Soccer teams?

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What soccer team do you support (if any)

Arsenal
16
13%
Manchester Utd
20
17%
Chelsea
8
7%
Liverpool
11
9%
AC Milllan
8
7%
Juventus
2
2%
Inter Millan
6
5%
Bayern Munich
4
3%
Other
44
37%
 
Total votes : 119

Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:25 pm

Fingers crossed Cavani is really fit for the France game as that could make a very intresting game but yes those two are the ties of the round.

Same here, he came in with the usual doubts but he has been quietly ruthless, brave, willing to look outside the sports, an eye for PR/media handling, man management, found a good system and willingness to exploit advantages. England do seem short a creative threat and that is something he will have to work on after the world cup

Not had much chance to see him play but delighted we are working on the defensive side of things, heard good things and hopefully we give them good coaching.
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:10 pm

On the last eight: France vs Uruguay really missed Cavani as his replacement was abysmal, France carefully in control and came down to key moments, a clever France freekick, a brilliant save from Lloris then just as the South Americans made the double change, a keeping howler from their usually reliable keeper. Brazil vs Belgium was a classic, Brazil should have been strolling in first 15 minutes but missed three huge chances and scored an own goal, then Belgium were in charge. Brazil had their own tactics but hadn't expected the brilliant Lukaku to be played as a right-winger for example, Martinez had been bold and clever and got the better of the classy Tite (who rebuked journalists for trying to blame bad luck). For once Brazil's backline looked shaky as Belgium counter-attacked with skill and pace. Second half did see Brazil pin Belgium back and Chelsea's keeper did well but didn't feel like Brazil were unlucky, they did fairly well but so did the exhausted and well organized Belgium (after the first 15 minutes).

England's game? Not the greatest entrainment but Sweden failed to stop the England tempo after first 20 minutes, England grew into game, looked in control, Sterling's movement provided a threat while Young and Trippier did offer width even after crosses were sometimes slow in coming. That Pickford made three big saves is a concern though against a limited Sweden. I suspect we will see a high press of Croatia's midfield who didn't seem comfortable with it against Demark or Russia (in first half) and seek to try to force the dangerous Rebic back, hope to avoid penalties due to Subasic (though why ref allowed Russia's first penalty taker to wait 10 minutes I will never know, was unfair on him). Croatia haven't quite fired in knock outs, Russia's counter-attacking (though between Dzyba's subbing and Dzgaoev late introduction, Russia lacked a focal point) carried a threat, ok first goal was world class but the late late equalizer was another setplay moment which Croatia admits is a problem. Croatia's attack flickered in moments, Russia will kick themselves for manner they conceded both goals but the midfield duo areen't pulling the strings as they did in the group stage
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:29 pm

I didn't get to see the France or Belgium games. :(

However FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME! For the first time in my life time England have made it a World Cup semi-final. This has so far exceeded all my expectations for the tournament that I've been walking on cloud nine since we beat Sweden. As you say Dong I was frustrated at how slow we moved the ball at time (I was yelling Young's name at the TV screen for about 4 minutes before we finally played it to the wide man in acres of space) and then at Young for not playing the ball in straight away. Pickford had a stunning game though!

I would rather play Croatia than Russia, I just think being the home nation would have meant the fans and players would have been so up for a semi-final against England. Croatia haven't looked good or exciting and I think we could beat them, however even if we don't I'll be satisfied with an epic tournament.

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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:49 am

:cry:

Southgate had taught me to dream again, something I'd been to scared to do with England for a long time. The boys did amazing to get as far as they did and I'm proud of them all - even the Spurs ones - but this morning feels very dark. :lol:
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:12 am

Sun Fin wrote:I've not seen any of Papa either - just read tons of articles and liked sounding informed :lol:


Fair enough :wink: Now give me the low down on our two midfielders!

Heard good things about the Uruguay lad, a holding midfielder who reads the game well defensively and has passing game that should suit Arsenal, seemed tidy for Uruguay. Our midfield shape should be very intresting by Emery with new guy, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil fighting for places

Thoughts on Wilshire going to West Ham?

Sun Fin wrote:However FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME! For the first time in my life time England have made it a World Cup semi-final. This has so far exceeded all my expectations for the tournament that I've been walking on cloud nine since we beat Sweden.


My sister who doesn't watch football (she supports Mexico) has felt the excitement of England's run, it really lifted the country.

France vs Belgium: Two very good teams trying to win, Lloris again made a big save when game in balance, France got the setplay goal and then their already strong defensive unit just killed Belgium. Not in a dirty way but they simply gave the likes of Lukaku, Hazard, Fellani and De Bryune no chance of making anything happen, Martinez used his bench but it smacked of desperation as the back 4 shielded by Matioidi, Kante and Pogba gave them no room, no errors, Varane superb at centreback Meanwhile Mbappe, Griezmann and the disciplined Pogba remained threats, Giroud simply had one of those days in front of goal.

As for England, first 30 was very good. We had control, got the goal, had chances but couldn't take them, Sterling very brought though we used him too much as the outball. Croatia, particularly the dangerous Rebic, grew into the half which was a warning. Second half was about equal with Lingaard and Sterling looking on verge of doing something but Croatia were getting their fullbacks up and wingers into game. They got the goal and we lost it, our legs ran out, passing at the back became panicky, we couldn't get the ball forward as we have in the tournament, Southgate used his bench too slowly and not well (why Sterling off? Rose should have come on earlier, maybe needed to change shape, Deir on for Henderson rather then Loftus-Cheek?) and I get the feeling he only really rates a few of his sub options (Rose, Dier, Rashford). Everything was Croatia and they had all the big moments in second half and extra time, couldn't complain at the result

Great moment for Croatia (I bet Modric's trial will be quietly dropped), a good tournament for England that has rallied support behind team but clearly stuff we need to work on.
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:44 am

I know nothing about the young French lad other than he is unlikely to be a starter for us a few years. I suspect he might well go out on loan this season. The Uruguayan player on the other hand looks like a talented defensive midfielder - exactly what we needed. Early reports suggested Emery wanted to build around Ramsey so I presume they will be our starting central midfield pair with Ozil either on a wing or further up the pitch!

I'm said to see Wilshere go, he was one of us - an Arsenal fan - who gave everything when he played. However I understand for his own prospects he needed the guarantee of regular first team football so I wish him luck.

England has been a different place during this run, I hope the positive atmosphere survives.

I only got to see the first half of the France vs Belgium game, it was a great 45 minutes though! I know there were no goals but both teams were playing attractive football! I hope France win the final, they are the better team.
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:57 am

Sun Fin wrote:I'm said to see Wilshere go, he was one of us - an Arsenal fan - who gave everything when he played. However I understand for his own prospects he needed the guarantee of regular first team football so I wish him luck.


I'm not sure West Ham is a great choice given their board and poor injury record. I think best for both parties that Wilshire left, clearly not high in Emery's plans, Wilshire had done decently but ended up squad player at Bournemouth and Arsenal over last two seasons so a move away is needed to try to revive his career. One wonders what might have been if he not been hit by injury so often and could have developed his game

Sun Fin wrote:England has been a different place during this run, I hope the positive atmosphere survives.


It has. Southgate has been a lesson in media/PR handling, the lack of expectation helped but alas Euro's will see hopes up, willingness to try to play football, the lack of abuse by fans and media. Just so pleasant

Judging by Croatian comments, we may need to drop football coming home as it does not translate in a good way
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:12 am

That is true, on the other hand with their new manager and the investment they've made they should be an up and coming team. They've also got a Lanzini sized whole for the next few months that could be perfect for Wilshere. As you say it would have been fascinating to see where he'd have got without that first awful injury.

Southgate has been superb. It's frustrating with the 'Football's coming home' chants because ultimately they are self-depreciating. The whole song is about how we always mess it up yet we still hold on to our vain hope that someday it might be different. It's as far away from arrogance as you can get! I don't think football fans will stop singing it no matter how many foreign nations misinterpret it.
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:47 am

Fun final. Croatia came in with the right attitude, Persic a constant danger down the left (bar a bizarre spell in first half when they move him to other flank despite his winning his battle with Pavard) Varane and Umitti having to strain every sinew to hold them off but they imploded on setplays. Ok first freekick shouldn't have been given but they went too deep and headed into their own net, Peresic with a classy equalizer and then he decided to throw his hand on the ball. Took a long long time for ref to make decision and Croatia are building the script of evil Argentinian ref but maybe if they defended properly... Second half, Croatia stormed out again but looked like Subasic wasn't fit with the two second half goals he conceded and that, despite their gallant efforts, killed the game.

France again once won by good tactics, use of bench, really strong defensive unit that gives platform for likes of Pogba (feels like questions stating to be asked of Jose now), Griezzman and Mbappe to make things happen, to drive at teams and unlock them via setplay, counter-attack or moment of magic. Giroud still not had a shot on target but he provides the frontal platform for the team
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Re: Soccer teams?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:54 am

Best final for years! I thought France deserved the win and were the better team overall, however the first equalizer made for an entertaining game! Mbappe's status is the up and coming exciting young player has been cemented and as you noted Dong, Mourihno's incredibly negative brand of football should have been put under even further scrutiny.
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