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Thread: Group D Discussion - Ukraine, Sweden, France, England

  1. #466
    International Vice-Captain MW1304's Avatar
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    There's also the fact that we largely play pretty well in friendlies and qualifiers, admittedly against crappy opposition. Its not that they're usually just **** in an England shirt, its that they come unstuck either when the quality is notched up, and/or the pressure, resulting in our usual tournament farces.

  2. #467
    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Why is that people talk such balls about how bad players have been for England? Every player since Owen has been "almost always ****e in an England shirt" regardless of whether they've played well or not for the past ten years. It's a cycle: English player gets hugely overrated through massive media hype, plays alright but doesn't live up to inflated expectations, gets labelled "****e for his country" and booed off the pitch when substituted.
    Ok, please tell me when Gerrard in a tournament has ever put in back to back games where he has been very good. It has never happened before. This tournament he is playing close to his best and showing the form he has shown for Liverpool for years. Only thing lacking is a goal for him, hopefully that comes in the 2nd round game.

    Not as though you can say Gerrard has been overhyped as he virtually won a Champions League on his own for Liverpool yet he has never reached anything like those heights in an England shirt till now.

  3. #468
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Hmm but South Africa was the first time since 2000 that they underperformed at a tournament. There's missing out on the Euros of course, but you can't count successful qualifying campaigns as "pressure off" and the unsuccessful one as a pressure situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

  4. #469
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Ok, please tell me when Gerrard in a tournament has ever put in back to back games where he has been very good. It has never happened before. This tournament he is playing close to his best and showing the form he has shown for Liverpool for years. Only thing lacking is a goal for him, hopefully that comes in the 2nd round game.

    Not as though you can say Gerrard has been overhyped as he virtually won a Champions League on his own for Liverpool yet he has never reached anything like those heights in an England shirt till now.
    This is exactly why I can say he's been overhyped. It's the English story of the 2005 Champions League- Gerrard won it single-handedly. You remember Gerrard's brilliant goals at crucial times, because they're replayed over and over again in Sky Sports adverts, but Luis Garcia's are conveniently forgotten, because goals by Spanish players don't interest you as much. The phenomenal effort away at Juventus in a game Gerrard didn't even play mysteriously doesn't count. The fact that he let Kaka tear the side apart in the first half of the final is irrelevant, as are the two goals scored by players that weren't him. Benitez's tactical ability isn't even worthy of a mention.

    It's the epitome of hype: a handful of excellent performances in a successful team becomes a single-handed Champions-League-winning adventure starring Captain England. Goals by foreigners become footnotes and goals by Englishmen are made the centrepiece of a narrative in which they did it all by themselves, repeated until we all believe it's what actually happened. And the story can then be used to put down anyone who says that, maybe, they aren't as good as you think they are, as shown by their (perfectly reasonable) failure to live up to their own myth in an England shirt.
    Last edited by Uppercut; 20-06-2012 at 08:05 AM.


  5. #470
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    I agree and disagree with you both.

    Gerrard has been very good before for England. The performances so far aren't very good, they're great. He is arguably the best player in the tournament right now. In that sense, I agree with Uppercut; and I usually argue against Englishmen calling their own players rubbish. Gerrard in the last 3 big tournaments for England has been one of the main sources of goals - either scoring or assisting them - mostly playing out of position. How can that possibly be seen as bad?

    Where I disagree with Uppercut, slightly, is the CL05 run. Truly, others besides Gerrard had a hand in that run - often important performances (Garcia, Hyypia+Carra, Alonso). But, he was still comfortably the most important player and in a sense, as much as is likely in football, carried Liverpool. It depends what you think about him, but I think it rightly justifies his legacy, he was fantastic and it was fairy tale run.

    Why he hasn't been the same, or as great, in England is that he has rarely been in the same position or same role for England. For the majority of his caps he has played outside his best position - instead, on the right, or holding, or on the left. Even when he was given captaincy it wasn't with the responsibility he has now. As Carragher said during the Ukraine match; I think Gerrard finally feels like he is the leader; and he thrives on that responsibility. Before, you had many alpha dogs in Terry, Rio, Beckham, Lampard, Rooney and he never had the same role in that team as he had in Liverpool. Gerrard is probably more likely to shine in a team that would rely on him - a team like Greece - than one who treats him as the 3rd or 4th rung.

    IMO, that's why he was rarely Liverpool's Gerrard when playing for England. Now, he is looking the closest to it. Unfortunately, for England, many years too late. He should've been made captain after Beckham and should've been told it's his team. None of England's other players had/have the capacity to take a team on their shoulders and thrive like him.

    I am really, REALLY, looking forward to the Italy game. I think England will target Pirlo and Italy will try to target Gerrard. De Rossi has already come out praising Gerrard and calling him his idol. They know how good he is. English fans are just finding out. I've built him up a lot but if England go far it'll be in large part because of Gerrard.
    Last edited by Ikki; 21-06-2012 at 01:03 AM.
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  6. #471
    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    tbh I struggle with a lot of that. Gerrard played centre midfield in 2004 and simply went missing in the tough games. He was OK in 2006 to be fair. And I know he played on the left in 2010, but he'd done that throughout the qualifiers, so it shouldn't have been such a shock to the system. afaics over the years, players don't always get to play in their absolutely favoured positions at national level, and certainly don't get the same freedom as they do at club level unless they really are from the topmost draw. And Stevie, for all his qualities, isn'ton the same plane as Zidane, Platini, Gullitt and a few others I could name.

    And as for the capitaincy thing, is it really unreasonable to expect guys to cope with not being given that particular gig and play their socks off anyway? I think not.

    None of which is intended to distract from his performances in this tournament. Which have been very good, if not quite as outstanding as some would have us believe. He has, I think, done more than anyone else to get us this far. Perhaps one day Hodgson will get some credit for encouraging Gerrard to play with the intelligence and disciplien that we've seen over the last week and a bit.
    Last edited by wpdavid; 21-06-2012 at 10:12 AM.

  7. #472
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Gerrard played as a DM in 04. In the middle, behind Franky. IMO, from 03-06 was Gerrard's absolute peak. If there ever was a time to let him dominate, that was it. Something like Waqar in the early 90s and Ponting in the mid 00s. Continue like that and you're God, basically.

    The reason someone like Zidane played in his preferred position and Gerrard didn't has little to do with the level of their talents but the adaptability of Gerrard. You couldn't ask Zidane to play anywhere else and be half as effective, Gerrard could play anywhere and be as effective as the proper starter in that position. He wouldn't be Gerrard, the rampaging, game-changing, force of nature, but he was still very very good. Ironically, and unfortunately, Gerrard's adaptability, so that England could get their best XI on the pitch, meant him playing in his less favoured position.

    And maybe you mistake me. It is not just position but role. Gerrard played RM for Liverpool and was much better there than he ever was for England. But he knew he was still the main man, everything went through him and he had a fantastic season scoring 20+ goals and winning the PFA award plus a lot of plaudits. Why was that? EPL, believe it or not, produces much better teams than most national teams. Very often because of the composition of players, but also because said players actually get to train regularly with each other. He also had better players IMO in England than he did at Liverpool. And yet he was better for Liverpool. So for me the difference was role.

    Don't mistake me, I am not saying Gerrard would have guaranteed England titles; but for sure you would have seen a much more familiar Gerrard (the Gerrard of Liverpool) had he similar responsibilities.

  8. #473
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    I don't think Gerrard went missing in any of the tournaments but I'd say here and at the last world cup he has been our best player. Not that that was anything to shout about in South Africa but there you go.

    And I'd say if you look at qualifying campaigns over the years, he's always dragged us through a couple of games.

    Honestly think he has been the most underrated player on the basis of his England performances, widely contrasting with his status in a Liverpool shirt.

    I've argued this at length before so I won't take it further, but to sum up, he's always been a good player for us but if he performs at his current level for a few more games I doubt anyone will question his commitment to England again.
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