to think they are. The difference being that we consistently prove this with out results, England does not. Our performances in the World cup are only slightly worse than England’s. We beat European opposition on a regular basis and the result between the two teams has been a 1-0 loss and a 0-0 draw in the last world cup. And I firmly believe that Nigeria would beat England if the English weren’t so afraid to play us.

Digitalfyssas, I know England won the world cup (in highly dubious circumstances I might add). But it was 40 years ago and football has moved on a tad since then.

Uncle Ethan.

“TG, why does a comment made by Dalliance, who is Scottish, inflame your desire to see England lose?”
Because some of the pish he comes out with is the typical pompous rubbish lovers of English football come out with. However not as often as they did 20 years ago. Plus I don’t need to waste my Juju on Scotland losing.

“The mid to late Seventies especially offered a real chance for England to change its focus from brawn to brains. Nothing was done to take that opportunity.”

But England played better football 30 years ago than they do now. There is an over emphasis on size and athleticism to the detriment of skill.

“Excellent argumentation there - he makes an assertion and then backs it up with supporting evidence. Well done, that man. Now go and watch Gerrard sufficiently that you no longer say such mad things.”

Minitoro, Gerrard does lunge in a lot and in international football, there are less 50-50 challenges to contest, and area where Gerrard with his size and long legs excel.

TV,

Dropping Beckham is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Come the autumn, he would probably have re-discovered his zest for hard work. It just has to be pointed out to him that bigmansim will not be tolerated in the England team and if he continues, he will lose his captaincy and his place.

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Zola's Moukoko
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'But England played better football 30 years ago than they do now. There is an over emphasis on size and athleticism to the detriment of skill'

I must disagree with this as surely the mid 1970s represented English footballs nadir. There was a lenghty gap betwwen the era of Greaves, Charlton and Moore and the era of Hoddle, Gazza and Barnes i.e players dependent on skill.

Indeed this thread raises the question, one that i have never seen satisfactorily answered, how come the England football team of the 1974 to 1984 period was so dire yet the same players , with the same technical and tactical limitations, were able to dominate European club football in a way no other country has acheived before or since?

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ooh aah
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Because key players in those teams usually came from Scotland, and sometimes Wales and N Ireland.
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Etienne
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And indeed the Republic of Ireland.
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and I am the life
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Well in Euro 2004, 11 Englishmen had the opportunity to show how good they are without the guiding hand of their foreign teammates and as a whole were not very impressive. Whether you agree with me or not it must be a factor worth considering

Wow, I wonder what happens if you apply this logic to patrick vieira and thierry Henry? without ray parlour and big sol, they completely lose their spine? or without the calming influence of Wes brown, mikael silvestre turns to jelly.

I have not been disappointed with Makelele, he has done a sterling job and Chelsea look a much better team with him in it. If Gerrard and Lampard were so great, then they would have performed without their club mates holding their hand. In Euro 2004, they looked like 6 year old who have lost their parents in Tesco’s.

To be honest, I don't remember makelele doing anything at all for France, nor do I remember Hamann covering himself in glory. At least Lampard scored three goals.

Why on earth do you think that managers sign foreigners to 'mind' their English counterparts? THis isn't a case of a manager trying to protect his english player by tacking on a boring foreigner. Maybe its not because the English players are any worse than these players, but that they are complementary.

Perhaps It is a case of managers trying to build a balanced team. Maybe this is a ploy that SGE could have used, But then he'd probably be a better manager than he is.

England get far in tournaments, as they are very difficult to beat and are ruthless in taking their chances. Quarter Finalists on a regular basis is pretty good, it is the performances that upset people. It is the tactical inflexibility, the technical deficiency that is worrying.

But TG, it is these first two characteristics that make you good at tournament football. For a desperately boring team England were the tournaments joint top scorers and scored as many goals as the czechs in one less game. Does that not hint that the problem isn't necessarily with the players, but perhaps with the way that they are organised?

“Liverpool's academy does teach football the right way, the players that have come through are all technically able. And Steve Heighway is hardly Tommy Smith.”

Can you please name the technical able players please?


Hold on, the number of players from the liverpool academy that make it into the first team isn't down to Steve Heighway and is no reflection whatsoever on the players that he produces. Its down to Gerard Houllier, who gave a chance to only one youth team player after his very first week when he picked out Steven Gerrard. (Stephen Wright)

Because there is more to football than just the premiership.
There is also international and pan European football.
Some English players look great in the premiership yet are rubbish in Internationals, which leads me to think that maybe they are, not as good as they are made out to be.


Hold on, this doesn't hold. Why for instance did Alan Quinn look better against Holland, than David Beckham did in any game of Euro 2004. Is it because he is a technically better footballer? or is it because he was given a particular task to carry out, one that he was suited to?

5 - Milan Baros (CZE)
4 - Wayne Rooney (ENG), Ruud van Nistelrooy (NED)
3 - Frank Lampard (ENG), Henrik Larsson (SWE), Jon Dahl Tomasson (DEN), Zinedine Zidane (FRA)

fuck me there seem to be a lot of premiership players there.”

And a lot of foreigners too.


Yes, but there are still more english players than any other nationality tg. It's not exactly evidence of English players being cut out.

“Does this mean that Greece's midfielders are better than France's?”

In the tournament, they definitely were and when you said the English midfielders would walk into most teams, I said, that based on their performances in Euro 2004 no.


Hold on TG, how can you compare the Greek and French midfielders. They did two completely different sets of things. The French midfielders were given the task of controlling the midfield and laying siege to their opponents goal, as well as defending.

The Greek midfielders were only expected to defend. They are not comparable. I have no doubt whatsoever that if the French wanted to send out a midfield that would only acts as a blanket to smother the midfield, then they could. They tried to do something a little more adventurous though.

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Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan
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quote:
Well in Euro 2004, 11 Englishmen had the opportunity to show how good they are without the guiding hand of their foreign teammates and as a whole were not very impressive. Whether you agree with me or not it must be a factor worth considering.
But you could say the same about Spain, or Italy, or France. But I bet you wouldn't.

quote:
I have not been disappointed with Makelele, he has done a sterling job and Chelsea look a much better team with him in it. If Gerrard and Lampard were so great, then they would have performed without their club mates holding their hand. In Euro 2004, they looked like 6 year old who have lost their parents in Tesco’s.
I'm not saying Makelele has been bad, but he hasn't lived up to how he played at Real Madrid. In any case, Chelsea's midfield is often rotated - but Lampard isn't. That tells its own story, but the fact that Lampard has had several different midfield partners, not all of them foreign, and has played consistently well, suggests that his success isn't exactly down to the foreigners "holding his hand".

quote:
England get far in tournaments, as they are very difficult to beat and are ruthless in taking their chances. Quarter Finalists on a regular basis is pretty good, it is the performances that upset people. It is the tactical inflexibility, the technical deficiency that is worrying.
If they were nearly as bad as you say they are, none of this would be true.

quote:
"Oh, even I know that Germany's run in the World Cup was pretty lucky - easy opponents, and at least three really crap performances."

The same could (and has) been said about England.

Admit it though. No it hasn't. No it couldn't. If Germany had been in England's group, then they probably would have been knocked out in the group stages.

quote:
"Most of the rest of Germany's team is pretty mediocre, far worse than the England team that you're looking at in a far less favourable light."

So is England’s on what I have seen, If Germany had strikers of the quality of Rooney and Owen, they would have got a lot further than the Quarter final. Both teams are difficult to beat and concede very few goals in competitive games, England took their few chances and Germany fluffed theirs.

No, this just isn't true. They were awful against Latvia. Latvia. And it wasn't just down to chances taken. They were largely quite poor against the Czechs, too. They have decent players, but apart from Ballack, and perhaps Kahn, none would get into the England first XI.

quote:
"Liverpool's academy does teach football the right way, the players that have come through are all technically able. And Steve Heighway is hardly Tommy Smith."

Can you please name the technical able players please?

Very polite. Anyway, the players that have come through at Liverpool, and played a reasonable number of games, are: Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Mike Marsh, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Dominic Matteo and Stephen Wright. Possibly more that I've forgotten.

Now not all of those players are skilful, or creative players. Obviously. But some are, and they all have technical ability - they can all pass the ball, and control the ball well.

quote:
It would be interesting to see the percentage of foreign players in the Greek Premier league to the English Premier League.

Anyway the calibre of players is relative. The Greek players in your opinion are not as good as the English ones. The foreigners in the premiership are probably slightly better or similar standard to the indigenous lot. This is probably the same for Greece. So the pressures on the local youth to make it are probably the same. I just think the young English players are poor and the good ones cannot develop as they are hyped out of all proportion and stop improving at an early age, (Dunn, Cole, Owen, Dyer, Wright etc...) again, it is the fault of the coaching system.

I would imagine there are less foreigners there. But the calibre of players is important. The foreigners that we get here are more proven than they get in Greece. But untried young players, taken individually, are just as proven the world over. i.e. they're not. The difference between picking Djibril Cisse and Neil Mellor is a lot less than the difference between an equivalent comparison at say, Panathinaikos, where they'd be choosing between someone on the fringes of the Serbian national team, and the top scorer for their youth team.

quote:
"The fact that there's more money also means there's more pressure, and greater expectations, so you're going to go for the easy, short-term, and less risky option."

This is as valid in every professional league in the world, not just in England.

Well, it's not. To take Greece, for example: they get 3 CL spots, and there are three big clubs - they would have to fail pretty spectacuarly to not qualify. Once they get there they're not expected to get past the group stage. No-one else is expected to do very much at all, really - relegation from the Greek league (or almost any other league) does not have anything like the same repercussions as relegation from the English Premier League.

quote:
There used to be more younger players coming through, not because of the financial situation, but because our labour laws made it almost impossible to bring in a foreign player. The criteria that had to be met for a work permit to be granted made it not worth the hassle.
Thay may be part of it, but that doesn't explain why it's happened elsehwere too. Money plays a large part, for the two reasons I mentioned.

quote:
I think a large number of the Greek squad were home based. Ditto Portugal. And the players who were based abroad were playing in the big leagues. With the same star players that flopped. So I don’t know what point you are making.
8 and 7 respectively. Less than I expected, but more than the big leagues. The point I'm making, is, if you can make money from developing players, and when you get a great (or often good) player, they want to go abroad anyway, then you're more likely to develop them.

quote:
Not moving the goalposts, before Euro 2004, nobody mentioned the technical inferiority of the English players. It is only brought up afterwards after failure, then there is a debate about learning from other nations, nothing gets done and then the 2 year hype begins again until the next tournament failure.
Well, of course people were more vocal after the abject failure, but where wouldn't this be the case? But people were still questioning whether we were good enough beforehand, bearing in mind how crap we were in qualifying and the warm-up.

England are criticised by fans and pundits when they play genuinely bad football. The most criticised and derided England team was Graham Taylor's - long-ball tactics, limited players, the ultimate in determination football. It's a period that's looked back with horror, and disbelief.

quote:
"The attitude that foreigners can't be judged by their Premiership performances somewhat contradicts the idea that foreigners are the only decent players here. And of course, it's usually from the same people."

People like me I suspect. My point is you cannot rate people only on their league performances; you have to take it as a package. Henry has shown in the last two tournaments that he is not as good as we first thought. RVN has shown in Euro 2004 that he can be as prolific in the big competitions as he is at club level. John Dahl Tomasson has shown that his form in WC2002 is no fluke.

But you can't ignore the league, or any club football. A lot of the players that disappointed in Euro 2004 have done well for their national teams in qualifiers, too. I mean, obviously they all ought to have done better, particularly as this is the top level, but you can't make an absolute judgement on a player, based on a few games, in essentially a cup competition.

quote:
"Like I say, clever, and good passers of the ball, but they don't have the genius that can turn a match, and there's no-one there that can really take players on.

So in effect they have decent basic ability but lack a creative spark. But these are good players you tell me. What is it that makes them very good players? Hard work and graft would be my reply and when they do not display this hard work and graft? Well they become they players you saw at Euro 2004.

No. You misunderstand me. It's not basic ability - they can pass the ball well, they have good vision, good control, and can finish well. What they don't have is amazing skill on the ball, to take players on, or amazing vision where they can spot passes almost no-one else can. Obviously it's a problem that we don't have players like that, but it doesn't mean that the ones we do have are rubbish.

quote:
"What, all of them? Even the ones that didn't do any better? Like, all of the Swedes and Danes there?"

Did England have a holding midfielder that preformed better than Tobias linderoth in Euro 2004? Did they have a playmaker that played better than Thomas Gravesson in this tournament (or the last to that matter)?

Well, Linderoth looked OK, if unspectacular to me, Gravesen looked (and is) good, admittedly, but he benefitted from playing in a more attack-minded team than England, and one with good wingers, so he had more options to find passes.

quote:
"Does this mean that Greece's midfielders are better than France's?"

In the tournament, they definitely were and when you said the English midfielders would walk into most teams, I said, that based on their performances in Euro 2004 no.

But all of France's midfield would still get into Greece's. Greece clearly performed better, and were better managed, but France have the better players.

quote:
"England made negative substitutions too, against France (Heskey for Rooney!), and they didn't really retreat until about this point - of course, they shouldn't have at all, but the idea that England were under the cosh from the moment they took the lead is wrong."

I suggest you watch the game again. England were well into defensive mode when Rooney left the pitch. And replacing him for Heskey is not in my opinion a defensive substitution.

Well, they were under pressure at that time, but it was pressure that could have passed. Taking off one of your main outlets for the ball, isn't going to help this. "Negative" isn't the same as "defensive", and Heskey for Rooney was certainly a negative substitution, for that reason - basically saying, instead of having strikers that can keep it, we'll stick a big lad up front. If you do that, then you're quite obviously going to give the ball away more often, and as such put yourself under more pressure. So my point still holds - a substitution made a major contribution to England's retreat.

quote:
"So England should play Neanderthal football, now? So what have you been complaining about? This is what I mean - we can't win. Like I say, England have put in good, composed defensive performances recently, but in Euro 2004 they changed to much more cowardly, and ultimately inept, tactics."

No they should not have defended on the edge of their box and punt the ball upfield every time they won it. It may have worked against Argentina in WC2002 and the Qualifier in Istanbul, but France and Portugal of Euro 2004 are better sides.

No. The Argentina and Turkey games were nothing like the two defensive performances in Euro 2004. England didn't defend deep, or hoof it clear, they weren't under major pressure (except for the last few minutes against Argentina), they were in control, and passing it well. But Eriksson changed his plan in Euro 2004.
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Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan
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quote:
I'm not saying Makelele has been bad
Sounds like the beginning of a joke, that.
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