SPORTS Football CROATIA vs ENGLAND World Cup Semi-Final 2...
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Switch to Forum Live View CROATIA vs ENGLAND World Cup Semi-Final 2 (Thoughts)
5 days ago  ::  11 Jul 18 02:13 PM #1
Paul C
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Date Joined: Jul 30, 2015
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WHAT WILL BE...WILL BE.


I do remember the two previous Semi-Finals that England SHOULD have WON...


ITALIA '90 against Germany

And anyone that tells you that Germany deserved to get to that final instead of England is lying, Germany later went on to win the Final vs Argentina (rubbish game after a good tournament)


then


EURO'96 against (you guessed it Smile Germany again!)

And yet again they did us on penalties as in Italia'90 & even the Germans will tell you WE were the better side in both of these games & yet we LOST THEM!
Again, had we got past this point i think we'd have gone on to win it.

So as with Belgium it's WHAT IF's? & MAYBE's?


DON'T LET THIS BE THE CASE AGAIN fella's (i don't think i could take it!)

Not nice when you KNOW you've been the better side in the game (including Extra Time) but you don't get through to the FINAL & a CHANCE at taking the Big Prize.

GO GET IT...don't expect it to come you like Belgium, ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK but with intelligence...get those crosses in, hussle, win the ball back as quickly as possible (as you've been doing in recent times under boss Southgate)

Let's not have the probable GOLDEN BOOT winner not making the final.

HARRY & You fella's DESERVE to be there don't fail us now with just 1 game remaining!

if you play well...defend well, attack well...shoot on sight, get those crosees in to dangerous areas it might FINALLY!!! (see what i did there) be our time, if we do this & lose we can accept it (sad though it would be) but let's see if we can provide BOBBY ROBSON with that FINAL
which he can view from the SKIES.


PREDICTIONS for this GAME...

NONE

Just HOPE in my HEART.

GOOD LUCK ENGLAND & well done CROATIA...hoping it will be a creditable, worthy ATTACKING Semi-Final?
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4 days ago  ::  12 Jul 18 12:05 AM #2
Paul C
Posts: 471
Date Joined: Jul 30, 2015
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CONGRATULATIONS to Croatia.


Their ageing side & experience in the end won out (even though they had already gone through 2 previous Extra Times & penalty shoot-outs!!! WOW! made of STEEL these guys) although after that first 35 minutes you might have thought it was we that could be making that WORLD CUP FINAL...England certainly had the look of such a team didn't they?

And then something VERY STRANGE happened.

Approaching Half Time it looked like we were trying to protect this 1-0 lead & go in with this 1-0 by going ultra defensive,WHY? well we did & the die was cast...WE RETREATED & that must have given Croatia BELIEF that we were a little scared of going for it (we should have...they'll know that now...at 2-0 up it's a long way back for Croatia & many folks watching this match would have said England deserved to be so after 35 minutes of that first half)

But passing back to Pickford (our GK) as often as they did & it continued in the 2nd Half was a mistake...we stopped GOING FOR IT & sadly from this point on CROATIA were just about the BETTER SIDE for the rest of the match (at one point around the equalizer, Croatia had us on the ropes for about 15 minutes...painful to watch)

Many of these England players will think WHAT IF? something we had hoped would not be the case but really how can one be critical of such a YOUNG GROUP of ENGLAND Players that did the NATION PROUD...CREDIT to them & SOUTHGATE who conducted himself with CLASS & some FUN.

There is some GOOD NEWS for ENGLAND Fans...

CROATIA played the better (on the whole) & DESERVED to win after this good comeback (after looking very much 2nd best) & i wish them well in the FINAL...and so we can't now say how unlucky we were not to make it to thsi FINAL. A learning curve for these England players, remember this next time.
France will be strong favourites & yet i look at them & think...HOW IN THE WORLD?
I still believe an England side would have beat that French side...Ah the what if's & maybe's again...ARGHHH.

France are better than the PORTUGAL side that won the EURO's a few years ago but not by much i'd say so maybe Crotia might SHOCK the WORLD?

These big tournaments are becoming a little bit more open to other nations now, maybe that day of an AFRICAN side one day winning such a thing is not too far away?

ENGLAND finally Wink for a change have nothing to be sorry for.
Ex pro's, pundits & newspaper experts gave them little chance...most having them out by the LAST 16 or QF stages...Well this young side might not have gone all the way to penalties but they did take a decent Croatia side to EXTRA TIME in a World Cup Semi-Final & that'll do for me...GOOD on ya FELLA's.


APOLOGIES to those who like i thought BELGIUM & ENGLAND would meet in the FINAL Laughing
i know not many of you...but they cam awfully close didn't they?

The strange thing is i was half right Wink & they WILL MEET AGAIN...it's just that it's for that nonsense 3rd/4th play-off (yeah i can see Southgate playing this side yet again without any changes can't you? Laughing)

The funny thing is full strength Belgian & English side in the FINAL would have made for what could have been an EPIC FINAL but hey maybe this FRANCE v CROATIA Final might surprise us?

i think my previous memories must have got their wires crossed & what i remembered was that Belgium & England would meet again...Just NOT (sadly) in the Final.

Looks like HARRY (KANE) will win the GOLDEN BOOT unless one of Griezmann or Mbpappe get a hatrick to join him which is highly unlikely you'd have thought.

A SUPER WC Tournament to remember & those FOOTIE KIDS in that CAVE were ALL RESCUED so a win win i'd say.

I think all we England fans know where it went wrong...mainly experience & i have some more thoughts on this but i'll save that for tomorrow & just end with a...

THANKS ENGLAND...this was more like the olden days when we fought hard for the country & made us PROUD, you might not think it now but you'll come to understand you let no one down & were a credit to yourselves & us.

GOOD on YA.
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3 days ago  ::  12 Jul 18 11:13 PM #3
Paul C
Posts: 471
Date Joined: Jul 30, 2015
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A Day later & all we England fans are still smarting i bet?
But just imagine how those players must be thinking!!! SO CLOSE to making a WORLD CUP FINAL

I really thought we were going to do it.

Just had that feeling that England would be meeting Belgium again later in this tournament in teh FINAL! the thought we would end up playing each other in this Saturday 3rd/4th place PLAY-OFF nonsense never even occured to me...STRANGE though!

Will Belgium & England play full strength sides on Saturday?

It may well be that Harry (KANE) might WANT to play just to cement any chance of him being caught with another goal but if he doesn't play he'd be unlucky not to win the GOLDEN BOOT now...would need a Hat-trick from Griezmann or Mpbappe to get level with him or 4 goals to win it outright...never going to happen.
An impressive achievement from our HARRY (even if a good number were penalties) i knew he could do it!

Will watch this game thinking what if? as will everyone involved.

But England are on the UP...a promising (mainly) young side with others from the U-19's & U-21's waiting in the wings to get their chance.

Damn 35 minutes into that game & 1-0 up & had Harry or one of them converted one of those chances i seriously doubt (even with their experience) that Croatia would have come back from it? we were clearly the better team.

But things change in games but i wasn't really expecting this change! when just 10 minutes before HT England for some very strange reason turned off & were defending their 1-0 lead.
I remember facing my sister at HT & saying what the h..ll was that all about???
10 up playing well & then back to the keeper (every time they did this i expected a mistake from someone back there...be it Pickford, Walker or Stones) WHY?
Could almost understand it if it was 42 minutes but as i said to my sister THAT might have set a pattern & it continued in the 2nd HT.

I'll admit i was disappointed by this...the experience & steel of these Croatians were clearly taking over & the tide had turned, in the end i think we were a little fortunate they didn't get another.

GREAT Tournament by ENGLAND...almost PERFECT (forget the Belgian RESERVE Group game & as for the Colombian game we learned this lot could BATTLE against nasty opponents & WIN a penalty shoot out contest)


Just a few opinions on our (ENGLAND) Team players that played the majority of the games...
PROUD of ALL of them but we MUST be HONEST right? they have to get better to win one of these these things...some of that will come with experience (which they now have) but there are other things that surely must be addressed?
Southgate's a smart cookie, i'm sure he'll figure out some of them?

PICKFORD (Goalkeeper)
I have NO IDEA why we kept passing back to him in this Semi-Final? it set a pattern we never recovered from...not blaming him, i guess the players just got a little SCARED (something i thought & hoped would have been ditched by now) we PAID for it (sadly)
Some truly FANTASTIC Saves by this young fella!
Penalty Hero!
And HOPEFULLY he will have figured out that saving shots is all well & good but having it head back into the DANGER ZONE after it is a no no...David Seaman was correct in pointing this out & hopefully this promising GK who i was not convinced by before this tournament might just make this jersey his for many years to come (although i do think HEATON & POPE were a little unlucky)

STONES
He performed better than expected but STILL has this LAZY (not concentrating STYLE) that almost cost us a few good goals.
He is comfortable on the Ball (very Bobby Moore'sh) but he needs to concentrate on where he has the ball & who's around him...got 2 goals in a WC!!!! AWESOME ariel attacking power...there are MORE pluses than minuses here & he's still young but he MUST learn to not be SO RELAXED & to CONCENTRATE.
Pivotal season to come for this fella who was sidelined for most of the season by GUARDY which tells you something i think?

WALKER
He was CLEARLY played out of place & it showed.
I thought he looked a little ill at ease playing back there with Stones & MaGuire.
Goals were conceded in EVERY MATCH except Sweden & England are normally one of those sides that DO Keep a good few Clean Sheets.
Intresting but somewhat risky experiment i thought...some might think it worked? i thought it didn't & having Cahill back there in that back 3 would have been better or revert back depending on the opponents where he could bomb down the wings getting in crosses.
It will be interesting to see if boss SOUTHGATE sticks with him here? because he won't playing in this posistion for CITY.
Playing players who are NOT USED to it very rarely pays off.
One of Southgate's few mistakes i thought? feel free to disagree.

YOUNG
I did wonder if he would make a BIG differene for the England team & sadly i think not.
Worked his socks off but as predicted wasn't really a GAME CHANGER.
I will still maintain we the amount of defence options taken to this WC he could & should have been left behind in favour of FODEN of Manchester City, he was the key man in winning the Under 19 WORLD CUP...went 2-0 in the final & came back to beat SPAIN 5-2 as if nothing had happened...we were missing this kind of player who could be a devil in midfield & provide those precision passes through to Sterling or Kane so sadly lacking at this WC.
We cannot totally rely on SET-PIECES although we were DAMN GOOD AT 'EM weren't we?
Probably his last England game (unless he plays against Belgium this Saturday?)

And now we get to 2 huge successes...

McGUIRE
Actually started a little shaky but hey he's hardly played for England & this is as BIG a Tourney as you could compete in...he got stronger & STRONGER & blinking STRONGERRR until it looked like we had another TONY ADAMS or TERRY BUTCHER (high praise indeed)
Solid, aware of his whereabouts & those around him (take note John Stones) & as with Stones a GREAT DANGER from Set Pieces...he got a goal too at a WC...AWESOME!
Hopefully the first of many more to come.
Leciester will do well to hold onto him?
EXCEPTIONAL World Cup Performance.

TRIPPER
Ran his little socks off...super free kick & in the earlier games provided great ammo with his crosses, dropped off a little towards the end when we REALLY needed those dangerous crosses to come in but really??? this little Spurs player became a FAVOURITE for most England fans.
he should be truly PROUD of his performance here.

HENDERSON
I think we all knew he was a good anchoring Midfield player who had a terrific first few games here but again, perhaps? just dropped off in form & confedence as it went on? but you can't say he didn't try & he sure broke up a good few attacks.
Trouble with Jordan it seems to me is that he STILL plays the ball square, if not back far too many times...he's BETTER than THIS.
Another interesting England player as i get the feeling it may be we have to turn to RUBENS LOFTUS CHEEK to get more ADVENTUROUS (something we very much need)
Loftus Cheek was almost the forgotten man here which was a HUGE surprise to me after performing so well in those friendlies before this, he too can & did break up play but he did so WITH A PURPOSE...one of getting us on the forward foot...ATTACKING.
You could perhaps at times PLAY BOTH Henderson & Loftus Cheek together in certain games but they didn't do so here!!! 
Considering the under perfoming ALLI & STERLING it might have made sense to have used him more?
HENDERSON is perhaps more of a leader than CHEEK? this is an interesting one i feel & i get the feeling we might need CHEEK in there instead of Henderson in the long term as he's more adventurous (but then again that will depend on if he plays for CHELSEA? or PALACE?)

Getting to the Attacking Midfielders & pretty much our ONE STRIKER...

Damn!

LINGARD...Young, Gifted & rather Charming for his age!
A very good tournament although he too tired in these later stages when we needed his like to pull the trigger & play balls into Sterling & kane but really at his age he gets a big tick.
It seems he was very popular spirit in the camp too...ALWAYS a GOOD THING.
Might be better players gunning for this type of posistion in the ENGLAND team (FODEN for one) so could prove interesting to see if he's still in the starting line up come the next EURO's?

STERLING...
ARGHHH
Had Raheem had an exceptional GOOD WC i do think we might have WON this thing.
Let's be HONEST he didn't but he still created havoc for these teams with his pace but his ASSISTS & GOALS we see for CITY just didn't come!!! WHY???
Formation?
he seemed to be playing in his favoured role (as with City) just behind the main striker but he just didn't click at this tournament.
So frustrating, i can fully understand Southgate sticking by him as you just figured it was surely only a matter of time before he clicked...even if it had just beeen these later & very impirtant games.
NEVER HAPPENED...seems to me Guardiola gets the BEST out of him & England somehow need to also, somehow?

DELI ALLI
I think he coudl be a FANTASTIC FOOTBALLER.
Had a GREAT SEASON a year or two back for Spurs & still played well last season but for SOME REASON his form has dropped off significantly...AGAIN WHY?
i know he & STERLING are very much the darlings of SOCIAL MEDIA...could it be this? and that they are not concentrating on their football so much? JUST ASKING?
Because a great deal of my feelings that we could WIN THIS WORLD CUP came with the feeling that both STERLING & ALLI would come good.
They were OK but if we are being HONEST none looked WORLD BEATERS & created very little for England here.
BOTH of these players will i'd have thought be a little disappointed by it...BOTH are SO MUCH BETTER THAN this...i just have to hope we see it in a future tournament?
If we do it could be one we WIN.

And finally...

CAPTAIN MARVEL (Bryan Robson would be PROUD)

It's HARRY KANE
Who barring something truly unusual & unlikely will recieve the GOLDEN BOOT.
Hope you got on him when he was high double figures? always thought he'd go close but i must admit i didn't think it would be mostly down to penalties taken.
Strange really to say but apart from that first game in open play he wasn't really a major threat...there are OBVIOUS reasons for this...
He can do everything but he can't do it on HIS OWN...he's mainly a fox in the box but is so much more, he can hold up the ball (which he did here) he can TACKLE (fairly) he's a SUPER header of the ball & he can score GOALS from just about EVERYWHERE but his area of expertise is finding space & getting those goals in the box...or getting a ball played into him, holding off the defenders & getting those shots in which nearly always result in a goal.

We are VERY LUCKY to have him...he's almost like the oufield player verson of SOUTHGATE.
A VERY DECENT man with exceptionally good morals it seems to me, can't remember him DIVING once (didn't need too they were all over him Smile)

Mainly penalties but they all count...the PRESSURE on some of those must be immense but he's trained & is one of the very best takers of a penalty (as was seen) he even used his head & did put one down the middle but only because the COLOMBIANS had been gooding him & delaying the penalty kick...so what to do? just wait a split second to see the GK commit & then send it down the middel (something i normally HATE...he's better than that as was proved) but BLIMEY considering what had been happening around this penalty award it was VERY CLEVER.

By Sunday night...we might not have won the WORLD CUP but by golly we (England) will have the TOP SCORER at it & a JOLLY GOOD FELLOW he is too.

Just a shame he was not provided a good far few more open play chances.

Can you IMAGINE how it might have LOOKED had both ALLI & STERLING been on form & perhaps FODEN been included with LOFTUS CHEEK also in the team in good form.

HEY we DONE Good...most are young...we have to find that extra 10 or 20% to make us winners.

1996 was our LAST Semi-Final attempt to get to another FINAL.

With this Squad & other hopefully ADVENTUROUS Additions of the likes of FODEN & SYSENYON then i don't think we shall be waiting another 22 years for another go or 28 years for another crack at a World Cup final.

With our WORLD CUP WINNING Under sides we have an ADVANTAGE now...let's use it & advance, we have a deligtful manager who has brought a FEEL GOOD, DECENCY to teh England role & team.

LET's NOT THROW IT AWAY.

Proud of ya LADS (ALL of You) we know it's not easy but you did us GOOD.
THANKS
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1 day ago  ::  15 Jul 18 12:54 AM #4
Elton23666
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yes, congratulation Croatia....they won luckily two times on penalties, bu nice. tomorow France win 2-1
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11 hours ago  ::  15 Jul 18 03:09 PM #5
Paul C
Posts: 471
Date Joined: Jul 30, 2015
Status: I would like to VIST the planet 'PLUTO' :)
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NEVER would have predicted this FINAL.


Didn't fancy FRANCE at all...i figured England had a better chance of progressing even though our side was unfancied & young.


That having been said you have to hand it to both FRANCE & CROATIA who had tricker than most groups & France have certainly had to beat some major teams to reach this stage which would of course make them FAVOURITES by many & that 2-1 France prediction Elton sounds about right.


And yet...


I have a nagging doubt about France's soft underbelly...rough 'em up a little, get at them & get them frustrated & they can be affected & i think CROATIA will try to do this (the BIG QUESTION is? after those 3 extra time games has it eventually caught up with them? you'd think so but this Croatian side probably knowing this is there last chance (with this squad) to win a MAJOR Tournament might just do it?)


My predictions (on the whole) for this tournament have been abysmal except for the major one for me...Both Belgium & England doing well but just falling short so i you'd be wise to stick with your France winning the World Cup bet prediction of 2-1.

I actually have this one too Wink with GIROUD (finally?) scoring at anytime.

But i'll be a CROATIA fan today...if you can see them winning this in 90 minutes you can get some good odds...

I've got

1-0 Mandzukic
1-0 Modric (he's the penalty taker)
2-1 Perisic (anytime) Croatian win.

Got that 2-1 Giroud (anytime) now's the time for him to score for the 1st time at this tourney!
But just in case Croatia are tired or do tire during the game i also covered a 3-1 France win with again Giroud anytime scorer.

But i'll be supporting the underdog & as they beat England we could say we lost to the winners should Croatia SHOCK THE WORLD.

England did great but the results don't read too good now that we lost that 3rd place play off.
4 wins & 3 defeats (ok group game was one i was cheering for so won't really count that) but we've lost our last 2 games which is disappointing somewhat.

COME on CROTIA
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