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Julius

FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018

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Yeah, I feel a change is needed now. Get Rashford on. Croatia are having a lot of the ball, but they've done nothing with it. No pace in their team at all and their crosses have been dire. England need to just kill this game off now.

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Fucking typical. The one decent cross they put in and they score. Tbh, they've been the better team after half time. I still think England will win, but definitely a change is needed.

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All Croatia. England need to get the ball and just hold onto it. Rashford, like I said earlier, should have come on about 10 minutes earlier. At the moment, Croatia look more likely to get a second.

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This England midfield is like a 5-a-side team. They do best when they win the ball quickly, move it on and get it up the field fast. There's no real control in there and nobody can really get hold of it and slow things down, or set the tempo. It's not on a par with, say, France's midfield. That's what it may boil down to in the end, the lack of control in midfield.

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This is a footballing lesson in how not to rely on a one-nil lead and to take your chances.

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Just now, bob said:

I'd rather not be watching this.

I hope that the break before extra time gave them a chance to regroup. Croatia have been through extra time three times now...so they must be knackered. Just need to exploit that, if we can. 

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We didn't take our chances in the first half and we got punished for it. It's as simple as that. 

Still, the lads should be proud of how far they've come. They got farther than most were expecting and the team is young and have plenty of time to grow. 

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I cant complain too much. We got a lot further than we thought we would.

I don't like to pile on one player but I think in the end we were right about Sterling and he just shouldn't have started. Too many wasted opportunities.

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I predicted that we'd get to the quarter finals, so to get to extra time in the semis is a great achievement. Unfortunately, Croatia just seemed to improve after half time and were the better team until the end of the game. England looked like they ran out of options and didn't know how to break Croatia down.

Not a disgraceful exit at all. They've played well throughout the tournament and, on the basis of this game, a narrow loss in extra time is about right. 

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England looked like they panicked and reverted to the England of old. Still, it's unusual to go out of a tournament and still feel quite upbeat about the whole thing.

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7 minutes ago, bob said:

England looked like they panicked and reverted to the England of old. Still, it's unusual to go out of a tournament and still feel quite upbeat about the whole thing.

They just ran out of steam and didn't know how to react when Croatia controlled the play. Tournament football is tough on the body and this was largely the same 11 who have played in most of the other games, including the last one. They couldn't create enough and their passing game just didn't work. It's a different problem to Belgium yesterday, because at least they could get onto the ball. Croatia just used their experience to hold their nerve to get back into the game, and then they always looked more likely to score another after that. 

Croatia should be applauded tbh because they've made it through extra time three times...which is a tremendous display of fitness. 

Going forward, central midfield is the area that needs sorting out. If Southgate can find a solution into how they can control the game from there, then who knows what'll happen in the next tournament. 

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I have to say, we did better than I had expected us to and to get to the semis was a great achievement.

I've been impressed by Southgate generally, he impressed me with the U21s so I was ok with his appointment, which I now think he’s vindicated.

He should’ve made changes earlier though - and different changes too. Henderson for Dier was too negative a switch, both Alli and Lingard were on their last legs (Alli hasn’t been 100% fit to be fair) and I’d have taken one of them off for Loftus-Cheek.

I disagree with the pundits that’s Sterling has played well, yes his pace stretches the defence and creates space for his teammates, but it’s not like Rashford is slow and he has a much better end product than Sterling - I’d have played him instead (although Rashford was woeful tonight).

Kane will probably end up with the Golden Boot but I’d not say he’s played well - nowhere near his standards at least.

Our standout players this tournament have been Maguire, Trippier, Henderson (never thought I’d say that) and Pickford.

I was really impressed with each of them.

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Game changed when Sterling went off, yes he was pony in front of goal but his pace gave them an outball and in absence of him they just resorted to long ball's that did nothing. Harry Kane faded badly in the last two games and Rashford offered nothing when he came on throughout the tournament. Really there was only one option.

Danny Welbeck

Certainly no disgrace from England, did way better than expected, just a shame to let such a great opportunity slip away. Regardless of who won last night, I feared for them against France in the final.

 

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We had a great tournament. Who thought we’d make the semi finals with this squad? Blame who you want, blame what you want. End of the day we lost to the better team on the day. Proud of what the lads achieved and I’ve enjoyed every moment of this World Cup. Fair play Gareth Southgate for getting millions back  onside and for exorcising the personal demons of 1996.

 

Euro 2020 semis and final are at Wembley, let’s hope we can make it that far again.

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England played better in the second half, but overall I think Belgium are probably more deserving of third place than England. It's a shame they didn't make the final tbh. 

Final is about to start. Think France will win this 3-0. Pogba, Mbappe and maybe a goal from Varane from a corner. Think Croatia will put up a good fight but France will be too strong for them.

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Belgium were certainly the better side yesterday. I think Loftus played really well for us and I think he should have been given more time in the first team squad during the tournament.

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It was a bit of a dive for the free kick that led to the France goal. Croatia were on top before that. 

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