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SF2: Croatia v England

Furball

Evil Scotsman
They completely outplayed Croatia in the first half but didn't put the ball in the back of the net. Kane missed two sitters in about two seconds! Then they collapsed in the second half. Might be fitness levels and stamina or lack of game management or experience - or a combination?
Game management and lack of experience was definitely a factor.

I didn't think England reacted very well to conceding an equaliser either in this game or against Colombia.

I will caveat this by stating that I only saw the second half of both the Colombia and Croatia games and didn't see the Sweden game, but I thought Harry Kane was really poor in the games I did see.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Kane surely carrying some sort of injury or something since Colombia. Was like he dropped off a cliff.
 

wpdavid

International Coach
Game management and lack of experience was definitely a factor.

I didn't think England reacted very well to conceding an equaliser either in this game or against Colombia.

I will caveat this by stating that I only saw the second half of both the Colombia and Croatia games and didn't see the Sweden game, but I thought Harry Kane was really poor in the games I did see.
He should have taken a couple of chances against Croatia, although his performance won't have been helped by the defender's attempt to break his ribs early in the game. The failure of an absurdly weak referee to even issue a yellow card meant that they knew they could continue to kick him all over Moscow for the remainder of the match.

I think another thing that came out of the game is our over-reliance on one player to score from open play. If Kane is having an off day, then we aren't often going to score unless it's a dead ball situation, and that's a problem. That may well lead to yet more discussion about Sterling's role in the side, hopefully without knee-jerk accusations of racism. But there are times when Alli looks like he's getting a free ride too.

The game management should improve under Southgate.
 

S.Kennedy

International Vice-Captain
I think a lack of a bona fide playmaker who can retain the ball in the central midfield meant Kane kept dragging back deeper rather than being a simple ''fox-in-the-box'' number 9, at the top of the formation. This also had the inevitable results of knackering him out.
 

Uppercut

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He should have taken a couple of chances against Croatia, although his performance won't have been helped by the defender's attempt to break his ribs early in the game. The failure of an absurdly weak referee to even issue a yellow card meant that they knew they could continue to kick him all over Moscow for the remainder of the match.

I think another thing that came out of the game is our over-reliance on one player to score from open play. If Kane is having an off day, then we aren't often going to score unless it's a dead ball situation, and that's a problem. That may well lead to yet more discussion about Sterling's role in the side, hopefully without knee-jerk accusations of racism. But there are times when Alli looks like he's getting a free ride too.

The game management should improve under Southgate.
Southgate’s own game management is disastrous tbh. Only one sub in the 90 minutes despite being dominated tactically and having several obviously knackered/injured players. Made a mess of his changes against Colombia too.

Though the good thing about him is that even when he’s bad at something you feel like he’ll recognise it and work on it. That’s never been the case with an England manager before.
 

wpdavid

International Coach
Southgate’s own game management is disastrous tbh. Only one sub in the 90 minutes despite being dominated tactically and having several obviously knackered/injured players. Made a mess of his changes against Colombia too.

Though the good thing about him is that even when he’s bad at something you feel like he’ll recognise it and work on it. That’s never been the case with an England manager before.
Yes, I thought that RLC and/or Delph should have replaced Alli and/or Lingard once it was obvious that our midfield was being completely bypassed. Dier for Henderson was just a like-for-like, and Sterling wasn't actually the main problem on this occasion.

I'm trying to remember how he played it against Columbia. During the 90 minutes, did Columbia even have a shot apart from after Walker's mistake and the last minute volley from about 50 yards? Perhaps he didn't want to change something that was working pretty well. Don't know about extra time tbf as I was driving down the A3 at the time and the car radio is ****ed.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Tbf England had very few players on the bench who would have been capable of coming on and truly changing a game. Especially in midfield.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Tbf England had very few players on the bench who would have been capable of coming on and truly changing a game. Especially in midfield.
Yeah, the cupboard did look a wee bit bare. I hate to nitpick as Southgate got a lot of calls right, but I always thought Delph alongside Dier and Henderson was one defensive midfielder too many.

I don't think he's a world beater or anything, but Wilshere would offered more in terms of creativity coming off the bench.

Hopefully maybe Sessegnon or Foden can step up before the next Euros.
 

Uppercut

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Tbf England had very few players on the bench who would have been capable of coming on and truly changing a game. Especially in midfield.
They aren’t exactly ‘game-changers’, but they can change the shape of the game by having different strengths and positional senses. And by not being crocked or exhausted. RLC for Alli worked well against Tunisia but strangely he never went back to it. It generally felt like he wasn’t willing to replace anyone with an inferior player even when it would have benefitted the team.
 

S.Kennedy

International Vice-Captain
I was surprised Loftus-Cheek did not play more of a role in the entire tournament after he was put on against Tunisia (and looked lively).
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
They aren’t exactly ‘game-changers’, but they can change the shape of the game by having different strengths and positional senses. And by not being crocked or exhausted. RLC for Alli worked well against Tunisia but strangely he never went back to it. It generally felt like he wasn’t willing to replace anyone with an inferior player even when it would have benefitted the team.
Yeah true. I wonder though if he thought the inferiority of the players coming of the bench was just so great that it was not worth a punt.
 

Tangles

International Vice-Captain
Southgates subs were mostly reactive so I think being a goal up he was hoping they could ride out the Croatian pressure. The problem was the defense got deeper and balls were cleared but not for retained possession. So it felt like the goal was coming for a while before it did. One or both of Ali / Lingard needed changing for fresh legs and to help possession.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Southgates subs were mostly reactive so I think being a goal up he was hoping they could ride out the Croatian pressure. The problem was the defense got deeper and balls were cleared but not for retained possession. So it felt like the goal was coming for a while before it did. One or both of Ali / Lingard needed changing for fresh legs and to help possession.
I actually agree with this. The problem, however, is that if you bring one of them off, you are pretty much buggered if you then end up needing to score another goal.

Let's say Alli and Lingard both came off and were replaced by Dier and Delph. A midfield of Dier, Delph and Henderson + a knackered/crocked Kane up front is not a good combination so far as goal-scoring prospects are concerned.
 
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Uppercut

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I actually agree with this. The problem, however, is that if you bring one of them off, you are pretty much buggered if you then end up needing to score another goal.

Let's say Alli and Lingard both came off and were replaced by Dier and Delph. A midfield of Dier, Delph and Henderson + a knackered/crocked Kane up front is not a good combination so far as goal-scoring prospects are concerned.
The problem was that they couldn’t progress the ball and Dier and Delph can’t do it very well either. RLC can run with it and Welbeck can receive it, so they would’ve been decent options. I think he got carried away with Sterling almost getting in behind a few times in the first half, so first Sterling played higher than he should have, and then Rashford came on when he wasn’t the right option.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Lack of Welbeck use was very surprising actually. Such a handy player. Have come full circle on him. Wag he is
 

cpr

International Coach
I can understand the Rashford change, because of his ability to do something different with the ball - he'll run defenders (there was lots of sideways safe passes going on on the rare occasions we got possession up the pitch), and has the ability to drop a shoulder and absolutely leather it if he's outside the box and has no support. He's always got the ability to make something out of nothing in that regard. But the failure to use RLC really does feel odd. They needed someone to operate in that massive space between Henderson/Dier and Ali & Lingard. Sacrificing one of the latter pair would've helped us at least work the ball forward, instead of just trying to bypass 40 yards in the middle each time.

Also Vardy was an odd choice. He's not the man for getting in behind a defence that knows all it has to do is sit deep for the last 10 mins.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Agree RE: Rashford, but the problem with players like him is that they really do need someone to get the ball to them in good spaces. England short on players who could do that. Agree completely about Vardy though.
 

flibbertyjibber

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Tbf England had very few players on the bench who would have been capable of coming on and truly changing a game. Especially in midfield.
Which is why I said the squad was so bad before the tournament. Even the back up defenders are crap, Cahill and Jones are nowhere near good enough.
 

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